Let’s look at Challenge Pants from GORUCK.
What are Challenge Pants?
These are a super-tough cargo-style pants made by GORUCK.
GORUCK specializes in “rucking” gear – also known as a “ruck march”.
What’s rucking? It’s simply walking for distance with a heavily loaded backpack (aka rucksack – hence the name.)
Do you need GORUCK pants to go on a ruck march?
No, you don’t.
But GORUCK has created something super-functional and useful to make what are now my favorite pair of pants- For just about anything.
So, ruck if you want to – but these pants can do so much more.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room at 3:52am, about to head to SEATAC to fly back home.
And, of course, I’m wearing my Challenge Pants.
Why? Because they are the best pants for travel.
So, no matter if you are looking for workout pants, rucking pants, or just plain good athletic pants these will work.
Let’s take a closer look.
We’re going to use a lot of GORUCK supplied photos here – because it is hard to take good pictures of pants. I’ll upload personal photos soon.
Can you Squat or Lift in the Challenge Pants?
Thanks to the diamond shaped gusset, and the stretchy fabric – these are great for cold weather in the gym workouts where pants are a necessity.
Here’s some cleans, front squats, and deadlifts with a barbell – all done in Challenge Pants (and GORUCK MACV-1 boots.)
Challenge Pants for Men from GORUCK – Crazy Comfortable
Without a doubt, these are the most comfortable pair of pants I’ve ever purchased.
There are many reasons why, but let’s start with the materials, because that is a key part of it.
Challenge Pants are made with GORUCK’s ToughDry fabric.
This is a proprietary blend of 94% Nylon and 6% Spandex created specifically by GORUCK.
The nylon material (a synthetic material) makes the the pants tough and abrasion resistant.
The spandex gives it two-way stretch and return.
Clothes with a slightly stretchy fit are better for comfort always.
That 2-way stretch also helps ensure your range of motion isn’t restricted – and gives a perfect fit.
The other important detail is that these pants are ridiculously light-weight – they way next to nothing.
The ToughDry fabric is thin so you really don’t feel like you are wearing bulky pants.
And that is a huge comfort factor.
When I wear Challenge Pants for an extended amount of time, I dread the thought of having to put on old fahsioned, heavy and bulky blue jeans.
This lightweight fabric also means these are very comfortable for humid and hot climates (I’m in Florida.)
How well will Challenge Pants work in colder conditions? They are not bad.
I mentioned earlier I’ve been wearing these around Seattle in February – and they are perfectly fine.
If you do need more warmth, I’d recommend the layered approach. Compression tights underneath would help in cold climates.
The other factor is that ToughDry is so tough they just don’t have to use very much of it – and that pays off dividends in multiple ways.
There are no big, bulky seams for all those pockets, belt loops, and inseam.
There’s also a curved waistband.
Here’s the true test of comfort for any pair of pants.
Can you lie down in bed and sleep in them?
Yes, you can – Challenge Pants are as comfortable as pajamas.
Seriously – you should try it sometime.
Challenge Pants for Men from GORUCK – Range of Motion
These athletic pants are very versatile.
You can do just about any workout routine while wearing them.
Weight lifting with heavy squats and deadlifts are not an issue.
Box jumps, burpees, and other functional fitness movements are no problem – even step-ups.
You could even do Yoga in these – if you wanted to.
There just isn’t any restriction to your range of motion.
How does GORUCK accomplish this magic?
First, that stretchy spandex helps.
But, these pants also have a very athletic cut.
The crotch area has what is known as a “gusset” in the pants business.
This is a diamond shaped piece of fabric that ensures you aren’t restricted.
The knees are also articulated in Challenge Pants.
Lastly, because these are so lightweight you have a streamlined feeling and you don’t feel like anything is weighing you down.
Challenge Pants for Men fro GORUCK – Quick Drying and Tough As Nails
Challenge Pants are also super-tough – they’ve been tested in hundreds of GORUCK challenge events.
I don’t personally have long term test results yet – I’ve only had mine for about 6 weeks..
But I can tell you these will last a long time.
GORUCK designed these pants for their signature Challenge events – and they throw all kinds of things at them.
Challenge Pants will also dry quickly when they do get wet.
There’s just not a lot of material to absorb water and what is there isn’t water absorbent.
In fact, most water spills will roll right off, like water off a duck’s back.
The cargo pockets both have 2 interior drain holes.
You can flip the front pockets inside out to drain water also.
Challenge Pants for Men from GORUCK – Better than Normal Pants
Challenge Pants are Real Pants.
What does that mean?
They have pockets (4 of them – 2 in front, 2 cargo pockets with YKK zippers) and belt loops.
Yes, you can wear a belt – if you want to.
The truth is that these fit so perfect and they are so light a belt isn’t normally needed.
And of course having 4 pockets is helpful.
You have a place to put your wallet, phone, keys, or earbud case.
Once you load the pockets up, you can add a belt if you want to.
Pockets aren’t just useful, they help make these look like normal pants.
And that means you can wear Challenge Pants just about anywhere.
And nobody will know you are super comfortable in these pants – unless you tell them all about it.
And you’ll want to, because these are really great pants.
Here’s another huge benefit – these don’t get too wrinkly.
That means no need to iron – or you can abuse the heck out of them and still wear them.
Challenge Pants versus Simple Pants
GORUCK also makes another pair of pants from ToughDry – GORUCK’s Simple Pants.
These are athletic cut also but look more like regular jeans.
There are two front pockets and two back pockets and other-wise are similar in appearance to blue jeans.
Simple Pants are available in multiple colors.
Simple Pants are also made from ToughDry but are about $30 cheaper than Challenge Pants.
There’s more color selection as Simple Pants are available in Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, Gray, and Coyote Brown.
I like my Challenge Pants better.
The articulated knees and diamond gusset of the Challenge Pants make them more comfortable and give you a better range of motion.
The 2 zippered cargo pockets at thigh level on Challenge Pants are a must have for airline flights.
But, if you need or want pants that look more like jeans and less like cargo pants – you want the Simple Pants.
I simply find Challenge Pants to be more versatile.
GORUCK Spearhead Web Belt
Need an awesome belt to go with these awesome pants?
Check out the GORUCK Spearhead Web Belt.
It’s available in Brown or Black.
It’s a Grip6 belt – made in the USA. The patented design is simple, lightweight, and efficient.
The Spearhead logo looks really sharp. The buckle is made from T6061 Aluminum.
This is a low-profile belt with minimal bulk and simple design – there’s nothing to break. It’ll likely last you a lifetime.
Challenge Pants for Men from GORUCK – The Best Travel Pants
I think Challenge Pants are the best travel pants.
I fly around the country a lot for my day jog.
Challenge Pants are my go to choice for every travel day.
Let me tell you why.
They look formal enough to wear in most any situation.
They are insanely comfortable for those long cross-country flights.
The zippered cargo pockets let’s me keep my phone, wallet, and ear buds case in easy reach even when seated in economy seats.
The lightweight and compact form factor means they take nearly zero room in your luggage.
They are water resistant for the inevitable spills that happen.
A belt is optional – unless the pockets are heavily loaded.
Did I mention that they are super-comfortable? That’s really one of the big reasons.
Challenge Pants for Men from GORUCK – Cons
OK, it can’t all be rosy – can it?
GORUCK Challenge Pants are pretty expensive at $145 USD.
But, let’s stop and think about what you get for that price.
These are really good pants that are built in the USA.
The founders of GORUCK have admitted that making apparel in the USA does increase the cost.
So, if you want to put your money where your mouth is – and support USA manufacturing, it will cost you more money.
But more importantly these pants have the GORUCK SCARS lifetime guarantee.
GORUCK builds super-tough stuff. Awesome pants you don’t want to take off AND a lifetime guarantee? Doesn’t seem so bad now – does it?
These pants are also a bit noisy.
Challenge Pants are made from ToughDry fabric which uses high-performance synthetic materials (like nylon and spandex.)
These pants make a gentle swishing sound as you walk, stand, run, or pretty much anytime you aren’t standing still.
I like to say: you won’t be sneaking up on anyone in a library with these pants.
Having said all that – it’s not that bad. Challenge Pants are my go to pants for travel and working out – and I love them. The noise is just not that bad.
But, the ToughDry material is super slick with no traction or grip whatsoever.
I do – when I’m using a MacBook Pro on my lap – or even when you set your smartphone down on your leg for a moment.
It will slide off easily if you aren’t careful.
So, be careful when using a laptop or phone – and you’ll be all right.
Lastly, these pants are pretty thin (after all they are super light weight and comfortable.)
They also fit like a glove.
In certain situations they can be a bit “revealing.”
(That’s all I’m going to write about on this topic – you can use your imagination for yourself.)
I like these pants because they look like normal cargo pants, have belt loops, etc. but just keep in mind they are sort of an athletic pant – and don’t wear them in a super-formal situation – unless you really want to.
Spearhead Tactical Belt
At 1.75-inch, the GORUCK Spearhead Tactical Belt is wider than the regular Spearhead belt and can be used both as a duty belt because of its durability and as an everyday belt as it can also be worn in the belt loops. It is a lightweight belt that you can easily adjust and won’t slip or stretch over a long time of use.
The strap is woven with high-strength nylon webbing with a minimalist look and extreme durability. The strap measures 1.75″ wide, weighs 84-132 grams (depending on the size) and has a break strength of over 2,000 lbs. If you want a belt that has it all, this tactical belt is the way to go.
Challenge Pants for Men fro GORUCK Review – In Summary
I was skeptical when I first read about GORUCK’s Challenge Pants.
They seemed expensive.
But after having worn them around – I love them.
They are my go to pants for travel, working out, and lounging around the house.
You can do anything in them (including sleep) in supreme comfort.
They pack down to practically nothing – so it’s easy to travel with them.
They look good and they look like “real pants” – so you can wear them damn near anywhere.
And given the cut and stretchy materials there’s really no physical activity you can’t do in these.
GORUCK has a hit a home run with this product – and I look forward to what more they may bring to the apparel market in the near future.
We are a GORUCK affiliate – so if you order apparel, rucksacks, shoes, or equipment after clicking the links in this article we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. But that’s not why we recommend GORUCK. It’s because their equipment is innovative, built to last, and much of their best stuff is made in the USA (like Challenge Pants). They are the driving force behind rucking not just as exercise, but as a way to make people better. And that’s why we love them.
- Some product photos on this page are provided by, and property of GORUCK.