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Upland Chaps Vs Pants: A Detailed Discussion

Are you into upland hunting? You should wisely choose your hunting apparel like jacket, vest, pants, and chaps because they protect you and meets your hunting needs. Worldwide hunters debate over upland chaps vs pants which is perfect for all-terrain conditions? In this article, I’ll try to address that.

So, you may wonder, should I get upland chaps or pants?

The answer solely depends on your personal preference. While some hunters swear by chaps more being more water-resistant, briar-proof, and durable, rest prefer upland pants for comfort and breathability.

Upland pants

Upland pants are made with thick fabric like canvas, nylon, or other synthetic material. Some are made of cotton too. The problem with them is, when they get wet, they don’t dry easily which can make your hunting experience quite unpleasant.

However, the lightweight nylon pants dry very quickly. But they’re thin so there’s a high chance for briars and thorns to go right through them. Lucky for you, Gore-Tex pants have a front side to protect from burrs and thorns. On top of that, they have a waterproof coating that keeps them dry whether you’re going out in the snow, or rain, or wet grass. They are breathable, packable, and comfortable too.

On a related note, upland hunting pants made out of synthetic material dry quickly, making them the perfect choice for upland hunting.

Chaps

Chaps are made of leather, leather-like material to protect the legs from thorns and sticks. They’re meant for wearing over pants or trousers. Chaps are the perfect option while going to upland hunting because they don’t absorb water much, sturdy enough to protect from thorns. However, as they’re not joined at the crotch, they don’t guard the crotch area.

Another reason to wear chaps is that they’re good to wear when weed-whacking because they keep your pants clean. On top of that, cleaning the grass off them is a breeze. Other than hunting, you can also wear them for horse, or cruiser-style motorcycle riding purposes.

Upland hunting chaps vs pants: Which one to go for?

Hunters are divided in two over the greatest debate upland pants vs chaps which one is more suitable for hunting? Before I dive into the detailed discussion of what features they’ve got to offer let’s see a quick comparison chart.

Features Upland Pants Upland Chaps
Fitment True to the size needed Adjustable straps for the custom fit
Thorn-proof No Yes
Water-Resistance Some have water-proof interiors but absorbs water more. Doesn’t absorb any water, and dries quickly.
Breathability High Moderate
Flexibility Low High
Durability Low High
Washable Moderate High
Pricing Expensive Expensive

Fitment

Between upland chaps vs pants, the fitment of the pants is more crucial. Before buying pants make sure they are true to your size. On the other hand, chaps offer a custom fit. They come with adjustable hip straps to wear on any pants.

Depending on the weather condition you can put on your favorite pair of khakis, jeans or trousers. If it gets muddy you can simply take off the chaps and clean your rig off easily. Gamehide chaps can be unzipped from the top to the bottom making them a breeze to put on and off.

Briar-proof

This is where chaps really shine. As they are made of leather or nylon content, they provide sturdy covering which turns the thorns and briars. Whereas, but they are so thin that even nettles go through them.
However, some are made out of heavy cotton canvas and they protect against briars to some extent. But let me tell you they are stiff, heavy, chaffy, and inflexible. So, they’ll lack mobility.

Durability

Because of being sturdy enough to protect from briar and thorn chaps can be worn years without tearing. Though both hunting pants and chaps are expensive, you can buy one chap and wear them for a long time. This is not the case for pants. Thick thorns can tear them apart.

Water-resistance

Leather and nylon chaps don’t soak water and they dry quickly too. On the contrary, heavy cotton pants, including jeans, absorbs water and get heavy. Moreover, they take too much time to dry. Even if it’s not raining when you are out there, most of the time the vegetation is wet from recent rain or overnight dew.

However, LL Beans Gore-Tex pants have a water-proof interior. Besides they are super lightweight which makes them perfect for hunting in dewy jungles.

Comfort and Breathability

Because of being made of light fabric pants are more breathable and comfortable. But cotton canvas-made pants can be heavy, stiff, and inflexible to wear. They give the best protection against thorns and briars. If comfort is your topmost priority I will suggest you to choose other pants, not these types. That being said, I have reviewed some of the best upland pants hunters swear by.

Chaps might be slightly heavier than their counterpart but they provide more flexibility as they are not joined at the crotch area.

Washability and Maintenance

Leather or nylon-made chaps are easy to take off and clean. Getting rid of mud and grass from them is a breeze which makes them really handy when you go hunting in jungles. They’re slightly higher maintenance from their counterpart because you need to wax the chaps from time to time. Waxing them at least once a year is a must.

On the other hand, pants don’t require such maintenance. Just washing them off after every use is okay.

Finally, which one is more suitable for you?

Chaps offer more protection against thorns, sticks, and briars. Be it wind, rain, cold or hot they can withstand every weather condition and last for years without tearing. Hunters swear by them as chaps don’t let their legs get scratched or soaked. They can be worn over any pants of your liking but I prefer to wear them over wrangler jeans.

On the contrary, hunters love to wear upland pants for their lightweight, breathability, and comfort. Synthetic pants don’t soak water and dry quickly. Hunting apparel manufacturers brought pants with waterproof interior recently. You can try them too.

Overall, it’s all about your personal preference. My suggestion will be to purchase them both, try them out and decide which one you liked wearing the most.

Some Best Upland pants

Here are some of the best upland pants for you to try. All of them have useful features to make your hunting experience easier and more comfortable.

L.L Bean Upland Waterproof Briar Pant

With the innovative TEK 3.0 waterproof, breathable and durable fabric the usefulness of this pant is unbeatable. The rugged nylon outer material blocks puncture and scratch even the gnarliest, briar-tangled terrain.

Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Upland Field Pant

Made of 59% cotton, 39% polyester, and 2% spandex canvas it stretches and bends to provide ultimate mobility while hunting. The front protects from burrs and thorns but doesn’t feel stiff like canvas fabric. This midweight pant repels water and durable to withstand moderately thorny terrain.

Prois Pradlann Women’s Upland Pant

With 88% polyester and12% spandex blend this upland hunting pant features abrasion and water-resistance and breathability. Its feminine cut fashionably fits the women’s body. The articulated knees enhance mobility while climbing, crawling, and hiking.

Some Best upland chaps

These chaps will surely bring the best out of you in any terrain condition. Check them out.

ForEverlast Camouflage Chaps

Rugged nylon construction to protect against snake bite, brush, and briars. Comes with adjustable straps for attaching with hunting boots and pants. Features camouflage print to blend with surroundings.

TENZING TZ UC17 Upland Chaps

This USA-made pant features water and abrasion-resistance, full zip on/off legs, multi-location straps with adjustments. Offers ease of movement with fully articulated knees.

Gamehide Briar-Proof Upland Hunting Chap

Budget-friendly pants with triple-layer cuff, full-leg zippers, and adjustable hip belts. It’s made of water repellent coated fabric.

Conclusion

Now that you know what’s the difference between upland chaps vs pants, choosing one will be a breeze. Chaps offer more protection against briars while pants provide better mobility and comfort. My suggestion would be to get a pair of each and see which one you end up using more.

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About Ethan Jackson

Hi, I’m Ethan Jackson, a backpacker with some ordinary to exceptional experience on hiking & hunting and also the main author of Back-To-Hiking. Here, I and my team plan to explore some useful hiking gears and hunting tools along with motivating backpacking stories.