Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants Review 2023

Super warm and versatile pants suitable for all winter mountain activities as well as every day wear in cod weather.


  • Excellent style and cut
  • Really warm
  • Laminated insulated layer


  • Thigh pocket goes over front of thigh
  • Only comes in one inside leg length

Last year we featured the excellent Jack Wolfskin Bergland Insulated Hoody, which has proved to be a great winter jacket. We continue the winter theme with the Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants. Part of the Activate trekking and hiking range the pants are designed to offer maximum freedom of movement and breathability.

The Activate Thermic Pants are an ideal hiking trouser for winter hiking and general wear, indeed I have been living in these when working from home in these recent cold snaps. Much more stylish update to my ancient fleece joggers. Style wise the pants are straight cut with a performance feel to them. I tested the size EUR 50 which equates to a UK 34” waist and they have fitted well and I needed a belt (a belt is not included with the pants). Roomy but neither did I feel I needed to size up to a 52. The thighs have been fine too, performance fit again but with enough stretch to be comfortable when sitting (for driving to the start of your hike for instance) and the rise at the crotch is standard.

Nice and warm on a cold windy Ingleborough summit in January. YDNP UK

The material is great, it’s Jack Wolfskin’s own Texasheild Stretch Thermic which feels like a lighter version of hardshell fleece fabric that was popular a few years back. The face fabric looks and feels like a normal soft-shell fabric and the inner is a lightweight brushed fleece, which is 100% recycled fabric. It’s a one piece fabric and not a sewn in micro fleece liner that you often find in some cheaper brands. Also the fabric feels great against the skin and does’t feel bulky at all. 

The face fabric is a tightly woven (double weave) and has been very windproof, I haven’t needed to add an extra layer such as leggings or over trousers even on very windy and cold days. They also have a PFC free DWR treatment that has worked well in light showers. I have needed to put on over trousers in heavy snow showers but then one I have deployed them I’ve been super warm.

On active approaches the Activate Thermic pants have performed well, I have over heated on steep terrain (but then I run hot) but I haven’t felt that my legs have been overly sweaty. The fleece inner does a good job of wicking away sweat and delivering it to the face fabric. They have been super warm when I have been wearing them around cold mountain huts in perfect comfort. They have dried out really quickly and I have been able to wear them around the hut even after a hiking day. I noticed they needed a wash after about 3 or 4 days of continuous wear (that is every day for hiking and hut wear). They washed fine and dried out in no time.

The perfect winter environment for the Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants – Striding Edge, LDNP UK

Features include a wide waistband with a hook and popper fastening to keep everything in place. Double belt loop at the rear to stop belts chaffing and subtle articulated knees which meant the legs fell straight and not bunch up at the knees. The legs articulated plenty enough for rock climbing which I occasionally enjoy even in winter – I have found plenty of movement over various rock terrain. The inside leg only comes in one size – regular – which is a 32”. The cuff can be taken up if you have access to a good quality repair shop. The issue with this is that there is a reflective flashing very low on the legs and this would interfere with the look at the bottom so I would suggest to Jack Wolfskin that they site this further up in future updates.

The cut gave good freedom of movement for rock climbing. Cold January bouldering at Shipley Glen. Yorkshire UK.

The Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants also have 4 zipped pockets: two hand warmer with a microfleece inner which really helped keep hands warm on approaches; a zipped back pocket plenty big enough for a wallet and a discrete ‘in line’ thigh pocket for keeping smaller items. Finally there is a discreet Jack Wolfskin logo on the right thigh which is printed in the same colour as the pants – very classy.

So, to finalise, the Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants would be a great addition to your winter kit list if you are an active winter hiker. They would be suitable for all winter activities such as hiking, mountaineering, snow shoeing and back country cross country skiing. The fabric is first class and works well in active approaches and the style is good enough for the cycle commute into the office on colder days.

The Jack Wolfskin Activate Thermic Pants come in three colour options and sizes EUR 46-58.

The SRP is £115 and they can be bought direct from Jack Wolfskin UK and specialist retailers.

Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!

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