Great looking, comfortable, well designed "softshell-like"…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50
Great looking, comfortable, well designed "softshell-like" pants ideal for hiking, but inconspicuous enough for daily wear. Very comfortable stretch fabric, no chaffing from inseam stitching, water repellent finish, good breathability and adequate wind resistance, and an overall excellent value-for money product.
- Wind resistant
- Water repellent
- Great looks
- Excellent value-for-money
- Adding a bit more reinforcement on the hem of the inner pant-leg would make them more durable for tougher mountain terrain
The Craghoppers Kiwi stretch pants (or trousers if you prefer) are an excellent hiking pant, whose design cues are subtle enough and the finished product looks good enough that you could easily wear them out in public or to work and most would not notice.
Fit and comfort: Craghoppers provides short, regular, and long lengths, so you can find the ideal cut. I am 5,10 1/2", size 36, and the short length fit me perfect (most UK brands tend to be cut leaner and longer than North American styles). Although some people find they have to go one size up with Craghoppers, I am usually waist size 34-36, and 36 fit me just fine. Moreover, the fabric feels great (a lot like a thin softshell), and the stretch gives you a lot of mobility (the stitching around the knees is also articulated), it almost feels like youre wearing nothing. At least for me, there appears to be no friction or tightness anywhere with these pants.
Adjustability: Other than an elasticated waist belt, there is no adjustability.
Water Resistance/Moisture handling: The pants are water repellent (DWR coating) and they can shrug off a light shower and snow without issue. They also dry very quick, so getting caught in a shower won't be a bother as you will dry off in no time.
Breathability: I have noticed that they are reasonably wind-resistant, as I never felt cold even in substantial wind, but also did not overheat, so I would say they are quite breathable.
Warmth: They are thin and lightweight, however by virtue of their wind-resistance, they do manage to keep you reasonably warm. Not a pant I would wear in -20 if I was doing anything other than strenuous activity.
Layering: They are a slightly slimmer cut pant (not skinny jeans by any means), but like the hiking pant equivalent of a Levi's 501, so you won't layer much underneath other than maybe a thin thermal layer (certainly not fleece pants), but this makes them great to fit under over-trousers.
Abrasion: They appear to be reasonably abrasion resistant. I have been wearing them for 6 months now on various outings, and so far there are no signs of wear at all.
Function: The pockets are adequate (two zipped on the side, one smaller cargo on one leg, and two at the back), and the side pockets are zipped which is a nice touch if youre afraid of losing your keys, phone, compass, etc...
Ease of use: As far as pants go, these are no harder to use than most pants I have encountered.
Features: Water repellent, stretch fabric, lots of pockets without looking like cargo pants, great design.
Conditions: Hiking in wet and wendy English and Welsh weather, where they have performed extremely well.
These are my 4th pair of Craghoppers pants and shorts and to me they are my go-to brand for pants. Can't beat the quality of the product and excellent price. I highly recommend them.