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Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tight Review

These technical tights have an innovative design, but unfortunate execution and a high price
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Price:  $175 List | $131.21 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Reinforced high-wear areas, versatile, mobile
Cons:  Uncomfortable, very expensive, not water resistant
Manufacturer:   Fjallraven
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 4
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility and Style - 15% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tight carves out a niche for itself in the world of hiking pants. These are a technical pair of tights that prioritize rugged utility. We really applaud the innovative approach, and there are certainly some well-executed features, but we really struggled with the overall comfort of this model. Despite their high degree of stretch, these tights are for the backpacker with a particular, full-seated body shape and a strong preference for tight-fitting clothing. With a few key iterations, these tights could be a strong contender in years to come.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

These tights borrow inspiration from other segments of the outerwear market. They offer a lot of mobility and the unique multi-fabric design makes them intriguing. However, they just aren't super comfortable.

Performance Comparison


These tights offer great mobility as you might expect  but they aren't as comfortable as some other pairs.
These tights offer great mobility as you might expect, but they aren't as comfortable as some other pairs.

Comfort & Mobility


The main fabric is 82% polyamide, 18% elastane, meaning, as expected, that there is a ton of stretch in these tights. However, that flexibility doesn't seem to translate very well to comfort. We found that these tights are really for a particular body shape that our testers just didn't match. For stringier folks, opting for typical sizing means that the waist is right, but everything else is just pretty bunchy. Sizing down means that the fit in the legs and seat is more appropriate, but the waist is too small.

The fabric is stretchy and makes stretching easy  but the feel of the reinforced fabric at the knees is abrasive.
The fabric is stretchy and makes stretching easy, but the feel of the reinforced fabric at the knees is abrasive.

In either case, we could never really shake the abrasive and bunchy feeling of the fabric behind our knees. They do have a gusseted crotch, which means the upper portion actually isn't too restrictive. But compared to a typical pair of hiking pants, these tights are just not comfortable and don't increase mobility enough to justify their benefits.

Venting & Breathability


These tights have mesh pockets and can be rolled up if need be (though this only compounds the comfort issue described above).

The lower legs perform like a typical tight.
The lower legs perform like a typical tight.

Being as stretchy as they are, they are fairly breathable. The fabric on the legs (excluding the reinforced knee patches) is exactly as airy as you would expect a pair of tights to be.

Versatility & Style


The Abisko Trekking Tights have a few things going for them on the versatility front. Though they are primarily meant for trekking and backpacking, they also make for a decent pair for climbing, yoga, trail running, and cycling. They also have the added benefit of being slim enough (they are tights after all) that they can fit easily under rainpants.

These tights are designed for longer  sloggier adventures  but they also look decent as well.
These tights are designed for longer, sloggier adventures, but they also look decent as well.

These tights have a distinct technical style that matches their primary purpose as a garment best-suited for trekking. The reinforced portions in the knees and seat give them a more rugged appearance as well.

Weather Resistance


Weather resistance as we have defined it is not awesome with this model. There is no DWR coating, which means that these tights are only as water-resistant as the fabric itself. It is entirely synthetic, so there is some insulative protection, but water does penetrate fairly quickly, especially if you are on the move and stretching the material.

Reinforced patches in the knees and seat really improve durability and weather resistance (but they are also the cause of some discomfort).
Reinforced patches in the knees and seat really improve durability and weather resistance (but they are also the cause of some discomfort).

Interestingly, they do slightly better in the wind. The reinforced knees and rear also mean that this pair is actually the most well-suited to those persistently damp environments where every surface is just wet enough that you think twice about whether or not it is worth sitting down (with this pair, it usually is).

Features


These tights do come with a decent feature set. There are two handwarmer pockets with zippers, and a right side thigh pocket with a flap, and a left side thigh pocket with a zipper. All of them are comparatively shallow, but the combination of the zipper closures and the stretchy fabric means that each one can securely hold a large smartphone.

Though they aren't very deep  with one thigh pocket on each side (one zippered  one not)  combined with the stretchiness of the fabric  you can fit more than you would expect in these tights.
Though they aren't very deep, with one thigh pocket on each side (one zippered, one not), combined with the stretchiness of the fabric, you can fit more than you would expect in these tights.

One area where we do have confidence in this pair is in its durability. The knees and seat are reinforced with extra-rugged (slightly less stretchy) patches that allow you to sit and kneel on rough earth without fear of punching a hole through the fabric. The tights also come with standard belt loops and a snap closure.

Value


We think that in most cases, the cost is too high and the comfort too low to say that this pair offers good value. However, for someone with the right body shape who also wants the ruggedness that comes with pants, but with the fit of tights, we have no doubt that this pair would last trek after trek.

Conclusion


The Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tight is a product that we appreciate for its crossover innovation, we just really can't get behind them as a viable alternative to most activities. We recognize that tights are meant to be…tight, but that isn't the issue.

A unique pair of pants that is just a couple of tweaks away from being great.
A unique pair of pants that is just a couple of tweaks away from being great.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch