Jon Valentinewrote a review of 686 Authentic Smarty Cargo 3-In-1 Pant - Men's on January 21, 2016
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
So this is my SECOND pair of 686 Smarty 3 in 1 pants. This time I got the Duck Pincord in Large. I will back up a bit and say I also bought the Army Texture Smarty Cargos in Large from BC 2 seasons ago, which are my all time favorite snow pants of all time, and I have owned quite a few! I purchased these from Backcountry because BC is second to none with fast shipping and customer service. I wanted a second pair to use at work (I work in Powersports) due to the fact I am out in the snow and wet all the time, and didnt want to ruin my Army Texture 686 pants. That being said, here is my 2 cents.......
I did not see these in person. I only went off the BC site and the 686 site. I thought the Duck Pincord would actually be a soft corduroy fabric. It appeared to be in close up pictures on the 686 site. IT IS NOT. My bad. Although it looks like it from a distance, it is actually smooth material like any snow pant. I was disappointed, but not enough to return them. I specifically got the brown in case I rubbed up against something, or got dirty. The Army Texture IS a soft texture fabric, which is really sturdy. 686 if you are listening, bring back the texture!
Now the bigger downsides. My Army pants have two buttons above the zipper fly, along with velcro to hold it securely. Although the 686 pictures for THESE pants show the velcro, the pair I received DID NOT have it! AND, only one button to secure above the fly. I have to wear a belt to feel like the pants wont fall down. Hmmmmmm.
Although I love 686 added cordura hem reinforcement to the back cuff, the inseam on these pants are shorter than my original ones. Both pants are the same exact size, but these do not hang to the bottom of my boot which I like. And they changed the ghetto slit from the inside of the leg to the outside. I liked it better on the inside.
My last gripe is the inside material on the outer shell. On the original it is a beefy thick material. On these it is a chincy thin ripstop. No biggie, but a difference.
So overall, it seems 686 dropped the ball a bit. New versions of clothing should be an improvement over the previous design. I wonder if they were bought out or switched manufacturing processes and/or facilities.
I will say I do like the design of the 686 Smarty Cargo, they look good, these from a short distance or more. They are very warm. They block snow. And I still have yet to get wet. They do their job. So I like them enough to live with the shortcomings. But 686, if you are listening, bring back the ones from 2 seasons ago!