I didn’t know adidas made outdoor gear,” said almost everyone. Including me, when adidas first got in touch about me trying out some of their Terrex range. Apparently Terrex has been going for a good 10 years and yet somehow, almost no one has heard of it. So I was very intrigued to be sent some kit to try out, starting with these Terrex Techrock women’s mountaineering trousers. (If you’re curious, adidas has a whole mountaineering range, as well as a wide selection of outdoor boots.)
These trousers arrived a little bit late for my mountaineering exploits this year – I would have loved to have tried them out in Morocco and pitted them against Scottish winter. But I was still able to test them out on the moors, during my work as a Mountain Leader. It might not be snowing but it’s plenty cold enough doing remote supervision, checkpointing and camping.
What you get
The adidas Techrock Mountaineering Trousers are a pair of mid-weight winter walking trousers designed specifically with mountaineering and alpinism in mind. They come in men’s and women’s fits and a very wide range of size and length combos. I went for the size 8 in regular, which is my normal size. Here are some of the details of what you get:
- Standard, petite and tall
- Sizes 6 to 22
- Wool-backed soft shell fabric
- Shaped hems fit to your boots, with zips and gussets
- 3 harness-friendly zip pockets
- Machine washable at 30
For more details on the exact tech specs have a look at the adidas Terrex Techrock Mountaineering Trousers official page.
Using the adidas Techrock Mountaineering Trousers
Remote supervision, for the uninitiated, involves letting a group feel like they’re alone in the hills. In reality that involves playing chess with their route choices (or mistakes), sitting on hills with binoculars and occasionally hiding at checkpoints. Basically, quite a lot of sitting in places and weathers that you wouldn’t normally consider sitting in. And, it being Dartmoor, the chance to experience a full season’s worth of weather in the space of just a day.
Initial Thoughts and The Look
Putting these trousers on for the first time they were noticeably comfortable. A good, slightly loose fit with a high waist and no obvious seams inside. The fabric is soft and flexible, a bit like softshell but thinner and less dense. The popper at the waist band slightly flummoxed me (because it wasn’t, more on that later) but otherwise a very no-fuss pair of trousers. Which is good, because no one has time for faffy trousers on the hill. The only striking thing was the colour scheme and the distinctly adidas style. As I arrived at our start point and met the other leaders, I was waiting for at least some banter.
“Come on then,” I said eventually, “no one’s made a comment about my trousers yet!”
Because although it’s normal to wear brightly coloured trousers on a snowy mountain, it’s far less socially acceptable on a boggy hillside…
And it’s true, they do look like sportswear. But not in a way that looks garish or strange. One of the other leaders commented that they were probably a really good thing: people who knew adidas through sport could make an easy transition into hiking, using a brand they are already familiar with. And although it felt a bit odd to be in a sportier style pair of trousers while walking, it reminded me of something.
When I first started walking seriously, aged thirteen or younger, I didn’t have any walking trousers. So I wore a bog-standard pair of black trackies that I also wore to netball. I kept wearing these walking until I eventually got my first pair of you’ll-grow-into-them Craghoppers. Of course these trousers aren’t priced anywhere near that market (or indeed aimed for it) but perhaps other adidas products are. And maybe that’s a very good thing.
What went well
Fit and Feel
I wasn’t 100% sure that these would fit right, because I ordered my normal size. The website has a warning box saying that they size large based on reviews and returns. My gut feeling said buy them like normal and I’m pleased to report that they fit just as I’d expect from a pair of mountaineering trousers. If you want a skin-tight fit then maybe size down, but I was perfectly happy with the slightly loose fit I got. The taper into the ankles meant they never got caught up in anything and they are wide enough to fit around bigger mountain boots too.
You know I like a piece of gear that just works: and these really did just work. No chafing after some 20 miles walked with a 60L rucksack. I couldn’t feel the seams and the waist is nice and high to stop any hip chafing on waist belts. (I often still get hip chafing with some trouser-bag combinations even now, so it was noticeably absent.) Equally, the elastication is all at the back of the waist band, not inside it, which makes it a very comfortable fit. They were so comfy I even slept in them in the tent that night, rather than switch into long johns like normal.
As for warmth, these are very wind resistant and are great for sitting in April sunshine, but a bit too warm to be walking in the midday heat (of April on Dartmoor). As a useful comparison I would definitely wear them for alpine ascents and during the next winter season in Scotland. But I wouldn’t wear them walking when I’m expecting temperatures much above 10°C including wind chill – because they don’t have vents. That said, I had to run a mile in them one afternoon and they were adequately breathable, just not one for prolonged warmth. All in all, an excellently comfortable pair of trousers.
Praise be to the designers of these pockets. It shouldn’t be a surprise to find a pair of women’s trousers where they actually expect you to use the pockets, but here we are. Fortunately, the three pockets on the adidas Terrex Techrock women’s trousers were just that.
The two waist level pockets were large enough to get my full hands into both. I could easily fit my wallet, phone and snacks into them with space for more. They sit on top of the leg so everything stays put as you walk and they are low enough not to get in the way of a rucksack waist belt or harness. Better still, they have zips. Other manufacturers, please take note!
There is a third hidden pocket in the seam between adidas stripes and the front panel on the right leg, just above knee height. This is a much smaller pocket and perfect for little things you don’t want to lose in a bag. For example, I kept my house key safely in there all weekend. The very small zip pull means it doesn’t accidentally come undone.
Could do better
I have been very impressed by these trousers, but I do have one question that only a few weeks of testing couldn’t fully answer.
Will they last?
I’m not full convinced about the durability of these trousers long term. Of course, I have high standards: I keep my walking trousers for years upon years and use them weekly if not daily. Will I be using winter mountaineering trousers daily for years? No, although they will get intense stints of use once a year. But it’s fair to say they need to withstand some abrasion. I had no trouble sitting on rough granite in them (yes I have been know to make holes in shorts simply by sitting down), but I felt like I had to be really careful walking through gorse bushes. The outside face of the fabric is slightly brushed, rather than smooth, so you could definitely nick them on something sharp or maybe fuzz them up with abrasion. Not a game breaker, especially for use mostly in snow, but I won’t be diving into anything rough while wearing them.
The same goes for the popper in the waist belt above the zip. It isn’t a metal popper at all, it’s two flat panels of plastic that clip together in a similar way. I guess this might have been done for aesthetics, to allow an entirely flat waistband. It might have been an idea for easier closing with cold hands or big gloves, as it is probably less fiddly and requires less force to close. But I can’t help but wonder how easy it would be to snap the plastic and suddenly be unable to do your trousers up. Time will tell.
The adidas Terrex Teckrock mountaineering trousers are a no-fuss pair of winter trousers with great fit, good wind resistance and a sporty look. They have some of the most useful pockets I’ve ever seen in a pair of women’s trousers and are as comfortable as a pair of trackies.
If you’re new here, hi – I’m Emily. I’m a female adventurer based in the UK and you might want to start here before diving into the rest of this blog. If you’re a long time reader and you’re not in my Adventure Squad, then er hello? Why not? It’s a monthly catchup email about everything I’ve been up to recently, in adventures and writing, waaaay before it makes it to the blog (if at all). See you there!