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.
Have you used the the Rugged Mountain trouser for ice climbing or winter climbing? Do you think it’s a bit heavy or less stretchy comparing to other softshell trousers?
Yes, they are very good. But you definitely need another layer underneath as they have no lining. Good pants.
i god mine this winter only – and just to mention, that i can easily store my blackberry and even my garmin gpsmap 62s in the inner cell phone pocket – so maybe Haglöfs noted the problem and enlarged this innerpocket 🙂 i use the norwegian ‘brynje’ long johns underneath in down to -10 degr and they work superbly in winter conditions. good test btw.
That’s sounds great Kristian. I have been using them this winter here in the UK with a pair of 3/4 length Smartwool underwear and they have been very good. They do get wet though as they are not true dryshell pants. Still my favourite winter mountaineering pants though! Dave.
I’ve just been using them this weekend in The Lake District climbing a snowy ridge, they were great. I had a 3/4 length pair of Smartwool leggings on and was warm enough all dat even though my legs were wet. That’s UK winter climbing for you! All the best, Dave.
I am planning on doing a three day trek covering 8000m elevation in late June (In and around Glencoe) and am looking for a pair of comfortable trousers that will do me for the three days of the challenge. Would these be suitable if we get a bit of freakish sunny weather or should I also buy a lighter pair of trousers on the off chance the sun is out? If so could you recommend a lighter pair of trousers. Thanks, Jamie Crawford, Edinburgh
It depends upon your carry preferences. The Rugged Mountain Pants will take anything you throw at them – they are bombproof and your will probably never need to buy another pair of mountain pants again. They are, however, quite heavy weight material. They do have side venting zips so you can shed some heat that way. How about this for a suggestion – why not wear running shorts instead of underwear – then if the sun does come out you can whip off the trousers and continue with the shorts. I can recommend the Haglofs Lite Trek pants for a lighweight walking pant. I hope that helps, Dave.