Product review: Virtus Phantom pants
For the last year, I have been wearing a pair of tactical pants from a company called Virtus.
I have engaged in a full range of activities while wearing these pants — from downhill longboarding on pavement, to hiking through the national forest and tending to my chocolate-smeared children.
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The pants wash really well and are virtually indestructible, and they’re waterproof so they’re good in all conditions.
After a whole summer of use, I finally ripped open the pants after crashing at a high rate of speed on my Leafboard e-skate. The rip, however, actually occurred on the cargo pocket of the pants (the Virtus “Phantom” comes with cargo pockets,) and in thinking about what happened, I’ve come to blame the nature of cargo pockets more for the tear in these pants than the Phantom’s four-way stretch fabric.
I was carrying my Storus Smart Money Clip and my Keyport in the cargo pocket, and in performing a standard roll to disperse the impact of hitting the pavement, the metal edge of either the money clip or the Keyport must have cut through the fabric. The pants have four hip pockets (two hidden behind the normal hip pocket) in addition to the cargo pockets; in retrospect I should have been carrying the money clip and Keyport in one of the hip pockets.
I was surprised to see the pants rip open, because this fabric is incredible. It’s strong and waterproof, yet it breathes and is stretchy. In an odd paradox, they somehow keep you both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The pants were created by combat veteran, marine sergeant and extreme outdoor sports enthusiast David Wood, who realized the gear they needed to withstand a six to nine month deployment in extreme conditions and be quick-washed in a stream just didn’t exist.
I will say the marketing is a little heavy on the “combat” function of these pants. The tactical pants are actually pitched to be “for the operator” on their website, but I’m pretty sure they’ll still sell them to us sub special forces folks.
Also on the website, you’ll see phrases such as “Now you can wear the only pants engineered for being for becoming the hardest hitter on your team,” and “You’ll be rockin’ your Phantom pants through hundreds of jumps, climbs and assaults.”
I have yet to try the tactical pants out in an assault situation, but I would highly recommend them nonetheless.
This review was originally published on Nov. 26, 2018, as part of a larger roundup titled “Cyber Monday suggestions from the Vail Daily”
Whistle Pig Vail at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Vilar Center’s summer series in Beaver Creek bringing in some high-end talent.