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We test the Nils trousers from Fjallraven in an effort to find their niche.
fjallraven nils trousers
Overall Score
The soft 'G1000 Silent' fabric allows a wide range of uses including 'everyday'
A lack of purpose. The 'raw' leg length is an irritant unless you're a tailor, but will be loved by particularly long- or short-legged customers

On the face of it the Nils trousers are classic Fjallraven - great earthy colour options, rugged G1000 fabric and construction and inimitable Scandinavian lumberjack looks. Fjallraven tout them as generic 'Outdoor trousers' which implies versatility; but what are they actually for?

It's sometimes difficult to know where and how to test something that wears versatility on its sleeve (or should that be leg?). For cold weather hiking you'd want something warmer, and for summer hiking a lighter and more flexible/stretchy alternative might be better.

For bushcraft (where other Fjallraven trousers excel) you would likely need a little more reinforcement and a more burly weight of fabric. And for 'everyday,' around-town-wear there are less conspicuous options (someone asked me if I was wearing waterproofs to dinner whilst 'testing' the Nils trousers!)

Versatility is great, and a lack of purpose doesn't affect the number ratings given above. But it does seem Fjallraven are sticking too rigidly to the middle of the road with this particular design.

The Fjallraven website mentions 'picking mushrooms in the forest' as a suggested use for the Nils, and it may be that undemanding outdoor pottering is where they're most at home. But that is a slight disservice - I'd have no hesitation in hiking in these trousers in spring or autumn, but other options designed for purpose are available and probably at a lower price.

Reasonably hard-wearing, versatile and classically good-looking may fit the bill perfectly for many users. But it's hard to say the Nils trousers excel at anything. There's a fine line between versatile and kind of pointless. On the other hand, they're Fjallraven, so naturally they look fantastic.

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