My hunting partner Jamie, owner of the local archery shop, and I were in his shop last year discussing our plans for the 2016 hunting season. I run an outfit and I only get one or two days to archery hunt on my own each season, so we plan our excursions in great detail. Elk season was rapidly approaching and we had all but finalized our gear when in pulled Rob Smollack the owner of ASAT Camo.
Rob walked in the door with a pile of ASAT gear and we were like kids in a toy store. He was particularly excited about a new addition to the ASAT hunting line called the Knarr pant. The new pant is part of the Elite Performance Series recently introduced by ASAT. Naturally, I snapped up a pair anxious to give them a whirl. Rob had no idea what his pants were in for as we had a full archery season with clients still ahead. If these pants were what Rob said they were, I would certainly know in short order.
The Knarr pant is a lightweight tipping the scales at just 2.7lbs. It boasts a nylon spandex blend that allows for four-way stretching. The blend is breathable, which in my view is critical for archery hunting in the mountains.
The Knapp pant has YKK zippers and is DWR coated for water resistance. They have athletic cut and an adjustable inseam for taller hunters. Two zip pockets on the thigh, two slanted front pockets, and two hooded rear pockets allow from plenty of pocket space. Stitched grommet holes are located in the crotch area to aid in breathability. The belt loops are 5/8″ crossed stitched internally and allow plenty of room for belts. The ASAT pattern covers the entire pant with an ASAT logo on the left thigh pocket. The pant retails at 160.00.
I wore the pants exclusively through the 2016 hunting season and I beat the daylights out of them. At the conclusion of archery season, I had logged over 150 miles hiking through the mountains in these pants. Sitting at my home after the last hunter had left, I looked at my legs and they had several bruises and cuts, a testament to the rigors of hunting burns and blowdowns. The Knarr pant did not sustain a single tear. I recall several times getting hung up on a snag and having the stretch of the pant overcome the snag. The pant also did not have a single stitch lose, or any damage at all.
Review of the ASAT Knarr Pant
There is no question in my mind, that the ASAT Knarr pant has the durability for extreme mountain hunting. I also found the breathable and lightweight features to be true and effective as well. It is literally a pleasure to wear this pant in the field. The DWR coating for water resistance was also effective. It is able to easily shed water, however, it is not waterproof. I am always willing to trade waterproof for lightweight and breathability. In the case of the Knarr pant, simply hanging in the sun for 20 minutes or so is enough for it to dry out. To obtain true waterproofing one would need to go with rain gear.
“There is no question in my mind, that the ASAT Knarr pant has the durability for extreme mountain hunting.”
Another feature worth mentioning is the inseam adjustment, which I personally think is the future of hunting clothes in general. I used to go to Army surplus store back in my college days for my hunting gear. Today the outdoor clothing industry is vastly different. Our hunting clothes are not just simply picking out or favorite patterns anymore, they are tools.
Performance gear carries a hefty price tag, but also a safety and comfort that adds to the outdoor experience. When I spend 160 dollars on a pair of pants, I want them to fit right. The fit is part of the comfort, and I want my investment in clothing to work properly on all counts. That is why I love the inseam adjustment. There is plenty of material to cut the cuff and have a seamstress sew it to fit you. More and more I am starting to send my measurements in for clothing and I do have a local seamstress that works on some of our gear.
The ASAT Knarr pant is one of the best products, if not the best, that ASAT has ever put on the market. I believe it is the perfect mountain hunting pant. It also represents a departure from the older ASAT cloths that I feel sometimes did not fit right. ASAT has recognized this and the development of the Elite Performance Series is a move in the right direction. In my conversations with the owner Rob, he has expressed his excitement for the Performance gear, but also expressed his desire to maintain an older more affordable line for folks not willing to spend the money on performance gear.
The downside issues are the pants are slightly noisy, not a loud terrible noise, just a little and at times can be noticeable. Another issue is, of course, the price tag. However, when compared to other performance outdoor gear, it is very reasonable. I just would like to see some performance gear that works and doesn’t carry such cost, but I doubt that will ever happen.
In general, the durability through the first season certainly goes a long way in justifying the cost. I also used this pant through spring bear this year and turkey season as well, and they still look like the day I bought them. I also like that my clients can use this pant in the mountains, and back in their home state for deer, turkey, and ducks. The ASAT pattern I believe is the top camo pattern for concealment, and I love the fact that the pattern has never changed since its inception in 1983. That’s nearly 34 years without a pattern change, while others change patterns every few years. ASAT has hit a home run with the Knarr pant.