Hey all, Julian Schuetze here on behalf of the Collective.
I had the opportunity to try the Pseudohosen by Leo Caligae, and the TLDR is that unfortunately my experience with the product was poor due to a bad batch that wasn't made to spec, however the customer service is exemplary and they went out of their way to make sure that I was taken care of. These guys value communication, transparency, and are quick & actionable which is not something you see very often in HEMA unfortunately.
I purchased a pair in person as they had a vendor at the IFG Spring Fling event in Portland Oregon. I've been eyeing these for a while because they seem to be the the only HEMA pair of puffy pants that are...actually puffy, and not just baggy pants. These pants are sewn as alternating panels, where the coloured layers are much larger giving that "puff/pulled through look", instead of others which are just equal sized panels sewn together that are all uniformly loose & baggy. These definitely give more traditional look and ultimately look way better in my opinion. These currently come in Gold, Red, Blue, Purple & Green. The purple was actually my favourite, but I got the blue ones since my gear already has a black/blue motif.
I was impressed with some of the features, such as the stretchy waistband (reinforced by a zipper & buttons), adjustable leg cuffs, pockets for your stuff (something sorely missed from the Sup-Fen versions). These pants have 2 layers, an internal liner for your legs and then the puffy layer outside - there's a zipper on the side of the puffy layer that lets you have access in between the two, which then you could fit in knee protection on. At $180 these are not cheap, and I do consider the fact that they're not officially 350n rated to be a drawback. But for this kind of gear & what it offers in comparison to the competition, as well as the level of care behind the customer service, that price point is fair if it's something you're particularly interested in. These look better, and have many QOL features that put them way ahead of other pants like Sup-Fen or SPES in my opinion.
Now unfortunately, I got the pair, I put them on, and unfortunately the second I went into a fighting stance I heard a very loud rip - the fabric around the internal gusset completely ripped open. The retailers were very good with me, and wanted to make sure I was satisfied with the pants, so they offered to fix & repair them, and send them off to me. I was a little skeptical since if these just tore like that, I would assume something went wrong during production. So, would there be other issues with them elsewhere? But I agreed. Roughly a week later I got a notification from UPS that I had a delivery, but with an $89 import customs fee. I messaged them about this, and the next day the import fee was paid by them with no fuss which impressed me quite significantly as most companies in the past have either argued heavily, or outright refused to cover that fee. Almost every email I sent received a reply within a few hours, which I also found quite impressive. I got the fixed pair, put them on, went into a stance, and yet again it immediately tore in the exact same spot.
Apparently what happened is for the XL size & some of the different colours, production was not made to their spec and the internal liner/gusset was too small to allow for a deep range of motion. To fix this, I was told that the production manager has physically gone to the facility to ensure that this issue does not happen again and to make sure everything going out is as intended. I was then offered to get a new set of pants shipped to me. Messaging Leo Caligae on Facebook netted me responses within minutes/hours (within working hours of course), and the level of communication and dedication to trying to make things right is at a new level with these guys. Although I had a bad experience, I understand bad batches happen, and I feel quite confident that by the time I've finished writing all of this and publish it, everything going forward should be much smoother.
I do have a couple additional considerations with these pants. First, is I feel you still need suspenders with these. The belt in the back is adjustable and I never felt that my pants were going to fall down completely, but I did notice that moving around in them after a bit they would have a tendency to ride down a bit. Perhaps a sign I should squat more. But clip-on suspenders are very inexpensive, I grabbed some on Amazon for like $10 so no biggie. Leg protection can be an issue if you have an all in 1 knee & shin solution. The leg openings are not wide enough for both my legs & the protection if it's all 1 connected piece. You could just slap them on top of the pants, but then that kinda defeats the purpose of the aesthetic. However, If you have knee & shin protection as separate pieces, you are able to put knee protection on on the inside of the side pockets, and then supplement your shin protection. The design in that regard is excellent, and I find clever. It gives a nice sleek look and completely hides your gear. Which, for the purposes of looking fancy works great. As a tournament organizer, seems like a potential nightmare :P - Speaking of tournaments, the lack of 350n rating is definitely unfortunate if you're in a region where events require pants that have it. It personally doesn't really bother me, but I know some others value that a lot more. So your mileage may vary.
I want to stress that the purpose of this review isn't to be "man, better watch out, I had a bad experience" - but rather point out how on the ball, quick, and actionable the customer service has been in regards to fixing the problem. Something which I've struggled with quite significantly with multiple HEMA companies in the past. So this all has been a breath of fresh air and I really appreciated it. I feel like if you really like the look of these and the QOL features look appealing to you, they're worth the cash if you're willing to spend it.
Leo Caligae "The Pseudohosen" Historical Fencing Pants - Historical Fencing Gear - Sacramento Historical Fencing Academy (sachema.com)
We acknowledge that The Historical Combat Collective operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem, Sto:lo and Songhees First Nations Peoples. We are grateful to have the opportunity to gather, work, and train on this land.