I have some favorite gear that I call my go to gear, that is supposed to work for most of the time in most seasons. For some strange reason I have never really found THE pair of go to pants for hiking. It goes without saying that a pair of go to pants for lightweight hiking has to be… well lightweight. In my on going search I was given a pair of Lundhags Makke pants a couple of years ago by the Danish importer of Lundhags STM Sport. The deal was for me to use the pants for a prolonged period and review them on my blog. I am finally happy to fulfill my end of the bargain with this long-term review. All though I was given the pants free of charge, my review is my own subjective opinion of the pants.
The pants are made by Lundhags and are named after a Swedish mountain in Jämtland. The pants are made of 65 % recycled polyester and 35 % organic cotton (just like a certain G1000 material from a well-known competitor). There is a lot of Schoeller Dry Skin softshell stretch material on areas that will enhance movement and flexibility. The hem and instep is protected by reinforced Schoeller Keprotec material.
The pants oozes of quality and are very well made (in Vietnam) and my two plus years of use is visible on them, but only as a sort of enhanced patina, all though the DWR (water repellent) has worn of. Despite the obvious quality of the pants, the zipper on the left waist pocket gave away after a few months of use. A local tailor repaired it for me, so a minor annoyance. The fit is tight and slim, which is fine with me as they have a lot of stretch in the right places. Initially when you put them on, you think it will be difficult to move easily when wearing them, but as soon as you get going in the mountains, they surprise you and let you move freely and with complete confidence. You can also get away with not wearing a belt with them, as they have an adjustment strap at the waist. They also have a hook at the hem to secure them to your shoes. My pair weighs 441 grams which I find is very competitive for such a fully featured pair of pants in size large/52.
In all they have:
- Waist adjustment with velcro
- Two zippered hand pockets
- Two zippered thigh pockets
- Inseam ventilation zippers on inner thighs
- Lower legs zippered ventilation can also help when putting them on with shoes on
- Adjustment at the hem
- Hook at the hem for the boot or shoe
- Weigh 441 gram in size large/52
I have had the pants since august 2015 and have used them on and off for many outdoor outings when hiking, canoeing og teaching outdoor skills. A sound estimate would be at least a 100+ days of use and abuse in total, and they will most likely come with me to Scotland in May on the TGOC and many more trips in the future.
The material is not that innovative in itself, as many outdoor companies make garments in that blend of polyester and cotton. But I find the placement and use of stretch panels and the Schoeller Dry Skin material to be well thought out and innovative giving a particularly good freedom of movement. The hem material is also hardwearing when walking through underbrush, and still very light so as not to hinder your lower legs movement. It is also the only pair of pants with inner thigh ventilation that I have seen and used, all though this feature I have only really used once, and is not something I go for in pants for hiking. If I expect it to be warm I pack a pair of lightweight shorts and generally use them instead of venting.
Note added June 2018: I took the Makke pants with me on the TGO Challenge in May 2018 for two weeks of hiking. It turned out to be a very warm hike, and I used the venting in the pants almost daily. I have therefore changed my opinion about the venting system. It was very useful!
The quality of the garment is very good. That a zipper came lose for me after little use is probably down to chance, and I am sure that Lundhags would have fixed it for me on the warranty if I had reported it. I will have to say that the price on them is quite high, so then I also expect top notch quality all around, and that it also what you get.
Are they the perfect pair of outdoor pants for me? No, but they come very very close, if only they would remove one leg pocket and the ventilation zips on the inner thighs, then yes they would be perfect for me and weigh a little less. Would I buy them at full price? That is a tricky question, because you do get top quality for the price, but again they have some features that I could do without. Bottom line is that they are the best hiking pants I have and have seen more use by me than any other pair of outdoor pants I own. They have my recommendation and are among my favorite go to pants for hiking in spring and autumn! They also come in a range of cool colors, espcially the blue ones look really cool.
Where to buy them:
Lundhags is a well-known brand that can be bought many places in Denmark and abroad. STM Sport the Danish importer can advice if you contact them.