There’s been a lot of Haglöfs pants on these pages, I reckon it’s where the brand has been consistently strong the past few years. So when the new Col’s arrived for test I unwrapped them with high expectations and my heart sank as looked them over. the looked just like a pair of softshell bowling-club trousers. Where was my navy blazer…
I picked them back up a week or so ago when I was leaving to help Jimmy with the boat and then try to climb above the cloud inversion in the Kilpatricks.
The fit was fine, just as expected, the wide flat waistband felt good when I slipped a belt through the lightweight webbing loops. As I bent and stretched the Flexable fabric moved with me and the knee articulation kept the ankle cuffs down and the waistband up at the back. The inner gaiters on the ankle cuffs gripped my boots well, and didn’t slip all day, although I’ll still be sewing a hook on there to clip onto my laces.
As I climbed the hill I stuck my Buff into the back pocket after wiping my brow as I broke through the cloud into the sun. The rear pocket is low, it’s nearer the outside than rear pockets usually are and it’s set a little lower. The rear pocket is genius, there’s a first for me.
As the day went on the Col’s grew on me, not literally, the fabric has a nice brushed inner surface to prevent that, and it also kept me dry despite their windproofness in the warm air.
They look so damned dull, but in reality they’re actually a very good bit of kit. I’ve used the Omni pants for a few years, but they’re proper fully-featured winter pants and I’d feel a bit conspicuous wearing them on snowless ground as much as anything. The Col’s take the same fabric and make a regular pant from it, these will work in most weather outside of summer and will be great with longjons underneath in winter, so for me they’re bridging a gap in some ways, but they’re also a great do-it-all cool weather mountain pant. These and a pair of shorts and your all set for a year in the UK mountains.
I’m glad I was wrong, they still look dull though, or should I say non-technical? Which lots of folk will love. The tech features like the inner gaiters hide away and these will look fine at the country park as well as a snowy summit.
The fabric is brilliant, I know this from experience, it laughs at wind, abrasion and water, so I’ll be wearing these until it’s so wintry up there that I feel the need for pants with braces.
One niggle though, there’s only a single popper above the zip fly. Haglöfs have usually had a double popper or a single button closure in my experience which is more failure proof. Tut tut.
Whatever, these’ll be a familiar sight from now on.