We've put 16 pairs of walking trousers to the test. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

We've put 16 pairs of walking trousers to the test. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Choosing the right pair of trousers for your jaunts in the great outdoors will enhance your days out.

There’s a wide variety of designs on offer, and we’ve been legging it across the trails and hills of the countryside over past few months putting 16 different pairs to the test.

Some are best suited to cold or even full-on winter conditions; others are best for warmer days in the UK or overseas travel in higher temperatures.

All have been designed incorporating technical aspects, fabric or features with walkers in mind. We’ve evaluated them for how comfortable they were; how well they performed in our testing environment; what useful features they included; overall quality of design and manufacture and value for money, which is not necessarily just how low the price is.

For our review, we’ve also included the type of use to which we think each model is best suited.

Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Pant

Price: £100
Colour: black
Weight: 578g
Material: 96 per cent polyamide, 4 per cent elastane; lining, polyester
Country of manufacture: Indonesia
Recommended wash: 30C non biological detergent
Women’s version: no
Sizes: men’s 28 waist 30 leg to 42 waist 34 leg

As the name implies, these trousers from Berghaus are designed for walks on cold winter days.

The stretchy polyamide shell of the trousers feels tough and stood up to conditions on the hills. There’s also a lining of microfleece and mesh, which in use provides excellent warmth and windblocking on cold mountain days.

The legs are fairly slender and didn’t impede walking at all. The stretchiness of the fabric kept them snug to the body but allowed free movement when stepping up and down on technical ground. There’s also a diamond-shaped gusset which helps mobility.

The ventilation zips, from hip to knee, were appreciated in providing cooling air when pushing hard uphill.

The Winter Fast Hike Pant has reinforced panels on the inside of the lower section of the legs to guard against scuffing by boots and crampons. There is also a zip with extension bellow in this section to allow widening of the trouser leg bottoms to get them over boots.

The Berghaus trousers come with a belt and there’s a broad microfleece-lined waistband that made for increased comfort.

There are two unzipped hip pockets plus a small zipped pocket on the right thigh, though this is a little small for most modern smartphones, but will accommodate a compass.

For cold and cool days, the Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Pant are a good choice. They provide warmth without hindering movement and the addition of ventilation zips help cool things down when moving fast. Windblocking was very good.

Sizing was standard.

Suitable use: winter hillwalking and mountain walking and mountaineering; winter country walking.

Comfort: 35/40
Performance: 26/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 82/100

CMP Man Zip Off Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

CMP Man Zip Off Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

CMP Man Zip Off Pant

Price: £56.95
Colour: brown
Weight: 384g
Material: 89 per cent polyester, 11 per cent Elastane
Country of manufacture: Myanmar
Recommended wash: 40C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s EU46-56; women’s 40-50

The CMP trousers are made from lightweight stretch fabric that allowed movement with no hindrance when stepping up over stiles or more scrambly routes.

The trousers can be converted into shorts – useful if the temperature rises while you’re out on the trail. The legs are fairly wide so they do flap around a little, though there are drawcords at the hems to help cinch them in around the boot top.

The seams where the zip-off sections join are evident while walking, as they’re set fairly low down, just above the knee. Zipping off the lower sections to convert them was simple but reattaching was a bit fiddly and there’s no colour coding of the zip puller to help identify left and right.

There was a moderate amount of windblocking from the lightweight material, but on warm days the trousers worked well, allowing a good amount of airflow around the legs.

The CMP trousers come with a webbing belt.

The Man Zip Off Pant has two zipped hip pockets plus a rear zipped pocket, but the zips weren’t very free-running and tended to baulk when trying to close. The three pockets are mesh lined to help maintain breathability in those area.

The CMP trousers also have UPF protection to factor 30. Fit was average.

The Man Zip Off Pant were at their best on warmer days when the trousers allowed good airflow and the ability to convert them to shorts was appreciated, though the pronounced zip-off hem was slightly irritating over a number of hours’ walking with the trousers in unconverted mode.

Suitable use: summer hillwalking and country walking. Warm-climate trekking.

Comfort: 31/40
Performance: 22/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 6/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 73/100

Columbia Triple Canyon. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Columbia Triple Canyon. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Columbia Triple Canyon

Price: £55
Colour: black
Weight: 350g
Material: 90 per cent polyester, 10 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: Bangladesh
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: no
Sizes: men’s 28/30 – 40/34

The Triple Canyon trousers are a simple but efficient design that worked well and were comfortable.

The material is very stretchy and the legs are quite narrow, so there was no unwanted flapping about on windier days. Mobility was very good on scrambly routes, with the trousers hugging the body but not restricting movement.

The hems of the legs also have a drawcord which can be cinched in around the boot.

The low weight Columbia trousers worked best on days when the temperature rose, with just a moderate amount of warmth and windblocking.

There are two zipped hip pockets, plus one rear zipped pocket, which all have mesh linings to keep things cool. The trousers also have a zipped pocket on the right thigh, big enough for a smartphone.

The waist is partly elasticated and has belt loops. The trousers offer UPF 50 sun protection.

The Triple Canyon trousers were comfortable on warmer days on the trail and on the hill and are competitively priced.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and country walking. Warm-climate trekking.

Comfort: 34/40
Performance: 23/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 8/10
Total score: 79/100

Craghoppers NosiLife Pro II. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Craghoppers NosiLife Pro II. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Craghoppers NosiLife Pro II

Price: £70
Colour: black
Weight: 308g
Material: 92 per cent polyamide, 8 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: China
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 30S-42L; women’s 8S-20L

The NosiLife Pro II is another lighter weight walking trouser designed for warmer days.

There’s some stretchiness in the fabric, which helped mobility and we found the Craghoppers trousers worked fine when stepping up on scrambly routes. There was a moderate amount of windblocking.

The legs are fairly narrow, so don’t impede movement on windy days, and the hems can be cinched in around boots using the drawcords.

There are two zipped hip pockets, one containing a plastic key loop and one a glasses wipe on an elastic cord. There’s also a rear zipped pocket. The left thigh has a zipped pocket, big enough for a smartphone. This pocket also has an RFiD shielded pouch to protect contactless cards. The zip puller on this pocket has a spring-loaded fastener and metal loop for extra security.

The Craghoppers trousers have the NosiLife treatment to combat biting insects, are rated at 40+ UPF against the sun and anti-odour treatment.

The NosiLife Pro II are among the lighter trousers in the test and worked well on warm to cool days, with good mobility and comfort. Fit was average.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and country walking. Warm-climate trekking.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 26/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 81/100

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers

Price: £165
Colour: black
Weight: 582g
Material: 65 per cent polyester, 35 per cent cotton; panel 63 per cent polyamide, 26 per cent polyester, 11 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Recommended wash: 40C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 30-44; women’s 8-22

The Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers are the latest development of Fjallraven’s tough cargo-style multi-use trousers.

The Swedish company has added zipped vents to the outside of the thigh to aid cooling when working hard. The vents have twin pullers on the zips, so can be opened either from the top or bottom.

The Vidda Pro are suitable for general trekking use, but also demonstrate the Swedish design thinking for days on the forest or on the hill, with numerous pockets and tool attachment features.

The basic fabric is the brand’s G-1000 Eco, a durable-feeling combination of recycled polyester and organic cotton, and has a fluorocarbon-free impregnation to give them a certain level of water-resistance. This can be increased by treatment with Greenland Wax (not supplied), a solid beeswax and paraffin block that can be ironed into the material.

It won’t make the trousers waterproof, but it will help shed a shower and, during our testing without further Greenland application, light rain did bead up on the Vidda Pros and mud splashes stayed on the surface of the trousers.

The fabric is relatively thick and resisted wind well. The Fjallraven trousers were fairly warm and the ventilation was welcome on uphill sections to provide some cooling air circulation.

Fjallraven has slightly slimmed the Vidda Pro Trousers for this latest model, and the legs are medium to narrow. Although the material is quite stiff, articulation at the knees helped mobility and there was no problem stepping up and down on more technical terrain. The knees have an extra layer of fabric reinforcement, which also contains a pouch for knee pads – another indication of the Scandinavian forest ethos in the design. The seat area also has a reinforced layer.

The crotch has an elasticated panel, which also helps movement both when stepping up and crouching.

The Fjallraven trousers are well endowed with storage. There are two large-ish hip pockets plus, on the left thigh, two pockets with press-stud fastenings, the larger of which is big enough to take an OS map. On the right thigh is another large pocket, with an inner stretch pouch for an item such as a smartphone or compass. This pocket has an expansion panel on its outer edge and a closure again using a flap and press-stud. Next to this is a slim knife pocket. There is also a tool loop with press-stud opening. Two of the belt loops also have loops for attaching tools using a small carabiner.

There are no rear pockets.

At the trouser hems are part-elasticated webbing strips that can be used to cinch in the bottoms and fastened using press-studs. There are also lace hooks, covered by a fabric cowl when not in use. The hems also have small fabric loops for attaching a boot strap.

In use, the Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers kept out the wind and also repelled light rain. They feel quite warm, so the addition of the vents is helpful when pushing the pace or heading uphill.

The addition of the elasticated gusset panel helps mobility.

The Fjallraven trousers are packed with features useful not just to walkers but also to those working in the forest or taking part in bushcraft and wildlife activities.

They feel very robust and are very good quality. Additional fabric layers at the seat and knee area add to the bomb-proof feel of the trousers. Fit was average.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn country walking; hillwalking; trekking; forest and outdoor work; bushcraft; wildlife activities.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 25/30
Features: 9/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 6/10
Total score: 81/100

Kathmandu Kanching Zip Off Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Kathmandu Kanching Zip Off Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Kathmandu Kanching Zip Off Pants

Price: £69.99
Colour: grey
Weight: 380g
Material: nylon
Country of manufacture: China
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: no
Sizes: XS-XXL

The Kanching trousers are a loose-fitting design that works well on warm days.

The fabric is lightweight nylon and the legs are quite baggy. On cool days this is a disadvantage as air can circulate more and the legs tend to flap about in the wind.

But on warm outings, the Kathmandu trousers kept things cooler. There’s also the option of zipping off the bottom of the legs to convert them into shorts. Because of the generous width of the trousers, this can usually be accomplished without removing your boots or shoes, which is an added convenience.

The left and right legs have colour-coded zip pullers so you can reattach to the correct leg.

The Kanching trousers are clearly designed with the trekker and traveller in mind. There are two hip pockets, the right-hand one having an extra internal zipped pocket. On the right thigh is an external pocket with bellows and a flap concealing a button fastening.

There’s a similar pocket on the left thigh, this one having an additional zipped external pocket that accommodated, just, our smartphone.

The Kathmandu trousers also have two rear pockets, again with flap-covered button fastening.

The waist is part-elasticated and has belt loops.

The Kanching wide trouser legs don’t work as well on technical ground where there was a tendency to snag against the opposite boot when scrambling, though the nature of the design did mean there was no restriction of the leg when stepping up.

But on warm to hot days the circulation of air possible around the legs meant a cooler experience that was welcome.

If you’re heading for a trek in warmer climes, the Kathmandu trousers are a good design.

Fit was generous.

Suitable use: warm-climate trekking; spring to autumn country and trail walking.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 22/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 77/100

Keela Heritage Scuffer Trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Keela Heritage Scuffer Trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Keela Heritage Scuffer Trousers

Price: £84.95
Colour: green
Weight: 606g
Material: 65 per cent nylon; 24 per cent polyester; 11 per cent Spandex
Country of manufacture: Sri Lanka
Recommended wash: 40C, pure soap, non-biological
Women’s version: no
Sizes: 28-42, long, regular, short

These are the Heritage version of Keela’s Scuffer Trousers, in colours aimed at the bushcraft and survival market, but retaining the technical advantages of modern materials.

The Scuffer Trousers have a robust feel and benefit from reinforcement in area likely to be subject to extra wear. The trousers are made from a stretchy material that didn’t hinder movement.

The fabric is medium thickness and blocked wind well, with the Keela trousers providing a good level of warmth on cool and cold days. The seat of the Scuffers, along with the knee area, are reinforced, the latter area being articulated to aid free movement when walking. There are also reinforced panels on the inside of the ankle area to protect from scuffing from boots or crampons.

The leg width is medium, but the ankles have zips running up the leg for a short length to help ease the trousers over boots or shoes. There is also a hook-and-loop tab that can be used to cinch the hem snug around the boot.

The Scuffer fabric also has a durable water resistant treatment to help shed a shower.

The Keela trousers have short zipped ventilation zips on the outside of the thigh area that help allow a little cooling air in when working hard uphill.

There are two zipped handwarmer pockets, plus a zipped rear pocket. The waist is part elasticated and has soft tricot lining. It also has belt loops.

The Scuffer trousers felt robust and were comfortable, providing a good amount of protection from the element. They fall just short of full-on winter trousers, but are ideal for colder days when a thicker pair of walking trousers is needed. The heritage tone of this version is a nice change if you want to blend in rather than stand out in the countryside.

Fit is medium.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and country walking; bushcraft; angling; forestry.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 24/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 79/100

Maier Sports Nil trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Maier Sports Nil trousers. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Maier Sports Nil trousers

Price: £79.95
Colour: black
Weight: 406g
Material: 90 per cent nylon; 10 per cent Elastane
Country of manufacture: not stated
Recommended wash: 30
Women’s version: no, but see text
Sizes: 31-54; short, standard, long

Maier Sports’ unique quality is the huge number of different sizes available. The Nil trousers come in 32 combinations of length and waist, so it should be possible to obtain a pair that matches your needs. There isn’t a women’s version of this particular model, but other styles are available from Maier, with 25 size combinations.

The Nil trousers are general hiking trousers and are made from a medium-weight nylon fabric with four-way stretch. Leg width is slightly narrow and this, combined with the hugging characteristics of the material, mean there’s no flapping of the garment while walking. There’s also a drawcord at the hem to cinch the trouser bottoms in close to the boot.

There was a moderate amount of windblocking and the Nil provided some warmth on a cold day, though they’re not full-on winter wear. They are suited to cool days.

If things get overwarm, the trouser bottoms can be rolled up and secured just below the knee using a pair of buttons and loops on either side of each lower leg.

The stretchiness of the Maier Sports’ trousers means there’s no impedance of movement when stepping up on more technical ground. They were comfortable and stayed in place well. The waist is part-elasticated and the Nil came with a webbing belt.

The trousers have two zipped hip pockets and a rear zipped pocket. There’s also a generously sized zipped pocket on the right thigh, which easily accommodated a smartphone. However, it’s set a little low, just above the knee and, because of its size, an item in the pocket tends to move about against the leg while walking.

The Maier trousers were comfortable and performed well. They are suited to cool, rather than very cold days. The ability to roll them up allows cooling on warmer days.

The fabric has a water-repellent treatment, which will resist a shower. Fit was average.
Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and country walking; trekking.

Comfort: 34/40
Performance: 24/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 80/100

Mammut Runbold Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mammut Runbold Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mammut Runbold Pants

Price: £89
Colour: grey
Weight: 278g
Material: 85 per cent polyamide; 15 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: China
Recommended wash: 30C wash inside out
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 28-40, short, normal, long; women’s 6-20, short, normal, long

The Mammut trousers are lightweight and stretchy. They have narrow legs, ensuring a snug fit, with no flapping of the legs while on the move.

The Runbold Pants allow free movement, especially when on scrambly, technical ground, and stayed in place well. The articulated construction of the knee area also helps mobility when stepping up. They almost feel like a bridge between conventional walking trousers and running tights.

The fabric is lightweight but did offer some windblocking on cold days. The material has miDori treatment to aid wicking and also offers UPF 50+ ultra-violet protection.

There are two zipped handwarmer pockets, protected by storm flaps. The Mammut trousers also have a zipped rear pocket, plus a zipped pocket on the right thigh for an item such as a smartphone. The trousers have belt loops.

We found the Runbold Pants ideal for mountain walking on warm and cool days. The stretchy fabric gives a good snug fit while allowing free movement on technical ground. The Mammut trousers were good quality too and were the lightest in the test, yet still felt robust enough for mountain use. Fit was average.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking, mountain walking and country walking; scrambling.

Comfort: 34/40
Performance: 25/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 81/100

Marmot Highland Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Marmot Highland Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Marmot Highland Pant

Price: £110
Colour: dark grey
Weight: 466g
Material: 95 per cent nylon, 5 per cent elastane; panels 50 per cent nylon, 43 per cent polyester, 7 per cent Elastane
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Recommended wash: cold wash
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 28-40 waist; women’s 4-16

The Highland Pant is a midweight trouser that feels at home on the mountain.

The main fabric is a stretchy robust-feeling nylon, which has added reinforcement patches at the knees, ankle area and seat.

The Marmot trousers are quite warm and are suitable for use on cool days and winter days when full-on snow and ice don’t prevail. The legs are fairly narrow fitting and the stretch fabric means the trousers fit neatly to the body and legs, with no flapping around. There are also drawcords on the legs’ hems to cinch the bottoms around boots.

The Highland Pant was comfortable in use and didn’t restrict movement when stepping up on technical and scrambly routes.

The waist has a tricot fabric lining and there’s also a drawcord. The trousers also have belt loops, but we found the drawcord actually worked quite well on its own in keeping the trousers in position.

The Highland Pant has two handwarmer pockets, which don’t have zips, plus a zipped pocket on each thigh, which are fairly generously sized. They are a little low though, so items in them tend to drop to just above the knee level. There is also a rear zipped pocket.

The Marmot trousers have a durable water-resistant treatment and provide ultraviolet protection to factor 50.

Comfort was good, though we were aware of the knee-patch reinforcement when walking, but it wasn’t problematic. The Highland Pant performed well on outings into the mountains and provided good warmth on cold days, along with very good windblocking. The trousers wicked well and also provided resistance against a shower or two.

Suitable use: spring, autumn and winter mountain walking, hillwalking and country walking; trekking, via ferrata.

Comfort: 35/40
Performance: 26/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 6/10
Total score: 82/100

Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Hike Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Hike Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Hike Pant

Price: £79.99
Colour: grey
Weight: 356g
Material: 88 per cent nylon, 12 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 28-42 waist; 30-34 leg length; women’s 4-20; leg length 30-34

The Chockstone trousers are lightweight stretchy legwear suitable for warm to cool days on the hill.

The Mountain Hardwear trousers have mid-width legs with drawcord hems to cinch around boots or shoes.

The Chockstone is designed for hillwalking and scrambling and the stretch fabric made for good comfort. Despite the fairly lightweight material, the trousers did offer reasonable windblocking, but the slightly looser fit of the legs allows air circulation on warmer days to help cooling.

Mobility was good, with no hindrance to stepping up on scrambly sections of our routes. The knees are partly articulated.

The Chockstone trousers have two zipped hip pockets, plus a rear zipped pocket. There’s also a good sized zipped pocket on the right thigh, though it’s positioned fairly low, so items such as a smartphone placed in it tend to sink down near to knee level.

The Mountain Hardwear trousers come with a webbing belt.

The Chockstone is a comfortable, lightweight general purpose trouser at home in the hills. Quality was good. Fit was average.

Suitable use: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and mountain walking; trekking.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 24/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 79/100

Rab Torque Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Torque Pants. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Torque Pants

Price: £95
Colour: mustard/grey/black
Weight: 336g
Material: 88 per cent polyamide, 12 per cent elastane; 92 per cent polyamide, 8 per cent elastane; 54 per cent polyamide, 33 per cent polyester, 13 per cent polyurethane
Country of manufacture: China
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: no
Sizes: S-XXL, leg length short to extra long

The Torque Pants are a technical garment designed with climbers in mind, but which also work well for general mountain and outdoor use.

These are the latest incarnation of the Torque, with a few grams shaved off its weight and improvements to the design.

The colour scheme for our test pair will be a bit of a Marmite issue with some loving the bright ochre, grey and black combination and others baulking at the idea. But the trousers do also come in more muted grey and blue options.

The main material of the Torque is a stretchy polyamide-elastane mix, and there are slightly less stretchy panels with a different fabric mix, plus reinforced panels covering the knee and inner lower leg areas.

The fit around the leg is quite slim and the trousers generally hug the body well. The fabric is midweight, so more suited to warm to cool conditions rather than winter, though it did block wind quite well.

The Rab trousers allow lots of movement without restriction – not surprising from a garment designed around climbing and scrambling. Stepping up on more technical terrain was easy and the Torque stayed in place well.

The waist is elasticated, with shockcord adjustment. It’s easy to use: pull to tighten then move the cord to the left to lock it on its fastener. There’s a short fabric sleeve on the waist to slot any excess cord into to avoid any snagging risk. The waist has a comfortable elastic lining around three-quarters of its circumference. There are no belt loops, but a belt isn’t required as the shockcord waist works well.

Interestingly, the fly zip opens from top to bottom, possible because the waist doesn’t have an opening.

At the bottom of the leg is a zipped expansion section with bellow to aid putting the trousers on over boots. There are also two webbing loops for attaching a cord under the boot if desired.

The trousers have two zipped hip pockets plus a rear zipped pocket.

The Rab trousers are different in looks and design from most of the general walking trousers in the test. Although aimed at those heading for the crags, they worked well on mountain walking trips. The stretch material offers very good mobility and the reinforcement at knee and inner leg offers protection against rock abrasion and scuffing from boots.

Extroverts will love the bright colour; others may opt for the less vibrant alternatives. The main fabric of the Rab Torque offers factor 50+ ultraviolet protection, with factor 25+ in the reinforced areas. Fit of the trousers was average.

Suitable for: summer, spring and autumn climbing, scrambling, via ferrata, hillwalking.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 26/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 81/100

Salomon Wayfarer Straight Leg Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Salomon Wayfarer Straight Leg Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Salomon Wayfarer Straight Leg Pant

Price: £90
Colour: dark blue
Weight: 286g
Material: 86 per cent polyamide, 14 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: Bangladesh
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 30-40, short, regular, long; women’s 6-18, short, regular, long

The Salomon trousers are lightweight general walking trousers in a stretchy fabric.

Comfort was good, and the legs are medium width, so didn’t flap excessively in wind.

The trousers were moderately warm and blocked wind fairly well, working best in warm to cool conditions.

The waistband is tricot lined for comfort and also incorporates length adjustment strips with hook-and-loop fastening, attached to the rear elasticated section. This enabled easy waist tension, though there are also belt loops if you need them.

There’s articulation in the knees and this, combined with the stretch fabric, meant there was no hindrance of movement when stepping up over stiles or on scramble routes.

The material is treated with a durable water-resistant finish, which repelled a shower or two. The Wayfarer Straight Leg Pant also offers UV protection to UPF 50 rating.

The Salomon trousers have two zipped hip pockets and a zipped rear pocket, all with mesh linings to keep moisture build up down. There’s also a small zipped pocket on the right thigh, just big enough to take our smartphone.

The Wayfarer Straight Leg Pant was comfortable and performed well in cool conditions. The stretchy lightweight material was good for general outdoors use. It’s also suitable for warmer conditions. The fabric is also bluesign approved. Fit was average.

Suitable for: summer, spring and autumn hillwalking and country walking; trekking.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 23/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 77/100

Sherpa Adventure Gear Guide Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sherpa Adventure Gear Guide Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sherpa Adventure Gear Guide Pant

Price: £70
Colour: grey
Weight: 550g
Material: 73 per cent cotton; 24 per cent nylon 3 per cent spandex
Country of manufacture: Bangladesh
Recommended wash: cold wash
Women’s version:
Sizes: 30-38 waist

The Guide Pant is an unusual item in that it’s essentially a street design with outdoor capabilities.

The trousers from Sherpa Adventure Gear are a jeans-style design in a mix of cotton and nylon with a little spandex giving the fabric some stretch. The Guide Pant feels robust and was fairly warm, blocking wind well. The trousers are among the heavier ones in the test.

The Guide Pant has two hip pockets, the right-hand one of which has a smaller pocket, jeans style.

There are two rear patch pockets with riveted corners featuring the Sherpa logo. The rear pockets and small hip pocket have braid reinforcement on their edges and the large front pockets also have rivets. At the rear of the right thigh there’s a small pocket for keeping your smartphone in, again with braid reinforcement. None of the pockets are zipped.

There’s subtle contrast stitching on the trousers’ seams and one of the belt loops is adorned with a Nepalese-style pattern.

The crotch is gusseted and the knees have articulation which, along with the moderate stretch of the fabric, help mobility when stepping up. There’s extra fabric reinforcement at the bottom of the legs and the inner ankle area to guard against boot scuffing.

The Guide Pant is fashioned enough to wear on the street and in urban environments, but has enough technical design to enable use on the hill. The fabric does feel quite robust and there’s just enough give from the stretchiness to allow unhindered stepping up on more technical terrain.

The high cotton content means the trousers won’t dry out as quickly as a more synthetic garment however. The weight of the material made for a fairly warm experience on cooler days, but the Guide Pant is not a winter hill garment. On warmer days, the trousers did lead to quite a temperature rise on the legs.

Leg width is medium and didn’t induce flapping when walking.

Comfort was good and the Sherpa Adventure Gear trousers felt reasonably snug around the body and legs, thanks to the stretch element in the fabric.

Fit was about average.

The Guide Pant is an unusual design: jeans style, urban fashion, yet it did work well enough on the hill. We wouldn’t recommend using the trousers in a full-on mountain torrent, but as a dual-use garment on the street and in the countryside, the Sherpa Adventure Gear trousers worked well and have some nice Nepalese design touches.

Suitable for: urban and street wear; summer, spring and autumn hillwalking and country walking; trekking.

Comfort: 34/40
Performance: 21/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 77/100

Sprayway Warm Compass Challenger Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sprayway Warm Compass Challenger Pant. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sprayway Warm Compass Challenger Pant

Price: £80
Colour: black
Weight: 396g
Material: shell, 90 per cent polyamide, 10 per cent elastane. Lining, polyester
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Recommended wash: 40C
Women’s version: no
Sizes: 30in-36in waist regular or short leg

The Warm Compass Challenger is made from stretchy fabric that allowed good movement.

The trousers also have a microfleece lining which makes them ideal for cooler days.

The material has a robust feel and the TecWeave fabric has durable water resistant treatment which helps repel a shower or two while you’re out on the hill.

The waistband is broad and partly elasticated. The central rear section is raised in a crescent shape to give a little extra warmth in the small of the back. There’s also soft tricot lining to aid comfort and the waistband has belt loops.

The leg width is medium. The Sprayway trousers have two zipped hip pockets and a rear pocket with a hook and loop strip for closure. There is also a zipped pocket on the right thigh. All have mesh lining to prevent moisture build-up in these areas. The leg pocket is fairly large and set a little low, meaning items in it tend to bang against the leg when on the move.

We found the Warm Compass Challenger Pant comfortable in use. The stretch fabric hugs the body well but allows good movement, including when stepping up over stiles and ascending more technical, scrambly terrain. The lining gave good warmth on cold days and windblocking was good.

The Sprayway trousers also offer UV protection to UPF 50+ level. Fit was average.

The Warm Compass Challenger Pant is a good choice for hillwalking when the temperature drops but, not surprisingly when you consider its name, is not aimed at the summer walker in warm conditions.

Suitable for: spring, autumn and winter hillwalking and country walking; trekking.

Comfort: 35/40
Performance: 23/30
Features: 7/10
Quality: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 77/100

Vaude Farley ZO Pants IV. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Vaude Farley ZO Pants IV. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Vaude Farley ZO Pants IV

Price: £90
Colour: brown
Weight: 362g
Material: polyamide
Country of manufacture: Vietnam
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: men’s 30in waist to 42in short, regular, long leg; women’s 6 to 20, short and regular leg

The Farley trousers are designed for general walking and trekking and can be converted to shorts when the temperature rises.

Fabric is medium-weight polyamide, which is fast drying. The waistband is partly elasticated and has belt loops.

The Vaude trousers are well endowed with pockets. There are two unzipped hip pockets, the right-hand one having a smaller zipped pocket, ideal for coins or keys, plus two rear pocket with fabric flaps and hook-and-loop closures. There are also two thigh pockets with zips, which are well positioned fairly high up.

The zips for converting to shorts are also quite high up on the legs, and don’t intrude into the walking motion when the bottoms are attached. Removing and replacing the trouser bottoms was fairly simple though they’re not colour coded.

The knees are articulated and the hems have drawcords to cinch them in around boot tops.

The legs are fairly wide, so do flap against the body a little in wind, but allow air to circulate – useful on warmer days. The fabric isn’t stretchy but the fit in general is quite loose.

In use, we found the Farley ZO Pants worked best on warmer to cool days. Windblocking is moderate. Comfort was good though there was no stretch when stepping up or down.

The ability to convert the Vaude trousers to shorts gives them a versatility, particularly during warmer months or in hotter climates. The Farley ZO Pants IV are a good choice for general walking and trekking. They are also available in a good range of sizes.

In line with the German brand’s policy, the trousers have good green credentials. They carry Vaude’s Green Shape label, using sustainable materials and fair working conditions. They also have UPF 50+ protection against UV rays. The fit of the Farley ZO Pants IV was generous.

Suitable for: spring, summer and autumn hillwalking and country walking; trekking; travel.

Comfort: 33/40
Performance: 24/30
Features: 8/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 80/100

The Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Pant and the Marmot Highland Pant topped our test. Both pairs of trousers combined comfort and performance. Both these were more suited to cold or cool days.

Close behind were the Craghoppers NosiLife Pro II, the Fjallraven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers, the Mammut Runbold Pants and the Rab Torque Pants, all very different garments.

The Craghoppers trousers are lighter, general-purpose walking pants best suited to warmer temperatures. The Fjallraven ones are like no others in the test, with traditional Scandinavian design and features useful to people who work in the outdoors as well as walk in the countryside. The Mammut Pants are good for fast movement on more technical ground, while the Rab Torque is at home on a climbing crag but will also serve well for walkers tackling scrambles and who appreciate a more minimalist design.

There’s a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a pair of trousers for general country walking, hillwalking and mountain walking, with lots of brands scoring well in that area.
We suggest looking at the purposes we think each pair of trousers is best suited for when making your choice, as well as the performance, comfort and other ratings to match your demands. Then you won’t end up like Wallace and Gromit, with the Wrong Trousers.

  • All the trousers in the test review were supplied to grough by the brands.

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