At $180, the Outlier 4Season OG Pants are a specialty productcreated for a small, affluent market niche. Essentially, these are "performancedress pants," a unique hybrid for office workers who bike commute or activetypes who want a comfortable pair of pants to do double duty in socialsituations and during moderate physical activity.
Made in New York City with Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabric, the OGs pull influence from sources as distant as the world of fashion and mountaineering. The company (outlier.cc) calls the pants: "the ultimate inversatility, both socially and technologically."
In my test this fall, the OGs have held up to bike commutes and long days sitting at a desk working at a computer. They are comfortable and nice-looking. The Schoeller fabric is a great choice, cloaking its inherent technical characteristics--water and stain resistance, stretchiness, breathability--with a look and feel that could be mistaken for a fine wool.
The cut is medium to slim, but it is comfortable because the fabric has built-in stretch. The leg opening is small, though most cyclists will want to still employ a Velcro strap on the right cuff to keep fabric out of the bike chain.
In a light rain, water beads and rolls off the OG pants. But raindrops soak in during a downpour. So, while they are water resistant, don't confuse the OGs with rain pants.
Outlier touts the OGs as "self cleaning." They are resistant to bike grease and other staining substances because of the Schoeller fabric's "Nanosphere coating," which is a nanoscopic spike pattern that supposedly prevents errant molecules from bonding to the fabric face.
In my wear test so far, the nanoscopic spikes seem to be doing their job. The pants stay clean and sharp-looking--on the bike or in the office--for days on end.
--Stephen Regenold covers outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.