While looking for a pair of cheap and cheerful walking trews, I found these Craghopper Basecamp trousers that are an entry level version of the classic Kiwi trouser. Officially known as Basecamp Pants, I’m still wondering when this Americanism managed to slip in under the radar and replace the fine British usage of pants as a derogatory term
Entry level they may be, but fully based on the tried and tested Kiwi, in the same fabric but with the advantage of being lighter and thinner. This could be a boon in summer if you don’t want to wear shorts, or undergrowth makes it impractical.
Really, cannot fault these as general walking trousers. But that wasn’t surprising considering their pedigree. Craghoppers do some of the best trews in this price range, and these will accompany a couple of pairs of Kiwis and nosquito trousers in my collection. While I’ve got a rather ugly olive coloured pair and a tatty navy pair that’s seen better days and really need throwing out, these were provided in a much more appealing black colour making them suitable for taking away on longer trips when you need something that can be worn during the day and in the pub. However, a friend pointed out that they resemble police trousers in this colour, though preferable to the Light Bark colour. There’s a light granite colour as well that doesn’t look too bad.
The Basecamp trousers are water repellent, just don’t expect them to replace a pair of over-trousers. The SolarDry fabric won’t soak up water as fast as say a pair of denim jeans would, they do bead well for a while and are effective enough at keeping you dry on showery days.
The only problem is that I anticipate the closing button will fall off as it has on all my Kiwi trousers to date, but not on the nosquitos as they’ve been attached much more securely than the two bits of thread on the Basecamp. If you’re handy with needle and thread, then it may be wise to strengthen these before you lose the button.
There’s a small cargo pocket on the thigh, a zipped pocket on the backside and your two usual pockets at the front. Neither of these are zipped, unlike the Kiwis which have a zipped security pocket there. I think the pockets are also rather shallow and wouldn’t entrust any valuables to them. Keys, mobile and wallet were safely in my pack while these were tested.
All in all, a decent pair of trews that are good value at the asking price, but easily found on sale at well under the rrp online making them a steal. These are ideal for those starting out and looking for a cheap pair of walking trousers, and will last you a good few years so long as you put a few extra stitches into that front button.