“Probably the most durable outdoor pant in the world.” That’s the level of confidence that Jeffry Oonk, friend of Haglöfs has in the Rugged Mountain Pants. We spoke to Jeffry about this and a number of other products we used during a two-day trekking in Norway.
Besides what you can see and hear in out GearTalk video about the Rugged Mountain Pants, we will tell you a bit more, and dive a bit deeper into the product and our experience in this review.
As we say in the video, we always want to find out about the promise of the product first. In other words, what it is made for, what is it supposed to do, what is the idea behind it. Only if we know enough about the product can we do a fair review.
The Rugged Mountain Pants were created to keep you warm and dry in colder, windier and wetter circumstances. It’s an “Extremely durable, fluorocarbon free, fully featured stretchy hybrid trekking pant!” so says the Haglöfs website.
As we all know fluor is used to help the water repellency of pants but is very harmful to the environment so we are happy that this chemical is not used in this product. The pants are not completely water repellent, just the black surfaces on your knees are watertight till 15000 mm hydrostatic head (water columns) and but are treated with a (non-fluor) DWR. The material itself is a 95% Polyamide (strong & breathable) and 5% Elastane (Stretchy & comfortable). The lower leg insets are reinforced with 500 denier Polyamide and a layer of PU coating.
The strength and durability of the product are due to triple stitching on the main seams and double stitching on the rest, along with the Polyamide material. It’s a fairly simple product, with a straight cut to the legs, two hand pockets, two zippered thigh pockets with a smartly slanted bellow and one zipper back pocket. The reason we mention the slant in the bellow is that oftentimes the bellows are placed vertically and as a consequence can catch on branches or brush when you walk through dense vegetation. The slant in the pocket ensures that that doesn’t happen. Another smart feature is the phone pocket sleeve place in the right thigh pocket.
One of the things that GearLimits partner Hayco was quick to pick up on was the way the adjustable leg hems fit snuggly about the top of your boot, to increase the water tightness of your boots above the ankle. A great detail once more was that the gaiter hook was tucked away neatly in a hook garage. That means that if you do not want to use the hook, you can put it cleanly away and it will not catch on you laces if you don’t want it to. Just smart thinking again.
As Jeffry mentions in the GearTalk film, the pants are quite warm, and although they have ventilation zippers, the pants really are geared towards colder circumstances. In a way that is a pity because they really are a joy to wear. (I’m actually wearing it now, as I write this review. They are really comfortable, even though you do feel that you are wearing non-natural fibres. The fit is really great, the stretch making the pants very comfortable.
During our trekking this obviously was a great plus, you need to feel freedom of movement all the time. And as we were filming during the trekking, climbing up rock faces and mountains to get the best shots, sitting on the ground, on our but, knees or stomach, you don’t want the pants to encumber you in any way. The water resistance of the knees and but was tested fairly well in those moments also. The ground was quite wet, just six weeks earlier it had been covered with snow, so there was meltwater in abundance. Sitting in that wetness, for minutes at a time, working on the shots we needed really tested the fabric. You do feel the chill of the water through the fabric but the water is kept out. And even if you’re not filming, you will need and notice these kinds of essential features as you sit cooking your dinner, or outside your tent, or on the mountainside enjoying the amazing views around you.
Obviously, we have to take into account that the pants were fresh and new, so we will be keeping an eye on if it keeps performing this well in the months and years we hope to keep using these pants.
Last but not least, what struck me, is the way that the look of the pants during the trekking kept very clear. Dirt does not seem to catch on it very much. They just look good and keep looking good. So, we were very impressed by these pants, and the future will tell if the confidence Haglöfs has in the pants is well founded. But we are off to a good start methinks.