Judy Armstrong tests walking trousers suitable for warm conditions.

This review was first published in the April 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.

Rab make great gear for women, including an extensive range of pants. I tested Fulcrum, on the basis that they look versatile for use in warm conditions (and are available in a brilliant blue colour, called Dark Peacock). The fit is classed as ‘slim’, unlike myself, so I went up a size to 14, which fit my legs but was too big at the waist. Luckily, Rab provide a belt. Unluckily it is webbing with an aluminium hook into a fabric loop with long belt tunnels and no anchoring, so the damn thing keeps disappearing into the tunnels. I’m going to sew it into place when I have time. Apart from that, these are beautiful pants for warm weather.

The Matrix DWS fabric is very lightweight, stretchy, comfortable and fast-drying. It has top-notch breathability but absolutely no pretence of wind or moisture resistance. The wide, comfy waistband has a soft lining and single stud closure above the zip. It has a high rise, but no crotch gusset, which is why I chose for them to be loose rather than snug. On the plus side, the seams are flat, there’s lots of stretch, and clever leg panelling, including knee articulation, for fit and movement. Bonded zips are used on two good deep hand pockets, and an angled thigh pocket, although it’s not bellowed so is a bit tight for access (and I have tiny hands). The ankle is straight with a slim, elasticated drawcord, but as there is just one leg length across all sizes, you’ll have to chop this off if you shorten them to fit. In any case: for slim women with a 78cm / 31 inch inside leg who want to throw big, athletic moves this summer, these will be a real treat, with the added bonus that you aren’t condemned to do it in black.