Review: The Insanely Comfortable Bonobos Tech 5-Pocket Pant
Being uncomfortable is a thing of the past, it seems. However, while many men take this to mean it’s fine to stroll about in sweat shorts and a tank top, classier folk know that such outfits should be reserved for the gym. Still, there is no need to be anything other than absolutely comfortable, as the new wave of “tech wear” allows for what appears to, say, a standard chino to actually be a super comfortable, stretchy, moisture wicking, lightweight material pant that is probably more comfortable and cooler than your favorite sweats. Needless to say, we are big fans of such tech wear around here, and have always been interested in Bonobos’ entries into this arena specifically. This is because they were amongst the first to really start incorporating stretch and “tech” into their pants, and recently released a new line of Tech pants, including the absolutely awesome Bonobos Tech 5-Pocket Pant ($178) (also available as a standard chino, with a few other slight differences — full review hopefully forthcoming here on the site).
Packaging & Experience
Bonobos shipping is super fast, and totally free. Expect your package to arrive with a couple days, often even, depending where you live, the very next day. The products show up neatly packed in their signature box, along with a return label. Unlike some other companies, the Bonobos return label is perfectly fitting to fully cover the original label, meaning you don’t have to worry about peeling stickers off the box, or whipping out the Sharpie to cross addresses out. Small detail, but it’s a nice one. And, return shipping, of course, is free as well. So, feel free to order, try out whatever you’d like, and send back anything you don’t want to keep. It’s very low stakes, and Bonobos is perhaps the true Gold Standard when it comes to customer experience, shipping, returns, and customer support. A+
Style & Design
The key to the best tech wear is when you really, truly cannot tell that there is anything special about the fabric, or the way the garment looks. These pants absolutely nail that. To even the very well trained eye, these pants look like any ol’ chinos / 5-pocket pants. Speaking of, these are, indeed, a classic 5-pocket pant. Meaning, they’re styled a bit more like jeans, and thus a bit more casual, with rounded pockets (as opposed to slanted ones), rear patch pockets (as opposed to slits), and that extra fifth pocket in the front right pocket as well. (Actually, there is cool a hidden sixth pocket in the rear of the pant, but who is counting?) For the most part, 5-pocket pants can be worn with almost anything chinos can be worn with, but know that it is a more casual look, and so shouldn’t be worn to dressier affairs. We went with the light grey for this review (a surprisingly hard color to find in chinos these days), and found that it hits the perfect color balance, without being too light or too dark. A light grey like the one here can go with literally anything, and so is an extremely versatile, and underrated shade for a pant/chino like this. Unfortunately, these pants are only available in a few, select colors (just four: grey, black, and two shades of blue), which leads me to hope that Bonobos will add some more in the future. A
Quality & Construction
These pants are super well made, and there are a ton of details as well in the construction. For one, the button is a nice, rubber-coated metal, and there is a super soft felt lining the whole waist band, adding to the comfort of these pants. Speaking of, these pants are insanely comfortable. Like, “the most comfortable pair of pants I have ever worn” comfortable. They stretch a ridiculous amount, feel super lightweight and breezy, and yet feel like a substantial pair of pants all at once. How do they pull this off? I’m not entirely sure, but it is surely all in the blend and makeup of these pants — 59% Cotton, 36% Polyamid, and 5% Elastane. Though not advertised on the site (for some unknown reason), these pants come with a 3X DRY logo, and thus sport that 3X tech, allowing them to dry super quick, and wick moisture while wearing. These pants shrank a tiny, tiny bit on a cool wash, no drying, and I expect them to last a real long time, and get many seasons of wear. They are already one of my favorite pairs of pants, and in constant rotation. Everything about these pants is quality, and they fell, fit, and move like you would expect a pair of pants this price to feel, fit, and move. A+
(Note: I am 6'1 and 165 lbs. and usually wear a size 30x32 pant in a slim or skinny fit.)
I ordered my usual Tailored Fit size 30x32. While we have noted some sizing and fit inconsistencies with Bonobos in the past, these pants are pretty true to how the Tailored Fit from Bonobos is supposed to fit, so I would assume the same applies for the whole line. With that being the case, I love how these pants fit, and find them to pretty much be perfect. Everyone has their own fit in Bonobos, and because they offer so many, there is no reason — especially given their free, fast shipping and returns — everyone cannot find a cut that best suits him.
Click here to see full, exact measurements and comparisons. A+
Value & Conclusion
Bonobos Tech 5-Pocket Pant — $178: These pants are by no means cheap. In fact, they are somewhat prohibitively expensive for many. That being said, great tech wear is, generally, more expensive than regular garments. There is more that goes into them, and so that makes sense. In this case, they are pretty much double what a normal pair of chinos would cost from Bonobos, who already charge a pretty penny for their chinos. It’s hard to recommend these pants at this price without reservation, just because of how expensive they are. However, Bonobos does pretty typically run sales, and so these can be had for anywhere from 20%-30% off their current price, making them at least slightly more reasonable. (If you get lucky, they might even make it to their clearance section, when things get even further reduced. But it’s risky to wait for that, as sizes are sparse, if available at all.) With this all in mind, our recommendation is as follows: If you’re looking for a great pair of tech wear pants or chinos, and are willing to pay what they cost, these are pretty much the best we have come across, hands down. If you can wait for a sale, we suggest doing so, as they are beyond a little pricey at full retail. Final Grade: A