The brand BauBax calls these the world’s best travel pants. Consumers call them a must-buy.
Merino wool is awesome. I know and love the material, and have used it through some cold, wet adventures to stay warm and comfortable. I also love its antimicrobial properties (it doesn’t easily stink). So it stands to reason that merino makes a good fabric for travel apparel.
BauBax blends this old standby with bamboo viscose to make travel pants that it claims are the best in the world. That’s a huge, currently unsubstantiated claim.
But so far, consumers are losing their minds over BauBax’s Kickstarter campaign, to the tune of nearly $500,000 from more than 2,600 backers. And they’re all ponying up to buy the $118-and-up travel pants.
Read on as I breeze through the marketing campaign to suss out a little truth about what you’ll get.
First, Some Background: The $9 Million Travel Jacket
First, let’s check this brand’s pedigree. BauBax launched what it called the “world’s best travel jacket” in 2015. It raised more than $9 million in the campaign. The jacket hyped a lot of unique features, such as a built-in neck pillow and eye cover for sleeping on planes.
Reading through the nearly 12,000 comments about the jacket, let’s just say the reviews are mixed. I take that with a grain of salt, but the most common (and hilarious) comment is that the eye cover kept falling over people’s eyes while walking. Some folks took to attaching their own Velcro to fix the issue. The brand claims to have fixed the problem with Version 2.0.
Ultimately, it seems most backers received their jackets as promised. There are also quite a few positive comments on the jacket, so BauBax must be doing some things right.
Now, “World’s Best Travel Pants“
The brand launched its “world’s best travel pants” yesterday. And it’s already made waves.
The brand outlines its “15 features” in the graphic below. I’ll dissect them a little in the next paragraph because a few are “things that make me go hmmm,” to steal a term from C+C Music Factory.
So, light weight? Check! Zippered pockets are very cool. Stain-resistant? Interesting. Odor control, high breathability, and UV-ray protection? Check, check, and check.
But “superabsorbent,” “moisture-wicking,” “water-resistant,” and “quick dry” sound like marketing hype to me. The brand puts its merino weave on the inside of the apparel with merino on the face. This type of design has been done and is good.
But the fact is, merino and bamboo aren’t nearly as quick-drying as polyester. Also, “superabsorbent” is mutually exclusive with “quick drying” and “water resistant.” Also, who the heck wants “superabsorbent” pants?!
It looks like the brand enhanced the fabric with a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment. But to call that water-resistant is a step too far to me.
Next, let’s talk about “body temp regulation.” Marketing magnates, can you please just stop with this term? The human body regulates its own temperature. If it gets hot, it sweats. If it gets cold, it shivers. Apparel acts as an insulator, and nothing more. Apparel cannot regulate your body temperature.
“Dynamic stretch” is cool though. I like pants that stretch.
I know I laid a lot out here, but none of this is to say these are bad pants. They look pretty nice, and, having seen the video, I’m interested. But for consumers, a lot of these features, which sound great, are more marketing than reality.
So, looking past the marketing machine above, I’d give the brand a C-plus for honesty — maybe as high as a B-minus.
So, Should I Buy Them?
As far as price goes — $118 at early-bird pricing — you aren’t going to do better for merino wool pants. Merino is simply expensive. I own plenty of base layers that cost as much as these pants.
Taking my best-educated guess, I think these could be some good pants. Merino wool blended with bamboo should make a nice, functional fabric that won’t stink when worn for days on end. It should also keep you warm if it’s wet.
For travel, the zippered pockets are a nice touch. Coupled with deep front pockets, I think you’d feel secure but also have access to less-valuable items quickly.
So if you’re looking for a new pair of versatile pants made with really good fabric, these should fit the bill. Merino and bamboo make excellent, comfortable apparel. If BauBax can nail its manufacturing and delivery, these could be another home run for the brand.
In the market? The brand makes four styles for men and women. Hop over to Kickstarter to grab a pair now.