Phil from our Exeter store gives his opinion on these workhorse trousers from Swedish brand Fjällräven.

I’ve really enjoyed wearing these trousers in the holistic sense as they do cover just about everything you might ask them to do, whilst at the same time feeling supremely comfortable, offering a reassuring aura of  durability, and still managing to feel comparatively light as these high spec type hiking trousers go!

The Kaipaks fit me really well, indeed they seem to fit most people really well! It’s reasonable to say they are a snug fit (I normally flirt between 34 and 36, these very definitely needed to be 36!)

On day hikes I found the Kaipaks to be warm enough for all year round use, with the G1000 eco fabric offering good wind protection at the light end of the Fjällräven range, yet still robust enough to withstand abrasion and general ware and tear from rough environments that you would associate with these kind of surroundings.  Despite having stretch fabric on the inner thigh, the crotch area,  and behind the knees which as well as offering extra freedom of movement does allow some ventilation, they would be a little warm for mid summer use at low level, by which time I would definitely be in shorts!

As  a climber, I was keen to find out whether the Kaipak would also double up as a climbing trouser and I can attest to the fact that they would certainly work if you are, like me, a weekend warrior style easy to moderate grade multi pitch aficionado,  giving you the option to use the same trouser for the walk in, and then the days climbing activities, especially if you, also like me, appreciate they higher more exposed mountain routes, where the wind can be strong and cold!

I tried the Kaipaks at our local indoor wall to find out if they allowed sufficient movement for the maximum level at which I aspire to climb ( roped to around 6a to 6b ) I found that they were fine if you clipped the bottom adjustment cuff at its widest point and rolled them up about three folds (which is what I always do anyway as I like clear sight of my feet).  I think it’s fair to say if you were a climber with higher ambitions than mine, you would probably prefer something lighter and more flexible, but the Kaipak is really aimed at the hiking and mountain walking enthusiasts, but it’s nice to know if you’re like me, then the Kaipaks makes an excellent hybrid for both hiking and climbing and also scrambling and via ferrata.

So on to the technical. The Kaipaks have the all important zip pocket on the right hand thigh , which offers good security for those who ( again, guilty as charged) are really good at losing things! The pocket is easily big enough for a mobile phone, and would still have enough room for other bits and pieces.

The belt straps are big enough for a substantial belt, and have two additional loops underneath the front two, which you can attach various hiking aids to, for the purposes of this review I’ve shown a photo of a climbing karabina, but more typically items such as compasses, multi tools or anything else that can be clipped on and needs to be instantly handy for the user!

The bottom of the trouser legs have an adjustable cuff that means you can bring the leg width down to a minimum if required and there is also a metal boot hook which will stop the trousers riding up, and keep the shape streamlined which also  helps the efficient use of gaiters. There are a further three pockets in addition to the zipped one, on the left front there is a buttoned pocket, also quite big, sadly not quite big enough to get a map in, or at least, not buttoned up! There are also two roomy hip pockets, perfect for warming your hands on a cold day!

The fabric is highly wind resistant and light shower resistant, and the latter can be enhanced by using Greenland wax.

All in all the Kaipak is a fabulous multipurpose trouser, looks great on,  feels lovely, give a reassuring feeling of strength and value, and is well worth investing in for the hiker, scrambler, and moderately ambitious weekend climber, or, someone who just wants a good looking hardwearing trouser for everyday use!