November 23, 2013
Beautifully cut short in a high performance fabric.
On first fondle the Ventures look and feel like a hybrid of a hipster-friendly city short and a cut off pair of snow pants; the fabric is decidedly softshell in feel and fleecy on the inside, which would lead you to believe that they’re not designed for summer use. Not so; I found them to be perfectly comfy in hot weather and they’re equally useful when it’s wet – while they’re not waterproof by any stretch of the imagination, it takes quite a while for splashes to penetrate both the water repellent coating and the thickness of the fabric itself.
Double waist poppers and a zip fly hold them up, while velcro waist adjusters, which pull forwards from the rear, hold them in. Press stud closures to stop the pockets gaping were appreciated as there’s only one other secure zipped pocket. Legs are cut comfortably close with plenty of length, yet are unrestrictive. There’s a smart-casual look to them that persists right up until you open the leg vents. The four-way stretch fabric is brilliant, and though they feel heavy on the hanger they’re barely noticeable once on – the excellent cut means that there’s no single spot where they drag on your limbs or bind on your waist, and the fabric’s highly breathable (much more so than I would have expected from the weight).
The waistband is deeper at the back and double-thickness where a hydration pack might rub; stress points are double stitched and everything feels robust. Howies is a brand with a focus on sustainability so hopefully touches like this should ensure the Ventures last long enough to justify their price tag. My only regret? Howies didn’t send us the women’s version…
Overall: Beautifully cut short in a high performance fabric. Recommended – if you’ve got the cash.