Our All-Time Favorite Pair of Adventure Pants Just Got Even Better
It feels silly to be obsessed with a pair of pants, but Proof’s Rovers are really that good
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
If someone told me I had to pick just one pair of shoes to wear for the rest of my life, I’d have no idea what to choose. Same goes for a jacket, hat, or shirt. But if one pair of pants had to get me through the next several decades, I’d feel totally confident and happy picking Proof Rover pants. Hands down.
The choice is easy because the Rovers, which are named after the all-terrain, all-use Land Rover, are truly the Swiss Army Knife (pardon the cliche) of pants. Billed as work pants, they have a sturdy cotton build that will put up with tons of abuse—chopping wood, yard work, car maintenance, etc. The pants are also great for everything from bike commuting to camping thanks to a bit of lycra blended with the cotton, which makes them stretchy, and some Sorbtek (recycled polyester) to help wick moisture.
But what truly elevates these pants is that in addition to their versatility, they look good nearly anywhere. I can wear the Rovers while loading something into my truck, getting them dusty and even slightly greasy, then turn around and wear them to a work meeting (with a pair of Blundstone boots) and still look professional. Somehow these pants look even better when they’re worn in and have their own patina.
I love the Rovers so much that ever since I reviewed them in 2019, I wear a pair at least 200 days of each year and take them off begrudgingly each June because it’s finally too hot to wear them every single day. I’ve worn them so consistently that after three to four years I finally wore holes into the knees and crotch.
Given my obsession, you won’t be surprised to hear how excited I was to get my hands on the newest iteration of the Rover. Called the Rover EDC, which stands for Every Day Carry, they come with several additional pockets to help enthusiasts organize and carry their favorite EDC gear, such as knives, wallets, pocket flashlights, etc.
When I first heard the EDC pants have eight pockets I was worried they would look like dorky cargo pants from the late ’90s or tactical pants you’d buy at an Army surplus store. But I found that from the front you can barely tell the difference between the OG Rovers and the new EDC edition. From the side you get the full pocket view, but all the additional pockets are small, subtle, and well placed—so you don’t look like an EDC dork or wannabe prepper.
My favorite addition is the zippered pocket that sits mid-thigh on the left side and is just big enough to hold a slim wallet. The zipper gives me confidence that my wallet won’t slip out if I’m riding my bike to the store and that I won’t get pickpocketed in a crowd. The traditional front hand pockets (the same pocket you’d find on any pair of jeans) has a special spot at the bottom where you can clip on a pocket knife. With the knife safely out of the way, it’s much easier to quickly jam your hand into the pocket.
Some folks will be upset to learn that the Rover EDC pants are made from a slightly thinner, less robust fabric blend. These pants will likely deteriorate a little faster than the traditional Rovers. But I’m happy with the change because the EDC pants breathe better so I can wear them longer into the spring and summer when the days get warmer. And after wearing the EDC pants a couple times already, I’m not worried about them falling apart noticeably sooner; I fully expect to get several years from each pair.
The EDC edition is $128, or $10 more expensive than the regular Rovers. As someone who grew up in the ‘90s, paying over $100 for a pair of pants still chafes me a bit. But because I wear these pants so damn much, they actually work out to be the least expensive thing in my wardrobe if you calculate their cost-to-use ratio (less than 20 cents a day at $128 / 200 days/year X 3–4 years). Full disclosure, I’ve stocked up on the regular Rover pants, with at least one new pair sitting around at all times because if Proof ever decides to stop making them it’s going to take me a very long time to find a replacement. Now I’ll start stocking the EDC version.