The stitching throughout the pants was very well done, with no visible blemishes, no signs of unraveling, no loose ends or anything like I had almost expected to see. And the padding... it's probably some of the best padding I've seen. The knee padding is nice and thick, and the kevlar material looked like it was built to last. The hips, legs, lumbar, and crotch all have ample padding as well, and the large stretch panels in the crotch and knees were a welcome sight. The one other thing that stood out to me was the fabric pattern. The red piping was nothing unusual, but these pants just look, well, different. If you're a fan of Affliction or Ed Hardy clothing, you'll love Redemption. The standard-fare zippered front pockets and squeegee pockets on each leg were present, as were the bottom cuff bungees to adjust the inseam.
So how do they fit? Well to me, their sizes actually run a little big. But for me, that's not a bad thing. I usually wear a 2X, and for the most part over the years, that size has worked very well for me. However my Eclipse Distortion pants were quite literally tearing at the seams; they fit me great in the waist but my legs were somewhat cramped in them (I'm a big guy). I also felt like they were a bit short through the inseam. When I ordered the Valken pants, I got them one size bigger, 3XL, and when I tried them on, I expected they'd be a little bigger, but I found that these pants are huge. The waist fit me very loosely at first as expected, but the adjustment straps allowed me to take up the slack for a perfect fit. To top it off, there are belt loops, so if you're a guy that likes to wear a belt for the added comfort, you can do so. The legroom was quite ample; I probably could have stuck with a 2XL and had room to move, but I figured I'd just roll with these and enjoy the added comfort. The inseam is plenty long for even the tallest of the tall, and at 6'3" I actually had to take up a couple inches of slack out of the leg cuffs. There is on negative thing I found regarding the length of the pants, and that is that the knee pads were a little low. When standing, the tops of the pads are actually barely covering my knees; most of the knee pads actually cover my shins, so I end up wearing knee pads underneath to compensate. Though, it does work out in my favor as there's extra chance of getting a bounce if I do happen to take one to the shin, which has saved my butt more than once. Take that for what it's worth, I'm not complaining, but it's something that others might want to consider. If you're 6'4" or taller, you probably won't have a problem with it.
Durability is always one of my biggest concerns, and again, Valken does not disappoint. For the last seven months, I have been at our indoor field every single weekend, both playing and reffing, and often I'm there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So these pants have seen a lot of use. Our field has an OSB floor rather than turf or carpet, so I knew the knees and hips would be put to the test. So far I see no signs of wear at all on the knees, and only a few very minor abrasion marks on the hips, but the material is fully intact and showing no signs of unravelling. All of the seams are holding up very well; the only place I've noticed anything is actually inside the pants, there is a thin, black backing on the fabric, that is peeling in some places, but it doesn't seem to affect the fabric at all so I'm not really concerned about it.
Generally, I think the Redemption pants are a great product. The price is really good for what you get, which is a pair of pants that will stand up to abuse, provide plenty of comfort, and look great doing it.
This post has been edited by J. Thompson #5150: 05 May 2010 - 10:20 AM