Friday, February 25, 2011

Announcing the most perfect women's hunting pants ever - for me, anyway

For the most part, I hate women's hunting pants. No, wait, that's not accurate: I hate all women's pants.

Why? They fit me like crap.

I'm long-waisted, so the waistband always sits too low. And I have a relatively small waist and relatively, uh, generous hips and thighs, so if I buy pants big enough for hips and thighs, the waistband sticks out a lot. Like I could easily stuff a fifth of Jack Daniels in the extra space. Not that I've ever done that.

There's only one kind of pants I have ever really loved, though, and it occurred to me last year that, with a few minor additions, they would make perfect hunting pants. Because my mom happens to be bad-ass with a sewing machine and an excellent reverse engineer, I asked her to make me a pair.

So, behold, I present to you ... NorCal Cazadora's Ninja Huntress Pants!

Yep. They're karate pants, made in sturdy camo denim, with a cargo pocket added to each leg, and a small license/key pocket added to the front.

If you've ever done martial arts, or if your kids do karate, you can imagine what makes these pants so wonderful for vigorous activity.

If you haven't though, allow me to explain:

The most obvious thing is that these pants are really roomy. Lay them out on the floor and you'll see way more fabric than you'd see with a normal pair of pants.

But roominess alone isn't enough - what really make them tick is the gusset. Most pants have four pieces of fabric that come together at the crotch, forming a cross (and making the pants very form-fitting). But karate pants have a giant diamond-shaped gusset where that cross would be, and that allows for more freedom of movement.

In karate, that means you can easily do splits or high kicks in these pants. Naturally, there's not much call for either of those stunts in hunting. But the point is that these pants won't bind no matter what you do in them.

The final thing going for these pants is the big elastic waistband with a drawstring. If you're like me, your weight and girth fluctuates a lot, and these pants are very forgiving. A little thick at the waist right now? Loosen up the drawstring. Dropped a few pounds? Tighten it up.

Seriously, I think you could gain 15 pounds before you'd have to go up a size in these pants. Not that I want to try that. And I know I could lose 15 pounds and they'd still fit fine, because I was probably 15 pounds lighter when I bought the pants that Mom used as a model for these. (Yeah, that was back when I was working out two hours a day, and also doing tae kwon do and playing tennis regularly.)

The most important measurements in these pants is the length - generally, if they're the right length, the rest works fine.

So, where can you get them?

Beats me. There's just one pair that I know of, and Mom and I have no plans to go into business to make and sell any more (neither of us has much entrepreneurial drive). So if you're an entrepreneur who feels like manufacturing a new kind of hunting pant, help yourself to the idea.

Or don't! All I'm sayin' is they work for me. And boy, I sure am glad my mom can sew.

All photos by Andrew Nixon.

© Holly A. Heyser 2011


Erik Jensen said...

Cool. I'll show this to my wife Paula. A number of years ago, before we had children, we would fly-fish together a lot, and she would accompany me on some hunting trips, so she would buy angling and hunting gear. Gander Mountain she always referred to as "Gender Mountain", because of the lack of women's clothes/gear that fit right. Finally, the retailers are changing, and here's a good DIY girls probaby won't have the same troubles with finding clothes the generation before them did.

Marian Ann Love said...

I love your hunting pants Holly, very cool and they look soooo comfortable! It's great that your Mom can sew for you and that in itself is a blessing. Cute poses!! :)

Anonymous said...

The photos absolutely make this post pop, Lady. Nice job, Andrew, as usual. I know that you told me about the pants last year. I'm glad I finally can see them -- in action. I'm impressed: high kicks and the Chinese splits. I have done the latter on a hunt before, but not intentionally. Ouch.


Babara Baird said...

I can't believe I clicked "anonymous" ... to a post where I signed my name. Must finish my third cup of coffee.

Holly Heyser said...

Erik, I'm so glad you saw this post - the photos should put to rest your notion that I don't stretch ;-)

On the DIY part, I went looking through all the pattern companies' websites and for the life of me, I could not find a pattern for adult karate pants. I remember seeing them before at fabric stores. But who knows - camo is so popular that maybe one of the karate uniform companies will step up.

Marian, my mom is a blessing in so many ways. I wish I could sew like she does - I know how to use a sewing machine, but I've just never taken the time to learn to do professional quality work.

Babbs, I've worn these on couple deer hunts and on my weekend jaunts at the lake, and I haven't come close to accidental splits. But I have climbed some extreme hills in total comfort.

And I am laughing my ass off at the advertisement Google AdSense has served under this post - Levi's Curve! LOL, I'm a D, baby!

Hil said...

Look super-comfy. I have the opposite problem - pants are too high-waisted on me. Only trouble with an elastic/drawstring waist that I can see would be keeping them up when I shove the pockets full of heavy stuff like a flashlight and a pocketknife.

Love the photos!

The Hunter's Wife said...


I have the same issues with pants. Not of the camo type though. And I think you forgot the picture of you doing the splits. ;)

Holly Heyser said...

Hil: You're lucky - pants are made for you these days! Or at least more for you than for me.

Jody: I think you'd look splendid in a karate uniform. They're really quite flattering with a nice black belt cinching them up...