A highly robust, super-functional pair of hiking pants for three-season hiking in challenging conditions.
Basic belt included
Robust material with good thermal properties
Limited pocket capacity
All synthetic materials
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Keela Scuffer hiking pants: first impressions
As the name suggests, you don’t need to be too precious with Keela Scuffers – they are designed to look after you on tough and technical terrain, more than you need to look after them. Once worn, they may soon become one of your new favorite hiking essentials.
These are some of the best hiking pants for keeping cozy, but if things get a little too warm there is a mid-sized vent on each thigh for dumping heat and letting in a breeze – and these are backed with mesh so your skin isn’t exposed.
Made with a fairly large amount of spandex, they stretch impressively to give you a full range of movement when you need it. The Scuffers come with a belt (although it’s extremely basic), but the waist (which does up with a popper) is also elasticated, so you can dispense with the belt in most circumstances, so long as you’ve got the correct size.
There are three pockets – two on the sides and one on the bum – all of which are zipped for peace of mind when you’re carrying something vital in them. The leg ends open up wide, so you can wear these trousers with any kind of hiking boots, no matter how chunky, and then close them securely with a zip and velcro fastener.
For all the functionality they offer, the price point is impressively reasonable, especially since they should last for years.
• RRP: $100 (US) / £80 (UK)
• Style: Classic trousers
• Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s versions
• Sizes: Men’s: Short-Long, XS-3XL Women’s: Short-Long, 8-20
• Weight (Men’s large): 544g / 19oz
• Materials: Nylon (65%), polyester (24%), spandex (11%)
• Colors: Iron / Navy / Black
• Compatibility: Ideal for people who walk in places where conditions can be rough, tough, chilly, or highly changeable
Keela Scuffer hiking Pants: on the trails
Made with thick and fairly heavy-duty materials, Keela Scuffers will happily take a fair amount of beating on rough and rocky surfaces, and still come back for more.
I’ve been wearing these trousers across three seasons (fall, winter and spring) and have taken them on some really rough terrain – including scrambles across jagged rocks in Wales and Scotland – and they are not showing any signs of wear and tear.
The lower legs have protection panels, which swish together a little bit occasionally, but work well to prevent the fabric deteriorating, and the shiny material can be wiped clean when it gets muddy.
The material does breathe reasonably well, but the mesh-backed thigh vents are a really good addition, allowing you to get a stride on when tackling ascents without sweating too much. They still run a little warm for sea-level walking in summer, but will be good year-round for those hiking in higher hills.
The belt is basic, but it works, and can be replaced easily enough if you want to upgrade it. Having a full compliment of zipped pockets is good, and one has an extra zipped pouch inside – which seems a little over-the-top, but can be handy if you want to keep a card or car keys super safe while regularly accessing the main pocket for things like trail mix or a compass.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. 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 on Strava here and instagram here.