Mountain Hardwear: For more than a decade, Richmond-based Mountain Hardwear has been my go-to supplier for camping-and-backpacking clothing and gear. They sell pants for every outdoor activity anywhere. In 2002, I bought a pair of Mountain Hardwear pants to wear on the John Muir Trail. Hundreds of backpacking miles later, I still have those pants. They’re faded and a bit frayed, but they don’t have a single tear.
Patagonia: With Ventura-based Patagonia, you get what you pay for. What you pay is a lot. What you get is exactly what you want. Patagonia’s gear and clothing looks great, it works perfectly, and it is manufactured as ethically and sustainably as reasonably possible. Patagonia makes pants for every outdoor activity, from backpacking to rafting to hiking to skiing. I do not yet own any Patagonia pants. But I do own a broad cross-section Patagonia clothing and gear, all of which may very well last me forever.
North Face: Alameda-based North Face makes pretty much everything an outdoors-enthusiast could want, including pants outdoors-wear pants. Judging by everything I’ve bought from North Face so far, they probably make their outdoors-wear pants really well.