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Smokin' Paintball

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Smokin' Outlast Pants
February 2004

Smokin' Paintball is an offshoot of Brimstone Enterprises, manufacturers of Ultimate Airball inflatable bunker systems.  They’ve applied their experience in searching out durable materials and assembly techniques to pants.

The most notable material in the Smokin’ Outlast pants is hemp.  Hemp fibers have been used for hundreds of years in textiles and for ropes, because they are pliable, durable, and exist in a long form that is easily extracted by primative means.  Early users of hemp fiber would chew the fibers loose, and a single fiber could be used as a sewing thread, or twisted with more for a thicker thread that is then woven into a fabric.  The fact that the Marijuana plant is in the hemp family has also lead to the pun in Smokin’ paintball’s name.

Drug humor aside, hemp cloth is very strong, can handle abrasion well, yet breathes for comfort.  It is not, however the only notable feature in the Outlast pant.

The tops of the Outlast pants pockets literally split away with hook and loop tabs.  This means that the waistband is extremely adjustable from the skinny front guy to the well, not so skinny, back player.  Each front pocket features a watch-pocket the right size for small items like a car key or spare o-rings.

A cargo pocket on the left side is made from the 600 Denier polyester which makes up the majority of the pant.  It is matched on the right side by a narrow pocket just the right size for a folded fleecy barrel swab.

Hidden in the front of the pants are perhaps their most unique feature – internal knee pads.  Semi-soft foam pads fit in knee pockets.  This avoids the common problems found with most paintball knee pads – either they slip down to the ankles, or if they are a full shin design, they cut off circulation.  The outlast pads, being integrated into the pants do neither, and are barely noticeable in play.

The front of the pants are where the Hemp comes into play.  It’s the hemp surface over the front of the thighs and the knees that takes the punishment of bunker slides, and takes it well.  Craig Miller of Brimstone Enterprises challenged to put these pants through a year of use to see what happened.  That’s what we did.  They got a  year of photography and game play use – with plenty of getting shot, and kneeling on surfaces ranging from the Mud of Mardi Gras to and the sand of Huntington Beach to the manicured grass of World Cup.  After that year is when the pictures for this review were taken.  The black of the hemp panel is slightly lighter in color, but is definitely colorfast.  Some loose threads appeared on corners of seams – but the seams themselves remained solid.  The hemp front panel also made them quite comfortable, even in warm weather.  They breathed well, but also in cold weather they provided enough insulation to keep warm.

The Outlast pants definitely lived up to their name, outlasting a year of demanding use – with plenty of life in them to spare.  


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