Western Rise Evolution Pant 2.0 Review: Are These the Most Versatile Pants Ever?

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Wondering if the Western Rise Evolution Pant can actually do everything the brand says it can? And are all those features worth the money?

In this Western Rise Evolution Pant review, I show you how they look, how they feel, and whether or not they’re really stain resistant and wrinkle proof.

My favorite get-around pants
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Western Rise

Western Rise Evolution Pant

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Bottom line: The Western Rise Evolution Pant is an excellent travel pant because of the secure media pocket and secret zipper back pocket. It’s also supremely comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle, and doesn’t stain. As a technical fabric pant, it can get snagged more easily, which can create loose threads, but otherwise, these are quite durable.

Ratings:

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The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Packaging The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • The Evolution fabric is light, stretchy, breathable, and very comfortable overall
  • The media pocket on the right is large, which means you can actually use it and the zippered back pocket is a nice security feature
  • The leg opening has a decent amount of taper below the knee so they don’t look loose at the bottom

Cons:

  • Lack of color options
  • Technical fabric can snag easily and pull threads loose

If you’ve ever traveled for over two weeks, you already know how dirty a pair of pants can get.

And how inconvenient it is to stop at a laundromat and get them cleaned.

With some travels planned for the future, I wanted to find a pair of pants that was comfortable, lightweight, and didn’t take on stains. 

Bonus points if it’s easy to pack.

After a lot of searching, I came upon the Western Rise Evolution Pant. I’ve been testing them out for a few weeks now and I’ve seen the pros and cons. Keep reading to find out how they hold up. 

Western Rise Evolution Pant Overview

Model wearing Western Rise Evolution Pantjpg

The Western Rise Evolution Pant is, well, an evolution of the brand’s super popular AT Pant, but made with a much lighter fabric. 

They’re made to be the ideal travel pant: stain-resistant, water-resistant, odor-resistant, secure pockets, easy to pack, breathable, and lightweight. 

At the time of writing, the Evolution Pant is available in four colors, and with waist sizes 28-40. 

You aren’t able to choose your inseam length—it comes standard with a 34” inseam, though with the way they crafted the hem you can cuff the pants to make it more like a 32” inseam without your pants looking cuffed.

cuffing the Western Rise Evolution Pant

I’m 6’1” so this inseam length is perfect for me, but if you’re 5’8” or shorter, you may need to include hemming at a tailor as part of the overall cost. 

Things to Consider Before Buying the Western Rise Evolution Pant

Western Rise Evolution Pant side view

I’ve tried the Western Rise AT Slim before, so if you’re searching between the Evolution and AT, the biggest consideration is fabric weight. 

The Evolution is a much lighter fabric, which makes the pant more breathable, flexible, and comfortable. 

If your legs get cold and winter is on the way, it may be a good idea to get the AT pants. But my legs almost never get cold, so the extra weight doesn’t add much benefit for me. 

For that reason, I much prefer the Evolution Pant over the AT—it delivers the same benefits, but it’s more comfortable. 

Western Rise Evolution Pant 2.0

The Western Rise Evolution Pant is an excellent travel pant because of the secure media pocket and secret zipper back pocket. It’s also supremely comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle, and doesn’t stain. As a technical fabric pant, it can get snagged more easily, which can create loose threads, but otherwise, these are quite durable.

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Western Rise Evolution Pant Review

Style

model wearing Western Rise Evolution Pant in grey blue

The Western Rise Evolution Pant 2.0 comes in four different color options—I opted for the Blue Grey option

It’s a slim tapered five-pocket style pant, but the taper isn’t too strong below the knee. 

I’d say the pants fit somewhere between a slim straight and slim taper. In my opinion, it’s the perfect amount of taper below the knee. I always think slim straight pants make me look stockier than I am, and slim taper fits are too narrow.

Western Rise nailed the balance on this, so you can rock the Evolution Pant with a pair of smart casual sneakers or even chunkier hiking boots without either looking out of place.

Western Rise Evolution Pant close up

I have more athletic thighs, so the leg fits quite snug on me, but I don’t mind it. And if you also have larger thighs but don’t like the snug fit, they do stretch a bit after wearing them for an hour or two.

Overall, I really like the style of these pants. I prefer natural fibers like what you get with denim jeans and chinos—they just fit my aesthetic more. But if you don’t mind the technical fabric look (which Western Rise does better than most), I think the cut is phenomenal. 

Fabric

Western Rise Evolution Pant front media pocket with iphone

While I prefer natural fibers for style, there’s no doubt there are a ton of benefits to the technical fabric used in the Evolution Pant

I do want to clarify that there’s a spectrum of technical fabrics, and I’ve tried brands who’s clothes look (and feel) like those thick polyester shirts from the 70s—and not in a cool way. 

Not all technical fabrics are the same, and Western Rise’s competitive edge is that they use really sophisticated fabrics that pack all the benefits of synthetic fabric, but look more natural. 

The Evolution fabric is four-way stretch, and is stain, water, odor, and wrinkle-resistant.

That basically means they’re perfect for travel

If you’ve ever lived out of a backpack for two weeks or more, you know how invaluable it is to have something you can keep wearing day after day without building up the stench and grime that makes people want to move to the next train car down. 

The Evolution Pant checks those boxes. Here’s what happens when I pour coffee on my pant leg:

spilling coffee on western rise evolution pants

As someone who regularly spills on himself, this is a revelation. 

The four-way stretch is also very comfortable and allows for easy movement and bending. Plus, with the Evolution’s lighter weight, they’re breathable enough to wear in the North Carolina summer humidity.

My one issue with the fabric is that, as a technical fabric, it snags more easily which can lead to loose thread loops that are difficult to remove without making matters worse. 

before and after spilling coffee on western rise evolution pant

Say if you brush up against a splintery wooden fence, the fabric may pill up there and never quite return to normal. Natural fibers like cotton (especially denim) tend to fare much better in that scenario.

It’s a minor drawback to technical fabrics (all, not just Western Rise’s), and it may be well worth it if stain-resistance and wrinkle-resistance is more important to you. Cotton is definitely neither of those. 

Function

Western Rise Evolution Pant front media pocket detail

I know I said the Evolution Pant is a five-pocket style pant, which it is, but it also has a sneaky, extremely useful sixth pocket on the back right. 

I keep coming back to travel, because these really are the ideal travel pants in my opinion. But this back zippered pocket is perfect for safely storing your passport. Of course, you can also zip your wallet in there for safekeeping as well—the pocket is sizable and you can’t see it. 

I’m also a fan of the extra large media pocket. It fits my iPhone Max, which is pretty gigantic. I’ve never actually used whatever they usually call that front right pocket until now. 

Western Rise Evolution Pant stretch demonstration

Overall, I think the functionality of these pants is fantastic. They roll up tightly in a bag and take up about as much room as a t-shirt, and you can easily wear them for a week without washing. You could probably push that, too, but I noticed that after 6-8 wears in the summer heat, they start to get funky. 

The Evolution is definitely a great travel pant, and I think that because the style is modern and versatile, they also make for a great everyday pant. 

What do Other Reviewers Say?

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The Western Rise Evolution Pant has over 800 reviews with a 4.8-star average rating. A lot of reviewers say these are the most comfortable pants they own, and a few folks seem to back me up in saying these are some of the best travel pants you can find. 

I saw at least one review that also mentioned the slimness of the thigh—you’ll notice that the model on the site doesn’t have thick legs. If you’re more like me and have thicker thighs, you can expect the fabric to be a bit tight around the thigh. 

Personally, I don’t mind that fit—I’m used to it. But if you’re someone who wants some drape throughout and you have thicker thighs, then you might either want to size up or try a different cut. 

Western Rise Evolution Pant Alternatives

Bluffworks Ascender Chinos

model wearing bluffworks chinos and dress shirt

I don’t like the fabric on the Bluffworks Ascender Chinos as much as I do the Western Rise Evolution Pants, but the Ascenders have a few features that might make them a better choice depending on what you’re looking for. 

I think the Bluffworks Ascender Chinos are the best travel pants you can get if you’re traveling somewhere where you want an extra level of security for holding cash, passports, or anything else sensitive. 

They’re not as comfortable or stretchy as the Evolution Pant, but the Ascender Chinos have 10 pockets, including three zippered pockets. And one of the zippered pockets is only accessible from the inside of the pants, so it’s completely inaccessible to pickpockets, no matter how adept they are. 

Ultimately, I still like the Western Rise Evolution more, but if I was traveling to an area that’s popular with pickpockets, I’d rock the Bluffworks Ascender Chinos for the day. 

Bluffworks Ascender Chino

With their secure, hard-to-access pockets, hidden money pouch, and lightweight 5.31 oz per yard fabric, the Ascender Chino is one of our go-to travel pants.

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My Thoughts Overall On the Western Rise Evolution Pant

What I Like

  • I love how light, stretchy, breathable, and comfortable the Evolution fabric is. 
  • The media pocket is large enough to actually use, and the zippered back pocket is excellent for storing important things like a wallet or passport with peace of mind. 
  • The leg opening is a perfect middle-ground between a slim straight fit and a slim tapered fit—they don’t look loose or tight.

What I Don’t Like

  • I wish there were more color options besides black, grey, khaki, and grey blue. 
  • Because they’re a technical fabric, they can snag much more easily if you brush up against a splintery wood post or something similar. 

Who is the Evolution Pant for?

The Evolution Pant is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an everyday pant that you can wear into the ground. I can see this being a perfect choice for bike commuters and travelers.

The Verdict

The Western Rise Evolution Pant is a remarkable travel pant. 

The four-way stretch fabric literally repels stains, which is a huge benefit for someone like me who spills way too often. 

Plus, you can wear them over and over again without them wrinkling or smelling (though they do start to develop some funk after six or seven wears in the humid summer). 

If you have larger thighs, note that the cut of these pants is slim, so there’s a good chance they’ll fit snug throughout the legs. 

I’m 6’1”, 200lbs, so you can see how they fit my legs. 

I personally don’t mind that snug fit at all. And I especially like the tapered leg opening as I think it makes guys with stockier thighs look taller. So I’m a big fan of the cut and style, but if you’re not comfortable with that slimmer style, you may need to look elsewhere. 

The Evolution is a fantastic value, and I think Western Rise is one of the best technical-fabric focused brands there is.

Western Rise Evolution Pant 2.0

The Western Rise Evolution Pant is an excellent travel pant because of the secure media pocket and secret zipper back pocket. It’s also supremely comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle, and doesn’t stain. As a technical fabric pant, it can get snagged more easily, which can create loose threads, but otherwise, these are quite durable.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Is Western Rise a good brand?

Yes, Western Rise is a great brand. Their founders, Kelley and Will Watters, have extensive backgrounds in developing fabric and textiles, which is what they’ve leaned on to make Western Rise unique.

Where are Western Rise clothes made?

Western Rise is based in Telluride, Colorado, though their clothes are made overseas. My Evolution Pants, for instance, were made in Indonesia.

Do Western Rise pants shrink?

Western Rise pants shrink a very little amount in the wash if you use hot water. But because they’re so stretchy, even if they shrink, I haven’t noticed a significant fit difference before and after the first wash.

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