Women have been wearing tights for hiking for quite some time now. So we knew our Abisko Trekking Tights weren’t going to start a major ‘trekking in tights’ revolution. But we did plan to create a pair of tights that could stand up to the rigours of the trail, like scrambling over rocks, sitting on damp ground, changes in temperature and the need to carry stuff that’s close to hand. We really hope we’ve achieved all this. Basically, we planned to create a pair of tights specifically for trekking. But the only way to really know whether our trekking tights are all they’re cracked up to be is to ask some of you, our customers.
Here is what two of our female tights testers thought.
Joyce Youn is our tester representing the US. “I loved the tights. They are every hiking girl’s dream come true. They are fashionable, comfortable and reliable all in one. They really accentuate all the curvy areas a girl wants to show off and they definitely do the job and help you have a great time outdoors.”
She did comment that the sizing was a little big, and she could have taken the Extra-Small instead of the Small. She also pointed out that she normally takes a Small or Medium in the US. But “the fit was very comfortable. I wish it fit a little bit tighter around my legs. However, I was fine with how it felt on me. The waist felt a bit tighter than it should, considering the fit of the legs. But it wasn’t uncomfortable”.
She also commented on the reinforced material over the bottom and knees. “The tights are breathable and don’t cling as much as you would think. I initially thought the material would probably stick to me more than they should because of the silkiness of the material. But they didn’t. However, around the bum and knee area, where extra material is woven on for the more abrasion-prone areas, it did tend to cling a little bit after hiking a few hours. I believe this is normal though. I wear leggings all the time when I hike. I would rather have that extra material on those areas than not, any day.”
Like a lot of our initial product testers, testing tights when they were still in the developmental stage, Joyce loved the pockets. “There are two zipper pockets of different sizes. The smaller zipper pocket is right next to your hip bone. It’s the perfect size for a key, cash, credit card. I personally carried a few hair pins and hair tie and didn’t feel a thing. The second zipper pocket on the left leg mid-thigh is a bit bigger and I could squeeze my smartphone in there. The third pocket without the zipper is on the right leg mid-thigh. I love this pocket because it doesn’t have a zipper and it’s perfect for a map where you would have to quickly take it out and put it back in. The small detail of not putting a zipper there really pays off. Again, perfect size for a folded map.”
And finally, if any of you are worried about wearing tights when the temperature climbs, Joyce has something to say about that too. “They are still good on a chilly spring morning, and they were fine on an 80°F (27°C) sunny day as well.”
Susanna Forsell from Finland, now living in Sweden and a participant in Fjällräven Polar 2017, is also an Abisko Trekking Tights convert.
“When I first got the Abisko trekking and tried them on I was surprised by how good the fit was considering the fabric is a little thicker than other tights. I’m usually a size Small but I have size Extra-Small in the tights and they fit perfectly. I have the dark grey colour which is beautiful together with the darker padded parts and suits the rest of my more colourful outdoor gear. I wore them for many days just as everyday pants to really know how they react to every movement. My favourite part is definitely the high waist with the adjustable strap and that they really stay up even when I sit down. But I was curious to try them on while running to see what happens. I was a bit worried about the fabric that it’s not suitable for running because of the different layers and that they would be too stiff. But I am glad to say that I’ve found my new favourite tights and they stayed up just as well while running as in everyday life. The tights are thinner and more stretchy than I expected and allowed me to take big steps and run up and down. They are really tight too, so I felt nicely supported! The only negative thing was that I was afraid of getting a cut in them from some sticks, but so long no harm done.”
Like Joyce, Susanna loved the pockets, particularly the map pocket, and thought the reinforcements were great. “While making a fire I leaned onto my knees and sat by the fire and it was much more enjoyable with a padded backside and padded knees. The padded parts were really helpful too when having to slide down the cliff on my back or climb up another steep rocky cliff with my knees. The tights didn’t brake. I am so happy that I can use them for so many different activities! I can’t wait to use them while running the Björkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon and while hiking the Fjällräven Classic trail this summer to see how they react to hot summer days.”
Though she does have some feedback on how we can improve our tights in the future. “If there are going to be trekking tights 2.0, then they could be even higher waisted for my taste to really get a nice comfy feeling and I would there to be a regular version for both male and female and a zipper version for both too. To sum it up, the tights are perfect for every outdoor activity, but when the rain comes take waterproof pants with you or during colder seasons have a reinforcement layer to stay warm. I would give them 4 out of 5 Fjällräven points! I’m without a doubt using these now instead of baggy hiking pants. Finally something for us tights lovers!”
Text: Sarah Benton