Gear Review- Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers

With summer nearly here, and with my focus on the desert, this may not be the time to write about a pair of pants that are more cold weather oriented. The Barents Pro trousers are described on the Fjallraven website as “durable trekking trousers for many adventures in the mountains and forests”, which to me translates to cold weather desert treks. I have yet to try them in hot weather, but I will try them this summer in the heat. But after stopping in to the Fjallraven store again yesterday (they are right across from my own shop on the West End of Pearl Street in Boulder), I am once again thinking about the quality, durability, functionality, comfort, and color of Fjallraven products. And especially the Barents Pro trousers.

The Pants
I bought a pair of these pants last fall, and have used them on two trips so far. On the first, last November, I wore them for 8 days. On the most recent trip I wore them for 12 days. And when I say that I wore them I mean that I never took them off. I hiked canyons, through thick brush, climbed around in canyons and on slickrock, waited out a couple of rain storms, tracked and viewed lots of artifacts (on my knees a lot), and slept in them. In both cases not only did the pants show almost no wear, but they hid all the signs of having been out for so long very well. I should note that I have the olive drab colored pants.

The Fjallraven Barents pro trouser in dark olive

The Fjallraven Barents Pro trouser in dark olive.

These are some of the best fitting bush pants that I have ever owned. They have a low waist, and carry no excess fabric anywhere. The knees and seat are double thick, with the knees being pre-shaped so that you do  not notice the thickness. The double knee fabric also forms a pocket which accepts a knee pad- perfect for the tracker. Knee pads are available from Fjallraven, or you can simply cut up a piece of closed cell foam pad and slip it in.

The Barents Pro trousers are made of wind and water resistant G-1000® fabric which comes waxed and can be re-waxed when it starts to wash out. The pants have 7 pockets including a large map pocket (which I am really happy with), and an axe pocket (which I do not have a use for.) The pockets have large, easy to manage snaps for closing them. They come in European waist sizes and one length which they call “raw length”. This means that you will have to get them hemmed- a benefit as I see it since they will fit me exactly. Even with all the features, they are a lightweight pant.

Barents Pro trousers pocket configuration.

The Barents Pro trousers pocket configuration- right side and left side. The axe pocket is the long pocket on the left side, down the side of the leg.

Colors in the Bush
And finally, while color may not be important to most people, it is very important to me, and can set me off on a rant quite easily…. When I am in the bush I must blend in; I cannot and will not use red, yellow, or orange clothing or gear. To me it is a form of pollution, just like people talking in loud voices as they walk down the trail, or leaving their trash in a campsite. I do all I can to buy gear in subtle, subdued colors. My goal in the bush is to blend in, to mentally and physically become part of my surroundings. Wearing blaze orange or its equivalent, unless I am hunting, is not an option.

Most Fjallraven products, including the Barents Pro trousers, come in natural, subdued colors that blend in with nature. The Barents Pro trousers are available in dark olive, dark grey, and sand. Unlike the vast majority of gear makers who apparently make gear for the campus, the club, and the mall, Fjallraven makes gear for the bush, for hiking, for outdoors. Point of note- I asked a couple of different REI employees why clothing is so bright and was given the stock, ridiculous answer that it was a safety issue. Americans apparently get lost a lot and bright colors help them get found. (Does this mean that Europeans don’t really get lost?) I asked a few employees at Golite about the color issue as well. They were quick to say that, unfortunately, colors are what the market wants. The three people I talked to also stated that they had trouble with the colors themselves and wouldn’t use them in the bush! End of rant.

For more on our desert adventures, and the occasional rant, visit the Desert Explorer website.

4 Responses to Gear Review- Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers

  1. Lucas says:

    Hi there! Were you able to test them in hot weather since making this post? I’m really interested in getting them for multiday trekking and also what is important for me for via ferratas. Please let me know how they would perform in such conditions.


    • Hi Lucas,
      I actually have not been able to try them in hot weather yet. I am just back from Utah, where it was about 100 degrees F every day, reaching 104 on some days. But that was not in the canyons where we were, which were likely even hotter. So the hottest temperatures I have used them in would only be spring and fall, 65-70 degrees F maybe, where they were very comfortable. I still may try them on my next trip in about two weeks. It should be perfectly hot then as well, about 100 degrees every day. I am guessing that most via ferrata temps would not be terribly hot- these pants would be great for that in my opinion.

  2. Hello! I wonder if I should buy a pair of these trousers and wear them on Safari in South Africa but I wonder if the material is suitable for warm climate. That is why i came across your blog… were you able to try them out in warmer teperatures in the meantime?
    Thanks, Julia

    • Hi Julia,

      So, every time I bring them along in warmer weather, I end up wearing lighter, nylon pants- Ex Officio brand is my favorite. I took the Barents along last month to Utah to give them a try in warm, near-fall weather. But it ended up being in the 70’s, so I went with the lightweight pants again. I think they would have been fine for that temperature, but I would not wear them in much higher temperatures. If it will be in the 80’s or 90’s or hotter when you go, I would definitely consider something lighter. If you will be bushwhacking and have to worry about trees and vines and thorns tearing at your clothes, then the Barents might be the right choice- I am sure the G1000 material will hold up to rough treatment much better than any lightweight material.

      I hope this helps. Safe travels.

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