Haglofs Rugged Mountain Pants look like perfectly normal walking trousers, it's not until you pick them up that you realise there's something very serious going on here – they weigh, in our test medium size, no less than 770 grammes and they are, arguably, the world's hardest trekking pants...
The clue is in the name. The Swedish brand doesn't do things by halves and the Ruggeds are, well, rugged. Very, very rugged to the point where they should be the legwear of choice for criminally clumsy mountaineers and walkers the world over.
The base material itself, one of Haglofs range of Climatic fabrics has an interesting tarpaulin-like air to it, kind of thick and strong. It's a polyamide, or Nylon to you, so it should last for decades. But Haglofs aren't taking any chances here.
The arse of the pants – Haglofs says 'seat', but that's hardly a rugged sort of word is it – is made from artificial rhino hide. Or at least a whopping great panel of stiff, thick Flexable soft shell fabric that you could probably use to sand wood with. And there's more of the same on the front of the knees.
These aren't dainty, carefully articulated accent patches either, they're proper, gurt big panels of the stuff. These pants would be great for sliding down screen slopes on your butt or crawling down glacial moraine in Joe Simpson stylee. We reckon the rocks would wear out before the fabric.
And of course, if you're the sort of person who habitually drags their backside and knees against the roughtest rock you can find, you'll also kick the living daylights out of the instep of your trousers. So predictably the inside of the ankle area is lined with Cordura fabric – normally you'd think it was tough, but the rhino-like excesses of knee and butt reinforcements means that the ankle stuff feels like the finest, softest, silk in comparison.
As a finishing touch, Haglofs has added several serious pockets, including a phone-specific one, zipped side vents and industrial ankle adjusters.
There's undeniably something quite awesome about the Rugged Mountain Pants. Coming face to face with them is like eye-balling a Tiger tank or squaring up to Jonah Lomu. What we don't quite understand is who would wear these monsters of rock. Someone so clumsy and feckless that every other move involves jamming their knee onto a gritstone ledge or wedging their butt into a granite crack. Or someone who habitually sits down on belt sanders maybe?
We're not sure, but one thing is certain, if you need a pair of mountain trousers that'll outlive Captain Scarlet, then these are the puppy. Full review to follow in due course...