Levi's...just not the same.

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Levi's...just not the same.

Postby graveleye » Apr 12, 2007 10:00 am

I guess this belongs in the equipment section - Levi's are my most common caving pants, and I'm probably not alone. Am I the only one who has noticed that the quality of Levi jeans has really declined? Seems like it all started when they closed down their domestic manufacturing facility and started making them abroad.
I have had them from Mexico, Columbia, and a couple other countries, now and they just aren't the same as they used to be.

Are there any other companies making quality, rugged jeans anymore?
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Postby Keith K » Apr 12, 2007 11:10 am

I switched over to Carhartt a couple of years ago. After I blew out a pair of Levis in about three months I was done with them. That was without caving in them. I havent taken the Carhartts caving yet but I have seen plenty of folk that have. Biggest complaint is the hammer loop snagging. I havent tried the Carhartt jeans yet. I have stuck with the Washed Duck Work Dungaree.
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Postby erebus » Apr 12, 2007 11:18 am

Dickies work pants are very durable. They have some with double knees and "loose fit" too.
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Postby YuccaPatrol » Apr 12, 2007 11:34 am

Duluth trading company makes some awesome durable work clothing. One of their tradmarks is a durable cloth made from the same material used to cover fire hoses.

However, in caves I try to avoid heavy cotton clothing and instead wear a pair of 50% nylon fatigues.
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Postby Andy Shoun » Apr 12, 2007 11:52 am

I been using Carhartts lately. They look good after the first 10-20 hours of caving, but them I start making holes in the seat and knees. Glueing on patches has not been real effective for me. Cotton jeans are just not made for caving.
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Postby wendy » Apr 12, 2007 12:55 pm

how bout polyester in caves? I found some pants at goodwill, that are polyester like running pants on the outside, and on the inside they are like a men's swimming suit, which i thought was weird, but anyway, i thought i'd give them a go at caving, figured they would be good for wet and muddy caves. jeans and cotton pants get heavy when wet and don't dry quickly
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Postby graveleye » Apr 12, 2007 3:34 pm

you mean like the inside has the little umm.. support thing? :rofl:
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Postby mgmills » Apr 12, 2007 7:41 pm

wendy wrote:how bout polyester in caves? I found some pants at goodwill, that are polyester like running pants on the outside, and on the inside they are like a men's swimming suit, which i thought was weird, but anyway, i thought i'd give them a go at caving, figured they would be good for wet and muddy caves. jeans and cotton pants get heavy when wet and don't dry quickly


Wendy is right about polyester. Until I bought my B&C Wunderwear pants I was a regular at the thrift store buying my caving clothes. Old polyester pants don't make much of a fashion statement but performed well in the cave.

Graveleye - I find that in many caves wearing polypro longjohns (or running tights) with men's swim trunks (a couple of bucks at the thrift store) over them is sufficient. Of course you will want knee pads to protect the knees.
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Postby caver ed » Apr 12, 2007 9:50 pm

I wear polypro long johns with cotton jean shorts over them. I also use the franklin volleyball knee pads I get at Walmart. They seem to hold up well for the amount of caving I get to do. The knee pads also dont slide down as much since I started wearing the polypros. And it is warmer......Ed
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Postby JoeyS » Apr 12, 2007 10:09 pm

mgmills wrote:
wendy wrote:how bout polyester in caves? I found some pants at goodwill, that are polyester like running pants on the outside, and on the inside they are like a men's swimming suit, which i thought was weird, but anyway, i thought i'd give them a go at caving, figured they would be good for wet and muddy caves. jeans and cotton pants get heavy when wet and don't dry quickly


Wendy is right about polyester. Until I bought my B&C Wunderwear pants I was a regular at the thrift store buying my caving clothes. Old polyester pants don't make much of a fashion statement but performed well in the cave.

Graveleye - I find that in many caves wearing polypro longjohns (or running tights) with men's swim trunks (a couple of bucks at the thrift store) over them is sufficient. Of course you will want knee pads to protect the knees.


Thought I'd plug Chilliheads when you mentioned tights, Martha...
http://www.chilliheads.com/leggings/legcordura.htm
These are about 30 bucks and I'm sure they will be at SERA and TAG. They are very durable alone but you could wear some shorts over them too. I've done a couple dozen of trips in a single pair, no shorts, and I can't tell the difference between that pair and the pair I got for winter running.
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Postby wendy » Apr 13, 2007 12:54 am

JoeyS wrote:Thought I'd plug Chilliheads when you mentioned tights, Martha...
http://www.chilliheads.com/leggings/legcordura.htm
These are about 30 bucks and I'm sure they will be at SERA and TAG. They are very durable alone but you could wear some shorts over them too. I've done a couple dozen of trips in a single pair, no shorts, and I can't tell the difference between that pair and the pair I got for winter running.


ditto that, i wear them caving here in florida with cut off bdu shorts. I was cavign just in shorts, but the leggings protect my legs from getting all scratched up in the crawls.
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Postby NZcaver » Apr 13, 2007 5:24 pm

I can't say I've ever worn jeans caving - I know some people do, but the concept has always seemed a little strange to me.

I could see jeans possibly being comfortable/practical in cool (not cold) caves that are bone dry. Personally, jeans would be too hot and heavy for me in the dry caves I've visisted. I find wearing either shorts with tights/light polyprops, or nylon/polyester/cotton cargo pants to be more practical. And in the cold/wet caves, out comes the nylon suit. :wink:
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Postby bndgeek » Apr 13, 2007 5:53 pm

wendy wrote:how bout polyester in caves? I found some pants at goodwill, that are polyester like running pants on the outside, and on the inside they are like a men's swimming suit, which i thought was weird, but anyway, i thought i'd give them a go at caving, figured they would be good for wet and muddy caves. jeans and cotton pants get heavy when wet and don't dry quickly


I haven't found polyester to be the most durable. One time my boyfriend and I were in a cave and when my pants ripped right down the back. We were only half way in and we decided to keep going, but the whole time I was terrified we'd see other people and they'd notice my totally exposed backside :oops:

Thankfully we didn't see anyone else, but by the time we got out of there my butt was freezing. and muddy and gross.
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Postby erebus » Apr 14, 2007 9:35 pm

The Dickies pants I mentioned are 65% polyester. They really do stand up to a lot of abuse.

I'm sure most of you know that cotton is not a good material if it gets wet, because it sucks heat out of you and promotes hypothermia.
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Postby Caver1402 » Apr 15, 2007 10:19 am

I tried to buy a pair of coveralls at Sears once ... they may have been Dickies, I don't remember. I just remember pouting when I found that every single pair they had hung on hangers about 6 inches above my head, and went to the floor! I'm 5'5" -- not that short, but I guess there isn't a large demand for coveralls for shorter people (AKA women). :-)
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