These days, versatility is key. I know this. I am on board, at least in theory. But you know what? When I buy something that does double or triple duty, like, say, a lipstick that doubles as a blush or a coffee table book that turns into a coffee table, I always end up using it in just one way. Take fug convertible pants, for instance.
Weekend warriors who spring for a pair of pants that convert to shorts by unzipping the legs always end up wearing the half-assed pants around town. This is gear, not clothing. If you’re living out of a backpack, throw those fuckers on. If you’re going to the farmer’s market or out to dinner, put something on that’s not in the middle of an identity crisis.
Neither stylish nor complementary, convertible pants are an example of least-common-denominator design. They are designed to be functional for everyone but universally unflattering. When wearing the pants, the zipper seams cut you off at the knees—if you’re lucky; more likely, they encircle your thigh—surely the feature we all long to showcase—at the widest point. If you do actually step out in the shorts, you’re likely to be asked to give a wildlife tour around the neighborhood, since you’ll be masquerading as a park ranger.
Stow these REI-sores in your 70 pack and instead pull out a pant or short that suits you. Just keep away from the Utilikilt.(photo: outdoor-equip.com)