This low-key, stylish running top is super lightweight and ultra-breathable, keeping you cool when you’re running and hiking and warm when you’re at camp
- Tough and durable
- Environmentally friendly fabric
- Not waterproof
- Not moisture-wicking
Alpkit Kraft women's hiking pants: first impressions
On the rack, these hiking pants look like a pretty stylish pair of jeans but they make a pretty sturdy piece of kit. The organic cotton canvas is tough without being too thick and promises to be long-lasting, hold up against abrasion and offers some wind resistance. The fit is slim and stylish with an articulated cut and a low-rise waist.
The slight stretch to the fabric and gusseted crotch allow for better movement than the slim fit suggests; in fact, the company claims they’ve passed the ‘foot-next-to-your-face-heel-hook’ test. These pants feature a deep zipped thigh pocket for your valuables, double-stitched hems for durability and deep hems on the ankles for easy alteration if needed.
• RRP: £54.99 (UK)
• Sizes available: UK 8 - 10
• Materials: Organic cotton (97%), spandex (3%)
• Colors: Tarmac, brown, brick
• Best use: hiking
Alpkit Kraft women's hiking pants: on the trails
To be honest, when I first put these on I was a little skeptical as to how much I’d want to wear them hiking. They look terrific on and I’ve been wearing them around town non-stop, but with the snug, jean-like fit and stiffer material than I’m used to, I was doubtful as to their claims of comfort and unrestricted motion. After wearing them for a couple of hours, however, I was happily proven wrong.
True to promise, these pants loosen up nicely by the end of your first wear and a little stretch seems to go a long way when it comes to hiking. I can’t say I tried the heel hook maneuver in them, but I wore them for a weekend of fall road tripping, van camping and hillwalking and was comfortable in them the whole time.
These hiking pants are really ideal for cool weather hiking in dry conditions, offering a bit more warmth and durability than your average nylon pants. They’ll hold up against abrasion if you’re doing some scrambling, and are good for cool evenings hanging out at camp or at the crag. If you’re like me, you’ll also probably be tempted to wear them around town.
Being made from cotton, they’re not appropriate for wet conditions and they’re not moisture wicking, so you’d probably want to hang them up for hot summer months too, but in the fall you’ll certainly get your money’s worth out of them and being made from organic cotton is always a plus in my book.
Here’s how they performed:
These wear like a very flattering pair of low-cut, slim-fit jeans, snug without being skin tight. The regular length is perfect for wearing with hiking shoes and they come with deep seams for easy alteration.
The size 8 pair fit me like a glove and because they initially feel quite snug until you wear them a bit, I was initially concerned they were too small. After a few hours, they loosened up and I’d say they fit true to size. However with a slim-fit style, if you have strong legs or are in between sizes, you’ll want to size up.
These aren’t as comfortable as a pair of soft-shell pants, but they’re comfortable. The cotton feels nice against your skin and it has a little give to it, while the gusseted crotch makes them comfortable to sit down in, as long as you wear the right size to begin with.
These pants don’t feature any fancy temperature regulating technology and they don’t claim to. They’re good old fashioned cotton and with decent wind resistance, they’ll keep you warm on a cool, dry day.
Due to the cool weather, I didn’t work up a big sweat in these. If you avoid wearing them in very hot weather or moist conditions, breathability won’t be an issue, but they’re not kitted out with the latest moisture-wicking technology either.
These look and feel like they’ll last a very long time and hold up against scrambling as well as hiking. They urge you not to wash them frequently for environmental purposes, and if you heed that advice, they should last even longer.
Here’s where we tested the Alpkit Kraft Women's hiking pants:
This hike begins where the lowlands meet the highlands of Scotland. After you take in a volcanic plug and views of Loch Lomond, you can visit the distillery at the base for a wee dram.
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