Thick, thermally protective long pants for hiking high trails or walking through the colder months, with a range of useful features, including vents, protective panels and zipped bottoms for accommodating boots.
- • Excellent thermal properties for cold-weather hiking
- • Excellent stretch
- • Good vents
- • Lower-leg expansion gussets to accommodate boots
- • Limited pocket storage
- • Integrated belt not brilliant
- • They make a swishing noise as you walk
Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Trousers: first impressions
Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Trousers are made with a thicker material than most others on test for out best hiking pants buying guide; the brushed mesh and microfleece fabric they use will keep your legs warm even on the chilliest of morning walks, making them ideal for four seasons.
In summer they will be too warm for sea-level hikes, but people exploring the higher hills and peaks of the Alps or the Rockies will appreciate the extra thermal heft. And if you do get a bit sweaty beneath the belt, there are two, long side zips that open up vents along the thighs, backed by a mesh so your skin isn’t fully exposed.
Storage space is a bit lacking, with a hand pocket on each side and one shallow thigh pocket that zips closed – the theory being, perhaps, that you will likely be wearing these trousers with a fleece or down jacket (which will provide better pockets). The included, semi-integrated belt is a bit average too, and if it comes out (which it can during washing) it’s a bit of a pain to rethread.
However, on a more positive note, these pants have plenty of stretch and don’t restrict your movement at all. The waist is styled high, to prevent the ingress of snow, and there’s a zipped gusset at the end of each leg so you can fit them over chunky, high-collared winter hiking boots. The reinforced lower leg sections make them more robust, but they do rub together noisily when you walk.
• RRP: $116 (US) / £112 (UK)
• Style: Cold-weather trouser
• Gender specificity: Men’s
• Sizes: 32in-38in waist
• Weight (Men’s large): 632g / 22.3oz
• Materials: Polyamide (96%), elastane (4%)
• Colors: Black / Navy
• Compatability: Cold-weather clambering and hill hiking in wintery conditions
Berghaus Winter Fast Hike Trousers: on the trails
Having worn these Berghaus Winter Fast Hike trousers all through a British winter – on trails, hillsides and mountain slopes in a range of quite chilly and challenging conditions – I can attest that they really do keep your pins warm.
I’m a big fan of the zipped vents, which proved useful on many occasions during uphill efforts, and I stopped noticing the swish-swishing noise of the protective panels on the lower legs after a while (although it may have continued to annoy walking partners).
My major beef with these trousers is with the belt, which came out during laundering, as I predicted it would. In part this is user error, because simply doing it up before I put it in the machine would have prevented this happening, but it’s not so much the fact it came detached, it’s the annoying difficulty of threading it back through the lengthy belt loops (or adding a better one) that’s so irritating. It should be a minor quibble, but the high waist design means you really do need a belt to make these work.
That aside, these are decent, warm and well-featured long-trouser pants for hiking in a range of conditions.
Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here.
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