These trousers took me by surprise when I first put them on. I was firstly amazed by their amazing comfort and fit. They cost £34.99, very reasonable for a performance hiking trouser. They also come in three colours: black, dark green and grey, and are available in sizes XS to 3XL. As a regular hiker and mountaineering enthusiast I’ve had years of experience with walking trousers and generally expect trousers to feel and perform to a certain standard. This was perhaps why I was so surprised. Assuming it’s not raining, these are hands down the best trousers I have ever used, and here is why.
The trousers are constructed of a ‘bi-stretch’ fabric that provides true freedom of movement in every direction. This took me by surprise, after first putting them on. You really do have complete freedom to move around. I may or may not have done a few lunges to test out just how far I could stretch them, the limiting factor was me, not the trousers, I was extremely impressed and a little more warmed up for hiking.
Amazingly the Equarea® fabric is also machine washable at 30 degrees, meaning you don’t need to do a special cycle to wash them. The trousers are also treated to enhance moisture transfer, maximising breathability. I never once found my legs overheating when wearing these, the breathability is awesome.
RIPSTOP Knee Inserts
The knees feature ‘RIPSTOP knee inserts’, which have started to feature on more walking trousers. Although, to see these featured on walking trouser for £34.99, is impressive from Quechua. RIPSTOP is fantastic for those times when on surfaces that could tear the fabric, such as kneeling down on rocks to take a compass bearing or when doing a lot of scrambling when your knees come in contact with rocks.
The belts on walking trousers can be a bit of a disappointment. They usually loose their tension over the course of a day, but the belt that features on the Forclaz 500 walking trousers is fantastic! It holds it’s tension extremely well, and has a really simple press clip to disengage. After a full day of hiking the belt hadn’t lost any of it’s tension. I’d say I would be using this belt on my other walking trousers, but after waring the Forclaz 500 walking trousers, I don’t think I’ll be opting for any of my others anyway.
Once again I was seriously impressed with the pockets on these walking trousers. None of the pockets are particularly large, but the BI-STRETCH material means you can fit more than you would initially think. It features:
2 front hand pockets with zips
1 back pocket with zips (right side)
1 side pocket with zip (right side)
I normally keep very little in my trouser pockets, because objects within pockets can tend to move around whilst hiking. Thanks to the BI-STRETCH material nothing moves around in your pockets. All four pockets feature zips, meaning nothing should ever fall out either; it’s happened to all of us, but it won’t with zips.
Another feature worth mentioning is the pull cord around each of the ankles of the Forclaz 500 walking trousers. I never felt like I needed to draw the cords tighter, the bottom of the trousers fitted snugly around top top of my boots. This is a nice feature though, if you do want a tighter fit at the bottom of the walking trouser.
The trousers offer minimal protection against wind, as they don’t feature a windstopper layer. This would add weight to the trouser and isn’t really a necessity for the price bracket these trouser are in. If you want a wind-stopper and water resistant lightweight trouser that offers thermal insulation then soft-shell trousers would be a better purchase such as the Quechua Bionassay 900 hiking trousers at £59.99 (http://www.decathlon.co.uk/bionassay-900-mens-hiking-trousers-grey-id_8225606.html).
These are easily the best walking trousers I have owned. They have an amazing fit, are extremely lightweight and even come with a 2 year guarantee. They are unbelievably amazing value for the money at £32.99 and perfectly designed for spring, summer and autumn hikes. I really don’t see myself using any of my other hiking trousers, unless it’s winter. Check out the Forclaz 500 walking trousers at your nearest Decathlon store or online (http://www.decathlon.co.uk/forclaz-500-men-black-id_8298974.html).
Water resistance: 1/5
Wind stopping: 1/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Build Quality: 5/5
Uses: perfect for Spring, Summer and Autumn
Tests: Long distance running, half mile repeats, interval training.
(Notes on the Author – Danny Foster is an avid runner and nutrition expert currently studying BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University. He works in our Sheffield Decathlon branch and currently works as an expert Sports Adviser; ensuring each running/nutrition customer leaves the store kitted out with everything they need for their next race. Danny is also an expert in injury prevention, functional movement corrective exercises and biomechanical analysis. Drop in to our Sheffield store to speak with Danny for nutrition, training and product advice. Are you interested in a job that lets you pursue your passion? Why not scoot over to our careers site and discover the many positions available –http://www.decathlon-jobs.co.uk/)