As you would expect from a well-established outdoor brand like The North Face, Apex Trekking trousers are very robust, comfortable and stretchy, well-featured trousers. I found them long (I’m 5’7”), so they would be a good buy for taller walkers. The ankle adjustment is particularly good with these: they have a slight flare for fitting over larger winter boots, but you can quickly narrow the ankle with looped elastic adjusters that don’t dangle about. For warm-weather use you can also ventilate the lower leg unobtrusively by unzipping the side zips and leaving the popper attached at the hem. Although the zips are tiny, the rubber blob at the end means you can use them with massive padded winter gloves without going insane. The sleek, welded seam side pockets have furry hand-warming yet venting mesh inside. But they may be too long for some people. The side pockets are a little small, but the main drawback is the relatively heavy weight: 501g puts these pants at about 70g more than the winner (the weight of a light gas stove), but for £10 less you might make a different choice.
Material 4-way stretch Apex Universal
Sizes women’s 6-18; men’s 28-38in waist (all come in regular and long leg lengths; short in men’s only)
Made in Bangladesh
Stores in the UK 178
Verdict: The North Face Apex Trekking: very reasonably priced, robust, comfy mountain trousers for all seasons.