Under Armour UA Storm Tactical Patrol Pants Review: Best Canoe Pants?

northstar magic and canoeist with best canoe pants

Late this summer, I was in a store looking for a first aid kit (I left mine at home) and I stumbled across Under Armour’s UA Storm Tactical Patrol Pants. I wasn’t aware that Under Armour made pants or anything other than underwear, so I was surprised to find the pants. Over the years, Under Armour has formed strong relationships with the hook and bullet stores, and these pants are geared towards the hook and bullet crowd, such as hunters, sport shooters or people who fancy themselves some kind of tactical-militia person. They have all the features a pistol-carrying enthusiast would desire, such as an offset belt loop to allow for proper holster placement and expandable cargo pocket with magazine holders. While I’m not into that kind of thing, the pants did look like they might work for canoeing. So I picked up a pair. I’m considering picking up a second pair, because they worked out great.

The pants are actually a bit heavy at 1 pound 6.5 ounces, but the 7.2-ounce, ripstop polyester that they’re constructed from is thick and durable. They have reinforced knees and a reinforced crotch. I’ve put on more that 50 days in the pants now and they look new. I’ve bushwhacked through thorns with them on (the thorns don’t penetrate the fabric), and I’ve waded into knee deep water many times with them on. Canoed many days in them. I’ve used them while working on house remodeling projects, and in a testament to their durability, I took a bad fall and hit the sharp edge of a metal culvert. The fall had enough force to mess up my knee for days, and it caused a big, bleeding gash on my knee, but the pants didn’t even rip or take any damage. These pants are durable.

northstar magic and canoeist with best canoe pantsThe cut is loose and comfortable. It seems the right size in the waist, but a little long in the length. I think that the extra length is deliberate, because that’s how Under Armour shows them being worn in all their product shots. The downside with the extra length is when worn with sandals, they hang low and sometimes get caught under the heel. When wearing sandals, I have to roll up the cuffs, but with hiking boots the length doesn’t matter. I’d probably buy them again in the same length, but it’s something to consider if you primarily canoe in sandals. One thing that I’ve noticed about the waist is that the company engineered stretch into it. It adds comfort, but I’ve found that a belt is mandatory to prevent them falling off my waist. I bought a Bison Designs Ellipse Belt from REI and it works perfectly.

The UA Storm Tactical Patrol Pants use two types of different technology to enhance the fabric. The first is a durable water repellent (DWR) finish to repel water. At first this worked great, but with repeated washing and normal wear and tear, the DWR wore off. As an example, when I first got the pants I deliberately stood in knee deep water briefly. The pants barely wet out. After 50 days of wearing them, I tried the same thing and the pants wet out quickly. Another example is that when I first got them, light rain beaded off the pant and tended to roll off. Now rain will start to quickly soak through in places while other parts of the pants still bead up. DWRs do wear off and DWR can be reapplied, but Under Armour doesn’t provide any suggestions. I reached out for suggestions, but haven’t heard back. If I do, I’ll update the review.

The second technology used to enhance the fabric is a anti-odor treatment that prevents the growth of odor causing microbes. I’ve worn these pants for days in a row without washing them and they actually don’t get that bad. The longest I wore them was on a seven day trip that included some camping. While I didn’t sleep in the pants, I wore them everyday. I definitely wanted to wash them after the trip, but they didn’t actually smell all that bad and I felt like I could have gotten another few days out of them. That’s much better than Wintergreen’s Northern Wear’s BWCA Shell Pant (my previous favorite canoe pant). The Wintergreen pant smells so bad after about five days that you won’t want to be near them. I’ve used anti-odor gear before, but the UA Storm Tactical Patrol Pants are the first piece that actually impressed me.

If you couldn’t tell, I like these pants. These are the best pair of pants that I’ve bought and worn in many years. While a little heavy, I like everything else that the pant offers. I highly recommend these for canoeing and outdoor activities.

  • Under Armour UA Storm Tactical Patrol Pants
  • Price: $79.99 (Buy from Amazon)

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