After my brush-pants review in July/August (“Brush Busters,” Gear Guide), I was informed by Brent Pike, the owner of Pyke Gear, that I had not made an apples-to-apples comparison (see Letters, Sept/Oct). It turns out that the Pyke pant I had tested, the Kiowa, was designed for early season hunting in light to medium brush, not for wading through nasty, thorny thickets. Mr. Pike suggested that the company’s Northcutt Upland Briar Pant would have been a more appropriate subject.
Since then I have had a chance to check out the Northcutt pant, and I can confirm that it is, indeed, a topnotch brush buster. Light in weight (1 pound 3 ounces in size 34), the Northcutt is deceptive in that it does not feel heavy enough to hold up in serious cover but it has no trouble doing so.
A key to the Northcutt’s performance is its construction. Primeflex nylon uppers are breathable and offer ease of movement; bottoms of Taslan nylon lined with Cordura make for easy walking and ironclad protection from briers. Other features include a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, a snap front closure, two deep front pockets and one zippered rear pocket (I would have preferred a second).
In the field, the Northcutt pant was not only comfortable but also a champ in the thick stuff. The combination of stretch material and “give” in high-flex areas made for easy walking, hill climbing and stepping over deadfalls, and wading through thorns and briers resulted in nary a scratch. The DWR coatings on the fabrics kept moisture out as well. I would highly recommend this pant for hunting throughout the season in open cover or dense.
The Northcutt comes in October Grey and in even waist sizes from 32 to 44. A double hem on the bottom allows the inseam to be taken from 32" to 34" suburb of Birmingham. Price is $250. For more information, visit pykegear.com.