First Lite Trace Pants Review

Weston Schrank

The First Lite Trace Pants are built for warm weather hunts, such as velvet hunts in Kentucky, spot and stalk antelope hunts in the west, and scouting sessions all summer long.  When the temperatures quickly rose this spring, I grabbed my First Lite Trace Pants and started to put them to the test then a warm day of shed hunting. Shed hunting the hills of public land in Southern Indiana is a great testing ground for lightweight early-season pants.

During the testing process, I found myself working up a sweat, thanks to the changing elevations that we often encounter on remote public land.  In fact, for the first day of testing the First Lite Trace Pants I put in over 9 miles.  Mile after mile, the Trace Pants provided breathability when I needed it most.  

First Lite Trace Pant 

Avid whitetailers in the humid Southeast have been asking us for a solution for truly hot, early-season hunts. We are proud to introduce the Trace System: a Quarter Zip top and Pant purpose-built for hunts when humidity and temperature both crest 90. Constructed with porous yet durable KineticGrid fabric and treated with HeiQ Pure Odor Control Technology, this system offers maximum breathability and odor control in a silent, ultralight, package

Price: $150

  • Tight-knit to deter bugs and prevent punctures in harsh vegetation
  • HeiQ Pure Odor Control and DWR finish combine to provide active temperature and moisture management as well as scent control
  • KineticGrid fabric is durable, quiet, stretchy, and has unmatched breathability and dry times

Features:  First Lite Trace Pant

  • Tight-knit to deter bugs and prevent punctures in harsh vegetation
  • HeiQ Pure Odor Control and DWR finish combine to provide active temperature and moisture management as well as scent control
  • KineticGrid™ fabric is durable, quiet, stretchy, and has unmatched breathability and dry times
  • Top and side entry cargo pockets for ease of entry/use when in a sitting position
  • Dual vents (outer and inner thigh) for maximum airflow and temperature regulation
  • Dual zip rear wallet pockets
  • Integrated knife pocket built into hand pockets 
  • Built-in, low-profile, removable belt (pack hip belt compatible)
  • Articulated fit to promote mobility 
  • Large range of movement provides comfort in high-articulation areas

PROS:

  • Stupid lightweight – might as well not be there

  • The hip vents I very much enjoyed, maximum functional breathability.
  • Cargo side pockets double as more vents – even more breathability.
  • KineticGrid™  means it’s Reinforced here they should be, for such a lightweight hunting pant.

CONS:

  • Haven’t found one yet!

The Results?

During testing, these pants held up as I battled multiflora rose, a hunting pant killer in my neck of the woods. The harsh landscape has destroyed many pants but I had to know if the Trace Pants would have treads pull apart or rip when snagged by multiflora, greenbrier, and blackberry/raspberry bushes. 

Frankly, I was astonished at how well they held up, I think even more impressive with the KineticGrid, durability-wise than some of my previous First Lite pants, such as the Obsidian Merino Pants. The First Lite Trace Pant was a solid addition to my hunting clothing system. 

This year North Dakota and Kentucky should put them to the ultimate test. While they have performed well during my early October hunts in my home state of Indiana frequently, they’ll really shine during those hotter days that the velvet archery whitetail season often brings.

Early Season Hunting Clothing System 

If I were you looking to buy the First Lite Trace Hunting Pats, or even the whole system I would really look to where you are spending your time, or where your home state is. Beyond that, how much time are you hunting in the early season? If it’s minimal, you might be a little better suited for something like the Obsidian Foundry, and outer layer that I will use over the Trace Pant for a longer amount of time into October. I used them with baselayers underneath, then as the day warmed or for my walk out an early season morning hunt the obsidians were perfect for. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for that early season pant for the hottest of hot early-season hunts, seriously look no further, this is it…spend the money. Pair the Trace Pants with the First Lite Wick Quarter Zip and an Aerowool Tech Tee Shirt (review here).  Cooler temperatures to start the morning may require the Kiln Hoody.  Check out all of our First Lite Reviews and Blogs to learn more.

Ready to buy? First Lite sells their clothing directly on their website, as well as at Scheel’s.

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AUTHOR BIO

Weston Schrank is a hunting industry professional with years of whitetail management and hunting experience in the Midwest. He is currently expanding that experience in the mobile hunting world, and the world of western hunting.

Instagram- @wes.schrank

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