What to wear on our legs when we go hiking is probably one of the last things we think about. It certainly is for me anyway. Whereas we can have can have our pick of all the fabulously technical coats and boots depending on the weather, terrain, distance, fit and so on, trousers are a completely different ball game. This is partly because the fit of trousers is just so personal; finding a pair that fits well is such a pain, and when we’ve found one that works we tend to wear those same ones over and over and over again regardless of whether there might be something better available for the task at hand.
Wearing the Fjallraven Keb Trousers on our GetOutside Launch Walk.
When I was offered a pair of these Fjallraven Keb Trousers to try out over the winter, I jumped at the chance; the idea of having a pair of outdoors trousers equally as technical as my coat and boots appealed greatly. Why should my legs always get the raw deal? Not any more!
Let’s tackle the cost right at the start of this post. These trousers come in at £190. Which is a lot. Too much to gamble on a pair of trousers you’re not 100% sure about. I guess that’s why I’m writing; you need to know whether you should spend that much. When it comes to most things in life, I am definitely in the “you get what you pay for camp”, preferring to save up and buy things that are excellent than buy loads of things that are of lesser quality. I am fortunate that I can choose not to buy cheap and cheerful because I make a conscious decision to have less (or none). I have learnt over the years that when it comes to good quality kit, especially stuff you want to work without question when it, you do indeed get what you pay for. But £190? The price point of these is such because of the claimed quality, durability, material, cut, fit, and so on. And the name, of course – Swedish brand Fjallraven are synonymous with superb outdoors gear.
I look at it this way. If you want an excellent coat, or even a medium quality one, you are easily spending £150 to £200. So why not invest the same amount in your legs? It is indeed a lot of money, but I can totally see how. With that said, the proof is always in the wearing, so let me tell you what I thought about these.
I am comparing these to the only other walking trousers I own; the Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers, which I think is the default choice of pretty much every female hiker I know. After measuring myself about twenty times and still not been one hundred percent sure, I plumped for the Keb in the short length, which are a full five centimetres shorter than the standard version, and for the same dress size as my Craghoppers. When they arrived I was relieved to find that the fit in person matched the measurements in the size guide; phew.
Designed to be technically advanced trekking trousers, they are ideal for hiking in the mountains and for climbing where mobility is just as important as durability and question. The emphasis in all the descriptions is for freedom of movement, and so I was pleased when I tried mine on to find the material was stretchy and flexible where it needed to be, but strong and rugged where it needed to be. The rear and knees are shaped to fit the bended leg, the seams are extra strong, and there are patches of Fjallraven’s durable G-1000 Eco material on the rear, front of the legs, the knees and on the inside bottom of the legs, reinforced with a double layer of fabric to withstand wear from hiking boots. I’m not sure these trousers will ever wear out!
My favourite feature? The seam on the inside of the thigh has been moved and replaced by a connecting fabric panel to reduce the risk of chafing and wear. As a “normal” woman who’s thighs meet at the top, this is just a brilliant and very much appreciated piece of design.
I’m not sure hiking in the UK warrants the zipped ventilation opening from knee to hip and along the calf releases excess heat, but when I next head somewhere much warmer or working particularly hard I know I will be grateful for that – just as I am grateful for the underarm zips on my coat. The variety of pockets are super useful wherever you are walking; I’m not sure why it’s so hard to get women’s trousers with pockets, but you’ve got plenty on this pair for all your bits and bobs.
So far these trousers have been on all kinds of walks in sun, rain (and snow), but I am yet to take them up onto any mountains or on any scrambles. On my reasonably low level tests they have proved to be comfortable, hard wearing, and I just know they will be very good when I next have an opportunity to test my limits up in the hills and mountains. They have washed well, dried quicker than I thought they would (although not quite as quick as my Craghoppers, mainly because the material is much thicker), and are still looking as good as new despite me really not being bothered about what I do in them or how I treat them; they are for utility, after all.
With these trousers Fjallraven have proven themselves to me as designers of fantastic gear for women who just love to be outdoors, and I would definitely like more from the brand in my arsenal. In my opinion the price can be justified if you are looking for some really fantastic trousers for your outdoors adventures, but I know that not everyone will be able to afford £them. I can be pretty sure I won’t buy a second pair of Keb trousers, even though I think the dark green ones look amazing, the cost prohibits filling my wardrobe with a selection of colours! However after recommendations from a couple of friends, I am now saving my £2 coins for a pair of the Abisko Trekking Tights because apparently hiking is leggings (and leggings that have pockets…) is where it’s at!
Get yours on the Fjallraven website here.
With thanks to Fjallraven for sending me a pair of their Keb Trousers W Short trousers to try out. I love them! And cheers to awesome friend Kate for taking the snaps 🙂