I have been gifted a pair of ACAI Skinny Outdoor Trousers to put to the test and give my honest feedback.
I have to admit, my body confidence is not terribly great. I hate shopping for trousers and will almost always choose something that is loose and comfortable and certainly doesn’t show off any kind of shape I may or may not have. And so this post, which is a collaboration with a brand who make super skinny outdoor trousers, is quite a step outside my comfort zone. Friends have been telling me for years that I should hike in leggings, that it’s a revelation in all day comfort, but I’ve just never had the guts.
I’ve been wearing the ACAI Skinny Outdoor Trousers for a few weeks on walk, hikes, and just wherever I happen to be. And to give you a spoiler right at the start of this piece, they are pretty-decent outdoor trousers and ultimately get the thumbs up from me. On the website it says they “mimic the look of skinny jeans whilst being shower resistant, lightweight, moisture wicking and breathable”. These are very good attributes, certainly – the material sounds amazing.
There are two hugely important things to me when it comes to outdoor clothing. The first is comfort, and the second is practicality. Comfort includes the fit, and practicality includes how useful the clothing is for the activity I want to take part in. Sure, there are other almost-as-important things on the list, including value, colour, how well the garment washes, how sustainable it is, the way it looks on me, and so on; but for me the top of the list has to be comfort and practicality. This is why I love my Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers so much; they just perform superbly in both of those categories. But it is very nice indeed to find something a bit different that lives up to the competition, which gives me a bit of variety in my wardrobe.
Clearly designed with the active and outdoorsy woman in mind, the trousers are very stretchy indeed, and are smooth and soft to the touch. This means that you get a very close fit, but one that moves with your body and feels nice on the skin. Before ordering I had the tape measure out to see what size I’d be and ended up ordering the size 10 (small) in the short leg. I chose the brown – these ones, I do love brown, it’s a good outdoorsy colour don’t you think? My first thought on taking the trousers out of the packet were, that they are, indeed, very skinny. But they do fit, and fit very well – the high waist means there’s no issue with showing more than you’d hoped when squatting or bending down to do up your boot laces or bashing in tent pegs, and there is enough material to fit around even my wide thighs. You’ll be pleased to know that there are no see-through patches either; you can wear any colour knickers underneath you like and you’ll be keeping those to yourself.
I love the zip on the back pocket, it’s a practical design touch. The pockets on the front are surprisingly deep and useful, even thought the trousers are skinny they’re stretchy enough to get my phone or keys or some cash in there. Oh, and I should give a mention to the length; as someone with a short leg I often have bunching around the ankle, but the fact these come in a short leg means they are great with boots or with trainers. The only slight dislike is that they are a bit shiny, in a strangely metallic kind of way; this draws far too much attention to my knees for my liking. ACAI suggest they’re suitable as work trousers, and they probably are to for lots of people, but they’re not something I’d wear to the office, they’re just too skinny for me for that.
The water repellent finish certainly worked when I was walking in a light shower, and even when I was cleaning my hiking boots in my back garden (anyone else always get soaked when doing that job?!). Once wet, they dried very quickly, which is equally as important. I really hate having to don a pair of waterproof over-trousers, I always leave it too late anyway and end up soaked before they even made it out of my bag, and so this shower resistant material makes these hugely practical.
I’ve been wearing these a lot and so have had them through the wash – on a cool cycle with slow spin and with no fabric conditioner – and they are all good. Although I have to say they lasted a surprising number of wears before they needed to go in the washer, being so stretchy, there was no issue with them going baggy at the knees and any muddy splatters easily wiped off with a cloth. ACAI recommend using Grangers Wash and Repel liquid every three to five washes to maintain fabric protection (which involves either drying them on a radiator or using a low temperature tumble dry), but I’ve not done that yet – I’ve got some Stormcare stuff in the cupboard that’s similar so will use that next wash to make sure they work as well for my next few wears and hopefully for years to come.
I am still a little self-conscious at how they fit like leggings, and I can see every lump and bump on my untoned legs, but they are genuinely super comfortable and that easily wins over. After the initial habitual check in the mirror when I leave home I quickly forget how I think they look and just get on with enjoying whatever activity I’m doing – not thinking about what I am wearing in the slightest. And that’s the key, isn’t it? Wearing good quality, well-fitting clothing designed to keep you comfortable, warm and dry, shouldn’t be noticed by the wearer at all – the thought of clothing should leave the mind and become completely irrelevant. ACAI have certainly created something here that does that, and I’m on board.
If you’re looking to add some new outdoor trousers to your wardrobe at the moment I’d highly recommend you give ACAI some attention. You’ll find the Skinny Outdoor Trousers I have here, priced at £64.
This post forms part of a collaboration with ACAI. Opinions of the trousers and body confidence issues are, as always, very much my own.