Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers Review
After 14 months of weekly use, the Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers have earned their title of the “Best Overall Hiking Pants.” These innovative and well-ventilated pants are near perfect for trekking and adventure travel, particularly in warm weather conditions (even in the tropics).
Weight: 300 g (size 48)
Main Material: Partly Recycled Polyester / G1000 Air Stretch
Hardware: YKK / Wasa Sweden
# of Pockets: 4
Manufacturing Country: Vietnam
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Length of Test: 14 months
Acquisition: Self Purchase
Climate(s): Tropical Savanna
Weather: Hot and Humid (highest temp 34 C), Cold and Dry (lowest temp 3 C), and Light Rain.
The Abisko Midsummer’s are designed for:
The pants are not designed for:
Materials: Fjällräven is known for hard-wearing construction and the Abisko Midsummer Trousers are no exception, which feature the brand’s unique dual-panel design:
The reinforced panels (le derrière and knees) are made of Fjällräven’s proprietary G1000 Air Stretch fabric. Essentially, it’s an air permeable version of their heavy-duty G1000 fabric – a ripstop canvas that consists of 65% partly recycled polyester and 35% cotton.
The 4-way stretch panels are made of a partly recycled polyester and encompass the majority of the pant: areas that see the least amount of abrasion.
Over time, these lightweight materials have proven to be much tougher than anticipated – from bushwhacking to scrambling, there are virtually zero signs of pilling or wear.
As for the hardware, the zippers are from good ol’ faithful, YKK. The zippers themselves come with a logo-embossed grippy pull and a fabric zipper garage of their own.
Last but not least, the metal buttons are custom-made by Wasa Sweden. In use, they’ve never unbuckled on their own and have a relatively premium feel.
Pockets: the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers feature 4 pockets in total – two hand pockets and two asymmetrical cargo pockets.
The hand pockets are useful for storing a phone, a face mask, or even a slim minimalist wallet. Their (secured) zippered entry is canted and offers easy-access and closure.
As for the cargo pockets, both have a gusseted construction and are ridiculously spacious. They lie flat when not in use, but can expand to accommodate a wide range of gear – they’ll even fit a passport wallet, if needed.
Side Ventilation: on each leg, there are hip-to-knee ventilation zippers. In use, the ability to modulate air flow feels like divine intervention. And once you try them, I guarantee you’ll question your worldview on pants: why aren’t they a standard feature?
With these zips, it’s unlikely you’ll ever overheat while wearing the Abisko Midsummer Trousers – I never did, even when doing lowland rainforest treks in humid Thailand.
Just note, these zips aren’t mesh-backed so insects can still find their way in – so it’s best to not leave them open for a prolonged period of time.
Gaiter: at the bottom of each leg, there’s an adjustable hem with a built-in gaiter. This works well at keeping insects and debris at bay for mid- to high-cut footwear.
For use with trail runners (like my VivoBarefoot Primus Lite), there’s not much benefit. Although it is nice to be able to create somewhat of a “taper” effect when desired.
Usability: lets get straight to the point… the comfortability of these pants, make them a true game changer. Zero chafing. Zero stickiness. Plus they dry insanely quickly – whether from your own sweat or after a heavy downpour.
I’ve used these pants for trekking, day hikes, rucking, camping, travel and even around town. They’re just so damn comfortable and breathable, that they’ve become my go-to pair – even for urban environments in Thailand.
Long story short… when it comes to warm weather activities (especially in the tropics), the performance of the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers just can’t be beat.
While these pants perform best in hot and humid weather, they’re versatile enough to wear in colder climates – especially if you move fast and light.
For times when added warmth was needed, I’d usually just layer 150 GSM merino wool underneath – and if I got too hot during active use, I’d open the side zips to quickly cool off. Basically, by combining a thermal layer with the breathability / venting of these pants, you can effectively thermoregulate in colder temperatures – enabling you to stay warm without overheating.
Mobility: the 4-way stretch polyester combined with a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, ensure relative freedom of movement.
Essentially, the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers move with you (not against you) and work well for scrambling as well as any activities that require deep squats or lateral movements. However for high stepping, the pants do have a habit of slightly restricting movement at the top of the “range of motion” (ROM). So for vertical ascents, we’d recommend getting different pants that are better suited for climbing.
Pro Tip: the pants sit mid-waist and work best with an elasticized belt for maximum ROM.
The Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers are a straight-fit technical garment with a timeless design. And unlike most pants, they feature a dichromatic colorway that might be off-putting for some. As for myself, I like the look and so does my wife (it’s unique).
While these pants lack “true” crossover appeal, I’ve still worn them around town on a weekly basis – from coffee shops to malls and even government offices. They’re the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn, so it’s hard to justify wearing anything else.
At the time of writing, the Abisko Midsummer Trousers come in four subdued colorways: grey, light olive, navy, and black.
These pants are expensive and the cost might be prohibitive for some. The reality is, innovation costs a pretty penny – especially in relation to material science.
Fjällräven chose to invest heavily in the R&D, material and patterning choices, so they could create one of the best performing pants on the market – and the price accurately reflects that. If your budget allows, we believe these pants represent good value as their performance and durability are worth the premium.
With that being said, the alternatives to consider for the Abisko Midsummer Trousers are:
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The Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers are at the top of the food chain – along side the Keb Trousers. For their level of innovation, these pants won the coveted ISPO Gold Award – one of the highest accolades in the outdoor industry.
As for our experience, these pants are near perfect and should be considered an “investment piece” – one that’ll last you for many years of reliable service.
Disclaimer: once you go Fjällräven, you don’t go back… drink the Swedish Kool-Aid wisely.
As expected from Fjällräven, superior build quality, comfort, and freedom of movement. So far, so good.
Still zero pilling and no signs of abrasion to report. These pants are light, but extremely tough for their overall weight.
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