The Merapi trousers are made from a very soft, silky feeling fabric. It’s quite tough though, as well as wind-resistant, very breathable and fast drying. The dense weave makes the fabric proof against biting insects and very UV resistant. Páramo says that the fabric draws perspiration off the skin and spreads it rapidly over the outer surface so it can evaporate quickly. I’ve certainly found that it shifts sweat rapidly and dries quickly. The fabric also has an anti-bacterial treatment, which should prove useful on long trips.

The fabric doesn’t stretch so the Merapi are cut on the roomy side and have shaped knees so there’s no restriction on movement. The loose fit is good for keeping cool in warm weather and there are also thigh vents with hidden zips for when it’s really hot. The bellows hip pockets are roomy and have zipped inner security pockets. The webbing belt isn’t intrusive and the buckle lies flat. It can be removed if not needed. I can’t feel it under a pack hipbelt.

The Merapi are the lowest cost and second lightest trousers tested. I think they’re ideal for use on their own from April to October and they’ll be with me on the Scottish Watershed walk.

First published: Sept 2013