A very long wet and windy winter in Cornwall led me into a spate of research on the internet, looking at what kind of technical clothing was out there for a bushcrafter on a budget. The effects of El Nino have been getting the better of me for the last 6 months, and there’s only so many hours of trekking around with wet pants that a man can handle (even a seasoned northerner like myself).
Specifically I was looking at outdoor trousers, these would be used for trekking, bushcraft and wild camping. I spend an equal amount of time in woodland or along the coastline, and most of that time is well off the beaten track. The basic things I was looking for was something 1. Hard Wearing, 2. Waterproof, and 3. Plenty of useful pockets for my gear.
I eventually came across the Pinewood Lappland Outdoors Trousers, which I am really pleased to have been sent a pair to try out by their UK distributors koolbox.co.uk. Pinewood are a family owned Swedish brand that have been making outdoor clothing for around 20 years. Less well known here in the UK than some of the other Swedish outdoor brands, but they manufacture some really well designed technical clothing for hunting and trekking. On paper their Lappland Outdoor Trousers looked just as good as any which are available from the most well known brands – so needless to say, I was very keen to get my hands on a pair to see how they fared in the depths of the Cornish countryside.
Out of the box
The Lappland trousers come in a wide range of sizes including XXL sizes for the bigger fellas. I went for the “C52″ size which is a 36″ waist and plenty long enough in the leg (I’m a 32″ leg). After unwrapping the trousers, the quality was immediately obvious to see and feel. The fabric feels tough but not too heavy with well stitched seams and hard wearing buttons and fasteners.
The trousers fasten with a strong brass button and stud popper, there is a good quality YKK zip too and 8 x strong belt loops that will take a 2″ wide belt. The fit of the trousers is great, they are well cut and shaped, the pre-bent knees are perfectly angled with no strange lumping out when you stand up straight.
Pinewood have been generous with the pockets on the Lappland trousers. The main pockets are nice and deep with plenty of room to fit my whole hand (even with gloves on). There are 2 x slip pockets with zips on the butt and another zipped slip pocket on the left thigh. All of the zips have small storm flaps to keep water out, a nice touch from Pinewood and often overlooked by other manufacturers. On each leg there is also a large dump pocket with a flap that closes with strong poppers, these pockets are a really good size (~ 6×6”) and can hold quite a bit of gear. The right hand dump pocket has a smaller pocket on the inside which is designed to hold a multi-tool, this is another really nice touch and holds my Leatherman Wave vertically and tight to my leg so it doesn’t jingle around when I am walking.
The thicker black fabric used for the re-enforced knees and seat is noticeably thicker to the touch, but still comfortable to wear. There is a section f this material around the ankles and inside the leg at the bottom, to protect from damage from boots rubbing. There is also tightening strap on each ankle made from strong nylon webbing strap, this allows the trousers bottoms to be cinched tight to the leg to preserve heat and cut down on water ingress. These can also be removed entirely if you like.
All in all, they appear be really well made, well designed technical trousers and I was immediately keen to get them out into the field to give them some stick…..
Click on images to ENLARGE ….
TC-1200 FABRIC – TC-1200 is Pinewood’s own hard wearing fabric made from Polyster and Cotton (“Polycotton”) which is used to make the Lappland outdoor trousers as well as many of their outer-layer jackets, vests and caps. The tightly woven fabric gives good wind-proof qualities and at the same time the impregnation makes the fabric water-resistant. Quick-drying and easy to manage.
TEFLON IMPREGNATION – Teflon is a market leading impregnation manufactured by Du Pont. The Teflon forms a water and dirt-repellent shield around the fibres, any liquids on the items will bead up and roll away, and soil or mud, once dry, can be brushed off very easily without ruining the fabric. The Teflon forms a really efficient invisible barrier which keeps the Lappland trousers smart and functional for a long time.
The impregnation will last for around 25 washes before it can be re-impregnated using a spray. It can also be refreshed using heat, eg: use a tumble drier after washing, which will cause the tiny Teflon fibres to stand up again where they may have been flattened during wear, this will re-charge the repellent properties of the Teflon. Compare this to wax coated garments that will need re-proofing after half a dozen washes at most.
BREATHABLE – The Lappland trousers are not lined with a water tight membrane. The combination of the TC-1200 fabric and Teflon impregnation means that the trousers are breathable as well as being waterproof and windproof. An important thing to note is that Pinewood do not claim that their TC-1200 fabric is both very water resistant and 100% breathable (an impossible thing to achieve in a non-living material, and an argument for another day) – The TC-1200 fabric is rated at 12,000 mm (Moderate rain, average snow, light pressure) which basically gives me adequate waterproof protection for my usage, and also allows a good degree of “breathability” (passive moisture evaporation) – The bottom line here is that there is no nonsense behind their claims, they just use good quality, tried and tested materials.
ANTI-MOSQUITO – Pinewood’s TC-1200 fabric protects against mosquito bites. The fabric is very tightly woven to a level that cannot be penetrating by biting insects. I’m glad to say that this also applies to midges and horse flies here in the UK.
UV PROTECTION – The materials also provide extra high protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Out In The Field
I already mentioned above that the trousers were a great fit and felt extremely comfortable, and this was still true after filling the pockets with various bushcraft bits and strapping a knife and axe to my belt. Pockets full of tinder, ferro rod, GPS, and Multi-tool, plus the usual phone and keys etc safely stored in the zip pockets. I just tightened the belt up another notch and off I went. Another thing I really love about the Lappland trousers is the placement of the belt loops, when I hang things on my belt, I’m not forced to hang them right over a pocket, the loops also contain the knife or axe well so they don’t slip around to the side.
The task for the day was to head into the forest, an up-hill 2 mile walk through dense woodland to a clearing near a stream, and then build a lean-to shelter which would require a considerable amount of wood foraging and processing. The forecast was 19 degrees Celsius with showers all day, this would test the Lappland’s waterproof properties, breath-ability, and durability quite well.
I didn’t huff it, but purposely went quick enough to get a bit of a sweat on, the trousers felt surprisingly airy and cool throughout and there was certainly no excessive sweating like you would get with waterproofs on. The trouser legs are a good width (but not flappy) with easily enough room to wear a pair of base layers underneath in colder conditions. The trousers do make a slightly audible sound (if you listen out for it), but no more than a heavy pair of jeans and not something you would notice of you weren’t listening for it. The wood pigeons didn’t hear me coming and they are usually pretty easy to startle, even from a good distance away.
The re-enforced knees and seat, although considerably heavier material felt really comfortable throughout the day, even against bare skin. They were particularly good when climbing up banks and over fallen trees, things I would have treated with caution whilst wearing other pants (or suffered another rip). All in all they were beginning to feel quite indestructible and could clearly take on a lot more abuse than I was giving them.
In terms of being waterproof, they definitely performed well. I was working in shower after shower with very little protection from the trees above that had still not sprouted leaves yet. The rain just rolled straight off the Lappland trousers (see my photos above where I poured cups of water over the trousers for 5 minutes). The Teflon impregnated fabric works really well in shedding the water which just beads, and rolls off. I tipped a whole flask of water over and the trousers just smiled right back at me with not a single bit of water soaking in – that was really impressive. This gave me a lot of confidence in the Lappland trousers and I was sitting on wet logs and rocks, kneeling on wet leaves without a care in the world – Brilliant!
For the more cautious outdoorsman there is a waterproof version 9285 Lappland Extreme Trousers with a matching Jacket.
After all the hiking, climbing, sawing, chopping and carrying that day I was exhausted, and truth be told, the Lappland trousers could have taken a lot more. Since the day in the woods, I have worn the trousers out on a number of woodland treks and also coastal fishing trips with the same high level performance from the materials in terms of strength, waterproof and breathable properties. They also carry a good load too, with pockets full of Bushcraft or fishing gear and stuff hanging from the belt.
The Lappland trousers are extremely well designed and well made for their purpose. Alongside any of the better known brands they stack up very well indeed. The Lappland Trousers will cos around £80 which in my opinion is incredibly good value for the quality that you are getting here, just as good as technical trousers twice the price. Hopefully I will be able to bring your more reviews for Pinewood gear very soon, if you have any questions or comments, just pop them in the comments box below.
- Sizes – C42-C64 (D.green/Black up to C70), D92-D124, C146-C158
- Click Here for Size Chart
- Colours – Midgreen/black (138), Dark grey/black (402), Darkgreen/black (102)
- Strong reinforcements on knees and seat
- Articulated knees
- Material – Brushed TC-1200
- Coating – Impregnated with Du Pont’s patented Teflon layer
A Big Thanks to:
A big thanks to the guys at Koolbox.co.uk for the opportunity to try out the Pinewood Lappland Trousers