Railcar Fine Goods is not that far from where I live, especially by California standards. Even with traffic, I can usually get there in under an hour. I have been there many times for events and hang-outs and I have had many pairs of jeans and trousers hemmed there. My brother owns a pair of their black Spikes jeans and I have recommended their products many times. They even were kind enough to host Goto-San of White Kloud for a fitting event in early December. Despite all of this, until recently, I owned nothing from Railcar. The biggest reason for this was that all of their trousers and denim cuts were too slim for me. After talking with Steven, the founder and owner of RFG, I learned that I could get a semi-custom pair for a small upcharge. Soon after in early fall, I ordered their two pack flight trousers in both caramel and seaweed green.
To be clear, this method of size adjustment is not as extensive as a fully custom pair of jeans from a maker such as Viapiana. However, they also do not cost as much as that either so it works for me. What I did was choose which top block I wanted and then got to customize the leg measurements (thighs, knee, leg opening, inseam.) I went with a size 35 top block even though I knew I would be losing weight because I wanted a higher rise and widened the legs significantly to fit my preferred style as I personally find the normal Railcar flight trouser fit to be far too slim. It worked out well in my opinion and the measurements are as follows:
Front Rise: 12”
Back Rise: 16.5”
Leg Opening: 8.75”
The fit is overall pretty darn good. In a perfect world, it would have a higher rise, but this is definitely good enough for me. The waist is now quite loose on me, but that is because I ordered these trousers when I was nearly 30 pounds heavier and because I wanted the higher rise. A big plus is that Railcar nailed my specified leg measurements and I think the trousers look great with my more vintage inspired wardrobe. Keep in mind that this is not the standard silhouette of the flight trouser, which is slimmer and more tapered.
The fabrics of both of these trousers are fairly nice, but neither are the most amazing fabrics I have ever handled. Being duck, they are both slightly crisp, but not overly stiff and have already softened a bit with wear. They are not too heavy at 12oz. This is a practical fabric. If you are into interesting and super detailed fabrics, these are not for you. The fabric is good quality, but nothing for texture nerds to obsess over. What I really love about both of these fabrics is the color of each. The rich caramel brown is a little bit less orange than most duck fabrics and the seaweed green is a wonderfully unique and beautiful color. To my eye, it is essentially an olive green that is a little bit darker and a little more green than a standard olive drab and it looks perfect paired with brown and ecru.
The most disappointing aspect of these trousers is the pocket bag fabric. I am not sure exactly what this material is that is used, but it feels cheap and synthetic. It may well be 100% cotton, but either way, it is thin and feels low quality. The hardware is all thankfully much higher quality and though I personally prefer button flys, there is no doubt that the zipper fly is quicker to operate and the YKK zipper is easy and smooth to operate.
The details of construction on these flight trousers are sufficient, but nothing over the top and I like that. Not everything needs to be packed full of details and features. These trousers include a zip fly, slash front pockets, Railcar branded fly button, uniquely shaped back exterior pockets, fabric patch, and bar tacking on the pockets instead of hidden rivets. The belt loops are also tucked into the waistband and the stitching used is poly. These features along with the duck fabric should make for a fairly hard wearing pair of trousers.Personally, I really like the shape of the back pockets with their unique curves and slight angle. I already am happy that they have slash pockets at the front as these are vastly easier to use than regular jeans pockets. The front and back pockets help distinguish these from being “chinos” that are just jeans with a different fabric and I really like that.
Construction on these is good. I found no major issues at all on either pair. The stitch count is not the highest, but it is not super low either. The stitching is overall good and there are no major wonky stitches, but there are some examples of less than perfect stitching, such as on the back pocket shown below. I would not say it is at the level of brands such as RJB and Stevenson Overall Co, but it is still quite good and there are no mistakes or causes for concern in terms of the durability. There are no loose or superfluous threads and the bartacking is done neatly. Railcar manufactures their flight trousers completely in house like they do with all of their products and the quality shows. These pants are not at the highest levels of Japanese and one man maker levels of perfection, but they seriously well made, especially for the price.
As I said before, I really love the colors of these fabrics. The caramel/camel duck fabric is slightly less orange than most brown duck fabrics, but it still has that unique caramel color that looks absolutely perfect when paired with an indigo denim jacket. These trousers do not really work well with my brown leather jackets, but they look so good with denim jackets that I don’t care. The seaweed green color is the real standout, however. There are so many shades of “olive” that nobody really knows what color olive is anymore. This darker, greener version of olive looks fantastic. It is quite rich, but not overly saturated in color and is still in the olive family rather than being a straight forest green.
These trousers look good with denim jackets, though not as great as the caramel duck ones do. What I got them for, however, was to wear with my leather jackets and in this application, they look brilliant. My favorite outfit combination is a brown leather jacket, an ecru shirt or henley/T shirt, olive trousers, and a pair of brown boots that matches the shade of brown of the jacket. This is how I have been wearing these seaweed flight trousers and I could not be happier with how they look in this application.
It is now time to bring price back into the equation. The flight trousers sell for $168 and if you buy a set of these two colors, you get an additional 15% off which for a final price of $285.60 which I think is a pretty good price for two pairs of trousers. Also, as far as I know, this is a continuous offer and not a short term promotion either, which is nice to have. If you absolutely have to have more details and a more complex fabric, then you should look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for some solid trousers that are not just another pairs of chinos in great colors (one of which is quite unique) that are well made completely in house in California, I would suggest taking a look at these.