When it comes to clothing there are often an dizzying assortment of options so one of the simplest ways to make your choice is to think about what you will be using them for most of the time. Rather than trying to get an item that does everything in all conditions it is much better to be realistic and get something that performs brilliantly for the activity you get out and do most. We have tried to narrow down the start of the search by looking at some of the main activities and identifying the products Montane have designed to perform within them.
Once you start to narrow down by activity you can consider other factors and work out how important they are to you. For example, would you rather have something ultra lightweight or highly durable? Do you need lots of weather protection or high breathability?
Trekking pants are one of the items that get the most use and yet are also often undervalued. Providing sufficient protection from the elements whilst balancing comfort can be a tricky proposition so again it is worth considering when you will be out using them. If you are will to head out in any weather then a decent DWR and options to vent heat will help you stay comfortable all year round. If you like warm or cold conditions then the weight and type of fabric will become important.
Finding the best pair of trekking pants is certainly a personal thing so understanding what works for you is important. This can be around levels of breathability, the cut of the pant and also the features in included such as reinforcements, vents, adjusters, pockets and pocket placement.
Invariably you will be spending the whole day, if not multiple days in the same pair of trekking legwear so comfort and practicality are key. A modern approach for trekking is the use of tights for both women and men now. These are not to everyone's taste but they do provide excellent freedom of movement and can be really comfortable over extended periods of time so it is worth considering a wide range of options.
Some legwear options will be designed to perform better in warmer or colder conditions. Obviously, if you are heading into the hills and mountains during particularly warm conditions in summer or the cold in deep winter then you need your clothing to perform to keep you comfortable and safe.
For winter the fabric used may have a tighter weave or be of a heavier weight for example. These simple changes will have a massive effect in adding warmth and providing additional protection against the wind. There may also be additional DWR treatments to keep out the rain too. If they are purely designed for winter there may be a fleece backer to add further warmth and comfort.
Alternatively, for summer clothing you want protection from the sun but also a good level of breathability to help keep you cool in warm conditions. Fabrics may focus on allowing air to flow through or to perform well when damp. Quick drying materials are a staple for summer conditions.
If you head into the mountains and are as likely to be hiking as you are on a scramble or doing a bit of climbing then you may want the added flexibility from the multi purpose approach.
Key elements for being able to do a bit of everything, like climb, hike, kayak or ride, is freedom of movement. With this in mind the fabrics used might need to be much stretchier than normal trekking pants for example. With stretchier materials you can sometimes find a reduction in durability so it's common to find zoned patches of reinforced materials with much tougher fabrics used around the ankles, knees and seat.
Shorts and capri pants regularly fall into this multi purpose category due to the extended range of movement they provide and their ability to push the boundaries into more intense activities.
Montane have an excellent running range, whether you're on the treadmill at the gym, aiming for a new 10K PB or competing in their grueling, sponsored ultra marathon, the Spine Race.
Although many might consider shorts to be fairly versatile the difference between hard wearing shorts with plenty of pockets compared to lightweight, breathable running shorts will be significant. With this in mind, Montane's running range is perfectly designed for running. It may have some cross over use for fast packing but both the shorts and tights perform best for pure running activities.
Within running it is always worth considering what your priorities are. If you are running in hot conditions or long distances then comfort from chafing so dual skin shorts are an excellent option. If speed is your priority then nonrestrictive, lightweight shorts are ideal. When the conditions become colder, running tights are a great choice for keeping the cold out.