Lululemon vs. Outlier vs. Western Rise vs. Myles + whole lot more! We didn't call this the mega pants review for nothing. Let's dive into the best Men's Jean Alternative Pants...
Mega Pants Review: Why are you staring at a giant stack of pants? I recently came across the Lululemon Tech Canvas Pants (and read our Luulemon "jeans" review) and was immediately intrigued (I love their ABC Pants, read our ABC Pants Review) by finding a perfect alternative to jeans.
That sent me down an internet rabbit hole, like most things. I came across a wide variety of jean alternatives, ranging for Outlier to Myles to even a viable option that only cost $19.99 at Costco. Yes, that Costco.
Curious about what I find out to be the best Jean Alternative? Read on!
Table of Contents
- Mega Pants Review Video
- Best Jean Alternatives: What was the criteria?
- Meet the Jean Alternatives Contenders
- Best Overall Value: English Laundry 365 Pants
- Best Looking (and 2nd best value): Everlane Performance Chinos
- Looking for something different? Myles Tour Pant
- Lululemon Tech Canvas - The Pants that started it all
- Avoid these pants at all cost!
- What She Says - The Voice of Mrs. We Tried It
- The Verdict - What's the ;TLDR?
Best Jean Alternative - What was I looking for?
I was looking for four primary features when looking at the best Jean Alternative:
- Lightweight: Sometimes jeans can be a bit heavy and weigh down on you. I wanted to find a jean alternative that was lighter.
- Stretchy: I like pants that are stretchy. If they aren't too stretchy, they are still comfortable and look decent.
- Breathable: Sometimes it just gets hot in the summer and I wanted to find a jeans alternative that was a little cooler.
- A True Jean Alternative: I also wanted to find a jean alternative that could really pass as a jean alternative, meaning I could wear a button up, t-shirt or polo shirt with the jean alternative.
Best Jean Alternatives: Meet the Contenders
As I mentioned, I first started this epic tour of jean alternatives after seeing the Lululemon Tech Canvas pants. Let's meet the contenders:
Lululemon Tech Canvas
Stretchy, Comfy, but not great jean alternatives
Everlane Performance Chino
Great overall pants - not as stretchy as some of the others
Myles Tour Pant
The biggest surprise of the group! A great overall pant.
The Best Jean Alternative Categories
English Laundry 365 Pant - Best Overall Value Jean Alternative
Call me super surprised here. I'm shocked that the best overall pant for the price was the English Laundry 365 Pant. I had already finished the video review and then came across these pants at Costco. Yes, THAT Costco.
These have the look and feel of the more expensive Lululemon Tech Canvas (and without the back leg seam!) at a fraction of the price! Made of 64% Cotton | 34% Polyester | 2% Spandex, the English Laundry 365 Pants are full of technology. Breathable, moisture-wicking Sorbtek technology keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable.
They look slightly more dressy than jeans. The Lululemon Tech Canvas Pants may have been 2% more comfortable, but they did not look dressy at all!
Even better, if you don't have a Costco Membership, you can buy the English 365 Pant on Amazon.
Everlane Performance Chino - Best Looking, Best Value
Everlane makes great clothes (get our Everlane Promo Code). We love a lot of their products. They make incredibly high quality clothes at great prices. The Everlane Performance Chinos are no different.
Unlike some of the other products on the list (especially the Lululemon Tech Canvas and Western Rise), if you look close, the pants may look really technical (ie "Not real pants"). No one will ever think that the Everlane Performance Chinos are technical, they simply look clean and classic.
If you want your pants to have a ton of stretch, these are probably not the right pants. They are 94% Cotton, 6% Elastane. Everlane probably put it best on their website: Performance chinos: Great in theory, but most are too crinkly, too tech-y, and too expensive. They hit the nail on the head with these Chinos. They are comfortable, stylish, simple and a great value at $68!
Myles Tour Pant - Best if you are looking for something different or hitting the golf course
Myles Apparel is one of my all-time favorite men's brands. Placed somewhere between Lululemon and Outlier, they are a good blend of technical, wearable and clean looks. For more information, see my Myles vs. Olivers Review and our Myles Promo Code, also be sure to read our full Tour Pants Review.
One of the first things you'll notice about the Myles Tour Pant is the sizing. They only come in Small, Medium, Large, XL and XXL. There is no waist or length to pick from. I thought this would be a major negative at first, but Myles offers free hemming for this very reason.
The pants remind me the most of Lululemon ABC Pants - with a little more stretch and a smoother material.
To me, these were the biggest surprise of the whole bunch. I didn't know what to expect (I'll probably write a full Myles Tour Pant Review shortly), but these were awesome! I really pictured wearing them out to the Golf Course (if I golfed). They didn't look like Yoga pants but they were super comfortable. They have a ton of stretch and look really great. The blue is a very vibrant blue, which I really liked, too. They also are available in other, more subdued colors.
Read our full Myles Tour Pants Review.
Lululemon Tech Canvas ABC Pant - Best Casual Alternative to Jeans
As I mentioned in the Jean Alternative Video - the Lululemon Tech Canvas ABC Pant was the whole reason I went down this rabbit hole to find the best Jean Alternative. The Lululemon Tech Canvas pants are great under one condition: You don't need to wear them with a dress shirt. Read the full lululemon tech canvas review.
The Lululemon Tech Canvas pants simply don't look dressy enough to wear with anything other than t-shirts, Henley's or Polo Shirts. They would, however, look great with a pair of Allbirds (read our Allbirds review) and Mizzen + Main Polos (or Henley's) or Buck Mason Shirts (another company we need to post a full review of).
Bottom line: the Tech Canvas pants were the most comfortable pants we tested in this round. However, the high price ($135) and marginal comfort gain didn't allow them to take the top spot.
Located just behind the knees on every Lululemon ABC Pants is this hem line. I believe it is there to help the pants keep their form. In reality, if you are walking, you can't see this line unless you are looking really hard. It's almost a nod-generating hem line that makes you want to give someone else the approval: I know you wear some dang comfortable pants.
What pants to stay away from
I really disliked the Western Rise Pants, in particular the Slim Rivet Pants. These were my least favorite pants of them all. I kept seeing Facebook Ads for Western Rise and I was really, really curious.
The long and short of it: these were the worst of them all. Be on the lookout for anything with a large ammount of Nylon. These produce the "swoosh" factor that makes many men cringe: the sound you can hear from a mile away of two legs rubbing together. HARD PASS.
In all fairness, I reached out to Western Rise and told them my complaints. They wanted me to try their Chinos and I hope to try them out very soon.
Outlier Slim Dungarees
I also tried out Outlier Slim Dunagrees. I tell you what - they do a great job of selling their product. Every product description makes you belive that if you wear them, you will become 10 years younger and be able to scale skyskrapers with a single bound. I will say this: the product is amazing. However, I simply didn't like the style. I will write a longer Outlier Review in the near future, too. The short version is: Amazing fabric and craftmanship, but you have to fit their style.
The Slim Dunagrees look like work pants. Like something you could wear in the oil field (and they are strong enough that you probably could), however, that's not my style. I was trying them on for Mrs. We Tried It and she said, "What are you doing? Going to a construction site?" That's all I needed to hear.
Hill City Everyday Pant
There wasn't anything wrong with these pants, however, there wasn't anything amazing either. These pants were slightly cheaper than Lululemon, but didn't offer anything worth writing to you about. The Hill City Everyday Pant Slim was a good overall pant. I'd stay away from the Hill City Everyday Pant Tech Slim - just because it has a lot of "swoosh" when moving around.
If you are considering purchasing something from Hill City: DO IT. Their returns program is incredible. You can return their product for any time for any reason. Even worn. It's one fo the best return policies I've ever seen. If you're curious - give 'em a shot!
A Note From Mrs. We Tried It
To be honest with you, a lot of these pants looked the same. From a looks perspective, the Everlane Chinos were my favorite. They are simple and clean. They don't look techy at all. I have a ton of Everlane clothes and love them!
I'd stay away from the Outlier Pants (they look like construction-site pants), the Western Rise Pants (EW!) and the Hill City Everyday Tech Pant (the tech pant looked terrible, the regular Everyday Pant looked fine).
Jean Alternative: The Verdict
Whew! This was a long one. Thanks for hanging in there. The long and short of it is: there are a ton of options. For the best value: go with the English Laundry 365 Pants. For the most classic style, go with Everlane. For something different try Myles Tour Pant. For the most comfortable, but most casual, go with the Lululemon Tech Canvas.