CGR tries to destroy the indestructible Haglöfs Rugged Mountain Pants with the ultimate power force – the UK mountains!
Value for money****
Haglöfs, based in Sweden are renowned for making high quality and innovative mountain clothing and equipment. The kit they produce is well designed and made to last and so it proved with the Rugged Mountain Pants. When I unpacked them I honestly thought they were a pair of rigger pants, they looked and felt absolutely indestructible. I tried them on and was instantly looking for my cordless drill and a white van! So with such a rugged look and feel did they fit the bill? CGRUK tried to destroy the indestructible with the ultimate power force – the UK mountains!
Firstly the style – the pants certainly look and feel the business: rugged feeling materials and heavyweight. The website does state that they are a heavy weight item and they felt heavy (760 grams) so they wouldn’t be suitable for a summer walk. Although I did wear them on two very hot days and the venting made them tolerable, just. The materials are a mixture of Haglöfs own Climatic Rugged™ which felt like proper canvas material and FlexAble™ fabric for the seat and knees which also felt very rugged, this was bonded to a smooth inner so as to aid movement over the knee area and reduced chafing.
They come in two colours, the test pair were black with orange pocket liners and seat liner, this made them easy to get on in a dark tent or mountain hut when wearing a headtorch – a neat feature. The DWR is a chemical free treatment and worked well until the pants became saturated, I have found this typical with all DRW treatments, they will shed a light shower but will saturate in more persistent rain. The heavyweight nature of the fabric also made them a little slow to dry, but nowhere near as bad as cotton.
The size tested was a Medium, I measured them to be a 34” waist and a 32” inside leg. The waist was slightly elasticated so would give a little, I wore them with a belt and there a plentiful supply of burly belt loops. I would have liked to have seen some brace loops as I will definitely be wearing these as a winter climbing pant and I wouldn’t want to wear a belt under a harness. It also closed with a riveted button, thus adding to the rugged look and feel. There were two jeans style pockets at the front and a zipped rear pocket for valuables; there was also an inner folded pocket for hidden security of notes, etc. There were also two zipped thigh pockets that were enormous, I couldn’t even begin to list what I got into them and soon found myself looking like a bee with full pollen sacks. These proved really handy and my only complaints here was that I thought the zip closed the wrong way; they zipped down towards the inner thigh and I thought they would work better closing down towards my hamstring. Also the cell phone pocket was too small for both my Blackberry and Kev’s iPhone, you’d only get a slimline/old school phone in there. Great pockets though, I can see them being particularly useful when winter climbing, on belays when you need everything to hand.
The knees were well articulated and there was also a thigh vent, which proved very useful on hot days or steamy walk ins. All the seams were double and in some areas triple stitched. All the zips were YKK and the insteps were made of a very tough looking reinforced polymide fabric which again looked like canvas and acted as a handy crampon patch.
The hem had an adjustable closure system that pulled the pants tight around the boot and there was also a lace hook to hold the pants in position. Although I tested the pants in summer conditions I can see that these two features would be very useful in a winter climbing and mountaineering situations, especially when used with gaiters.
So, in conclusion, the super burly Haglöfs Rugged Mountain Pant are too heavy weight for a typical British summer but would make an outstanding technical mountaineering pant for all other mountain conditions. They would need another layer, such as merino baselayer for use in the winter and brace loops would help hold them up on the walk in. I’ve been wearing these solid all spring and summer and they still look like new. These very durable pants will last you a lifetime, in fact you could leave them in your will to the kids and they will get a lifetime of use out of them too.