This is an updated version of a walking trouser that I have been lounging about in since October 2003, when I reviewed the original design. The new version has a wider ankle cuff and generally cooler styling. The fabric is the same bombproof Ironwear N700 with Touch Dry finish, which has proved to be tougher than any jeans without losing its colour. The new washed olive colour is particularly cool. The knees are articulated, but not so much that they hang baggily when propping up the bar. You get a leg pocket with a zip that is wide enough to take a map, which is useful on the hill. The two hip pockets are map-sized yet they don’t look ugly like a huge patch pocket can. The waist is elasticated with concealed webbing belt. There is a zipped pocket on the side of the hip that I use for keys. The diamond crotch allows plenty of freedom of movement when scrambling. These certainly win on the cool stakes, yet they retain the practical features that make them ideal for the hill-walker. But this version does not have adjustment at the ankle cuff; although the autumn 06 version has subtle and tidy adjustment if you want it. The trousers are still a little baggy around the hips, though that might be just me, but closer-fitting trousers are better for the hill. The fabric is not a stretch material, so others are better if you want a closer fit while maintaining freedom of movement. Other trousers have larger pockets and more articulated knees, but of course such features definitely lose marks in the cool league. There’s not a lot else wrong here though.
Materials: Ironwear N-700 with Dry Touch
Colours: bisque, congo, otter, washed olive
Sizes: 30-38 (men’s only)
Weight: 502g (men’s size 34)
Made in China
Stores in UK: England 20; Wales 3; Scotland 8; Ireland 1
Verdict: If you’re into hill, valley and mountain walking as well as scrambling and backpacking, these are practical while maintaining the cool style that means they don’t look out of place in an urban bar.