This pants design transforms into shorts with just a quick zip without the need to take off your boots or shoes. The leg-tube has a zipper on the side seam and zips up just above the knee. Perfect if the weather turns during your adventure.
The basic pattern is very versatile:
- Long pants with easy to use side seam zippers. Use a 2-way zipper and you have a pit-zip for ventilation.
- The shorts-to-pants and leg-tube side seam zipper is covered and protected.
- Just shorts.
- The shorts back piece can be cut from a more durable fabric for better butt protection.
- The front leg-tube piece can also be cut from a durable fabric.
Cut & Fit
- The gusset is cut on bias and has no seam in the sensitive crotch area.
- Modern slim leg look and still room for layering.
- High back cut.
- Shaped knee.
Add the Extras you like: I know what I like best:
- Hand pockets with integrated loops.
- Right hand cargo pocket.
- Left hand thigh zipper pocket.
- Both thigh pockets have an inside sleeve for a phone or other gadget.
- Form waistband with front-fly.
Sewing in zippers is always a challenge. The sewing instructions for the shorts and leg-tube are very detailed and guide you with lots of photos step-by-step.
I used the EtaProof/Ventile as I love not only the breathability but also the feel and comfort of this fabric. Of course you can choose other non-stretch outdoor fabrics.
Zippers: Shorts & Leg-tube
Zipper 3 mm wide
Shorts-to-pants & side seam zipper: I recommend using the 3 mm element wide coil zippers here because they are lighter, thinner, slimmer, bend easier and are more flexible. They are usually ok to use, as they are less often in operation then the pocket or front-fly zippers.
Zipper 5 mm wide
The 5 mm element wide coil zippers are easier to use for bigger hands and are more durable. But usually feel bulky and heavy in the lighter weight outdoor fabrics when used around the thigh area for shorts-to-pants.
Place zipper guards behind the zippers to protect your skin or any base layer from getting caught in the zipper. The guard also protects the zipper itself. Use a lightweight fabric for the guard, interface with a thin iron-on fusible and topstitch parallel lines. The two things prevent the guard from being caught when in operation.
Zipper hem protection
I suggest using a snap placed on a ribbon to prevent the bottom end of the zipper from opening itself. It is also a good idea to tie-up the zipper pull and extension.
Remember, the hook & loop tape will collect all the debris and will stop functioning in a short amount of time.
Tips for this section
Use a color code to tell the left & right hand leg-tube apart.