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New Activity Pants that zipoff and become shorts

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I am a Supply Group employee and can verify the following in regards to the new switchback pant/shorts.


*They are for official uniform wear or Class A.


*They will not replace the current pants and shorts, only add an option or in additon to.


*Our aim is to have them available in all outlets by September 1st.


*They will retail for $39.95.


*They will be available in inseam sizes and and six sizes ranging from small-3x based on waist sizes within those inseam sizes.


*They will be available this fall in olive green for boys, mens and female sizes.


*There is expanded seat room and hip room so you can hike easier. They will also accomodate winter gear underneath alot easier than the current pants.


*Supplex Nylon will wick moisture away from your body and is a quick dry material when you do get caught in the rain.


*The cargo pocket has returned to the side of the leg and yes it is large enough to hold the BS Handbook or several merit badge books.


*The ankle area has a zipper so you need not remove your boots to zip on or off.


*They come with a built in belt and also come with regular belt loops so you can remove the built in belt in favor of the standard web belt or a leather scout belt.


*Each leg's zipper pull features a L or R so you can switchback with ease.


From reading your posts I can tell that you are alot like me, mouth wide open saying, "It's about time" well, yes "It's about time" I hope you all get a chance to make it in to preview a pair soon. Your local scout shop may even be taking names and numbers to call you when they arrive as to insure you get yours before your friends do.



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Well, let me be the first to welcome you to the forum, Territory Manager! Not only because you bring welcome light to a subject near and dear to a lot of us...


Please, stick around! Not just for supply related topics, either:

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I just spent a chunk of money on the current-style shorts and pants and now we're changing. By the way, the current style pants work just fine for outdoors (at least for me). They have a comfortable relaxed fit and have plenty of hiking room. The trick is to buy them in the right size. I know this sounds logical, but I see so many men wear pants 2 sizes too small (guts hanging over) and then they complain that they don't like the pants.

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Jeffrey H - BSA is not CHANGING the pants. The new zip-offs are NOT replacements. They are additional options only.


If you like the current pants/shorts you can continue to wear them if you wish.


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No epaulets?? Where would you wear your loops??


Supplex nylon does not "stand up" like the current materials used in today's shirts. Sew any badge on them anywhere, and they are going to be droopy. As much as I like the modern material, I don't think it would work very well for a uniform shirt. Maybe some other suitable material would work better...

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Just speculating here, but I'm pretty sure Supplex nylon is not going to burst into flames. If anything, it will melt.

The US military recently prohibited our soldiers from wearing Coolmax or other polyester t-shirts or u/w. The problem is if the soldier wearing polyester is involved in an explosion, the flames/heat melts the material onto the skin. That is the one downside of the product, which doesn't happen with cotton. Scouts shouldn't have to worry about that problem.


Just found this on the net:

All fabrics will burn but some are more combustible than others. Untreated natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk burn more readily than wool, which is more difficult to ignite and burns with a low flame velocity.


The weight and weave of the fabric will affect how easily the material will ignite and burn. Recommended fabrics are materials with a tight weave. Heavy, tight weave fabrics will burn more slowly than loose weave, light fabrics of the same material. The surface texture of the fabric also affects flammability. Fabrics with long, loose, fluffy pile or "brushed" nap will ignite more readily than fabrics with a hard, tight surface, and in some cases will result in flames flashing across the fabric surface.


Most synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, acrylic or polyester resist ignition. However, once ignited, the fabrics melt. This hot, sticky, melted substance causes localized and extremely severe burns. When natural and synthetic fibers are blended, the hazard may increase because the combination of high rate of burning and fabric melting usually will result in serious burns. In some cases, the hazard may be greater than that of either fabric individually.


In terms of flammability, silk may be the worst with a high burning rate, which may be increased by the dyes and other additives to provide color.


Cotton and linen also have a high burning rate but this can be alleviated by the application of flame-retardant chemical additives.


Acetate and triacetate are as flammable or slightly less flammable than cotton. However, they can be made flame-retardant with chemical treatment.


Nylon, polyester and acrylic tend to be slow to ignite but once ignited, severe melting and dripping occurs.


Wool is comparatively flame-retardant. If ignited, it usually has a low burning rate and may self-extinguish.



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Thanks for the info. I'm really looking for a simpler response on how the material handles sparks, not flames. For example, if I'm sitting near a campfire in a pair of jeans and a spark jumps out and lands on my leg, I can more or less leisurely brush it off and there really is no harm done. If I'm wearing a pair of supplex nylon pants and a spark lands on them, will it melt a hole in the pants immediately, or do I have time to leisurely brush the spark off the pants with no harm done? If I have to worry about having sparks melt holes in my pants when I sit around a campfire, then I really don't know how enthusiastic I'll be when I go to the scout shop and the pants are hanging there waiting to be bought.



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The spark issue is one I'm willing to live with for the many apparent benefits of these pants. I have nylon pants with tiny spark-melted holes on them (especially around the calf/ankle area). Of course nobody wants holes in their pants, but if supplex is anything like my normal nylon pants, the holes will at least be nicely fused! And while I'm waiting for the holes to develop, I will be able to enjoy a pair of uniform pants which function well as both hiking pants AND shorts. Tiny, cleanly fused spark holes are a small price to pay.


As for supplex shirts, I didn't think about the patch issue. I must give it to the current shirts, they hold up well to stitching. But I'm willing to bet there is some miracle fabric with the benefits of supplex and the durability to withstand repeated stitching.


Epaulets on the other hand, like bedroll packs and dutch oven backpacking, are best forgotten. I don't mind shoulder loops, but if loops are the only thing keeping epaulets on the uniforms, then I say good riddance to loops! ;)

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Just want to say THANK YOU for sharing this information with us. I just got back from camp and I took a print out of the pants flyer that Midwest Monty posted and the explanation that Territory Manager posted, and shared it far and wide. The response was extremely enthusiastic (no wait, that's an understatement!) from both boys and adults. I anticipate this will be a good money maker for BSA and might even encourage some of those "waist-up" troops to go full uniform.


We're also going to work on spreading the word to the webelos den leaders from the packs in our area so that hopefully we'll catch many of those parents before they plunk down a whole bunch of money on the current pants and shorts.



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These are goin' to be field uniform pants, eh?


Well catch me in a trap and turn me into a pelt!


A field uniform pant that can actually be worn in the field. Scout Salute to the people in the Supply Division!




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