Follow Jess from Taunton Leisure HQ as she takes on Rab’s technical trouser, takes it along the Affric-Kintail way and gives her thoughts.
Trying to find a pair of outdoor trousers that not only fit right but perform can sometimes feel like a bit of a challenge. With so many styles, materials and cuts/ fits, it can be hard to know what trousers will suit your activity.
The Rab Incline Pants are part of Rab’s Softshell range and are made from Rab’s own Matrix fabric. So, what is softshell? Softshell materials came into play in the 1980s when outdoor manufacturers were looking to create a material that bridged the gap between waterproof materials, and stretchy, soft, fleece material, to create something that will stretch, but also be water-resistant. When the early softshell garments began to hit the market, users such as mountaineers, skiers, and climbers adopted them as a means to stay warm, dry and on the move.
While softshell materials work well to keep you dry, they don’t feature a waterproof membrane. This is because waterproof membranes inhibit breathability and wicking, so instead, Rab coats their softshells with a Durable Water Repellent finish (DWR), in order to give a moderate level of water resistance from the very occasional shower.
But, why would you want a pair of softshell trousers? Because they are excellent in cool, changeable weather conditions. They provide wind resistance, air permeability for breathability, and they remove moisture when active. Not only that, but they’re fast drying too, so you can brave rain showers without having to wrestle on waterproof over-trousers. But not forgetting, they provide a high degree of stretch for freedom of movement and are durable, allowing you to scramble without restrictions.
My first impressions of the Incline Pants were how lightweight they are. I was slightly concerned if they were going to be warm enough, but I was soon proven wrong. They blocked out wind and rain showers and were breathable enough to be comfortably worn under waterproof over-trousers. Soft to the touch, the softshell material is also bonded to a knit liner for enhanced performance and next-to-skin comfort. The two hand pockets are generously sized, even comfortably fitting a phone (fellow females will know the struggle) and all the pockets double up as vents with mesh-style lining for when it gets too warm. The wide waistband sat comfortably, even when under my pack’s waist belt, and low-profile belt loops give you the option to add a belt. The regular fit and straight leg design offered enough movement without being baggy and the tethered drawcord hem came in very handy when the midges came out to play.
A great all-rounder, these go-anywhere trousers are perfect for hiking, trekking and backpacking in cooler, changeable conditions. Great fitting, non-restrictive and all-day comfort feels pretty much guaranteed – what more do you want from a pair of outdoor trousers?
The Rab Incline Pants are available in both women’s and men’s variants and multiple length and size options.