Fjällräven knows its trekking trousers. But why are there so many models? The answer is as simple as it is obvious: We’re all different. We enjoy different activities. So our trousers have to be different as well.
Choosing a pair of trekking trousers can be the first step towards going on an exciting expedition. There is a whole jungle of models to analyse in the hunt for the one 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 activities we like to take part in. Just asking a few simple questions can start the process of finding the perfect trousers for you. What will you be using them for? And in what kind of climate?
“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,” says Henrik.
"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
Both the fit and the choice of fabric they are made from are based on how much freedom of movement you want and if you plan to move quickly through the terrain or more leisurely. And of course you need to think about what kind of climate you need them for and what kind of terrain you will primarily use them in – if you need increased ventilation in hot and humid conditions, or extra protection from bad weather and cold winds. This is why we have trekking trousers made from fabrics ranging from really robust and durable to lighter, airier materials.
“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 might also need to have quick access to matches, a knife and other things that you know you’ll need to use frequently. And it can be convenient to have room for these kinds of things in your pockets so you don’t have to take off your backpack each time you need them.
With more than 50 years of experience, Fjällräven is constantly working on product development and improving on their trousers that are already on the market. Ironically, the results of this development work are sometimes hard to see with the naked eye, as a good product is one that you don’t need to reflect on. The most fundamental quality in a good pair of trousers is, despite everything, that they are comfortable, and that they are durable and can handle the wear and tear that a pair of trekking trousers will be exposed to.
“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,” says Henrik. Quite a few of the models have boot hooks that allow you to fasten the leg endings to your boots. Then you want to make sure there is a bit of extra length in the legs, so they don’t pull when you take long or high strides.
“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.”
Another tip from Henrik is to try a few exaggerated moves when you are trying them on in the store. “Take a big step up onto a stool, try some extra long strides. Trousers that don’t 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 naturally a lot of value in products that are versatile. Henrik goes on to give a special mention to Vidda Pro and Keb Trousers that are versatile and designed to be used in a number of different situations. But there are more models of course. In the category “Everyday outdoor” you will find everyday trousers that act as a link to nature. These trousers are designed to work in town, at work or in school, as well as for a nice hike in the forest at the end of a busy day. And finally the choice we make also has to take our body shape into account. Every body is unique, but regardless of your height, weight or build, there will be a pair of trousers with a fit perfect for you.
Trekking in the lowlands or the mountains? Moving quickly or leisurely? Big strides or smaller ones? The terrain and activity affects which trousers you choose.
“The advantage of having such a wide and multifaceted range is that there is something for everyone. You can’t 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.”
First published on foxtrail: https://foxtrail.fjallraven.com/articles/trekking-trousers/