A couple of months ago, after a weekend at a music festival, I was sat in a very nice little cafe in Yorkshire supping a cup of reviving tea and the world was well. Then I stood up and took the chair with me, unexpectedly, as my trousers and the chair became mated with a sticky piece of chewing gum. I sighed.
Due to commence the 6-hour drive home, I couldn’t sit in the Wife’s new car with a gummy bum, so I strode off in search of some new trousers and happened across a branch of Mountain Warehouse and one of its perennial sales.
Mountain Warehouse sells mostly own brand (Mountain Life) apparel and accessories and is one of the most popular outdoor stores in the UK. My experience of it is that it’s pretty basic gear and aimed more at the outdoor-style rather than outdoor-performance end of the consumer spectrum. That said, all I needed was a pair of trousers, so how far wrong could I go?
I happened upon a pair of good-looking Trek Trousers, which fitted well and were comfy, so I parted with my £15 and slid my gummy jeans into a bag. Bliss, and what a bargain. Until half way down the M1 when I noticed that the stitching on the crotch had popped, leaving me with a dangling dreadlock of cotton and the fear of imminent indecent exposure.
Thankfully, the main seam is double-stitched, so after a little judicious removal of straggly-bits and tying-off of what was left, I was still covered and the trousers remain whole.
Wearing the Trek Trousers is a pleasure. They’re comfortable and lightweight, so great for long walks on warm days. There are normal hand-warmer pockets as well as velcro-closure cargo and bum pockets and a couple of secure zippered pockets for valuables. They’re made from a mix of cotton and polyester, which suggests that they’d dry out quickly when wet, and breath well if you were sweating. They’d make good travel trousers for warm countries.
I want to really like the Trek Trousers, but their quality of finish lets them down badly. The stitching, in particular, is shoddy and loose threads keep coming out which need cutting off. They don’t feel like a garment that will last for a long time. I see that Mountain Warehouse is currently selling them at £15, which I think is probably what they’re worth. Had I paid the supposed ‘full’ price of £40 they’d have been taken back to the shop for an exchange by now.
SUMMARY: Really comfortable, flattering and lightweight walking trousers, which at £15 are a justifiable purchase, but the build quality is too shoddy to warrant any higher price – not that I’ve ever seen Mountain Warehouse NOT have a sale on. Loads of pockets, lightweight and quick-drying material and quick drying. I want to like them more than I actually do.
Price: £40 (£15 in sale)
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