NRS makes darn fine gear for running rivers so when I had an opportunity to test a pair of NRS Freefall Dry Pant this past spring and summer I was stoked, to say the least.
NRS Dry pants may actually be overkill for your next river trip as they’re really only needed for cold water. That being said when the water is cold and there’s a chance you might go for a potential life threating swim a reliable, snug fitting pair of dry pants, not waders is just what the doctor ordered.
NRS Freefall Dry Pants Review
The Freefall pants from NRS are designed to be rugged and abrasive resistant thanks to the use of a 70 x 320-denier, 2.5 layer ripstop HyproTex material. If it sounds techy, that’s because it is.
Along with being stout and able to hold up brushing against river rocks the NRS Freefall Dry Pants are waterproof and breathable. If you’re wearing a pair of NRS dry pants and you go for a swim, you’re going to stay dry thanks in part to the attached 4-layer socks, a robust velcro top closure and an 8″ nylon waistband that helps to secure everything in place.
When paired with a dry top this system is 100% waterproof.
NRS reinforced the knees and butt on the Freefall Dry Pant, in areas which are known to have worn out before. I honestly wish I had a second pair to try and cut the material with a knife to test its durability. My guess is that it won’t be easy to cut into these pants.
Pros: Lightweight, waterproof
Cons: Splashproof Pocket is as it says splashproof, not waterproof (my camera got wet inside this pocket after a rescue swim, even when placed inside a secondary splash bag)
The sizing on these pants is a little off via the website. The first pair I ordered ended up being too big. At 5’11 I went with a size large, which was way too big for more. It worked fine on mellow stretches or river but if I was forced to swim there was way too much extra material and bulk especially in the legs.
NRS has a great warranty which I used when I first got these pants and again recently.
I sent them back with no questions asked and NRS replaced them with a Medium that fit me perfectly. One of my friends had the exact same experience when ordering her pants from NRS as well.
NRS Dry Pant Sizing
Recently I also accidentally pulled the nylon waistband out of these pants. So I sent them back to be replaced, again with no questions asked. Even with the missing piece of Nylon, the Freefall Pants still managed to keep water from getting inside thanks to it’s Velcro closure.
The NRS Freefall Dry Pants ($234.95) are the sort of pants you can keep wearing over and over for years to come. They are light enough to pack just about anywhere, offer great waterproofness and that good old NRS quality piece of mind.
Best of all these dry pants will allow you to start your river season earlier and end later, making cold water boating a whole lot more comfortable.