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Olivers Compass Pant Review

While the Olivers Compass Pant looks more techy than advertised, we’re digging the lightweight fabric, elasticated waistband, and zippered pockets.

Our Verdict

7.1 /10
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  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Zippered pockets
  • Elasticated waistband


  • More of a technical aesthetic than advertised
  • Swishy fabric
  • No belt loops
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Technical Details

Full Review

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An adventure pant with style.

That’s how the folks at Olivers advertise their Compass Pants. Not to brag, but we consider ourselves adventurers with style, so this description sounds great to us.

Olivers Compass Pant In Detroit
Olivers Compass Pant In Detroit

But does it hold up? To find out, we’ve put the Olivers Compass Pants to the test. Read on to learn what we’ve uncovered.

Fit, Fabric, & Features

While the Compass Pants are characterized as a city and adventure pant hybrid, they skew toward the latter as far as looks are concerned. We’ve found that their technical, outdoorsy aesthetic feels more at home on trails than at bars. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t wear them for a night out, but you’ll look more sporty than trendy. (Which, maybe, is exactly what you’re going for.)

Olivers Compass Pant Button
Olivers Compass Pant Button

The buttoned fly does give the pants a touch of polish. We’re also digging the three colorways that are available at the time of this review: Military Olive, Blue Steel, and Khaki. Still, the pants definitely feel techy (as comments from family and friends can attest to).

Olivers Compass Pant Material
Olivers Compass Pant Material

This technical look is partially due to the technical fabric—Compass Ripstop Nylon—that the pants are made from. You can see the ripstop grid in the fabric. Ripstop, as its name suggests, is highly tear-resistant, stopping any small rips from spreading into bigger holes. After two weeks of testing, we haven’t experienced any durability issues beyond a few loose threads.

Plus, the fabric super lightweight, breathable, quick-drying, and has an anti-UV coating. It’s also swishy. Now, it’s not too noticeable while you’re wearing the pants. But we’d be remiss not to mention it as some people are sensitive to swishy fabrics. (If you’ve flinched while reading the word swishy then you fall into this category.)

Olivers Compass Pant Stretch
Olivers Compass Pant Stretch

The ripstop nylon is also blended with a small percentage of spandex for stretch. It only has a 2-way stretch—it stretches vertically, not horizontally. Usually, we appreciate pants that feature a 4-way stretch (because we take stretch seriously here). But we think the 2-way stretch works just fine in this case as the pants have a very relaxed fit.

The pants wear loose, especially in the leg region. Note that they’re baggier than the Olivers Passage Pants. And they don’t have a gusseted crotch—which is something we usually prefer—but due to the wide legs and overall design, we’ve found that we aren’t missing it.

Olivers Compass Pant Waistband
Olivers Compass Pant Waistband

We like that there’s an elasticated waistband, as it’s stretchy enough that you can eat to your heart’s content, but you don’t have to worry about your pants falling down while adventuring. Note that there are no belt loops, which is a bummer if you prefer to have the security of a belt.

Olivers Compass Pant Zipper Pocket
Olivers Compass Pant Zipper Pocket

The last features worth discussing are the pockets. On the front, there are two pockets, one on each side, like you’d normally find on most pants. There’s also a zippered pocket on the front left of the pants that’s secured with a YKK self-locking zipper. Inside, there’s a ripstop lining. It’s smaller than an average pocket and more square-shaped. And, due to the low-profile, locking zipper—and the fact that it’s on the front of the pants as opposed to the back—it feels very secure. So, it’s a good spot for items like extra cash, cards, etc.

There’s a second zippered pocket on the back left of the pants, which is also (somewhat) hidden by a fabric welt. It’s a great spot for items that you don’t want to fall out or be pickpocketed—cards, a top-secret letter from a government official, you know, the usual stuff.

Olivers Compass Pant Back Pockets
Olivers Compass Pant Back Pockets

The final pocket—on the back right—is a regular, open pocket. It’s a good spot for a phone (if you like to put your phone in a back pocket) or other like items.

Olivers Compass Pant In Detroit
Olivers Compass Pant In Detroit

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Stretchy waistband makes for a comfortable fit but no belt loops if you need them
  • Durable materials and construction
  • Material is a little bit crinkly, kinda feels like a swimsuit, but would probably be very water-resistant
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Good

  • Seeing a couple of loose threads after more use

    Olivers Compass Pant Loose Threads
    Olivers Compass Pant Loose Threads
  • They’re slightly swishy while walking around, but not too bad—hardly noticeable
  • The pants fit quite loose and the waistband has been nice for flexibility. A gusseted crotch isn’t really necessary with this type of design
  • The look of these trends more technical and outdoorsy, and comments from friends and family have matched
2 Months of Use

Condition: Good

The waistband is starting to feel a little loose and pants aren’t as secure as they used to be. Not sure if it’s stretched out, or we’ve become skinnier, but either way, it’s another reminder that there’s no drawstring to tighten or belt loops to hold them up.

By Tom Wahlin
Created August 6, 2020 • Updated November 22, 2022
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