#FlyGearTopPick: Eddie Bauer Men's Guide Pro Pants Review
Is anyone else as picky as me when it comes to clothes shopping? Whether it's attire for fishing, the gym, or just everyday life, I'm really fussy about the fit and feel of what I wear. I have a few brands I fully trust and know their stuff is likely to fit me, but when ordering online from an unfamiliar brand it's a real dice roll. So, when it came time to buy some new fishing/outdoors pants a few months back, I decided to take that gamble on the new Eddie Bauer Guide Pro pants. I've purchased just a handful of Eddie Bauer items in my life, but it had been a while and I really had no idea how I'd like these. At any rate, what I saw and read on their website seemed pretty promising, so I bravely clicked "Add to Bag" to give them a try!
Material: 94% Nylon/6% Spandex
Sizes: Too many to list!
Protection Rating: UPF 50+
Price: $80.00 (but often on sale!)
These Guide Pro Pants leave little to be desired when it comes to looks, quality, and design. Made from a combination of nylon and spandex, the material is both smooth and stretchy thanks to Eddie Bauer's "Flexion Stretch Woven Technology" which provides two-way stretch. On top of this, the material is breathable and boasts other technologies and characteristics that repel moisture, control odor, and provide UPF 50+ sun protection.
Other more visual features include a button waist with zip fly, belt loops, nice deep hand pockets, two pretty standard butt pockets with velcro tab closures, a lower zip pocket on the side of each thigh, and a small "First Ascent" logo on the front of the left thigh. All stitching throughout is clean and the pants are nice and lightweight which is a huge plus for us active outdoors folks!
I've been wearing these pants for about three months now and can confidently say these are now the most comfortable pants I've ever worn, period! One thing I like most about them is that they're made with an "Active Fit" which means they fit a little closer to the body for a slimmer look. This might seem restrictive, but the stretchy fabric and articulated knees completely squash this issue. They are simply a joy to wear and move right along with me whether I'm walking, scrambling up a steep bank, or squatting down low to take a self-timer shot with a largemouth bass. I also really like that the ankle holes are wide enough to fit right over my hiking boots, but not too wide where they swoosh around while walking.
After wearing these dozens of times in addition to repeated washings, I have no complaints regarding the durability. The last thing I want is for something like the rear end to split open when bending over or a hole to open up on one of the knees, but I'm confident the Guide Pro pants will be with me for the long haul. The stitching seems plenty strong and is holding up great, while the zippers continue to function good-as-new.
Since buying my first pair of these pants I've worn them in temps ranging from the 50's up to maybe 85 or so. Eddie Bauer mentions these as being "all season" pants, and I tend to agree with this marketing. Featuring lightweight and breathable material, they've kept my body temperature in the comfort zone and don't get all clammy and nasty when really hoofing it in warmer temps. Having also been treated with a water-repellent finish, water droplets readily bead up and roll right off. In fact, I fished in a steady rain one evening and found they did quite well for a while until the rain picked up and moisture finally started to seep in to my legs. Lastly, there's built-in odor control technology in the waistband which seems to do its job as I've yet to get a whiff of any extra-foul odors after sweaty adventures.
Pocket sizing has disappointed me a few times in the past, but the ones here are about perfect. The upper pockets are fairly deep for either your hands or various items, while the streamlined lower leg pockets offer generous capacity for holding my keys, wallet, or iPhone 6. While I never really use the rear pockets, they too boast plenty of storage capacity.
That first pair of Eddie Bauer Guide Pro pants proved so impressive that I went online and bought myself another several weeks later. I spend a ton of time in these both on and off the water (they've shown up in some of my reviews here) and have since kind of forgotten about wearing jeans—these are just too comfy to ignore! It makes me wonder what I've been missing by not really paying attention as much as I should've to the Eddie Bauer brand....that won't be happening anymore. As of now, I'm labeling these the "best pants ever!"
There's a multitude of sizes available including "tall" lengths with a good variety of colors to pick from. Guide Pro pants also come in women's versions, and there's also several other different styles of men's and women's pants and shorts within the overall Guide Pro lineup.