“Really Cool, Well-Traveled” John Flinn on the Dorky Zip-Off Pant

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.10.06 | 5:49 PM ET


It’s one of the great questions of our time: Is the zip-off travel pant simply dorky—end of story—or is dorky but also useful? The topic reared its oh-so-unfashionable head in John Flinn’s column in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Flinn dipped into the mail bag to share feedback on a recent piece he wrote with tips on packing light. In that column, Flinn recommended packing zip-off pants, but afterward, one reader wrote in, remembering that Flinn had once called the pants “dorky.” As the reader put it in an e-mail: “I often wear such pants on trips during the summer, feeling dorky knowing what the really cool, well-traveled John Flinn thinks of them. What am I to think now?” That poor, confused reader. Fortunately, Flinn clarified his position on Sunday. “Actually, I called them ‘dorky but useful,’” he writes. “I wear them in shorts mode most of the time and convert them into longs if weather, bugs or poison oak dictate. And besides, I’ll take dorky over wannabe-hip or self-important any day.” Whew. We’re glad that’s cleared up.

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