You’ll have to work hard to push these stretch Survivor trousers to their limits. Run, leap, jump, bound, scramble, and vault – they’ll be with you all the way! Streamlined for agility, they’ll repel sun and showers alike.
- Slim Fit – Sits at the waist
- Fabric – 93% polyamide, 7% spandex
- 6 pockets – 2 zipped
- Drying loops
- Heel tape
- Full stretch
- Lifetime guarantee
- Measured size large
- Weight – 466 g (16.4 oz)
- Inseam length –81.2 cm (32.0 in)
- Waist – 74 cm (29.1 in) unstretched
- Mid thigh width – 29 cm (11.4 in)
- Knee width – 24.3 cm (9.6 in)
- Cuff width – 25 cm (9.8 in)
- Retail – $90
Over the last couple years reality has become a huge genre in television. In the outdoor space, there probably is not a bigger TV star than Bear Grylls. His show Man vs. Wild has been a big hit for the Discovery Channel and launched many other opportunities for its star host. The Bear Grylls line of clothing is just making its way over to the US market where it is made in the UK by Cragghoppers. Cragghoppers themselves have been making clothing since 1965 and create world travel clothing. They partnered with Bear Grylls in 2008 to make a line of clothing to be worn in extreme conditions. I was able to set up a review of a pair of Bear Grylls Stretch Trousers.
I have been testing these pants on hiking trip, around town, and other random project where I needed a durable pair of pants. Since they are a softshell material, they are versatile enough to work in a variety of environments.
The Bear Grylls Bear Survivor Full Stretch Trousers are built to be tough. They are made of a polyamide nylon and spandex mix to give them strength and stretch. The fabric has a two way stretch. The pants are made by panel construction so some of the panels have been oriented to have a horizontal stretch and some of them a vertical stretch. I am testing the gray and black color way, and it is easy to know which is which. The grey panels have a horizontal stretch. These are located in the main lower and upper leg sections. The black panels which are located over the knees, back of the knees, in the rear, and by the ankles have vertical stretch to them. The fabric used is a lighter-weight softshell, it does not have any thermal backing to it.
There is a total of six pockets in the trousers. Two hand warmer pockets and two rear pockets with Velcro flap openings. Inside the right hand warmer pocket there is a zippered pocket, as well as another zippered pocket on the left thigh. The pants have a zippered fly and belt loops incase you would like to wear a belt with them. There are also two loops that can be unsnapped and used for hanging and drying the pants. The waist band is elastic giving it some stretch and comfort. The pants close with an interesting system. It closes via two buttons, one on each side of the opening. One of the buttons is sewn directly into the main fabrics while the other is attached to a small piece of webbing. I am not sure what the logic for this type of closure is, and it worries me slightly in its durability. I have not had any issues yet and will check in if I do. The fact that there are two buttons makes me feel a little better about this system.
The overall construction of the pants seems solid. Apart from the closure method described above the pant seem to be built to last. Craghoppers who makes these pants, has added extra elastic webbing inside the bottom cuffs for extra durability. They a little on the heavy side if you were going to pack them away on a backpacking trip but if you are wearing them you will not notice any extra weight. The pants are designed to have a European look to them and I must say I like it. They look a little different so “to each their own.”
I scoured the Cragghoppers website and looked into the materials that were used in the making of these trousers and could not find anything about sustainability or use of green products. For this reason, I gave these a zero in sustainability. If I find out anything down the road, I will adjust this rating.
Comfort Next to Skin (30%)
Ease of Movement (30%)
Inseam Length (20%)
Leg Sizing (20%)
The Bear Grylls Bear Survivor Pants are from the UK, so they are sized a bit differently than US pants are. I was sent a size large for this reason and was a little disappointed at first when I got them. I am normally a size medium even in European sizing, so I figured these would run big. Since the pants are made to be trim fitting the sizing through the legs turned out to be just about perfect. The pants are not too baggy and not too tight either. They are slightly on the long side for me but not enough to be an issue. Much better to error on the long side rather than the short side. Without a belt, the pant fit snugly around my size 32 waist without any issues throughout the day.
The fabric is nice and comfortable against the skin. It is not overly soft, but I never noticed them being rough either. It was first odd when I played with the fabrics to see they only had 2-way stretch but after wearing them for some time the construction works well. The panel construction with different directions of stretch put the horizontal stretching panels and vertical stretching panels where they are needed. The pant, therefore, moves very well with my body and I never felt restricted.
Moisture Transport (10%)
Water Resistance (10%)
The Bear Survivor Full Stretch Trousers have been a good all around pant. They could be used for a wide range of activities, but I enjoyed them most when hiking or wearing around town. They breathe well and in the case you do break a sweat, they help wick moisture away from the skin. Where the pants have been best is in how durable the fabric is. It has taken scuffs from scrambling through rocks and pokes from brush without issue. The fabric is hardwearing and easy to care for. Just throw it in the washer and dryer, and they are ready for the next adventure. The pants add the expected amount of warmth for pants of its kind. To be a good hiking pant you would not want it to be too warm. The Bear Survivor trousers do not have much water resistance. They do dry quickly though if they do get wet. The trousers also have some sun protection built in as well.
Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by these pants. The Bear Survivor Full Stretch Trouser do indeed seem like a pant that Bear himself would wear. They are tough wearing and have enough stretch to move with you no matter what you need to do. There are a whole bunch of pockets but I wish the rear ones were zipper pockets as well. That is only a preference thing. The pants have a European look to them that I like. I realize not everyone will like this look, and the black model is much more subdued than the ones I tested. I would not consider this pant ideal for stuffing in a backpack as they are a bit bulky and heavy for a hiking pant, but if you are planning on keeping them on for a whole trip, these are great. They would also be a good option for traveling as they are very versatile and can take a fair bit of abuse. For me, they were best when used as a hiking pant or just around town.
If you have never heard of Craghoppers or Bear Grylls, I would give them a look. If these trousers are an indication, then they make solid clothing. With UK sizing it may be a bit more difficult to know exactly what size you need. Take a look at the measurement form my size large above and feel free to ask me any questions through the comments if you need to. Maybe now that I have a pair of his pants I will be ready to try some of the other stuff from his show, but then drinking water from Elephant dung and eating bugs doesn’t exactly appeal to me. The trousers retail for $90, which is a bit steep. They do seem like they will last a long time though which will help their value. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Good stretch
- Lots of pockets
- Good fit through the thigh and lower legs
- Sizing is tricky as they are UK sizing
- Button closure system seems weak (I have not had any problems with it)