A decade ago, I owned two pairs of cheap, loose-fitting pants that I purchased from Academy to wear over my swimsuit when I headed to the pool.
They had an elastic waist and were made of quick dry material. I bought one pair in black and another in red, and they set me back no more than $20 each.
I ended up wearing those pants far beyond the pool. I called them my “pull-on pants” and they made me happy every time I yanked them over my hips. They were lightweight, easy, pocketed, and perfect for just about every situation.
I burned tiny holes in one pair when sparks from a campfire landed on my legs one night. The other pair flat out disappeared. I’ve been back to Academy to try to get a new pair, but no luck. They no longer sell them.
Then, recently, I scored a pair of Baja Pants by Cotopaxi, thinking they might make the perfect replacement. They didn’t exactly replace those pants, and they cost a lot more than the originals, but they have their place in my world.
Cotopaxi touts its Baja pants as perfect for “those whose lives are equal parts adventure, travel, and everyday hustle.” That sounds like me, so I was optimistic.
The company advertises the pants as “go anywhere” and minimalist. They’re weather-resistant and made with four-way stretch fabric. A hidden side seam zip pocket holds a key or a small wad of bills. They sell on the Cotopaxi website for $100.
My pair is grey, with an oddly bright orange waist band.
My thoughts? They’re much heavier fabric than my old pants. I can’t see myself wearing them during summer months. The fit is odd, too, with a slightly long inseam that makes the pants droop below the crotch. And while the pants themselves are loose and comfortable, they narrow significantly at the ankles, so I struggle to get them over my feet when I put them on or take them off.
Still, they’re comfortable and I like them. They’re just not perfect replacements for my old pull-ons.