I remember six years ago I saw an ad claiming the Fjallraven Keb pants were “the greatest outdoor pants of all time.”
I’m a sucker for big claim like that. I was living in Jasper Alberta at the time. Living outdoors every chance I had. I was also going through pants like every other month. I was ripping Jean’s and putting holes through hiking pants like it was my job.
I decided our next trip into Banff, I would grab my first pair of Fjallraven Keb trekking trousers from the local retail store there in town.
I spent the next few months practically living in my new Keb trousers. I thought, these were literally made for me and my lifestyle.
Fast forward six years and countless adventures from climbing, trekking, scrambling, canoeing, snowshoeing, wild skating, you name it. I’m still wearing these Fjallraven Keb trousers on almost of my adventures.
The times have changed a bit and so has the fit. The new trousers are slightly less baggy and fit a little tighter in the waist and thighs. A really nice update if you ask me.
Custom fit sewing and alterations.
I’ve utilized the instore tailor at Fjallraven here in Calgary where the store will make complimentary alterations to customize your perfect fit.
In addition to creating a custom taper, I also added an extra layer of G-1000 original fabric to the inside lower leg where crampons, skis and snowshoes tend to wear on the pants.
There are really only 2 months of the year I might not grab the Fjallraven Keb pants as my first choice for all around adventures. July and August here in the Rockies run a little hot for the thicker fabric. I might choose the Abisko Lite with the G-1000 lite fabric instead.
That said, it really depends on the location. I’ve had backpacking trips high in the mountains in August where I was happy to have my thicker Keb pants. It really depends on the situation.
My favourite features on the Keb trousers are the reinforced knees and the vent zippers. The knees are big for me especially in terms of photography. I find I’m often pivoting on my knees in search of a composition.
The vents are big for “stop and go”. When I get moving I heat up pretty quickly. I usually start with the lower leg vents where I can dump heat from above my boots. If I really heat up, I’ll open the thigh ones next. When I stop too long for a photo or break, I’ll close all the vents to conserve warmth.
Another feature I find imperative in the winter time is the gaiter hook at the bottom of the pant. The gaiter hook I can use to snuggly attach my Keb trousers to my boots. This keeps all the snow out of my boots no matter what I’m doing.
Applying wax to the G-1000 fabric.
I’ve really learned through a lot of experience how to optimize the waxing feature to get as much versatility from my Keb trousers as possible.
In the summer months, if the conditions are dry, I won’t wax my pants at all. For wet days, or backpacking trips where weather might be variables, I’ll apply a light waxing. In the shoulder seasons I’ll apply a fairly thick waxing to rappel the rain and wind. Winter, I’ll double wax. Applying an extra thick coat of wax to the paint where the trousers can practically stand up on their own.
I always apply the wax pre-adventure. I don’t trust myself to use an open flame to melt the wax into the fabric in the field.
Typically I wash the pants in cold water. The cold water cycle will remove about half of the wax from the trousers. If you want to remove all the wax from the trousers in your wash, then wash using hot water.
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a Fjallraven retail store, they will wax your garments completely complimentary. Just remember to give yourself a day or two before your adventure, they might be busy.
As an outdoor photographer I always do my best to find the most functional equipment to elevate my experiences outdoors and allow me to focus on my adventures and my photography. The Fjallraven Keb trousers are a perfect example of what a piece of equipment like that looks like.