I don’t do a lot of product reviews, but when Duluth Trading Co. contacted me about reviewing their heirloom gardening pants, I said sure! First, it’s a local company. (The company started in Duluth, though it’s now based in Belleville, Wis.) Second, I’m already a customer so I was pretty sure the quality would be there, and I wouldn’t have to tell them, no, I’m not going to review your product because it stinks.
I started buying Duluth Trading Co. clothing about five years ago. The first purchase was strictly because I loved the humor in the catalog, with the jokes about avoiding plumber’s butt by purchasing their long-tailed T-shirts and buying just the right briefcase to meet with the “suits.” But the clothes live up to the hype — they are truly work clothes but they also look good. My go-to garden tour outfit is a Duluth Trading Co. skort (the one I have is no longer sold, but this is close) worn with a tank top and this plaid shirt. It’s a look that’s relatively put together but allows me to bend over to look at a plant or crouch to take a photo without embarrassing myself or others. I also have two of their canvas totes, which are tough and incredibly useful for someone who’s often hauling a computer and lots of paper around town.
The heirloom gardening pants arrived a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been putting them through their paces, planting, mulching, weeding and mowing. They’ve been through the wash at least four times and show no sign of shrinkage, though the color has mellowed a bit. That doesn’t bother me and I like that the blue color I chose matches the overalls that Tomato Guy wears on my MSHS T-shirt.
The heirloom gardening pants have a number of features that I really like. They’ve got a small pocket on the side of the leg that’s just the right size for holding your cellphone, so it’s accessible but won’t fall out. I frequently take pictures of plants while I’m working and I like to be able to take calls without having to run into the house. There are two other pockets, plus an elastic strap on the side of the other leg that you can use to hold your gloves or a tool. The knees have a pouch that you can insert a pad into that is lined with a water-resistant fabric. One rainy day, I worked outside for a couple of hours in the pants and my knees were dry as could be. If you are a hard-core gardener, that’s a great feature. The elastic at the ankles is very nice for wet weather or extra weedy conditions.
Finally, I like the way these pants fit. For some reason, many pants for women are built as if we were all straight — you know, like men. So I often find that pants that fit my rear are biggish in the waist and are constantly slipping down. These pants have an elastic waist with a cinch belt, so you can tighten up the waist as tight as needed.