Recently I reviewed the Silencr pant from Kühl, coming away very impressed with their all around comfort and styling. One of the things that impressed me the most about that product however with its durability, even for a relatively lightweight garment. As good as the Silencr is in that category however, it will be tough to find a pair of adventure pants that are more durable than the Gurkali from Sherpa Adventure Gear. What sets these pants apart from the competition you ask? In a word—Dyneema!
For those who don’t know, Dyneema is a material that looks a lot like any other fabric that you might find in your clothing, although it used in other products like tents and backpacks too. The advantage it has over other fabrics is that it happens to be roughly 15 times stronger than steel. Yep, you read that right, Dyneema is made up of fibers that are stronger than steel, which of course makes them incredibly durable, while still managing to remain lightweight. That makes it a great material for use in our outdoor gear, which traditionally takes quite a bit of punishment. This is certainly the case with the Gurkali pant, a signature piece of apparel from Sherpa that is made with adventure travelers and active outdoor enthusiasts in mind.
Despite its strength and durability, Dyneema also offers a surprising amount of stretch and flexibility too. That allow the Gurkali to not only fit comfortably, but also move with the body as you climb, hike, or run. While some pants can feel confining and restrictive when you’re wearing them, I didn’t find that to be the case here. In fact, I’ve worn these pants while taking part in a number of different activities and never once did I feel like my motion was inhibited in any way. This is enhanced by a gusseted crotch, which was specifically designed to allow for plenty of mobility without sacrificing comfort.
Other nice features of the Gurkali include moisture wicking properties that help keep the wearer dry, even during more strenuous activities. The pants also provide UPF 50+ protection from the sun and come with extra durable stitching on the seams and in areas that are more prone to wear and tear. The result is even more durability where you need it most. Best of all, Dyneema is actually as much as 30% lighter than traditional polyester fabrics, which translates to a lightweight pant as well. That makes the Gurkali the perfect travel companion.
If you’re a regular reader of The Adventure Blog, you’ve probably seen me mention more than once or twice that I value durability and versatility from my outdoor and travel gear. In this case, the Gurkali shines through once again, as these pants have a classic look that is right at home in just about any environment. That also enhances their value both at home and while travel, making it just as easy to wear them on the trail or when you want to grab dinner and drinks with friends back in town. These pants are comfortable enough that I wear them while running errands, but since they lack the sometimes overly-technical look that some outdoor garments display, I don’t stick out in the crowd as “that outdoor guy.” The inclusion of the Nepali prayer flag as an accent is a very nice and appreciated touch too.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself exactly what the downside of Dyneema is. After all, this wonder fabric is incredibly tough, yet flexible and lightweight at the same time. As with most types of materials like this, the downside comes in price. As you can probably imagine, a fabric that is stronger than steel doesn’t come cheap, which is why you don’t find it in all that many product yet or it is used sparingly. For instance, Big Agnes Fly Creek Carbon tent uses Dyneema to keep weight down, delivering a two-person shelter that weighs just a shade over 1 pound (2.2 kg). That tent also costs $850, putting it well out of reach for most of us. The Gurkali pants aren’t quite so stratospherically expensive, though they do come in at the upper end of the adventure pants segment. At $130, they are on more pricey side, but not terribly so. It should also be noted, that as of this writing, the pants are on sale for just $97.50, which is a fantastic deal for what they deliver.
If you’re put off by the $130 price point, keep this in mind. This is a pair of pants that will probably last you for years to come. They might even outlast you. Their abrasion and rip-resistant fabrics will significantly cut down on wear and tear, making this a piece of apparel that you’ll likely reach for time and again when prepping for a trip. Even at their full price, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them whole heartedly. On sale, the Gurkali are an absolute no-brainer.
Find out more on the Sherpa Adventure Gear website.
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