Small boat sailors this is for you! The Sail Equipment Australia (SEA) Airprene Hiking Pants are serious gear for active sailors where hiking is required. If you have never used hiking pants, but race a boat that has hiking straps, you are missing out!
There are several advantages to using hiking pants (not the least of which is a great excuse to hang out in spandex). They’re available in ¾hiker, waistlock pants or waistlock shorts.
The ¾ quarter length offers the wearer knee protection for those squirrely down wind legs when a wipeout is only the next wave away.
The waistlock system keeps the pants in place with 4 different Velcro adjustments. It works great and you can see the detailed view of how it works at the 1:50 time stamp on the video.
The waistlock offers freedom from shoulder straps and still saves the race committee from seeing a bunch of plumbers sailing towards the finish line, finding race committee volunteers is tough enough already.
The main benefit of these pants is the 10 ½” x 7” battened pads on the thigh. These hard battens sewn onto the back of the thigh distribute the point load from the gunnels of the boat allowing you to hike harder and longer while being more comfortable…if you’re into that sort of thing.
One last feature that I would like to mention is the construction material. SEA makes this version of their hikers in a material they call Airprene. Airprene is a perforated 3.5mm neoprene which allows it to be durable and stretchy but also not nearly as hot as a standard neoprene.
The sizing on these pants is pretty true to size and should correspond closely with your standard shorts sizing. Sail Equipment Australia Hikers are at the low end for pricing making them even less likely to cause discomfort in the back pocket region.
I think these hikers are a great overall hiking pant and for this reason I own and use SEA hikers when sailing on my Laser® whenever the breeze is conducive to hiking. Pick yours up today, you will not regret this purchase.