Massif Battle Ax Combat Pant (Soft Shell)

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Massif Battle Ax Combat Pant (Soft Shell)

Post  Gear Whores Anonymous on Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:44 am

Massif has been making combat apparel for some time now. They've been the main supplier of combat shirts to the U.S. Army for many years. I have their combat shirts myself and absolutely love them. They definitely make a quality product but for some reason have been under the radar on the civilian side. Reason why is I'm guessing is the price point. Their military line is all FR and those materials can prove quite costly. However, responding to the demand Massif has started a new "civilian" or "non-FR" line. This was started with the launch of their ITJ jacket. Having CB visit their booth at the 2012 Shot Show they informed us of an entire new product line, from shirts to pants.

After browsing their site I immediately took notice to their "Battle Ax Combat Pants". They are a soft shell, water resistant, and stretch pant. I like the materials they use in both their combat shirts and ITJ so I went ahead and got myself a pair.

Product page:
http://www.massif.com/civilian/new-2012/battle-ax-combat-pant.html

Notable features (from the manufacturer):
-Stretch-woven canvas fabric is extremely abrasion resistant
-DWR finish for water resistance
-Gusseted crotch improves mobility
-Double fabric knee panel and double needle stitching for exceptional durability
-Rigger belt compatibility /seven belt loops for lots of gear
-Shaped waist offers improved fit
-Extra deep hand pockets for more storage
-Fabric reinforcement in front pocket for knives
-Rear seat security pockets have easy-to-use zippers
-Rear pocket flaps lay down flat without pressing


First thing I did was compare the color to the ITJ, it's a perfect match. I like how the ITJ is a 2-tone brown. This makes wearing both not appear so much like a "Canadian" tuxedo.


Front view of the pant. A lot of small details to get into.


Closeup of the waist and belt loops. Note the wider and larger belt loops. This accommodates a larger variety of combat belts. Also note the button closure.


Closeup view of the hand pockets. Note that they added a thicker tab for your knife. This is fantastic in the sense that your knife clip won't put excess wear on the pant, however, with my ZT knife I noticed that the tab is a bit too large making it sometimes harder to clip the knife. Also unlike the Vertx pant putting the knife in this position can hurt your hand when reaching in your pocket. I think the tab should be as low as possible.


Pictured with knife.


Like I mentioned above, the pant is closed via a traditional button. No problem there as the button is reinforced on. The pant features a zipper fly. I personally hate the button fly, when I need to go I NEED TO GO. Also note that they didn't go the YKK zipper route. Still brand name zippers nonetheless. You can often tell if it's a cheap zipper if there is no company logo. I figure if you don't put your logo on the product you're probably not proud of it. Even something as small as a zipper I'm glad they used a brand name zipper.


On to the side of the pant. First thing you'll notice is that the pockets are sideways. Strange? I thought so to until I started wearing it. I noticed that it was quite natural to access my pockets with them angled that way. I also love how they have flaps that cover the zippers, low profile and keeps them protected.


Closer shot of the side pocket.


This shot reveals the tan zipper and rubber pull tab. High quality tab complete with Massif logo. Pockets are also quite large and accommodate a large variety of items.


Closeup of the zipper and tab. Tab has a nice texture and fantastic grip. Zipper moves flawlessly.


On to the rear of the pant. Just like the Vertx pants these feature a higher back keeping your "crack" hidden from the world.


Closeup, notice the reinforced butt area. This continues to the crotch area.


The rear pockets are zip shut and the flaps keep everything low profile. The Massif patch logo is a nice finishing touch. Like I said, proud of your product? Slap a logo on it. I feel it.


This shot reveals the zipper. Tan zipper with no pull tab. A tab is not needed on the rear pockets as it adds to much bulk and the back pockets move horizontally versus vertically. I like how both the back and cargo pockets are zip shut. Everything stays put.


Quick glimpse of the stitching. Pant is extremely well put together and everything that needs to be reinforced, is.


Front of the pant turned inside out. Note the large pockets, plenty of space. The black material on the knees are for knee pads. I like how they integrated this on the inside of the pant. Keeps the front much more low profile. They accommodate a large variety of pads. I used a spare set of pads I got from TAD for these.


Shot of the drawstring, what combat pant is complete without them?


Back shot inside out. Note the large pockets as well.


The Massif tag with sizing. I like how they have these available in actual pant sizes, makes for a better fit. The S, M, L, standard never fits right. Made in Bangladesh. Odd is I don't see many items made there.


Care instructions.


On the other side is a spare button.


For the final test as I do with anything that claims to be water proof or resistant. I drop water on it. Secured the pant like a hammock and dropped a bowl of water on it.


Side by side as I emptied the bowl of water onto to the pant.


Now that's a large puddle. I could drink from this if I wanted to. The water is repelled quite nicely and just sits there. No water penetration.


Closeup shot of the water drops after I dumped off the large puddle. You can see that only some of the threads on the stitching absorbed water. Fantastic DWR treatment on these.


Some final thoughts on these. The $130 price point is quite good for what you get. A let down for me, as always, it isn't made here domestically. I mean I know Massif has the means to do it but like many clothing companies in order to compete have to outsource it. With that being said though at least they keep it at a reasonable price point. Another thing I found strange is that they don't offer these in Multicam. Being a combat pant I would assume they are also marketing these persons in "combat". My take on it is that they probably don't want to interfere with their FR sales or have Armed Forces personnel use the non-FR items and get hurt. Either way there is a big demand for Multicam whether is be airsofters, tactical shooters, and well gear whores.

Overall I have to admit I love these pants. They are extremely comfortable and if you've had to be in your trousers for long periods of time comfort is a big deal. You can tell they put some time in design and overall layout. They simply didn't just make another run of the mill combat pant.

Pros:
-Price
-Available in, BK, OD, Tan, Navy
-Very water resistant
-Well designed and made
-Available in standard pant sizes instead of only S, M, L, etc.

Cons:
-Not made in the USA
-No Multicam?
-Awkward knife tab placement


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