Toad&Co Men’s Barrow Pant Review

A guest post by Samuel Hartman

I’m a jeans-and-tshirt kind-of guy, but in the last few years, I’ve found myself slowly branching out for a couple reasons: 1) I think personal growth, even in superficial matters like fashion, is important and 2) having functional clothes is just more fun. Sure, you can squat in jeans, but it’s the rare pair of denim that looks good and won’t rip after multiple uses.

With an upcoming overseas trip next month, I went to REI with my partner to find a truly functional pant: something stylish that would work well outdoors, was water resistant, cruelty-free (no leather, wool, etc.), and durable. Imagine my surprise when all these qualities seemed to manifest on the clearance rack in the Toad&Co Barrow Pant.

My first test: could I squat in them? Not just because of my obsession with CrossFit (yes, I am the vegan CrossFitter that meme is about), squatting is a super functional movement that I do all the time anyway! And, it tests whether the pants are going to let me contort in a variety of ways – a good test before taking them hiking, on the plane, loading gear in and out of a venue, spontaneously doing acro yoga… you name it! I wanted some pants I could literally wear for anything.

So, yes, they passed the squat test. I proceeded to put them through what I thought might be the toughest test of all – a CrossFit workout – doing burpees on the floor, rowing, using the stationary bike. Sweat and grime hit them and seemed to roll right off – even chalk didn’t really stick to the fabric! As I left the gym and ventured out into the cold, snowy Midwestern weather, they kept me warm, and snow wasn’t easily able to permeate the material.

All of these qualities are not surprising when you look at what Toad&Co built into the pants: it’s mostly Nylon with a little spandex for stretching, so moisture will not permeate it easily. The knees are articulated – which doesn’t mean they speak well – but a design choice to allow for “freedom of movement as you climb, hike, or ski.” I really think they should add “do CrossFit” do that list!

A few weeks later I took them outdoors, hiking around the cold and wet Ohio environment; I climbed some trees, ran up some hills, and generally did whatever fun and outlandish movements I could think of. The pants again performed flawlessly, keeping me warm and not letting the rough branches attack my legs.

I’m asked about these pants constantly, especially at my gym. Everyone thinks they are plain old khakis until I do a squat or power clean in them…it’s quite the sight! What I love about these Barrow pants is that they do look quite classy while still being functional enough for a cold hike, run, or jaunt in the gym.

The pants themselves are 100% vegan, made of nylon and spandex. From my research, the large majority of Toad & Co’s line is vegan-friendly, although they use wool in some items. While much of their fabrics are organic and have a focus on sustainability (the company itself has a decent amount of literature about this on the website), I couldn’t find any direct statements on wool sourcing.

Sadly, Toad & Co has temporarily removed the pants from their website for the winter season, but they told me in an e-mail they’ll be turning in the Spring ‘17 collection, starting in February! You can still get them at REI online and in-store.

Samuel Hartman can be found outside when he’s not busy squatting in a CrossFit gym somewhere. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

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