The Alpine Edge Pants are described by Montane as “featured for alpine climbs where weight and breathability are paramount.” Weighing in at 282 grams in a size medium they can be considered a lighter weight pant aimed for the warmer weather use in the UK.
The appearance is that of a technical piece of clothing with the pastel tones of the Narwhal Blue and Dark Blue reinforcement panelling not too dissimilar to that of many other mountaineering trouser. The fit is on the slim side with a good hold against the upper legs, and an adjustable zipper at the lower leg to adapt to differing footwear. We found the length in the legs were a near perfect fit, although we would say anyone taller than around 6’ would find this inside leg length on the short side. The waist sizing was a slightly off from our usual and we would recommend choosing a size down. There is plenty of stretch in the waist, and a comfortable top lining, although the elasticated front waistband we found had a poor hold and could be better designed.
A mix of fabrics from Montane are combine, with the super stretchy Chameleon LT double weave and the darker reinforced DWR Granite Extreme rip-stop located as panelling at the knees, seat and in-steps. We found this combination to be very good for the steeper ground we encountered on the Anoach Eagach and short climbs on Castle Ridge, Nevis. The stretch of the fabric is impressive, movement felt natural, perfect for this type of environment.
On longer expeditions spent in the Cairngorms covering large distances the Alpine Edge showed to be a great all-rounder with decent breathability and resistance to dirt build up. Only on the hottest days did we feel a need to change into a pair of shorts.
The build quality performed better than expected. The lightweight fabric held up well after much use in multi terrain environments from course rock to bashing through thick heather. The Granite Extreme rip-stop reinforced panels are well placed and we could see ourselves easily getting a few more busy seasons out of the Alpine Edge with ease.
Although dubbed a softshell pant we found that protection against wind and rainfall to be a weakness of the Alpine Edge, with light rainfall over an extended period easily wetting through the fabric. On the flip side they are very fast drying, although for wetter days a pair of waterproof trousers is best advised.
The Alpine Edge proved to be a great lightweight all-rounder for a range of summer mountain activities in the multi terrain locations we visited throughout Scotland. The combination of fabrics provided a great balance between unrestricted movement and protection against abrasion in key areas. High breathability meant the Alpine Edge felt very natural to wear, great for steep ground and long days covering larger distances. Protection against wind and rain is an area in which we were slightly disappointed, so too the elasticated waist band which for us didn’t offer much hold. Build quality was up to the usual high standards of Montane and we can see the Alpine Edge getting used for many more mountain days.
Trek Scotland is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...