Here we have another British brand that even though is not among the premium ones still managed to impress. Being on the market for over half of century they managed to learn a thing or two about outdoor gear. But what pleased me the most is their customer service. Now I can’t speak for other of their products, but for this particular pair of trousers they have my vote.

 

Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch are a pair of walking trousers for both men and women and they come in different versions to fulfil every hiker’s need. There are cheaper ones only made out of cotton, a convertible model in case you fancy 2 in 1 for warmer days, and even a higher technical version for alpine climbs. there’s a few colours to choose from, but mostly darker ones. No yellow, red or blue. This particular model we are reviewing is priced at £45 on their website, but can be found cheaper on amazon.

Kiwi - Front view

 

The size – the trousers are a bit on the small side and come in short, regular and long. They start at 30″ waist and only in even numbers. I’m usually a 32″ but one size up would have fit much better. They’re still comfortable enough to be worn on long days. You could get the next size if wearing a belt is your thing. I’m 173cm and Regular length is just about right.

The pockets – 4 zip fastening, 2 classic lateral, one above the knee and one at the back. Normal size and can take a phone, camera or protein bar. One of the side pockets has a sunglasses removable wipe. Nothing else I can ask here and the low profile is a plus as I dislike bulkiness.

The trousers have an Active Fit profile, translated in a slim fit and close to body cut. Without being restrictive and in fact quite comfortable. Features an elasticated waist at sides with just about the right elasticity. Comfortable without much pressure on your belly. A zip and 1 button help secure the trousers. A heel tape help keeping them tight on the boot.

The material is a 4 way stretch fabric for maximum mobility and it does work. Despite their slim profile there is no movement restriction even when climbing. Craghoppers uses uses their SmartDry technology, similar to DWR that will keep you dry in light rain. Tested and successfully met the expectations. They also incorporated SolarShield fabric technology with UPF40+ for solar protection and faster drying.

 

Pros and Cons:

Simple walking trousers but nice technical features:

  • alpine fit but stretchy enough not to restrict movement
  • zip secured pockets
  • water repellent treatment
  • comfortable elasticated waist band
  • fast drying
  • articulated knees

The perfect product hasn’t been invented yet:

  • it only comes in even numbers and sizing might be an issue as it runs a bit small.
  • the stretchy material will give up eventually
  • not the lightest

 

Field Test:

I have been wearing these trousers for years now from the heat of Sahara desert to trekking in the Alps, via ferrata in the Dolomites and up to 3000m. They’ve endured rain, mud, dust and withstood rubs against sharp rocks. They’re so much more than a simple pair of walking pants. Versatile and extremely comfortable to wear. I literally never leave without them when it comes to outdoors. And since they are so comfortable I came to overcome the small sizing issue. Unfortunately durability has it’s limits. And that was 3 years of intensive use when the stretchy material failed. Within a few washes from the first sign, the material around the knees became flat without any elasticity left. Other then that the trousers looked like new. Probably because of the slim cut, there is a higher pressure in that area. Nevertheless, I’ve contacted customer service and even thought product warranty had long time expired, Craghoppers sent me a new pair. Just wow, I can’t even described how impressed I was.

 

Conclusions:

If you read till this point, I don’t think is much to say. You probably know I would recommend the Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch trousers. Despite the few negative parts they make a fantastic pair of walking/hiking trouser. And their customer service is five stars which I find quite important when choosing a brand. Obviously there are better options on the market in terms of durability and weight. But why pay £100+ when you can have similar quality without breaking the bank. I would happily buy 3 pairs instead and last me for a decade.

 

 

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