Eventually every winter gives way to spring. The last flakes fall, you do the pond skim, and hike the hill after the resort closes. Unless you've got that ticket to Argentina in July, you won't be making any turns until next season.
But that doesn't mean life is over. Snowboarders don't just watch reruns of Seinfeld for the next seven months. They travel. They surf. They hike. They skate. They climb. And maybe they do watch some Seinfeld, but the point is, they make the most of any season.
Snowboard apparel company 686 was well aware of that when they came out with the Everywhere Multi Shell Pant: they wanted to make a pant that could go anywhere, and do anything. Simply put, it's a good, durable pair of pants made for everywhere.
I recently got my hands on a pair of these do-it-all pants and decided that I needed a full day to really run them through the paces. So, I waited for an April day when I had a lot on the docket.
Waking up early, I threw the pants on and rode my bike up for a surf check.
The first thing I noticed about these pants was the comfort. The nylon-to-spandex textile ratio isn’t my area of expertise, but these things have phenomenal stretch. I was just pedaling a beach cruiser two blocks, but if you were doing miles through the woods, you'd be in good shape. Effortless.
The wind was south at sunrise, building a bit of swell ahead of a warm front. It’s always cool to take a peek at the ocean at dawn this time of year – check the swell, see if there’s any life in the water, generally take it all in. It wasn’t worth the hassle of the full 5 mil, boots and gloves, but possibly promising for the next day.
Back home, I answered a few emails, did some errands and gave my kid breaky. Big day ahead. We knocked back some smoothies and we were off for adventure.
From where we are on the coast, it's a little over two hours to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. That's a good stretch and a comfy pair of pants made it easy. Long drives, long flights, long waits for buses – there's nothing less comfortable than hard seam jutting right into your bits and pieces.
I introduced my 5-year-old to the wonders of manifold cooking. We made four veggie dogs before we left and wrapped them in foil. About an hour from our destination, we pulled over, popped the hood and nestled the dogs into the engine block. The dogs were warm and the buns were toasted. When we arrived, we popped open the hood and enjoyed lunch in the woods.
I got a bit of ketchup on the pants. They have a stain-resistant finish and it came right off.
The 'Gap' is named for the deep cut that the Delaware River has made into the Kittatiny Ridge between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While it's not exactly Waimea Canyon, it's a stellar spot for trekking and exploring in the Tri-State area, featuring fantastic overlooks of the river, great hikes, waterfalls, history and it intersects with the Appalachian Trail.
We stopped at Buttermilk Falls, which is New Jersey's highest waterfall at 90 feet. It was a weekday and there was literally no one there. Apparently, it does get crowded, but all we saw was one other hiker and her dog, the whole time. There's a parking lot near the foot of the falls and you can hike up the falls on a series of steep, traversing steps created with logs. This is actually the start of the Buttermilk Falls trail.
Once you're at the top of the falls, you can veer off the trail and cross the stream on downed trees. It's a great place to play and explore, especially with a kid. There's a whole network of trails, and if you want to do a solid day hike, you can.
Once again, the Everywhere pants were ideal. They're only 12 ounces, so plenty light. If you want to keep it ultralight, you can forgo your belt and use the optional shoe lace belt. As it started to get warmer, I noticed the pants were super breathable as well.
There are ten pockets packed into these pants. If you just want to carry your ID and some cash (credit card, bus ticket, etc) they fit right into the RFID blocking pocket and you're not going to lose anything. The pocket just above the knee is zippered and easily fits a phone. You can also stuff the entire pant into that pocket, zip it shut and have a nice, easy packable piece that could be a pillow, should you really need it.
We hiked back down and just hung out at the foot of the falls for part of the afternoon. Then we got back in the car and drove across the Gap to the PA side, where I dropped my kid with his cousins.
From there, I drove straight into Philly and got there just after dark. Hip Hop legends Arrested Development were starting their tour to celebrate 25 years since the release of their groundbreaking album, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of… and had tapped a young, super positive hip hop outfit called Hardwork Movement to open the show. I had done some work with Hardwork and gotten to know them, so this wasn't a night to be missed.
Another thing I liked about the Everywhere pants is that they look like a pair of Chinos. They're as comfortable as a pair of sweats, but I don't do sweatpants. Walking around in the city, the style and cut just feel like solid streetwear.
I met up with my girl and some friends, heading into World Café Live and grabbed some dinner at the bar, just as Hardwork Movement started to turn the heat up on the room – horns, great vocal accompaniments and rhymes for days. Arrested Development brought back the spirit of '92 and showed those songs live up to the test of time. If you wanted to really get down, you'd have no problem in these pants.
It was a long drive home. Solid day. I fell into bed 20 hours after my day had begun. The 686 Everywhere Multi Shell Pants came through at every point.
So I slept in them.
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