Some pieces of clothing are essential for exploring, hunting or working outdoors, and brush pants are one of the best examples. In this article we’ll take a look at when and why you should wear brush pants.
When To Wear Brush Pants
If you are a hunter, hiker, farmer or work outdoors and you walk through tall brush or brambles often, then your normal jeans or outdoor pants will probably fail to protect you from thorns and brambles. These are the conditions when you should wear brush pants.
Brush pants are designed to prevent skin injuries to your legs and groin area from sharp vegetation.
Some hazards that brush pants protect you from include:
- Puddle splashes
- Brush and sticky thorns
- Low-level spiky tree branches
- Wire fencing debris
- Snake bites
- Ticks, chiggers, wasps, bees and other insects
If you hike or hunt, thick brush and thorns can stick to and rip a regular pair of pants. Thistles, brambles, sticky vines and other no-see-ums will poke right through jeans or hiking pants, leaving you with nasty scratches or punctures in your legs.
If you are a surveyor, geologist, electrical utility worker, construct fences, or do other outdoor work, then brush pants are great for protecting your legs.
If you are a rancher or farm worker, old fallen wire fencing and barbed wire can be easily hidden in the brush. It’s easy to get a painful stab if a rusty wire pierces your pant leg. Injuries from rusty wire can also lead to a serious infection that requires medical treatment.
All these activities expose your legs to injury. Brush pants are made for this very reason.
Key Features of Brush Pants
Here are some key features and functions to look for when comparing the best brush pants:
- Briar proof
- Rip proof
- Multi-layer reinforced front and rear paneling
- Stretchable waistband
- Brush guard overlay
- Flexible, allowing complete range-of-motion
- Machine washable
- Reinforced side and rear pockets
- Extra pockets for convenient storage for wallet, keys, and phone
Should Kids Wear Brush Pants?
If you have kids that you take camping, hiking, or hunting, then having them wear brush pants can save them and you a lot of pain.
If you live near open land with dried brush and thorns, your kids can wander through them and not worry about being poked and scraped up. Kids often trip and fall when running, so brush pants with extra material on the knees can prevent skin injuries.
A thick pair of brush pants will even help prevent snake bite injuries. They don’t provide as much protection as thick snake bite boots, but the heavy material will fend off most fangs.
The waterproof material of brush pants will also help keep your kids’ legs dry for hours while they explore.
Brush Pants vs. Jeans or Camo Pants
Brush pants are specifically designed for plowing and breaking through stiff brush, thorns and sharp debris. This is what sets them apart from regular denim jeans and camo pants.
Jeans are typically made of 90% plus cotton and have no additional nylon overlay as extra protection. This makes them vulnerable to tearing and punctures from sticks and thorns. They are also not waterproof.
Camo pants are similar to jeans in the amount of cotton used. However, many camo pants include an additional 2% spandex or nylon overlay for extra protection. Pockets can be additionally reinforced with extra material. Camo pants are designed to hide from animals while hunting. However, most are not specifically designed for protection from thorns and sharp objects like brush pants are.
Waterproof Brush Pants
Walking through rain, mist and wet vegetation can mean being wet until you get home. Not all brush pants are water-resistant, so it’s important to keep this in mind when shopping for a pair.
Most waterproof brush pants protect the front and bottom of the legs best. These surfaces are the ones that come in contact with wet vegetation and grass, so it makes sense. Don’t expect your brush pants to act like full waterproof pants, however.
If you live in an arid environment, then breathability is more important than water resistance. You probably don’t need waterproof pants in this case.
Brush Pants Comfort vs. Cost
High-quality brush pants are designed to be comfortable as well as durable. Comfort is an important factor if you’re out in the field all day.
Even though brush pants are pricier than normal pants, they will save you money down the road. Jeans and camo pants can rip easily from thorns and barbed wire. Having to patch and replace them frequently will cost money.
All you need is one or two pairs of brush pants for those days out in the field and you are pretty much covered. You can even wear them over your normal pair of jeans. They will help keep you safe while you work, hunt or explore the outdoors.
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.