The Fjällräven Karl (men’s version)/Karla (women’s version) are probably one of the more basic models offered amongst their 46 varieties of trouser on sale at time of writing. The Karls themselves come in 5 different varieties, including a zip-off style and lined winter variant. For the purposes of this review, however, we are looking at the basic Karla (women’s) version. This is what Fjällräven have to say:
Karl is an outdoor trousers series that can be used anywhere, such as while hiking in the mountains or at your summer cabin. This model is made of durable G-1000® Silent fabric and has a brushed finish. The trousers have a low waist and regular fit. Pre-shaped knees and raw length. Two side pockets, two back pockets, one large leg pocket for maps and one smaller pocket for multi tools. Raw length at the leg ends allows you to adjust the length of the legs exactly as you wish.
The Norrøna Dovre pants, or the Dovre heavy-duty hybrid pants to give them their full title, fall within Norrøna’s
limited select Dovre range aimed squarely at ‘mountain hunting’. These trousers are identical to the ones found in Norrøna’s Svalbard (‘essential outdoor gear’) line, but in an outdoor green rather than other colours. UPDATE [May 2016]: Although the Dovre line still exists, these trousers are no longer being made. The new Svalbard version can be found here. For the purposes of this review, the trousers are identical except in colour and name. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here is what Norrøna have to say about them:
Durable all-terrain utility pants for all-purpose hunting. Breathable and tough woven polyamide 275 g/sqm fabric in these pants built for top tours, camping and hikes in the rough. Key to comfort is the soft ‘no-cling’ fabric, full thigh venting and flex™3 waterproof stretch in articulated knees and seat. Reinforced inside ankle panels. Fits suspenders.
Klättermusen’s ‘Gere’ trousers (or “pants” for you Americans) are part of their range of ‘soft-shell’ trousers. Named after one of Odin’s two wolves, the trousers are not quite your typical soft-shell material (think fabric with liberal applications of DWR) but rather they look and feel much closer to cotton. UPDATE [May 2016]: Klättermusen have released a version 2 of these trousers. Looks like they have improved belt loops and slightly re-designed pockets. This is what Klättermusen have to say:
As comfortable as a pair of extremely soft stretch jeans, but they last 5 times as long, dry 5 times as fast and are 10 times as windproof. The fabric is woven from a unique yarn that combines many desirable qualities. It is extremely hard-wearing, stretchy, soft and wind resistant. These properties make the most comfortable and most hard-wearing pair of trousers ever. Over the last five years we have tried to develop a heavy-duty stretch cloth that combines good wind resistance with a soft texture, but it wasn’t possible until we found this particular yarn. The shrinkage process that provides the stretch also closes all the gaps in the cloth, providing good windproofing without too much rigidity. Intended for all outdoor adventure activities. Perfect for hiking, trekking and climbing.
…but enough of the marketing talk, what do I think…