Got a reader question that I should try to get the best of my ability:
Can you recommend good hiking pants? The upper body is easy to dress because things are easier to remove and re-dress, but the lower body feels trickier. I have a pair of Fjällräven trousers but as soon as they get warmer it feels like they do not breathe at all. What should I consider when buying new ones?
These are the things I would think about and so here I give them with a few examples of different pants that can be a starting point when looking, so that you see which different functions there are and a little “byxt link” that can be good to bring with you.
1. Practical details
Make sure that the pants firstly have all the practical details you need. Do they have pockets suitable for hand spray, compass, map and other small items for easily available in the pants leg pockets? Are there enough pockets? and they are so deep that you can fit what you want with you? Are they deep enough and can be closed properly so that things do not fall out by mistake? Are there loads of belt loops? High or low waist – what do you like best in a pair of trousers?
The pants you buy should be well on the body. They should not slip over the buttocks when you walk or tighten so much that you cannot move. Make sure that there are no hard metal buckles or flanges that can scratch or chafe the thigh in the waistband where you also have a lot of movement and chafing from the hiking backpack. I have just found hiking pants made in a SHORT model, which means that there is not much extra material at the bottom of the boots and it is an appreciated detail. There are also brands that make pants for curvier figures. For example, these: Fjällräven Keb Trousers Short and Fjällräven Keb Trousers Curved.
Make sure the pants can be ventilated. A classic tip is to pull down the fly on the pants to ventilate the hottest regions. But there are many hiking pants that have more ventilation options. For example, zippers that open up to provide ventilation on the calves and / or thighs. Another option is to choose so-called ‘Zip-off’ pants that allow the long-legged hiking pants to also become shorts. The best ventilation is not too many mosquito’s around. With Fjällräven’s pants you can control how much they will ventilate because they can be impregnated with wax. Thicker waxing makes for denser fabric and less wax for more ventilation. But if they get wet, they take a long time to dry.
4. Material selection
Choose materials with care in your hiking pants. There are hiking pants made entirely of soft stretch material that breathes very well but that does not withstand wind. There are thicker fabrics that can be impregnated with wax and water basically. Then of course there are all kinds of completely waterproof pants – but they often become very warm when moving.
– An example for stretchy trekking pants: Haglöfs Trekkings Woman An example of extremely durable trousers: Haglöfs Rugged Pant.I usually choose hiking pants that combine fabric that can be impregnated with wax and which are reinforced on the knees and buttocks where the fabric is worn most – and where there is also an insert with a stretch panel, for example on the inside of the thighs. It gives a good combination and a little of the best of both worlds. An example of a pant with several materials and plenty of ventilation: Fjällräven Keb Gaiter Trousers
5. Which seventeen should you choose then?
It comes completely down to personal preference and the only real advice I can give you is to try, try and try it. Go to a well-stocked outdoor store and try different models, feel how they feel. The brand on the pants is not important – make sure you get the features you need both when it comes to choosing the material and the design of the pants themselves. Think about the environment in which you will use your hiking pants, which weather and terrain you mostly stay in and which functions you will benefit most from. Is it important that they dry quickly? Standing against the wind? Withstands heavy wear? Are comfortable and airy? Let your needs control the choice.