Hill City Tech Pant in Athletic Slim Fit – $83.80 w/ HCSAVE15 ($98)
Have you ever been really excited for something only to be really disappointed in the end? If you’re like me and were a Knicks fan in the 90s, you’ll get the idea of how I felt both waiting for these pants and when I actually tried them on. Hill City specifically makes athletic wear for the Gap, Inc. galaxy of brands, so “tech pants” sound exactly like what they should be good at. But if you thought these would be a worthy addition to the tech pants family, you would be wrong.
Here we go with a review of tech pants that, like the rest, just don’t live up to Banana Republic’s original Core Temp Chinos (which at present are now 52% off and down to $47, thanks to a stacking 40% off + extra 20% off deal at BR.)
The not terribly unexpected 4-color range of Hill City’s tech pant.
The Hill City Everyday Tech Pant in Athletic Slim Fit is made from 51% cotton, 44% nylon, and 5% spandex. They’re advertised as an Athletic Slim Fit, which is literally the one thing many of us want Banana to offer in their Core Temp chino. They come in all of the basic and conservative colors that I’d want for work. They offer just as much stretch as the rest of the bunch. They have a neat liner at the waist that looks like it would help keep your dress shirt tucked in. They even have a hidden pocket that zips up and would be great and secure storage for keys. And, that’s the end of what I can say that’s positive about these pants.
The extra secure, additional zip pocket is nifty.
Still. Do yourself a favor and get Banana Republic’s core temps.
For starters, the MSRP is $98.00, which is the same as for the Core Temp chinos. But since Hill City’s best promotion is currently $20.00 off your first order (or 15% off with the HCSAVE15 code), these are still $30+ more than the objectively better alternative, which again, weirdly happens to be made by the same company.
Size 36W x 32L on 5’11” / 200lbs.
There are many possible reasons why these pants just don’t cut it, but it’s probably the most obvious reason: The fabric. They have 4% less cotton than the Core Temp chinos. Sure, I could look for more obscure reasons, but the oddly medically accurate Scrubs puts it best: when you hear horses, don’t go looking for zebras (note: in med school and The Simpsons, this is known as “Occam’s razor”). So, it’s the cotton. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but it appears that we need more cotton.
How not-great is the fabric? Well, even though they’re advertised as an athletic fit and seem to bag in some places, they feel tighter than my Core Temp chinos. They just don’t have as much give. It doesn’t end there. They feel heavier and less breathable than any of my other tech pants. So if you wanted to avoid sweating at work, you might have a problem here. And, the pocket liners … they’re so thick and heavy that you’ll be forced to notice them when you have these pants on. It’s not ideal.
They do make the “swish swish” sound.
Which is like the “Timex tick”… only for tech pants.
They also make the “swish swish” sound usually reserved for cheaper tech pants. If these pants were $29.99, that noise would be the price of admission. But, these are pretty expensive. And, if we’re heading into expensive, just go to Lululemon (Note: I have no experience with Luluemon’s pants, but their other products are pretty fantastic).
Also, the pockets. I expect that at least one back pocket would button up. Nope. So, there is a danger that your wallet just might slip out the back. The Core Temps are no better here, as they also don’t have “secured” pockets, but still. We’re paying more for the Hill City.
I guess what I’m trying to say is “don’t buy these pants.” Maybe next time I’ll save you the obscure links words, and lead with that.
About the Author: Brandon D. is a recently married trial attorney living in Houston, TX (but will forever be a New Yorker). Brandon has been wearing a suit to work for the better part of a decade, so he appreciates the insights into quality-yet-affordable style options for which Dappered is known. When not at work, he enjoys traveling with his wife, lounging with his dog Charlie (she’s half-Chihuahua/half-Dachshund, which has the added bonus of being known as a “Chiweenie”), and the weekly trip to Costco.