CGR reviewer James Parkinson looks at the very jazzy Haglöfs Skarn Pants on his Alps trip this season.
Extremely functional lightweight, bi-stretch nylon pant with reinforcement for tough environments
Performance – *****
Quality – ****
Style – **** (go for orange!)
“Wow – those trousers are orange!” was one of the more repeatable comments made when I first wore the Haglöfs Skarn pants in public. And yes, they were – very much so. Sold by Haglöfs as Dynamite, this colour way may not be to everyone’s taste but the pants themselves should be.
I took the Skarn pants to the Alps for a week of classic alpinism and they performed admirably. The FlexAble™ softshell fabric provided enough protection for the beau temps conditions we encountered and I would think that the DWR treated fabric would be ideal for the slightly more unsettled conditions of the UK. The stretch of the fabric allowed for unrestricted freedom of movement (despite the relatively close fit – the crotch gusset helps as well) and meant that I was able to stab the lower legs repeatedly with my crampons without actually ripping them. Maybe I should work on my technique! There are reinforced patches of Keprotech® on the insides of the ankles to further protect them.
The lower legs have zips up to the knees with internal gussets to allow the pants to be put on or removed more easily. In addition, I found this to be useful when wearing different types of footwear; opened slightly to allow for a B3 boot or zipped up tight for precision in rock shoes.
As well as wearing the Haglöfs Skarn pants for climbing, I wore them for two nights of bivvying on our traverse of the Matterhorn. The waist has a lining of brushed polyester and the seams on the side and inner leg are offset, all of which makes the pants very comfortable. I definitely can’t blame my lack of sleep on them!
The knees are articulated and reinforced with a thicker version of the FlexAble™ fabric (205g/m2 compared with 182g/m2 in the rest of the pants) and this works well. I would maybe have liked to see this reinforcement on the seat as well to add a little more toughness.
Two zipped hand warmer pockets are supplemented by a zipped pocket on the seat and one on the right thigh. I found the thigh pocket particularly useful for little items such as lip balm and lift tickets as it is easily accessible while wearing a harness.
A couple more little features that are worth a mention are the integrated belt and a rear hanging loop. I’m not sure when you’d really use the latter but it’s there in case you want to!
If the Dynamite colour way isn’t your thing then the Skarn pants are also available in Granite, True Black and Firefly (a rather jazzy yellow!). There is also a women’s Q version in Magnetite
So whether you’re heading for some summer alpinism or climbing or walking in the UK year round, the Haglöfs Skarn pants would be a great choice of trousers and they look cool too!