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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Fjallraven Nikka Hiking Trousers Regular > Owner Review by Christie Kimber


Fjallraven Women’s Nikka Trousers Regular
Owner Review by Christie Kimber
December 2, 2017

Name: Christie Kimber
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Height: 6’0 (183 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (65 kg)
Email address: christiekimber AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Courtenay, British Columbia (BC), Canada
Backpacking Background: I started hiking in 2015 when I moved from Saskatchewan to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I started with day hikes and have eventually pushed myself to weekend and even week long excursions. I am a three-season, usually fair weather, hiker. Vancouver Island gets a lot of rain and has a moderate climate.

Manufacturer: Fjallraven International AB
Year of Manufacture: 2015 (still being produced)
Manufacturer’s website: https://www.fjallraven.com/
MSRP: CAD $199.99
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 396 g (13.97 oz)
Available Sizes: EU 34-38, US 26-37
Tested Size: EU 38, US 29
Fit: regular fit
Waist: mid rise
My waist: 71 cm (28 in)
Reported measurements:
•    Inseam: 91 cm (35.8 in)
•    Waist: 81 cm (31.8 in)
•    Seat: 101 cm (39.8 in)
•    Thigh: 64 cm (25.2 in)
•    Leg: 43 cm (16.9 in)
Actual measurements:
•    Inseam: 89 cm (35 in)
•    Waist: 83 cm (32.7 in)
•    Seat: 100 cm (39.4 in)
•    Thigh: 64 cm (25.2 in)
•    Leg: 43 cm (16.9 in)

Available colors: black, dark garnet, dark olive, red, sand, storm
Tested color: black
Made in China

Fjallraven is a Swedish-based technical clothing and accessories company. The Nikka trousers are designed to be a technical hiking or climbing pant. The trousers reviewed here are regular fit. These pants are also available in a curvy fit, designed for women with curvy figures, as well as a short fit. They are made of Fjallraven’s trademarked G-1000 material (65% polyester and 35% cotton) and are treated with Greenland Wax. The G-1000 material and Greenland Wax combination is marketed to be hardwearing, water resistant, windproof, breathable, and offer 100% UV protection.

The Nikka trousers are a full-length pant and do not offer any zip-off or roll-up feature to shorten them. This product is designed with preshaped knees. The seat, knees, and cuffs are also reinforced. Additional features include a gusseted crotch, two front pockets with zippers and two large cargo side pockets with button flaps. The side pockets include a knife pocket and a map pocket.
The waistband has belt loops all the way around. There is a zipper fly and button and hole mechanism to close.

Sizing:
A detailed size chart is available on the website. It includes several measurements (as outlined above) as well as a chart describing how to take these measurements. The size chart also includes conversion to US/Canadian sizes from EU sizing, which is handy.

While the sizing chart is accurate, these pants do not fit true to “street size”- which is one reason why I purchased them right away. They have a much longer inseam than most off-the-rack hiking pants that I have seen. I am a very tall slender female. As soon as I held up the Nikka Trousers I knew I would be purchasing them. After trying on literally dozens of hiking pants of all different prices and quality, these were the only ones I had been able to find that were long enough for me. Well-fitting hiking pants are key to my staying both comfortable and protected on long journeys – something I had been having trouble with in previous hikes.
While I found the longer inseam to be a huge pro, I am definitely taller than the average female hiker, so I can see them running long on most people.
The remainder of the measurements were true to size. The pants have a straight leg and mid-rise waist. The “stretch” of the material is very forgiving, so if I were between sizes I would size down. The stretch portion of the pants are made with 63% polyamide, 26% polyester, and 11% elastane.


Field Testing

These are my favorite hiking pants, so I have worn them on almost all of my treks in all sorts of conditions – wet, dry, alpine, coastal. I have worn them in temperatures ranging from about -5 C to +25 C (23 – 77 F). Below are some examples of the variable conditions they have been worn in:
  • Juan De Fuca Trail, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    • Elevation: coastal, minimal elevation change
    • Trip duration: 3 nights, 4 days
    • Weather and Trail conditions: wet and muddy, heavy rain one day with lots of standing water. Rock beaches and rainforest trail
    • Temperatures: 5 – 17 C (41 – 63 F)
  • Mt. Albert Edward cirque, Strathcona Park, BC, Canada
    • Elevation: 6900 ft (2100m)
    • 2 nights, 3 days
    • Weather and trail conditions: sunny clear weather, alpine and sub alpine back country trails.
    • Temperatures: 10-25 C (50 – 77 F)
  • Marble Meadows, Stratchona Park, BC, Canada
    • Elevation: 5100 ft (1600m)
    • Trip duration: 1 night 2 days
    • Weather and trail conditions: sunny and clear, early spring. Snow on trail and moderate scrambling at points
    • Temperatures: -5 to 10 C (23 – 50 F)
Technical features:
The thing I noticed about these pants right away is how lightweight they felt while wearing them, despite feeling so durable and “heavy duty” on the shelf. I thought they might be too hot for summer hiking, but they are very breathable and feel light on. That being said, in colder conditions they definitely hold up as well. I run on the cooler side, so when I am hiking in conditions below about 10 C (50 F) I tend to use a base layer underneath. I bought my pants with a little larger waist for this reason, but I could have bought my regular size and they would have fit a base layer underneath just fine.

As far as the other claims the manufacturer makes, those being water resistant, windproof, and UV protection, I have worn these pants enough to have opinions on all of the above. I definitely agree that they provide excellent wind as well as UV protection. The material is very tightly knit. It offers great protection from branches and bugs too! Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the water resistance. I realize they are not marketed as rain proof, but even in light rain the pants got soaked through pretty quickly. They do dry fast, but I thought they would hold up a little better in water with the Greenland Wax.

One interesting feature of these pants is you can buy Greenland Wax from Fjallraven and rewax the pants to improve water resistance. This service is also available at any of their stores. I have not tried to rewax my pants since owning them, so my seeing the water resistance as a downfall might have to do with my own clothing care negligence. 

Longevity and Stretch
I have had these pants for two years now and every time I put them on they feel brand new. Despite being through some very dirty and rough conditions they have held up really well. They are easy to care for, and other than likely needing a new wax application, I have had no complaints. They can be machine washed, but should be hung up to dry. There are also detailed instructions on the inside pocket on how to wax the pants yourself. 
They are also super comfortable. They stretchiness makes it feel like I am wearing sweat pants. I can move in all directions without feeling inhibited at all. I have taken large steps upwards on steep trails and have had no worries about ripping the seat or crotch. I have also slid down gorges without getting any rips. Durability is definitely a bonus of these pants.


Summary:
The Nikka trousers are technical hiking pants that provide durability, stretch, comfort and great protection from sun and wind. They can be used as a three-season hiking pant, although in my opinion they should not be relied on to keep the wearer dry in truly wet conditions.

Pros:
•    Length – great for tall women
•    Stretch/comfort
•    Durability

Cons:
•    Water resistant only
•    Need to be re-treated with wax to maintain water resistance
•    No zip or roll up feature to shorten during hot weather


Pants1

Hiking in the rain forest

Pants2

Hiking in the alipine


Read more reviews of Fjallraven gear
Read more gear reviews by Christie Kimber

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Fjallraven Nikka Hiking Trousers Regular > Owner Review by Christie Kimber



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