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Thread: Leg wear questions from a new comer

  1. #1

    Default Leg wear questions from a new comer

    Hi, ive tried looking through threads but cant find the specific answer im looking for, so here goes, first thread/post.

    Having only used 'work' trousers with long johns in the winter, im looking to see whether its worth actually getting a pair of Fjallraven/or other expensive outdoor trousers.
    I fish, camp and go general hill treks.

    Question-1 Can anyone tell me, other than the stretchy bit, are Fjallraven and the likes really that much better (in winter) than a pair of poly/cotton work trousers?

    Question-2 What do you guys wear in winter in terms of leg wear?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007


    What works for one might not work for all ~ and if a solution suits 99% there'll be a surprising number of folk who find themselves in the 1%

    Just use what you're happy using and if polycotton with longjohns work well for you, why mess with a system? That said, there's nothing wrong with having a good play with the available options

    Personally my main camping/outdoor playtime trews are:

    • Craghoppers (both summer and lined winter weight ~ polycotton)
    • Heavier polycotton trews (will wear longjohns if temperature drops enough)
    • Swede Army M39/58 wool trews (for when it's cold AND dry ... light weight longjohns can make for a far less itch experience )
    • Heavy cotton canvas trews (for when circumstances demand ~ get them wet and they can almost stand on their own )

    I have others, but that lists my go to gear
    Last edited by decorum; 09-08-2017 at 10:37.
    '700 miles is neither necessary nor sufficient'
    Is this sausage dead yet?
    Schroedinger's Scat ~ Whether you open the box or not, poop's gonna happen!

  3. #3


    I use a pair of site brand work trousers from screwfix most times when im outdoors hiking but craighoppers and the like are good also. I wouldn't spend too much on a pair of trousers tbh, if a cheaper pair rips or tears just sew or replace them.

    The old green issued lightweights were also good for a bit of hiking etc if you can find them cheap enough.

    Last edited by Tonyuk; 09-08-2017 at 11:06.
    "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."

    Alexander the Great

  4. #4


    I recently bought a pair of Fjallraven trousers and took them to the lake district. Fantastic things. Are they worth the money compared to other products? wouldn't have a clue

  5. #5


    thanks for the helpful info👍
    i guess it really is what you feel comfy with. I think also, with leg wear, it's so important to get good long johns.
    I actually spend more on a pair of long johns than trousers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    United Kingdom
    Blog Entries


    Aye Up Dante10,

    'Is it worth getting a pair of Fjallraven/or other expensive outdoor trousers?'

    That all depends on exactly what you do with them and what you expect from them.

    I use my kit three or more days per week, year round, all weathers and it gets hammered!

    I have been using FJ Barents trousers (G1000 material) as my 'green season' outers for the best part of 10 years now (I've got 3 pairs).
    They are lightweight; well constructed; comfortable; fast drying; reasonably robust; quiet and great colours for my purpose.
    I walked across a field of wet, knee high grass yesterday and from knee to ankle they became saturated in minutes despite having been triple waxed.
    I put up with that because of all the pros mentioned.
    They are ridiculously expensive (now over £100!) but all three pairs are still in service after all those years albeit with various minor repairs.
    FJ Barents.jpg

    Over that same period I have also been using the Austrian military surplus KA03 ripstop, polycotton field trousers as my brown season option.
    These have been priced at between £25 - £35 dependent on grade but I have also purchased a brand new pair from a shop in Austria for closer to £50.
    These are slightly heavier than the FJs, (still what I would class as lightweight) and don't dry out as quickly but they are very, very robust.

    In both FJ and BH instances I have modified the trousers to varying degrees - increased the waist height on the FJs; added a waterproof/breathable lower leg section and seat to the BHs and behind-the-knee pockets to both versions for the insertion of pieces of German army surplus ground insulation matting as knee pad/protectors. It is surprising how frequently you 'take a knee' during bushcraft activities. Notably the latest FJ Barents trousers now have those behind-the-knee pockets as standard.

    In the past I have used the Craghopper Kiwis (issued with about a dozen pairs over 10 years) and they were initially very good trousers with similar qualities to the FJs, perhaps slightly less robust (and a third of the price!) but I found that the material and construction quality bombed mid 00s.

    HMQ also 'gave' me several sets of the British Army lightweights way back and they too are a very good trouser (and relatively cheap even when new!), for me though the colour just isn't quite right for year round use and yet I don't feel the same with the Austrian KA03 trousers which I think are less quickly recognised as (ex) military clothing.

    Re under garments - I always wear a base layer - top AND 'leggings'- winter it's Helikon Level 2; summer it's the lighter weight Helikon Level 1. That is as much about counter-tick protection as warmth/perspiration transfer.

    It is probably also worth mentioning that it is wise to choose a trouser size 'with a bit of room' to allow for comfort; base-layer wear AND activities - I have often seen cat-walk fit clothing literally burst at the seams as soon as the wearer lifted/climbed/knelt/squatted

    To summarise, I could use the KA03s year round, save a lot of brass and they would be fine - but I do like the FJs.

    It is worth doing some 'active' research and maybe buying a cheaper pair as someone has already suggested before going the expensive route.
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    I've been a diehard 5.11 taclite fan for years, very good trousers. As I've had a couple of wet weather camps and got soggy knees and ****, I thought I'd try a pair of Ridgeline Rangers. Very light, allow lots of movement, only disadvantage is too small hand pockets. But being used to 5.11, I've been spoilt for pockets.
    "Nature is an old lady with few suitors these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms she rewards passionately" Tim Krabbe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    I've got a pair of Barents, nice, and I do like to wear them, I have to admit I don't rate them as hard wearing though.

    I am tough on clothing, what I wear for bushy buisness is the same as my everyday wear. Most days I can be found in polycotton U.S. BDU's or ACU's made by Propper, they have survived my rigorous testing for 7+ years and are still wearable Both versions have large bellows thigh pockets, amazing how much you can get in them if needed.

    Summer months, when the weather's more kind, I opt for cotton ripstop BDU's. Not as long lasting as the polycotton version but not bad at all.
    I have looked at some of the modern workwear trousers and for me I think they'd out last the Fjallravens.

    'Experience teaches only the teachable'. Aldous Huxley

    Ciao Jules

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    United Kingdom
    Blog Entries


    Aye Up,

    I've just had a mail re a 25% sale on FJ clothing at the Bushcraft Store. Might be worth a look.
    Free-State Yorkshire Now!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    I mostly walk now, but find ripstop poly/cotton 5.11 TDU's with the elasticated waist very comfortable, long lasting and well made. I add brass poppers to the cargo pockets as bending down sometimes open the velcro. You can get them for around £40 a pair, which is a fair price i think.
    pockets are great, hardwearing, deep and cargos have separating pockets inside. you can also get 100% cotton twill versions in limited colours and are definitely softer and more comfortable for leisure, travel, indoor stuff.

    I had a pair of FJ G1000 and sold them because they were too nice/expensive to wreck and to be honest 2 pairs of TDU's against one pair of fjallraven didnt add up for me.

    underwear is normally a pair of nike running shorts or if its cold I wear ron hill tracksters. I also have a pair of woolpower 200G long johns for really cold, although we dont seem to get that as much now.

    instead of layering underneath, I find a pair of cheap DPM British army Goretex over trousers pretty warm and obviously some windproofing/ waterproofing. they also roll up to next to nothing.

    Also check where your Fjallraven are made, they are mostly made in china apart from some really expensive jackets. Thats fine but do they deserve that premium price?

    My skogso jacket

    Last edited by lostplanet; 12-08-2017 at 14:00.


    " Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. " Albert Szent-Györgyi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016


    I work outdoors for 5-6 days a week all year round and find a good pair of long johns under some poly cotton work trousers in the winter ya can't really go wrong. If its not raining.

    It's down to you what you want out of a trouser. Different weaves n weights will mean more or less breath ability/windproofness n **** like that

    If I'm off wild camping for a few days summer or winter I'll generally wear my British army pcs hot weather trousers. Super light and comfy, durable enough and breathe very nicely. Which is great in the winter as you'll be comfier with the long johns on as you'll get less sweaty and also these trousers dry very quickly and have a very high cotton content so are pretty campfire friendly too. The camouflage is a good year round pattern, they're permethrin treated and I got them for free. Bloody brill trousers. I can also recommend the old British army s95 trousers in dpm.

    I prefer the army trousers to my work ones for sheer comfort.
    The work trousers are still excellent for bushcraft purposes though and i like that if it's cold or the floor Is full of pointy things I can stick some foam pads into the knees.

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