Stormy Kromer: Bunkhouse Trousers
By John Fenna
A fairly new addition to the famous “Stormy Kromer” range of serious outdoor clothing from the USA, the “Bunkhouse Trousers” are very warm, very comfortable and very weather-resistant.
Made from a 23-25oz 80% wool 20% nylon blend, the trouser fabric is pretty well “felted” and sheds water well, blocks wind, looks great and is pretty well “non-itch” while being so cosy to wear that I have found it is with great reluctance that I have worn any other trousers during the cold weather.
The trousers are cut to give a comfortable, but not baggy fit, with good freedom of movement. Cut to be neither hipsters nor rib huggers, the trousers have a button-closed waistband with 5 belt loops and buttons to take “Y” shaped braces and a zip fly. The waistband and fly are twill lined to avoid excess bulk, and the hems are left unfinished for the legs to be shortened to your preferred length.
There are two front patch pockets with plain diagonal openings, two square cut back pockets, the left one having a button closure, and an open top “knife” pocket on the right thigh.
The finish on the trousers is generally of the highest quality, but on the pair I have been testing the fly zip seems set a little close to the edge of the fabric which means when my bulging belly is behind it, the fly does not fully cover the zip. Not an ideal look, but one that is purely cosmetic. The fly has a generous underflap that keeps everything warm!
In use, sitting around freezing woods or bashing my way through deep snow in the hills in a stiff breeze, the Bunkhouse Trousers kept out wind, sleet, snow and light rain without overheating me. The fabric’s breathability is excellent and sheds the damp well. After tromping through deep snow, any snow that held onto the wool proved easy to brush off.
I actually did an experiment and brushed the snow off one trouser leg as I got into my van at the end of one walk, but left the other leg snow-covered. The snow melted in my warm van, but just ran off the wool without penetrating, to form a small puddle in the footwell. The fabric is also quite abrasion resistant with minimal bobbling in wear areas.
Looking good (the fly excepted, but it seems from comparison with other pairs of the trousers, that I am just unlucky with a “one-off” problem concerning that) for casual wear and extremely practical for winter bushcrafting trips, the Stormy Kromer Trousers come in sizes 30”-46” waist in colours Hunter Green, Olive or Charcoal, and cost around £140.00.
Although the wash instructions state “dry clean only” I gritted my teeth and tried them in the washing machine on a cool woollen programme and line dried them – with no adverse effect on fit or fabric of the trousers!
I really like these trousers and can see me wearing them in preference to any other trousers I own during the winter weather.
For more information, stockist etc, contact Wardstones (part of the Tamarack Group)www.wardstones.co.ukTel 01995 603798