Roger Bisby tries the CAT Floor Layer Flex trousers.
‘Stretch’ seems to be the new buzz word in work trousers. Like so many innovations it seems obvious once it has been thought of, and I am left wondering why it wasn’t done years ago. It can’t be that fabrics such as Elastane and Spandex have only just arrived on the scene.
Women have been wriggling in and out of them for years, but for some reason workwear manufacturers have only recently cottoned onto the potential of trousers that give in all the right places as you move and bend. Before that all the emphasis was on stitching that was so tough it would prevent you bursting your britches.
These CAT trousers have double rather than triple stitching and rely on stretch panels, and even a diamond shaped stretch crotch gusset, to give you the extra room and ease the strain. A lot has gone into the design and they have some unique features. As the name suggests they are all about kneeling and, though the name suggests they are for floor layers, they are also ideal for plumbers and electricians.
The knee panels are tough with Kevlar to resist nails, screws and gripper rods and they are also waterproof, so if you are screeding they will prevent it soaking in. That bulk could build up a bit of a sweat, but the FE Airflex (TM) at the back helps to move the moisture out.
There are also two positions for the kneepads, which is achieved simply by choosing the standard or the deep pocket, which moves the pads further down the leg. I like kneepads that are easy to put in and take out and you will be hard pressed to find any that are easier than these top loaders.
There are all the usual pockets, including holster pockets, than can be tucked in. The holster pockets are made of some very tough material, again to resist nails and screws from puncturing them. There is also a ruler pocket, even though we don’t use rulers on UK sites, and there is a hammer loop, which is not something that I see a floor layer getting much use from.
I guess that all these features are stitched onto every pair of work trousers regardless, but the one I can’t see is that dedicated pocket for your phone. There are plenty of pockets you could choose from but in this day and age a padded phone pocket is something that all workwear manufacturers should include.
That small detail aside there is still a lot to like about these trousers, and not just for floor layers but for all kinds of trades. If you are a roofer, for example, kneeling on battens all day long, the super-tough knee panels will be right up your street.