Could These Be the Best All-Rounder Hiking Pants?
I’ve been looking for years for my perfect 3-season mountaineering ‘cargo’ pants. I consider my pants the first line of my personal ‘carry system’ so that in a worst case scenario I have on me at least a knife, sources of light and fire, and a mobile phone. I’ve had some pants really close to what I consider ‘perfect’ but they never ticked all the boxes. Is my search finally over? Let’s check out the Lundhags Authentic II Ms Pant to find out.
Who It Suits
Hikers, adventurers, mountaineers, etc. should really like these pants if they’re fine with multiple pockets (including mid-size cargo pockets too). It’s both the material and design that makes them my default hiking pants when I pack my stuff for another adventure. And if you like just a bit of classic military styling in your technical gear, you’ll dig them.
Who It Doesn’t
Vertical climbers and anyone looking for minimalistic and lightest possible technical pants – there are better options for you. Especially if you’re cutting off half of your toothbrush before going out, just to make it lighter. In such cases I’d rather suggest the Arc’teryx Rampart or something similar (personally I’d never go lighter than the Rampart).
Well, there’s a lot of good things to be said about the Authentic II. Starting off with hybrid construction, which combines a proprietary poly-cotton blend (65/35) for abrasion resistance and breathability with Dynamic Stretch fabric by Schoeller® (top-tier stuff) for unrestricted movement. They also used super tough fabric with aramid yarn in certain areas to ensure the long life of the product. The Authentic II are really rugged pants, DWR treated of course (by TOKO, a Swiss company with 100+ years of experience in this business). All that really works.
The pants offer solid wind protection but also breathe well (plus there are two long zippers on the sides, which open up ventilation ports). The DWR finish can easily survive summer drizzle but it is not fully waterproof – for that you’d need hardshell pants but I don’t recommend those during summer hikes. However, Lundhags’ Poly-Co blend dries really fast in case you get caught in heavy rain. Also without a doubt they must be one of the most comfortable pants I’ve used so far and they really move with me. They even allow me to do some light climbing as they stretch beyond what I’ve seen in other all-terrain 3-season outdoor pants. The leg cuffs are fully adjustable with a small hidden hook to leash pants to shoelaces, a super handy feature in bad weather and also in snow if you need to cross an occasional snow field in the mountains in early spring. Another good thing is storage capacity – if I want or need I can store a lot of various items in all these pockets.
Last but not least, the actual fit. A lot of companies go just M, L, XL, etc. but Lundhags decided to go with numbered sizes, exactly as it should be done. The sizing is just right, no need to go up or down in sizing. Plus there is Velcro micro-adjustment in the waist for that perfect fit.
The Not So Good
They’re not the lightest pants at 560 grams. But considering the rugged construction, the 560g is a general standard for active cargo pants. Also while Lundhags delivers outstanding products, you can imagine they don’t come cheap. These pants can be found at about 170 EUR on average in the EU, so slightly below suggested manufacturer’s 189 EUR. It’s more or less on the same level as most of the competition (Fjällräven, Haglöfs) but you surely get what you pay for. Also it could be difficult to find a store with a full selection of Lundhags gear outside Europe (in the US it’s distributed by backcountry.com and they have quite good availability).
Others to Consider
Fjällräven Barents Pro – These are even more rugged (especially when waxed) but less stretchy and not as breathable. They’re rather dedicated to forest walking than to hiking in rocky terrain and/or scrambling. There’s also less storage capacity in pockets.
Prometheus Design Werx Odyssey Pants – Great general use cargo pants, I use my pair a lot for bushcrafting and around my country cabin. Super heavy-duty for sure, big pockets, but not as comfortable/stretchy in demanding rocky terrain due to the lack of stretching panels.
As I said at the very beginning, these are easily my favorite outdoor pants for demanding terrain. If you’d ask me to take just one pair of pants for an outdoor adventure (except snowy winter) you can expect me to be ready in my Lundhags Authentic II. I’ve been using mine A LOT since June and they’re still in perfect condition, so the quality of the materials is certainly top tier – and I can assure you I’m not babying my gear. In the meantime I was hiking in the Tatra Mountains (alpine terrain), spent a total of 3 weeks in Bieszczady (wildest highland terrain in Poland), another hike in the Karkonosze Mountains (beautiful rocky terrain) and countless weekend outings into backcountry/forest. So if you ask me, yes, these pants are really worth the price tag and also the effort to obtain them if you live outside the EU.