Welcome to Not a Ninja reviews!
Never believe someone who calls themself a ninja. No true ninja would claim that. I don't consider myself a ninja and I cringe when people call me that. However, I have invested a half decade into learning many of the skills of a ninja. During that time I've accumulated gear, some of which suits my purposes well. I'll share the best gear I've found in case U, too, are not a ninja.
In my quest to find my perfect pair of ninja pants I tried out Mission Workshop's The Mission Jean. I've had them since March 2018 and I've worn them a bit, not a lot.
In order to clarify the platonic ideal against which I will compare the pants I review, I'll define how I imagine the perfect pair of pants would work for me.
Agile: ninja pants allows exceptional range of motion. They don't impede movements like pancakes, splits, rolls, high kicks, high jumps.
Cost-effective or durable: ninja pants either don't cost a fortune, making them easy to replace or they survive intensive activities like parkour, rock climbing, and martial arts practice over and over.
Secure: ninja pants retain pocket contents during inversions such as skin the cat or handstands. They can accomplish this using pocket zippers.
Stealthy: ninja pants look like normal pants. They blend in at an office, in a restaurant, and on the street. They seem inconspicuous but flattering. They stay quiet during movement. They shed fur, hair, and other evidence.
Weatherproof: These pants provide protection from the elements.
Mission Workshop's The Mission Jean
Let's see how these pants have held up.
These pants feature great range of motion, due to the four-way stretch fabric. I feel only the slightest constriction in the crotch when doing butterflies or straddles. In every other range of motion these pants feel great.
A note about fit: I weigh in at around 145 lb at 5'9" and I bought a size 28. These pants look like skinny jeans. I found them rather long so I got them tailored to fit my legs better.
I find this pair of pants pleasant to wear in terms of fit and mobility.
Cost-effectiveness or Durability
This pair of pants costs quite a lot, at $285 USD at the time of writing. They do come with a life time warranty though, and they feel like a tough pair of pants. The fabric holds up well to abrasion incurred through rock climbing and parkour.
I haven't owned these pants for long enough or used them frequently enough to really know whether the durability justifies the price.
These pants retain pocket contents when hanging upside down, rolling, etc. The pants accomplish this in two ways: first, the slim cut combined with the stretchy fabric rubber-band pocket contents to your leg; second, the pockets have rather small entrances.
I like these pants when running because the stuff I carry in my pockets moves with my legs rather than bouncing around.
I rather dislike wearing these pants whenever I have to use my phone, though, so basically always. I have fairly small hands. For instance, I've refused to switch away from the iPhone SE because I prefer the smaller size. Yet The Mission Jean manages to make me feel like I have monstrous gorilla hands that I can just squeeze into my pocket in order to pull out my phone.
Maybe the pocket openings would stretch out a bit with time and make the pockets easier to use. However, I personally haven't had the patience to wait for that and have mostly given up wear this particular pair of pants in favor of several more comfortable and usable pants.
As far as stealth goes, these pants do great. They look like an ordinary pair of skinny jeans and I have no problem wearing these out and about.
The Durable Water Resistance works well to keep these pants dry. It also dries relatively quickly for the bit of water that does stick.
Overall, these pants do great in most criteria. However the pocket design cripples them for my use. I want my items easily accessible and I find it disconcerting to compress my hand as if I intended to fist someone just to pull out my phone.