“You have a very abrasive butt right now,” my hiking partner said from behind me as we began what would turn into more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain over four miles of ever-changing mud-soaked, ice-laced and snow-packed trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a particularly warm November weekend in the park, but the higher we climbed, and the deeper we ventured into a maze of dense trees, the more I was grateful that I had decided to wear my Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights for the hike, even though my backside looked like I had a sheet of sandpaper stuck to it. Over four hours of hiking and a total of nine miles covered, the tights kept my legs just as comfortable in 60 degree weather at the trailhead as they did trudging through deep, cold snow in a long and shadowy stretch of forest deep in the mountains. If you’ve spent any time on easy to moderate trails a short drive from a city lately, you’ve probably noticed the increase in yoga pants as hiking apparel on the trails. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve sported those comfortable, stretchy pants on hikes, but when that mellow two-mile hike turns in a half-day or multi-day trek, you’re going to need something a little tougher to hold up to the elements. Something that functions equally as well when you’re upright, or wiggling your way down scree or through rocky canyons. While sliding on my butt through the narrow, winding red rock walls of Antelope Canyon last summer, I opted to swap out my hiking shorts for a pair of hiking pants that ultimately got snagged and ripped on a particularly rugged and tricky section. At that moment, I wished for a pair of comfortable pants where durability wasn’t a question. I wish I had discovered Fjällräven’s trekking tights back then.
Pros: Comfort and technical toughness collide in these sleek hiking pants. Designed for more intense hikes, the butt and knees of the Abisko tights are reinforced for extra protection. A recent windstorm hit Rocky Mountain National Park the week before I set out to explore its trails, and I found myself climbing over and sliding back down massive and rough tree trunks — using some added confidence from the strategically reinforced sections of my pants to easily tackle each obstacle. The Absiko trekking tights are also moisture wicking and extend down to the ankle to stave off any water or snow from sneaking into your socks and boots, and if you’re tackling something like a multi-day trek or the multi-day Fjällräven Classic, these pants will last through a few days of hard work out in nature. And much like a yoga pant, the Absiko tights are made with a stretchy fabric, but a more dense and a much more durable version of it. Midway through the hike, I got caught up in some thick branches that tugged and tore at my legs, but even the non-reinforced material of the tights held up. The pants are also equipped with a wide, high waistband that can be adjusted with a non-tie drawcord on the interior of the waist, as well as an aptly placed pocket for maps or a phone on the outer thigh, and a security pocket in the waistband. And making them a versatile pair of pants for a variety of body types, the tights have low-profile flatlock seams in the crotch that minimize chafing. These tights also come in a men’s version with a few different features, for the same price point.
Cons: The reinforced sections of the tights really make these pants ideal for all types of hiking adventures, and the butt reinforcement is key when sitting down on a cold log to down some trail snacks, but when you land back in the car, or post up at the bar for a cold post-hike beer, the reinforcements can be slightly uncomfortable to sit on. This, however, is a super minor detail, because when you’re out on the trails, they’re about as comfortable as any pants you’ve ever worn hiking. And, if you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you already know that I’m short. My Absiko trekking tights are a size medium, and they definitely bunch up at the bottom. If you’re ordering online, Fjällräven has a handy fit finder tool where you can upload your measurements. Utilize that feature to make sure you’re getting the best fit possible.
Where We Took It: Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.