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How to find the perfect trekking trousers
Fjällräven knows its trekking trousers. But why are there so many models? The answer is straightforward: we are all different. We have different physiques, our bodies have different needs, and we enjoy different activities. So, our trousers have to be different as well.
Choosing a pair of trekking trousers is the first step towards going on an exciting expedition. There is a jungle of models to analyse in the hunt for the pair that will suit you best, and according to Fjällräven’s Head of Design and Innovation Henrik Andersson, this is for good reason. We are all different, and so are the trekking activities we like to take part in.
How do you start the process of finding the perfect pair of trousers? Ask yourself a couple of questions. First, what will you use them for? Second, what is the climate? According to Henrik, “All trekking trousers are made so you can move easily in them. But if you are trekking in the lowlands, you maybe don’t have the same need for versatility as those who are heading for the mountains. The bigger the strides you need to take, the more stretch you’ll need in your trousers”.
Good trousers are trousers you don’t need to think about too much. They’re intuitive, they don’t chafe and they’re comfortable.
FJÄLLRÄVEN’S HEAD OF DESIGN AND INNOVATION
Trouser fit and fabric are important to consider, because they impact how much freedom of movement you want. For instance, some trousers are better for moving quickly. Others are better for walking through terrain at a more leisurely pace. You also need to think about what kind of climate and terrain you will use your trousers in. Perhaps you need increased ventilation for hot and humid conditions, in which lighter and stretchy fabrics are better. Or maybe you need a robust material to provide extra protection from cold winds and wet weather.
“Then you can ask yourself, what kind of things do I want to have easily accessible? That’s where the number of pockets comes into play. If you are trekking in trailless terrain, leg pockets that have room for a map and compass are handy,” says Henrik.
You may also need to have quick access to matches, a knife and other things that you know you will need to use frequently. In this case, it is convenient to have room for these items in your pockets, so you don’t have to take off your backpack each time you need them.
With more than 60 years of experience, Fjällräven continuously works on product development and improving the trekking trousers already on the market. Sometimes the results of this work are hard to see, but as Henrik says a good pair of trousers are those that you do not need to reflect on. In fact, the most fundamental qualities a good pair of trousers can have are comfort in any situation, and durability in the face of wear and tear.
“Good trousers are trousers you don’t need to think about too much. They’re intuitive, they don’t chafe and they’re comfortable. You shouldn’t be too warm in them and there shouldn’t be any zippers in the way.”
Thoughtful solutions and innovations however, don’t hurt. For example, a number of Fjällräven trekking trousers have boot hooks that allow you to fasten the leg endings to your boots. For optimal use, you want to ensure there is a bit of extra length in the legs so the straps do not pull when you take long or high strides. As Henrik says, “The leg endings will rub against each other now and again when you walk in boots. So they have to fit well over the boots”.
Another tip from Henrik is to try a few exaggerated moves when you are trying them on in the store. His recommendation? “Take a big step up onto a stool, try some extra-long strides. Trousers that do not fit well will feel uncomfortable and wear more when you move. A good pair of trousers will let you move freely.”
Something for everyone
Even if there isn’t one single pair of trousers that can fulfil everyone’s every requirement, there is a lot of value in products that are versatile. In this regard, Henrik gives a nod to the versatile and multi-purpose Vidda Pro and Keb Trousers. Also, in the category “Everyday Outdoor” you will find trousers that act as a link between daily living and nature. These trousers are designed to be worn in town, at work, or in school, as well as during a hike in the forest.
Finally, the choice of trouser we make also has to take our body shape into account. Everybody’s body is unique, but regardless of your height, weight or build, there will be a pair of trousers with a fit perfect for you.
“The advantage of having such a wide and multifaceted range is that there is something for everyone. You may not be able to order tailor-made garments made specifically for you and your preferences but because we have so many parameters that we take into account, I think I can say that we aren’t far from it in reality. So, our customers have an easier time finding a pair of trousers that actually fit them properly.”