Abisko means lightweight and fast-drying in Fjallraven-speak, so the Abisko range of clothing and equipment is designed for fast cabin-to-cabin hikes and day adventures. The emphasis is on minimal weight and pack size, and so some sacrifices have had to be made in terms of durability and weather resistance to achieve this.
Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of heavyweight, expedition-quality clothing, preferably from a manufacturer’s tactical range because I want to be able to concentrate on the adventure, not the equipment. Price is (almost) irrelevant to me, but quality is non-negotiable.
However, I’m also a fan of lightweight, multi-purpose equipment too, a contradiction that the Abisko Trekking Tight manages seamlessly; made a tough, stretchy material the significant wear points like the bottom and knees are reinforced with an even tougher material. The best of both worlds? Maybe…
Unlike traditional running tights, the Abisko version is slightly looser fitting, which makes it look less technical and a bit more traditional. Think slim-fit trekking trousers. The stretchy fabric gives me a full range of movement despite their figure-hugging design, and the high waist means that my t-shirt or thermal top stays tucked in no matter what I’m doing.
The beauty of them though, is not the cut or the fit or the material, it’s the sheer versatility of them. I’ve used them for running, walking and cycling and haven’t even bothered to change out of them before hitting the pub for a meal at the end of a long day in the mountains. Being able to pack just the one pair of trousers keeps me fast and nimble, and I can wash them in the sink or shower if I’m away from home and just let them drip-dry overnight. This saves weight and bulk, which is crucial if I’m out on my bicycle or exploring on foot.
There are a couple of pockets but I don’t use them as I hate having anything in the pockets of tight-fitting clothes, so I wear a bum-bag or rucksack instead. However, you might be less fussy than me, in which case there’s room for a map in the large leg pocket, and some snacks and a set of keys in the two zipped ones at the waist. Belt loop and a press-stud fastening keep them in place, and a fly zip saves fumbling about with buttons when you need the loo.
Would I recommend them? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t want them to be my only outdoor trousers but for fast hikes, running, cycling or even just ambling about in clement weather, they’re perfect.
Available in black, dark grey and navy, they cost around $175/£175
Carlton Boyce @motoringjourno