“Surprisingly water resistance which is always a plus”
My background is a combination of forestry work, felling, and as a climbing arborist covering a period of over 25 years and I currently run a small contracting business engaging in both industries. During my career I have worn a large selection of chainsaw trousers from a range of brands including SIPS, Pfanner, Husqvarna, Stihl, Oregon etc. I predominantly wear type A now, but have years of experience wearing type C.
My initial impression of the ECHO Pro-Tech chainsaw trousers was that they were well designed and constructed, with accurate stitching and constructed from a durable Cordura material. The zips are strong and the pockets well positioned and of a generous size. The chainsaw protection is not overly bulky and with the brand logo on the leg, they certainly look the part. One thing I would caution on when ordering is the sizing. The trousers I received were a medium. This is the size I would usually wear, but compared to other brands the sizing was certainly on the generous side. I could perhaps have even dropped a size. I would certainly recommend trying a pair on at your nearest ECHO dealer in preference to mail ordering.
The cut was okay, allowing for a fair range of movement, however I did struggle when climbing and working on steep slopes where mobility is key. The lack of a formed knee shape meant that an excess of material gathered at the back of my knees, inhibiting the full range of movement. The fabric on the front of the legs does not stretch as much as some that I have worn, which does not help.
In the woods they have performed very well. The resilience of the material means that after over three months of wear they still look in exceptional condition, which for a pair of trousers that retails at £169.94 inc vat is not bad at all. They have provided excellent insulation during the worst of the winter months and are surprisingly water resistance which is always a plus. Unfortunately, as soon the temperature rises, they become excessively warm. I feel that the Pro-Tech trousers would would definitely benefit from zipped air vents to the rear of the thighs or some other form of ventilation.
Although they have strong and functional boot clips, the threat of tick born Lymes disease is becoming a real health issue, so the absence of gaiters means I am reluctant to wear them in rural woodland settings during warmer months. This is something I would certainly like to see addressed in a mark 2 version in the future. Additionally the rear tab designed for braces is either not compatible with my chosen braces or just does not function as intended. Echo have opted for a slightly different set up here, which for me is not wide enough to carry the braces correctly and therefore causes the tab to twist and become uncomfortable. If you remove the braces, the tab still twists and can get caught in the waistband. A more conventional back piece would eliminate both these issues, or simply remove it and place the buttons on the waistband. Perhaps a pair of ECHO braces would change this entirely.
Overall, they are a well made robust and resilient trouser. For me, they are definitely more suited to the winter months due to the points noted above.
I do think they would benefit from a formed knee or material with more give, along with perhaps addressing the functionality of the brace attachments, although I do understand that these changes would probably affect what is a competitive price point.
I have tried to be as impartial as possible with the review, but even with the negatives listed, ECHO have certainly bought a quality pair of trousers to the market, and at an affordable and very competitive price point.