Gear review: UBTech Travel Pants

A very popular article of clothing is the prAna Stretch Zion pants. A mixture of 97% nylon and 3% spandex for an efficient mix of durability, abrasion resistance, breathability, comfort range, light moisture repellency, and reasonably quick-drying properties. And aesthetically pleasing to many people. The pants can be used on the trail and look presentable enough for traveling into town after.

They are also $85 at REI and $50+ on Amazon if they happen to have your size at the lower end of the price range.

The alchemy of nylon and spandex that is both utilitarian and work well in the non-outdoor world is nothing too grand. But prAna has a name and people will purchase clothing based on that branding.

At the Canyon de Chelly. PCO Josh Z.

Imagine a budget alternative of a similar mixture of fabrics, styling, utility, and usefulness outside of an outdoor setting? Well, your imagination may direct you to UB Tech Travel Pants by Union Bay.  Originally for sale at Costco, I wore three different colors of these pants for over a year on the road, The khaki pants ended up being my “go-to” pants for backpacking over that year and ncluded a thru-hike of Canada’s Great Divide Trail.

Currently available on Amazon for about $25 in various sizes,  lengths, and color choices I can quite honestly say they are perhaps my favorite pair of outdoor pants I’ve owned.

These pants are a 96% nylon and 4% spandex mix. They are not as tailored as dress pants nor as baggy as cargo pants. In other words, classic outdoor pants styling. The zippered back pockets are convenient for keeping my “wallet” handy and not losing it, and the side pocket works well for holding my folded map along with a compass and not bulging out like a cargo pocket.

Are they as good as the praAna pants? Couldn’t tell you. I’m not going to spend $85 on pants that will end up looking like a thrift-store special anyway. 🙂

Hiking in Cathedral Wash. PCO Wendy G.

What I can tell you is that after a year of constant using of the gray and sage colored pants, they are still good enough to wear for non-outdoor activities. And the khaki pants ended up getting snagged on a blow down in Canada and ripped on the cuff. But otherwise looked serviceable (if perma-stained!).  A bargain at $25 for their performance, price, and usefulness over the long haul.

At the US/Canada border on the GDT. Wearing the Paradox thermal top I also bought at Costco!

If you want a pair of pants that will work well for the outdoors at a good price, and they meet your criteria of options, the UB Tech Travel Pants are an excellent choice.

Disclosure: I purchased these pants with my funds.

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9 Replies to “Gear review: UBTech Travel Pants”

  1. I’ve been wearing a few pairs of these, and also hoped to make them a cheaper prana substitute, but I have huge problems with the design of the front pockets: they don’t hold anything. If I ever sit on the ground, everything falls out. During normal use, I’ve lost my phone and car keys multiple times in a single day. That is a problem I’ve never had with any other pair of pants.

    So now I have 3 pairs sidelined. Perhaps I’ll try to rip out the front pockets and make them deeper, because otherwise they are very very nice in fit, appearance, comfort in hot conditions, durability, etc.

    As an aside, in the “hopefully cheap hiking gear from Costco” topic, in the last two weeks I picked up a very thin $20 “100% merino wool” long sleeve T shirt (Karbon brand). It was also too good to be true. Upon putting it on, I started feeling substantially itchy within seconds, and it didn’t get better after multiple washings, so I’m betting it isn’t actually merino.

    1. Hmm…my experience has been different as you can see by the photos. Then again, I used them for traveling and hiking and not as much for strictly casual use.

      Can’t comment on the shirt. Not familiar with it.

  2. I picked up two pair of pranas and Columbia silver ridge on Amazon for under $30 each…you have to shop, be flexible with colors, and it helps my wife can sew… modify inseams. Prana: impressive fabric and high quality construction…not a fan of the cut/fit…a bit too “athletic” and the pockets don’t work for me on the trail…esp the cargo on the convertible. The silver ridge: crazy light, next best thing to shorts. Again, cut and pockets are less than ideal. My favorite is Duluth…firehose and Duluth flex…great fit, quality, best pocket layout…but pricey.

  3. After reading this article I ordered a pair in Khaki. Darn, they fit and feel nice. I am going to pick up another pair or two and they will become my travel pants. Thanks for the tip.

    Dave

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