Discussing the design of Pockets:

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Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
I usually wear 5.11 Taclites, and rate the pocket system despite the odd coin ending up in my sleeping bag. But I've recently bought a pair of Ridgeline troos. The cargo pockets are ok, but the hip pockets are hopeless, so shallow that I can't fit my hand in fully, and shed all my change, lighter, torch etc as I sink into my chair by the fire.

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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Don't buy Wrangler denim jeans for pockets. Excellent fit but both front and back pockets are only 4" deep.

Carhartt coats have cavernous pockets that you can use easily with heavy, insulated gloves on.
Sneaky chest pockets with side zip entry = left pocket is for your right hand, etc.


Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
I'm a fan of the zipped envelope chest pocket on smocks. Very handy to have the camera lanyard around your neck and drop it into the pocket. When camping, it's a head torch pouch.


Jan 6, 2017
Here There & Everywhere
Ah, yes - pockets on outdoor trousers.
I did find the Helikon SFUs good because the opening of the pocket was more horizontal (well, less diagonal) than on most and the pockets themselves were deep.
But I always find myself going back to Craghopper Kiwis for one simple reason: the zips on the pockets. Admittedly they're not the deepest pockets (though not shallow either - more 'average'), but the zip makes up for it and gives you confidence that everything is in there securely. They are now available in a great colour called 'dark moss' but what we'll probably think of as a slightly darker coyote tan. Love 'em.

I'm a fan of the zipped envelope chest pocket on smocks. Very handy to have the camera lanyard around your neck and drop it into the pocket.

I do exactly the same! Even a bridge camera drops in the 'kangaroo pocket' (as I like to call it).


May 11, 2009
Tennis Town
Lanyard, lanyard, lanyard...

I make mine from cheap commercial "paracord". Loop sewn at one end, nappy safety pin at the other. Enables quick, secure attachment to anything except waterproofs. Wallet, SA knife and torch always attached to a loop inside my rucksack pocket - sometimes the same principle with pockets on clothing.


I hope my mate Neill doesn't read this - he'll be ranting on about it all day when I next see him. I've lost count how much money he's wasted on outdoor clothing that might be ideal except for one or two design faults. Some so stupid, they defy belief: obviously designed for fashion, not so functional for proper outdoor pursuits. Worn once then left at home forever more.

After numerous discussions this year, we've come to the conclusion that there's a conspiracy amongst the high street outdoor clothing manufacturers. Lots of fashionable stuff with design flaws. EG: a brand might make a perfect fleece - but with a design flaw that they don't repeat in other models. When their top-of-the-range items DON'T have these obvious flaws, it suggests that, if you're discerning, they're forcing you to fork out more for a higher priced model in their range.

Most of their items are fine for people who are seeking the "wilderness adventure" look they see on TV. For so many, the flaws MIGHT be a small inconvenience, no more. To us, it can have a significant negative impact.

Also, items may not be so well made as outdoors clothing needs to be. The small flaws plus this detail suggests to me that they want you to buy a replacement next year/season. Either because the clothing's become damaged or because you're so fed up of the flaw...

Personally, I'm not very knowledgeable on the latest clothing/kit: I don't mean to tar ALL outdoor brands with the same brush. I'm really talking about the more affordable clothing I see in the high street outdoors shops.

Personally, I stick to the military clothing with which I'm familiar - and I dye it. Sometimes, I modify them first - a favourite mod over decades is to buy 2 jungle shirts and sew the chest pockets of one to below the waist of the other to make a "safari" style lightweight jacket.

That said, MOST of the time I casually go out, it's in whatever I pick up from my bedroom, not necessarily outdoors clothing.
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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
I got so fed up with the design of outdoor clothing that I spent two years as a Mature Student doing a Fashion Design course. I now design and make a large proportion of my own clothing.
The brand of clothing I will happily buy is 5.11 - they seem to make some really comfortable, long lasting and well featured clothing - I love the pockets on their shirts!


Jul 8, 2008
I tend to wear a mix of 5.11 and Rohan kit. Some Rohan trousers have an inner zipped pocket inside the main pocket, great for keeping cash. Jacket wise the Paramo jackets I have do seem to have a sensible pocket layout, the newer shooting orientated ones with the big bellows pockets look good for the type of stuff I do, but too many ££ for me at the moment. The stuff I have mainly came from the big factory shop sales.
Jul 31, 2013
Don't buy Wrangler denim jeans for pockets. Excellent fit but both front and back pockets are only 4" deep.

Good to know. I used to buy M&S jeans but stopped when they reduced the depth of the front pockets. I don't understand why they would do it. How much material can it be saving?

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