Inside the outdoor industry

FIELD TEST: Keela Munro Salopettes

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Walking continues to be one of the UK’s most popular activities, with recent figures from the Ramblers Association estimating that over nine million adults in England alone venture outdoors for at least 30 minutes in a four-week period, nearly three times that of cyclists (3.5 million).

With such a variation of routes available, from easy strolls down country lanes to epic mountain hikes and coastal climbs, wearing clothing which can adapt to changeable weather conditions can make or break a day’s outing. And, with more people taking up the challenge of hiking during the autumn and winter months, a good mountain trouser is a ‘must have’ to keep warm and dry during inclement weather days.

Step forward Keela’s Munro Salopettes, a high specification, technical mountain trouser from the Scottish outdoor clothing experts. Constructed using Keela’s own System Dual Protection (SDP) technology, the salopettes are manufactured from an outer fabric which is coated with a breathable membrane and inner mesh lining, removing any internal moisture build-up by distributing it down the garment and away from the body. This prevents uncomfortable overheating, as well as the penetration of rain, thanks to the outer layer and inner layer creating an air gap which helps regulate body heat.

Efficient wicking of outdoor clothing during warmer days is an important part of any adventure, helping to maintain comfort and keep spirits high. But does Keela’s system work? Well, yes it does, and admirably so. Our trousers were tested during a day with temperatures of 6 -14 degrees centigrade, precipitation at 60%, humidity at 89% and a south westerly breeze of 12mph. With moderate to hard hiking, Keela’s SDP technology worked extremely effectively, keeping me warm, dry and comfortable throughout the day.

The outer material is extremely hard wearing and resistant to tearing from rocks or thick thorns, with the trousers boasting the addition of reinforced areas in the seat, knee and ankle. A zip fly is included, along with an exterior zipped chest pocket with storm flap for keeping essentials handy and dry.

You like the lining

The Munro trousers are fully lined and provide excellent heat retention, which works particularly well around the high back area, giving them an edge over a regular waist-style hiking trouser.

Other features include two-way, full-length leg zippers with stormflap covering, hook and loop closure, assisting in the entry of the salopettes and also helping with ventilation if the need arises.

Our pair measured as a medium short, which was a perfect fit for a 5ft 9” male weighing in at 10 and a half stone. However, adjustments can be made via the adjustable braces and elasticated back with velcro fastening.

The salopettes also benefit from a hook and loop adjuster at the ankle, meaning you can pull them in tight during really wet days, whilst the inner ankle gaiter offers the flexibility of wearing them during skiing holidays.

The Keela brand is synonymous with durability, evident in the various Tactical Forces, Mountain Rescue and expedition teams that the company continues to partner with globally. Add to this the affordability and effectiveness of the Munro and it’s hard to see any other manufacturer currently competing against these excellent salopettes in the outdoor market.

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