I reviewed the Keb trousers a while back and if you recall I was very happy with them. Here we have the Fjällräven Abisko trousers, which are a lighter weight option in a similar style.
Like the Kebs, they are fairly simple looking trousers at first glance, no flashy colouring or fancy features stand out. If you take a closer look however, there’s plenty going on.
The material is G1000 polycotton, with softshell nylon panels mixed in all the right places. You get protection up front and in the seat, but the stretch and movement of softshell at the rear of the leg and the gusset. This makes for comfortable trousers. The leg length is an interesting point. Being 6’4″ I rarely get trousers long enough for my 35″ legs, but the Abisko comes with a raw leg length and a wee sewing kit so you can adjust to suit. I’ve seen some magazine reviews scoff at this saying that you should get finished trousers for your money, but in my view it’s genius. You get custom fit for minimum faff. We long-legged people shall be eternally grateful. The rest of the cut is excellent, the knees are articulated nicely and the waist sits high at the back for protection.
In another area of self-help, you can improve the weather resistance by waxing the G1000 bits with some Greenland Wax. That’s another bone of contention for the lazy, but it’s quite relaxing to do and it really does work. The pockets are good to; there’s none on the back for you to sit down on which is a plus, and the front pockets have sturdy zips and are spacious. There’s a large leg pocket on the left and a smaller one on the right. The larger one has a wee mesh inner pocket for your phone or GPS. The wee one does well for bits and bobs and is gusseted so can fit a fair bit of gear in.
Performance on the hill is great, they’re comfy and weather resistant. If you’ve waxed them, the water just beads and runs off. I did do a test where I didn’t wax them for a good while and eventually the G1000 started to get more absorbent, but all that did was extend the drying time a bit. I’ve worn them out in the snow with some long johns on underneath and they’ve been perfectly good, so you have a lighter weight all-year-round option here.
Lots of the hillwalking community shy away from ostentatious and brightly coloured gear. As you may know, I’m not one of those people, but I’ve learned that sometimes quality doesn’t need to shout, it can whisper and you still need to pay attention. Don’t skip past the plain black trousers on the rail, there might just be a great pair of technical trousers hiding in there.
The Arctic Fox does it again. Highly recommended.