First things first - $25 is an outstanding price for these pants.
If they fit you, you really can't beat them. Therein lies the first problem. The fit is a little funky. I find the thighs a bit slimmer than normal compared proportionally to the waist and leg. So if you're a trim cut you'll like the thighs but the rest of the pants may seem bulky.
Then there are the pockets. I love cargo pockets...just not on the FRONT of my leg. The actual front pockets... they are HUGE and reach ALL THE WAY TO THE KNEE. And then there's that cargo pocket on top of it to boot.
There are quite a few different production runs of the Paramount Peak pants from TNF floating around I personally own 4 pair purchased from Cabela's last year for $34.99 each. I haven't looked at the ones at REI ever but the ones I have from Cabela's, the material seems top notch. It's much thicker than the REI Sahara pants or Columbia Silver Ridge pants and also feels more durable.
As for the seat busting out? I haven't had a problem with either of the two pairs I've been using lately. To give you an idea of the torture mine go through, you should know that I weigh over 300lbs. I wear the 3XL size in these pants which I've only seen available at Cabela's. The legs are definitely snug on my thighs when I'm sitting and I've never had a problem with the seams blowing or any stitching problems for that matter. The zippers have been flawless. They are a little small, so just keep them clean and you'll be fine. I have also fallen in these pants while backpacking at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I tripped on rock and landed on my knee in these pants and you can't even tell they smoked the limestone anywhere in the knee! Not a scratch! They've won me over quality wise.
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