Traditional in look and traditional in fabric the Nils Trousers are rugged garments with no concessions to modern styles. They work well though. The fabric is comfortable, windproof, breathable and reasonably quick drying, though not as fast as thin synthetic materials. Heavier duty fabric is used on the seat and knees for increased durability. I expect these trousers to be really hard wearing and to last a long time. The fabric is quite water repellent when new. This can be replaced or increased by rubbing in some of Fjällräven’s Greenland Wax, which can be applied just on exposed areas like the front of the thighs. Waxing the fabric does reduce the breathability, according to Fjällräven, but the wax can be easily washed out. I haven’t tried Greenland Wax yet.

The Nils Trousers have a low-cut waist – base layer tops need to be long – and shaped knees. The fabric doesn’t stretch but I’ve not found any restriction on movement as the trousers are cut for active wear. The pockets are roomy and a map can be carried fairly comfortably in the thigh pocket, though it does stick out the top. There are two versions, one with an unfinished hem so they are easy to turn up – ideal for my short legs – and one with a finished hem.

I’ve worn the Nils Trousers on cold windy winter and spring days and found them fine. I suspect they may be a bit warm in summer but for much of the year these are excellent trousers.

First published: Sept 2013