Columbia’s PFG Backcast Nylon Pant: A 5-Star Performer
In South Florida, it can get pretty warm (90°F with 90% humidity) in the Summer months. One of the best ways to steer clear of the sun and stay cool is to wear a lightweight pair of UPF nylon pants. Many manufacturers (i.e. Patagonia, Simms, ExOfficio, etc.) offer UPF pants in polyester and nylon, however Columbia’s PFG Backcast Pant initially felt most comfortable and cool. One of the most appealing features of the pant is its super lightweight nylon. The pant also comes with a UPF rating of 50.
The Backcast nylon pant has an elastic waist band and poly draw-string for closure. I can’t say the small gauge draw-string could do much when the pants get wet, however I’m not going to wait and see. Great part of their design however is the fact they also come with belt loops. I always use a nylon Patagonia belt when out in the water. The belt not only works to keep wet pants up and secure, but also holds various fly-fishing tools (i.e. retractors, nippers, rag, etc.). This particular belt works nicely with the Backcast pant. In the beginning I had some discomfort, as the belt was pressing the draw-string into my hip bone. After I figured out the issue, I removed the draw-string indefinitely. If you want to try wearing the pants with a belt (without the drawstring), but think you may use the drawstring at a later time, here’s a tip: When pulling out the poly draw-string, tie a very thin nylon thread (sail thread) to it and pull it through. Secure the nylon thread to itself, so it won’t pull out when the pants are being used. This thread can be used to pull back in any other draw-string you wish to use at a later date.
Pockets are great as well! Both side pockets have wide openings. Columbia offers only one back pocket (right side) – this pocket has a zipper as seen in the image above. An additional vertical utility pocket is located adjacent to the right-hand pocket along the outside seam.
An inside poly mesh lining comes with this pant. The mesh is a huge contributor to drying out and keeping cool. When it comes to increased air flow or allowing sand to fall away, the mesh really adds to the pant’s functionality.
Light weight nylon pants work very well when in the surf. When fly-fishing in the surf, waves hitting your legs will often throw sand up into your shorts, making your walk home a little more uncomfortable. Great thing about wearing pants out in the surf is the fact you’re more protected.
Columbia’s PFG Backcast Pant is perfect for kayaking, especially when your legs end up 90 degrees to the sun’s rays. Best you have boots, booties, or high-tops however, as the pants will come up a bit (exposing your ankles to the sun) when sitting/ paddling.
Colors & Sizes
Columbia’s PFG Backcast Pant comes in three colors: Fossil, Cypress, and Grill. In addition, the pants come in sizes ranging from Small to XX-Large with in-seams of 30, 32, and 34. For more information from Columbia, visit their PFG Backcast Pant web page.
Finding a Pair
Most fishing stores and retailers offering outdoor gear will have Columbia. West Marine and Bass Pro Shops will offer a sizable selection of Columbia gear. This particular pant is priced at $30 at most retailers and can be found on Amazon sometimes for $24!
Columbia also makes the PFG Backcast Pant in a “convertible” option. Meaning, you have the option to zip off the lower half of each leg to offer you instant shorts. Amazon also offers this convertible pant for a reasonable price.
If you have a great UPF pant solution – by all means, share it with us! Fly Mastery readers are always interested in improving their gear and its functionality…