Review: Kitanica PNT.X.A
I’m gonna say right up front that I love these trousers. My first impressions, based on what I saw when they first came out, were that this was a wicked design – and quite possibly the ultimate all-round tactical trouser. A now a few months later on, and after having had the opportunity to wear a pair quite a bit, and I’m still of that opinion.
The first thing that you might notice when you look at these trousers is the pocket layout – and for good reason. For one thing, the way the pockets are designed and laid out are definitely unique and innovative – and secondly, they immediately look like they mean business and that they’d certainly help you get the job done.
As you start to take a closer look, you start to notice other, intriguingly subtle details; like the way that the grab tabs on the pocket flaps are of a tunnel design so that you can slip your fingers in for a firmer grip, or the way that the flaps on slash-pockets can be folded in and secured in order to provide easy and rapid access to the pocket contents if desired.
Or maybe it’s the articulation on the knee patches, or the expandable rear-seat cargo/dump pockets.
Or maybe even Kitanica’s discrete “bug” logo woven directly into the fabric on the right thigh.
At any rate, there is lots of good stuff, but is there anything which is not so great about these trousers? Well yes, there were a couple of things that I was slightly disappointed by. The first thing was the rather old-fashioned BDU-style waist adjustment tabs. These things actually date back to the 1950’s, and they can be quite uncomfortable as well as inefficient, so you’ve got to wonder why Kitanica didn’t come up with a more modern or innovative solution. The second thing is that the 500D Cordura nylon knee patches don’t open in order to insert foam pads. This is such a common “must have” feature of modern tactical clothing that I did wonder why Kitanica didn’t include it.
When I raised these points with the guys at Kitanica they said that they were already looking into several other possible solutions for the waist adjustment requirement, and that the knee patch thing was literally a last-minute production decision to avoid making the trousers more expensive. They did agree though that knee pads are a bit of necessity, so they’re looking at ways they can accommodate this feature in a Gen.II version – whilst (hopefully) keeping the price the same.
Okay, what’s it like to actually wear and use these trousers? Well, in a word, awesome. The fit is fantastic, the pocket arrangement really works well (both in the way that they’re placed and in the way they hold things), and I love all the little details that really add something extra to the user experience. On that last point, things like the mesh lining in the crotch area, the heavy duty snaps used on the fly, the fold-in flaps on the hip pockets and the tunnel design on the cargo pocket flaps (for a better grip) are all things that I really like.
Another feature that I really like is that because the cargo pockets are located on the back of the thigh rather than the side. This means they carry your load more comfortably and there’s also less risk of your cargo pockets getting snagged on stuff means you can manoeuvre through tight spaces.
The final feature I want to highlight is the zip accessed pocket on the front of the right thigh area. As soon as I saw this feature I was excited (yes, sad as it is, I do actually get excited by such things). It reminded me of the forward-placed map pockets of the WWII British / Commonwealth Battle Dress and camouflaged wind-proof uniforms. Having spent some time wearing these uniforms as a WWII re-enactor I discovered just how handy and useful such pockets can be.
The Kitanica version brings this design concept bang-up-to-date and replaces your need to buy and wear a separate knee-board carrier or map/document pouch. And the robust chunky zipper makes accessing the pocket dead easy and very reliable. The only downside to these front-thigh pockets is that they’re not long enough to accept an A5-sized notebook – which is a bit of a bummer for European users. So I hope Kitanica will address this design issue as well.
But in the final analysis, despite these niggles, the PNT X.A is a rather special breed of tactical / cargo trousers – and in my opinion they rock!
The PNT X.A is now available in khaki as well as black, and hopefully Kitanica will be offering it in camouflage patterns soon as well (now, MultiCam or PenCott? Or both?)
On a final point, I’m hoping that Kitanica will also produce a tactical shirt to match these trousers as well.
You can see the entire Kitanica range at www.kitanica.net
Footnote: several of the photos I took for this article didn’t turn out, so I’ve used a few from Kitanica to illustrate some of the features I refer to.
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- 17/10/2010 / 20:47