Why We Chose The Haglöfs Rugged Flex: Comfortable, durable and super stretchy.
Haglöfs’ original Rugged Mountain Pant has been one of their best sellers over the years, a pair of trousers that are hugely practical; offering rugged protection, a bit of warmth, ventilation when you need it and loads of useful pockets. Now, this design has evolved into the Rugged Flex, a sort of twenty first-century version with much more of a modern look to them. What we mean by this is that the new version is slimmer. Much slimmer. It seems to be the preference these days, with hikers favouring something trim, aerodynamic and generally less flappy.
The Rugged Flex features two types of fabric that are both treated with an eco-friendly durable water repellent. Across the front of the thighs and on the calves there’s a tough Climatic polyamide which feels a little like tightly-woven cotton. This will take any tough stuff right on the chin. Then, on the knees, shins, backside and inner thigh there’s a four-way stretch fabric made from a blend of polyamide (90%) and elastane (10%). On their website, Haglöfs call this stretchy fabric ‘reinforcement’ but we’re not sure it is. It doesn’t seem to overlay the Climatic fabric, but is used alone. Still, it’s a lovely fabric that’s capable of withstanding abrasion, say when you’re scrambling up coarse rock.
Altogether, the construction of this new Rugged Flex Pant offers plenty of articulation with ease of movement at the groin and knees, and it’s this attribute that makes them not only suited to hiking and scrambling, but bouldering as well.
Other features we like include the slightly stretchy waistband which has loops for a belt should you want or need to wear one, the two zipped handwarmer pockets and small pocket on the right thigh. There are also Velcro tabs on the ankles to allow you to vary the volume or even hitch the ends up for a bit of a pedal pusher look – if that’s your thing.
We tried out the grey and black pair but there are some other jazzy options to consider, including red and black, orange and black, blue and black and green and black.