Craghoppers Kiwi trousers? Who’s what? Yeah, Craghoppers isn’t a household name. To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to think when I was sent a pair of their hiking pants to test. But an open mind is always a good idea; big brands didn’t get big from the gate, and judging by these pants, Craghoppers might yet become more known. First, without question, the price is right: $60 isn’t anything to sneeze at when similar pants can cost double, or more.
And no, these aren’t cheap throw-aways. Craghoppers gives them a lifetime guarantee.
If they were lousy you wouldn’t care, but the thing is, they’re great. They’re as comfy as a pair of old sweats, but featherlight against your very well protected skin (UPF rating of 40, which is like 90 sunblock).
Still, they breathe quite well and that lightweight fabric makes the Kiwis very packable, the ideal second piece (along with shorts) for wearing at day’s end. They’re even stretchy enough for bouldering. The knees are reinforced, and a band of nylon tape wraps the heel to prevent fraying and also to ensure that the pant won’t ride up, although it can also mean they’ll catch on boot buckles. I rolled mine up to avoid this and also for a creek crossing, and because the polyamide fabric is so light they roll up more readily than a heavier canvas might and dry muy rapido, too.
The pants could do with one less zippered pocket (there are three). And the elastic waistband eliminates a belt, but…an elastic waistband? Really?