Hiking, hunting, or working in the outdoors means being at risk of injuries sustained from contact with certain elements. Brush pants work by preventing sharp objects and fluids from getting through your pants and touching your skin.
What brush pants protect you from:
- Tree branches
- Dried brush
- Dried grasses
- Mud, dirt, and splashes
- Plant moisture
- Gasoline (from lawnmower and chainsaw spills)
They also offer protection from insects such as:
Brush Pants Features
Brush pants come with great features that make them attractive to hikers, hunters and trail runners.
For starters, brush pants are usually made of high-quality reinforced materials which provide excellent rip strength and puncture protection for your legs.
Brush pants usually come with plenty of pockets for convenient storage of keys, a wallet, camping knife, GPS or cellphone.
There are also many women’s brush pants that sport nice designs such as artful zippers up the legs or sweetheart cuffs.
Brush Pants Materials
Nylon is considered to be a more environmentally friendly choice than cotton and does not absorb much water.
Another nice feature of nylon is that it helps to reduce condensation so your pants will dry faster.
Brush Pants Tear Resistance
A good pair of brush pants provide excellent protection against abrasive materials, such as branches, brush, sticks and stones in the garden or on the trail.
The tear resistance of brush pants is significantly greater than jeans or khakis. This strength is created with an outer shell of tough woven material like nylon or PVC, backed by an inner layer of flexible lycra or cotton. The outer layer prevents rips, tears and punctures, while the inner layer wicks away moisture and prevents your skin from getting chafed.
If you use your pants for light to moderate duty brushwork or yard work, you probably won’t notice a tremendous difference in their tear resistance compared to normal pants. However, when faced with a sharp tree branch, thorns, or fallen barbed wire, brush pants will prove their worth and save your legs.
Brush Pants Water Resistance
There are two main types of water resistance: physical and chemical. The physical variety is built to be worn in cold or windy environments.
Chemicals are applied to the material in order to repel water. These are sprayed on the pants during manufacture. This protects your legs from water, rain and splashes, and prevents the material from staying wet for long periods.
Physical water resistance comes from the thickness and weave of the material. There is inherent water resistance from the fibers themselves even without chemicals applied.
Brush pants usually are made of multilayer polyester, cotton, or nylon and include a DWR (Durable Water Resistant) finish. The combination of water repellent features (physical and chemical) will help keep the the most water away from your body.
While traditional pants are built to stop some water coming through, a combination of physical and chemical resistant materials will be better at keeping you dry in the rain and when walking through streams, mud or wet vegetation.
Brush Pants Breathability
Brush pants provide protection from the weather elements, yet maintain a certain degree of breathability.
The breathability depends largely on the material and the way it was manufactured. Breathability is usually created by a certain weave of the fabric or by the fabric sitting on a semi-permeable membrane.
Make sure to buy brush pants that offer enough breathability to keep you comfortable.
Brush Pants Comfort
Brush pants are designed to be comfortable because you may have to wear them all day while working or hiking. They are designed to be worn for movement and activity, so they should be able to stretch with the body.
Many pants include corrugate 4-way stretch nylon material in the rear and waist for complete range-of-motion. Wearing boots should not be a problem as wide brush pant legs can fit over the top. Consider buying brush pants that fit your boot type and will sit well underneath gaiters or chaps.
Brush Pants Durability
Brush pants can be worn over and over again and will last a long time when washed properly. They are built tough and durable to get you through the long days of hiking, hunting, running or brush clearing. Brush pants may even outlast your regular jeans.
Men’s and Women’s Brush Pants
Brush pants are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, so they can be worn by both genders. There is a special care label that can be found stamped on the bottom back of many pants indicating the manufacturer of the item and which gender they are sized to fit.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.