Vaude Decoder

The Decoder walking trousers sport a good four-way stretch fabric which means you get plenty of freedom of movement for scrambling and climbing, as well as walking. The waist is elasticated with belt loops, there’s a zipped fly and they fitted me well. Strangely the belt loops have reflective piping! A little articulation at the knees plus a zipped ankle cuff further enhance the fit. The ankle cuff has a zip opening to fit over ski boots or bigger-cuffed mountaineering boots. You also get a press stud adjuster to cinch down the ankle cuff if climbing in rock boots for example. There are a total of five pockets plus a hidden security pocket. So, well-featured trousers at a good price that are suitable for mountain action of most kinds. But the fabric is a bit rougher than higher-priced options. Also, the leg pockets could be an inch deeper to take maps more easily. For more cash you can get extra reinforcement, and a bellows gusset behind that ankle zip. So no major drawbacks, but personal preferences may cause you to shy away from these.


Material: 90% nylon/10% elastane, Teflon DWR
Sizes: 46-56 (men’s); 36-44 (women’s)
Colours: black, hibiscus
Weight: 560g (size men’s 52)
Made in: Far East
Stores in the UK: mail order only


Verdict: Superb trousers for the price when used for valley, hill and mountain walking, trekking and scrambling, but a higher price brings even better performance.