Mountain Equipment Approach Pant
Mountain Equipment Stretchlite Guide Trousers
Sizes: 30-38 short, regular and long
Weight: 359g size 36 (my measurement)
These are well-designed and well-made trousers, simple, functional and with no extraneous features. The fabric is cool and comfortable across a reasonable range of temperatures, while its stretchiness and the articulated cut allow good freedom of movement. They're ideal for a range of summer fun from hillwalking and scrambling to cragging and warm weather mountain rock.
Stretchlite [sic] is an excellent fabric: light and cool, with a two-way stretch for unhindered movement. It keeps a fair breeze at bay too. Stretchlite Guides are quick drying, and after a couple of days on Skye gabbro and a number of hillwalks closer to home the material also seems robust so far, despite being very lightweight. An insert panel of Exolite I fabric runs below the waist band, past the hand pockets and some way down the thigh; this light softshell fabric is stretchier than the rest, helping give the trousers a nice trim fit under a harness or hip belt. After a few days' use with rucksacks, climbing harnesses and baby carriers there has been a slight pilling on this insert, though nothing serious.
Well-designed for maximum freedom of movement, with bent leg seams, an articulated knee and a diamond insert in the crotch to help with those high steps. The fit is slightly tapered towards the ankle. I'm of the Loose Fit generation and this isn't really my style, but it is practical, cutting down on excess material flapping about and making for a marginally smaller pack size too. However while they're not tight as such the Stretchlite Guide are definitely a slim-cut trouser, and despite the stretch fabric I had to go up a size on my usual for best fit (it's not the pies, it's my manly thighs - honest). If you too have relatively chunky legs it'd be worth bearing this in mind.ME Stretchlite Guide pants on Sgurr nan Gillean
© Mick Ryan
Two hand pockets; one on the bum and a good sized pocket on one thigh. This latter is 'laser-cut' - I'm not sure why, but it sounds snazzy. More importantly it is large enough to be useful yet not over-sized, sitting unobtrusively flat against the leg. All four pockets have zips, and mesh lining. For me four pockets are plenty as I don't often use them on trousers, except for keeping my hands in.