There is something to be said for companies who make it a point to design, source materials and produce their products here in the United States. I have made it a point to seek out these companies and support them with my pocketbook. That doesn’t mean I throw money at products just because they are made here in the US, I do my research, I ask opinions of friends and colleagues and make good decisions before I purchase.
For years I wore the basic denim Levi’s, not bad pants, but they don’t hold up too much abuse and you can throw a rock and hit 20 people wearing them. After my law enforcement career, I started working at Triple Aught Design and was introduced to small production EDC pants and it gave me a glimpse of what was really out there. Soon I found several other companies that made similar products, some better than others.
Fast forward to a few months ago, I started seeing posts from a knifemaker friend of mine, Andy Arrabito, owner of Half Face Blades. He kept posting and tagging a brand I never heard of, 1620 Workwear. I finally sent him a message and asked about them and asked what he thought of them and why he kept posting about them. His response was simple, he said they were some of the best work pants he has found and mentioned he “bought a pair for my entire crew”. That told me all I needed to hear, I had to try a pair. Andy put me in touch with one of the owners, Josh Walker, and after talking to him he sent me a pair of their Stretch Nyco double knee pant.
After speaking with Josh, I learned he was one of the founders of www.bernunlimited.com an action sports helmet brand. He was responsible for the brand image and built it from zero to 8 figures over the course of 14 years. Josh said he was unhappy making expanded polystyrene products in China, it wasn’t what he wanted his legacy to be known for. In 1960 roughly 99% of the clothing we wore was made here, in 1990’s about 50%, now, it is less than 2%. That’s where the idea of 1620 Workwear began.
He and his business partner are extremely passionate about making products here in the United States and supporting the US economy by providing jobs and quality workwear. According to Josh, lot of the clothes we wear today are built to be thrown away and the thought of that is just crazy to him. Josh is all about supporting his country and community, he views this is a global competition, and these jobs here support immigrant and 1st and 2nd gen families.
1620 partnered with Cordura for the fabric and is full mil-spec. According to 1620, the fabric has a traditional feel and is for people who are seeking the old school feel and look of canvas. Don’t let the “look and feel” of canvas dissuade you, the blend is spot on and also provides the advantages of traditional cotton duck canvas. That means the pants are quick drying when wet and resists oil and stains. Below are some bullet points from 1620’2 website:
- Improved crotch gusset
- Pants Stretch Capability
- 1620’s stretch NYCO Fabric
- Durable Water/oil/Stain Repellent Finish
- Double layer knee & upper thigh
- Military Spec button / YKK Zippers
- Gusseted Crotch / 3/4″ wide Belt Loops
- Articulated knee / Modern Fit
Work and Everyday Wear:
I wore the Nyco’s every day for a few weeks, this included work around the house, garage, in and out of my F-250, messing around with my S4 and a few other things. They performed as expected from the time I unpackaged them, they were excellent and fun to wear. I did not feel like I was wearing pants made from heavy duty material, they moved easy and felt light.
The cut along with the material blend provides just the right amount of stretch that reduces fatigue for such a sturdy pair of pants. I have worn some heavy-duty pants that restrict your movement, combine that with a heavier material and I couldn’t wait to get out of them. That is not the case here, these Stretch Nyco’s were awesome when wearing for more than 12 hours at a time.
The fit of the Nyco’s is called, “Modern 1620 Style fit” and they claim it has no extra bagginess and not too skinny. That is a spot of description as I cannot stand jeans that are cut to be “skinny” nor do I want to look like I am swimming in my pants like a confused adolescent kid. The Nyco’s have the perfect fit for me and I gladly wore them out even when I wasn’t working in them.
Let’s face it, everyone loves pockets, but there is a fine balance between too many and not enough. The pair of Stretch Nyco’s I tested have just the right balance to provide options for everything I wanted to carry. The front pocket design has a dual-purpose knife clip area that also reduces any chance of the pocket tearing. The left-hand watch pocket is compatible with large size mobile phone, which easily accommodated my iPhone X with a silicon case. There is also a side phone pocket that did the same and it was very nice to have the option to store my phone there given different working scenarios.
The two front main pockets are nice and wide for easy access to anything you may have in them the cut and angle of the rear pockets are absolutely spot on for me., even if you are wearing it gloves. They are deep, but not to the point where your items fall so far that it becomes uncomfortable when you sit down. There is also a side zip key pocket, a right leg dual mobile/utility pocket, and a left leg tool pocket.
On the range:
The last place I wore the pants for this review was on the shooting range. I drove down to a locally veteran owned range near Pueblo, Colorado with a friend of mine and spent hours on the range. I ran several different setups, from my drop leg with my 1911, concealed carry Salient Arms Shield and Salient Arms Utility. The stiffness of the waist area along with a shooters belt made every setup easy and comfortable to wear. While shooting on the move the Nyco’s moved with ease. With other pants of similar build, the cut and material bind on the tops of my thighs and you literally fight to move quick, in and out of vehicles and other basic movements. Not the case at all with the offering from 1620, to be honest, these work pants would make a great EDC pant selection.
My overall impression of 1620 and the Stretch Nyco’s is very positive. They make a solid product, worthy of the price tag and the company itself is awesome. They stand behind their products, they innovate with materials, design, and durability. Whether you are a weekend warrior who likes to work on different projects and then hit the range like me or you’re a serious craftsman like the Half Face Blades crew, these pants will outperform whatever you throw at them. They price in at $174.00
- Fabric Woven in the USA
- Pant Sewn in the USA
- Modern Fit
- Articulated knee
- PFC FREE Durable Water/oil/stain Repellent Finish
- Gusseted Crotch
- Extra large back pocket with angled top for ease of entry Dual purpose knife clip area that also reduces any chance of the pocket tearing
- Left Hand Watch Pocket compatible with XL size mobile device
- Right Side Phone pocket compatible with XL size mobile device
- Right Side secure zip Key Pocket
- Double layer knee & upper thigh (Double Knee Only)
- Military Spec Shank button
- YKK Zippers
- 3/4″ wide Belt Loops
- Left leg split tool/pen pocket