Best Walking Trousers Reviewed 2019 | Top 10 - Outdoors Magic

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Walking Trousers

Best Walking Trousers Reviewed 2019 | Top 10

Ranging from lightweight summer backpacking options to full on mountaineering wear, here's our pick of our eight favourite pairs of trousers on the market at the moment

There are a number of things to consider when looking for the best walking trousers to suit you.

First of all, consider the season that you’ll be wearing them in. If you’re doing lots of winter walking, you’ll want something warm, windproof and water resistant or even waterproof. If you’re walking mostly in summer, you’ll probably want something lightweight, breathable, wicking and maybe insect and UV proof.

It’s also important to consider the type of activity you’ll be taking on and how strenuous your hikes will be. Will you need something durable to take on rocky scrambles, and that won’t rip with the first touch of a crampon spike? Or will you need something simpler, just to wear on short and easy pub walks?

“The trousers reviewed below were all either included in our Winter Outdoor 100 or our Summer Outdoor 100 and they range from lightweight backpacking trousers to full winter mountaineering ones.”

The suitability of a pair of hiking pants to different scenarios depends mostly on the types of fabrics used as well as their thickness. A popular material is softshell, which is a breathable, stretchy and snag resistant blend of a number of fabrics and materials including polyester and elastane. Another popular material is a polyester and cotton blend as it tends to provide a high level of protection from the wind. Each different construction has different advantages and disadvantages when compared against each other, so there isn’t necessarily one that can be described as being the best.

Aside from fabrics, it’s important to look at the adjustment options on a pair of hiking trousers. For instance, what kind of waistband do they have, is it elasticated or semi elasticated? If there’s no elastication, is there an integrated hipbelt or just belt loops? Then down at the bottom, are there volume adjusters on the ankle cuffs? These can be useful if you want the trousers to hold to your boot, keep warm air in, and not flap in the wind so much. Also consider the amount of pockets and their placement, closure and size. Are they big enough to hold a map, are they secure enough to keep your phone or car keys inside?

Then finally, articulation is extremely important when you are looking for the best walking trousers. Take a look at how they are constructed around the crotch and at the knee and be sure that they won’t hinder your movement or rub uncomfortably against your skin.

Walking Trousers on Test

The trousers reviewed below were all included in our mega Outdoor 100 product guide and they range from lightweight backpacking trousers to full winter mountaineering ones. We’ve included pairs to suit every season and every type of terrain, and the majority come in men’s and women’s versions. If you’re after something waterproof, go check out our guide to the best waterproof overtrousers.

BEST BUY: Haglöfs Rugged Flex Pant

Price: £130
Weight: 410g
haglofs.com

“These have a very slim, skinny fit and feel but without being restrictive in any way. They really stretch with your stride giving you a natural, comfortable and totally unhindered movement.”

The Rugged Flex by Swedish brand Haglöfs are an evolution of their original Rugged Mountain Pant. You could call this new design a 2019 makeover with new stretchy fabrics and a much, much slimmer fit.

Featured here are two types of fabric that are both treated with an eco-friendly durable water repellent to help on those slightly drizzly days. Across the front of the thighs and on the calves there’s a tough polyamide which feels a little like tightly-woven cotton. Then, on the knees, shins, backside and inner thigh there’s a four-way stretch elastane-based fabric to allow dynamic movement.

For scrambling, general hillwalking, or even casual use, these are a great pair of trousers that performed excellently in our tests. Bear in mind, if you have thick legs you might need to consider going one size up with these.

Check out our full Haglofs Rugged Flex review

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Sizes XS- XXL / Climatic fabric: 95% Polyamide, 5% Elastane / FlexAble fabric: 90% Polyamide, 10% Elastane with 4-way stretch / Bluesign approved / Velcro adjustable ankle cuffs / two zippered hand pockets / one zippered thigh pocket / Fluorocarbon free DWR.

 

CimAlp Explore H Pants

Price: £100
Weight: 460g
cimalp.co.uk

While these might be a fairly lightweight pair of trousers (though not the lightest) they’re actually surprisingly durable. That’s all thanks to the four-way stretch that the X-Trem fabric offers, plus the light Dupont Cordura overlays on the knees and ankle cuffs.

They feature a semi-elastic waist band, a typically alpine fit (CimAlp are a French Alps-based brand after all), DWR treatment for a degree of wet weather performance, two zipped hand pockets and one zipped thigh pocket.

The articulation is impressive – we’d say they’d not only be a good option hillwalkers and scramblers, but for climbers and boulderers as well.

Check out out full CimAlp Explore H Pants review

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / DWR treatment / wind resistance up to 60km/h / UPF 50+ / two zipped hand pockets / one zipped thigh pocket / semi-elasticated waist / belt loops / Fabric X-Trem and Dupont Cordura.

 
 

Montane Terra Guide Pants

Price: £140
Weight: 532g
montane.co.uk

“…designed to be worn during intense bouts of high-level walking, mountaineering or climbing; offering the wearer insulation, dynamic temperature regulation, and a high stretch construction.”

The micro suede thermal lining in these trousers by the British brand, Montane, makes them a warm enough option for things like winter hillwalking, mountaineering and even ski touring.

They’ve also got plenty of technical features, like the Cordura overlays on the insteps, an internal ankle gusset designed to hold over a winter boot and 3/4-length side zips with inner storm flaps.

Check out our full Montane Terra Guide review

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Pertex Equilibrium Stretch fabric / DryActiv Micro Suede lining / inner DryActiv thermal mesh / Cordura mini rip-stop instep / tailored gusset and inseam panel / removable hipbelt / two zipped hand pockets / security pocket / rear zipped pocket / 3/4 length leg zips with press studs / stretch ankle gusset / press stud ankle adjusters.

 

Fjällräven Bergtagen Trousers

Price: £315
Weight: 670g
fjallraven.co.uk

“Fjällräven have taken particular care with the cut of the Bergtagen Trousers, making sure that there’s full articulation at the knees and at the crotch.”

The Swedish brand have made their first foray into mountaineering-specific kit this Autumn/Winter 2017 with their Bergtagen range. We say ‘range’ but it’s actually more of a system, with a layer of clothing, from baselayer to full parka, to equip a person from inside to outside and head-to-toe. These carefully articulated trousers are made from 65 per cent recycled polyester and 35 per cent recycled cotton which is woven into an extremely durable construction. Throw in Corylon overlays on the knees and instep and you can be pretty sure that these will withstand all kinds of scrapes.

Check out our full Fjallraven Bergtagen Trousers review 

Full Specifications

G-1000 Lite Eco fabric / 65% recycled polyester, 35% organic cotton / double layered G-1000 Eco on rear / Corylon reinforcements / articulated cut / taped seams / ventilation zips from hips to knees / 1/4 length ankle zips / two hand pockets / belt loops / equipment loop at waist / adjustment straps on ankles / inbuilt RECCO reflector / impregnated with Greenland Wax

 

Mammut Runbold Pants

Price: £89
Weight: 300g

“The freedom of movement they offer with the four-way stretch is second to none. I especially like how light they are, it barely feels like you have them on!”

The Runbold from Mammut is a super comfortable pair of hiking trousers, made from a tough, abrasion-resistant nylon material blended with a bit of Spandex. This has a four-way stretch to give the wearer great freedom of movement. Just what’s needed when you’re getting active in the outdoors. They have a stylish, athletically-profiled, cut to them and come fully equipped with extremely practical zipper pockets. Special shoutout, while we’re on the topic of pockets, for the side pocket; a feature that’s practically begging to look after your maps for you.

Full Review

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / 2 slit pockets with zipper / seat pocket with zipper | map pocket on leg / Legs can be adjusted from full-length to 3/4 length / quick-drying and breathable.

 

 

Berghaus Fast Climb Trekking Trousers

Price: £140
Weight: 350g
berghaus.com

“Ankle and calf zips on the trousers make it easier to implement precise footwork, while the zipped mesh vents around the thighs increase ventilation at those times when you’re really pushing yourself hard.”

These stretchy, three-season hiking trousers feature Kevlar reinforcements around the knees and instep. That’s the same material used for bullet proof vests. Berghaus have given some thought to minimising the eco-footprint by using a Colourkind eco fabric that requires 89 per cent less water and 63 per cent fewer chemicals than conventionally produced fabrics.

Check out our full Berghaus Fast Climb review

Full Specifications

Colourkind Eco Fabric outer / Schoeller Kevlar reinforcement over the knees and instep / calf and ankle zips / elasticated waistband / zipped mesh vents on thighs / Bluesign approved.

 

Sasta Anton

Price: £230
Weight: 725g
sasta.com

“They’re extremely durable trousers, the kind you could really put through the wringer and expect to always come out on the right side.”

Sasta are a brand from Finland that are steadily building a following in the United Kingdom. They make a diverse range of gear, covering hunting, fishing and hiking, and tend to draw upon slightly more traditional – you could say Scandinavian – fabrics and designs. This pair, the Sasta Anton trousers, are made from 30 per cent polyester and 70 per cent recycled wool, a blend that combines a number of useful properties, being not only extremely durable, but also very warm as well. Other nice features include the hardened overlays, the pockets that double as vents and the knife or equipment clip on the hipbelt.

Full Check out our full Sasta Anton review

Full Specifications

70% recycled wool, 30% polyester, 7% Kevlar aramid on the knees and insteps / two hand pockets / semi-elasticated waist and integrated hipbelt / thigh pocket with zip / articulated knees / ankle volume adjustments.

Sasta Kaarna

Sasta have managed to do the double this time round in our list of the best walking trousers for 2019. Like the Anton trousers reviewed above, this pair are wool based, only they’re much thinner and lighter, making them perfect for summer use. In true Scandinavian form, sustainability is woven into Sasta’s values, and the fact that the wool is fully recycled is evidence of this.
Features we liked during testing include the zipped pocket on the thigh, the durable reinforcements and the Velcro tabs on the ankle cuffs. They also have a nice trim cut, with good articulation.

Check out our full Sasta Kaarna review

Full Specifications

Only available in a men’s version / fabric: 70% recycled wool, 30% polyester / zipped thigh pocket / two handwarmer pockets / Velcro ankle cuffs / reinforced knees and cuffs.

….

 

Fjällräven Abisko Shade Zip-off Trousers

Price: £155
Weight: 300g
fjallraven.co.uk

“They’re well-ventilated and I’ve enjoyed being able to switch the length to either cropped trousers or shorts. For me, there’s no company that does hiking trousers better than Fjällräven”

Fjällräven have produced a bit of kit that is lightweight, comfortable, incredibly breathable and perfect for hiking in warm and clammy weather. When the mercury really hits the heights, there’s the added benefit that they can be converted into either three-quarter lengths or shorts thanks to their quick and easy to use zips and buttons. The most important detail to highlight on these trousers (other than the zips) is that they’re made from a material called G-1000 Air, a recycled blend of polyester and organic cotton which has an incredibly light breathable feel to it.

Check out our full Fjallraven Abisko Shade Zip-Off review

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / G-1000 reinforcements on rear, knees and legs / mid waist / regular fit / long pants / pre-shaped knees / contains non-textile elements of animal origin.

 

Páramo Montero

Price: £95
Weight: 327g

“You won’t get that horrible sweatbox feel you’d get with normal jeans or trousers in the same environment.”

We’d normally be the first people to tell you that jeans are a bad idea for UK hillwalking, but these aren’t your typical pair. Despite their denim-look, they’re actually made from a 100 per cent polyester which is windproof, stretchy and also treated with Nikwax for water resistance. If they do get wet, you can expect them to dry quickly, something that certainly can’t be said for standard denim. A good option for three-season hiking.

Check out our full Paramo Montero review

Full Specification

Acosta version for women / 100% polyester with Nikwax TX.Direct treated (PFC-free) / mesh-lined ventilation zips / reflective detailing / 4 pockets / 50 UPF.

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