NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website.
I understand
More Info

We review Vaude's Defender III walking trousers, a fully-featured mountaineering garment designed to keep your lower half protected in harsh and challenging environments.

vaude 1
Overall Score
Excellent fabric and sleek athletic cut, suitable for year-round use
Quite pricey, a little rougher on the skin than some

Vaude describes the 435g Defender IIIs as the 'master of mountains', citing their stretchy, windproof and fast-drying Schoeller fabric as the reason wearers will be able to make 'wild moves' during 'no-holds-barred climbing fun'. If that sounds like you then they could be well worth investigating.

Comfort is very impressive from the off, and belies the technical supremacy of the Defender IIIs. The stretch and give in the 'Schoeller Dynamic' and 'Windproof 80' nylon fabric (which is a Polyamide and Elastane mix) is impressive, while the supple inner feeling - although not the best on the market - is pleasant on the skin too.

There are technically five pockets - and all are zip protected - including two diagonal access at the hip and a top access at the rear, plus a pair on the outer thighs which extend round and behind the leg. The breathable inner netting isn't the most comfortable or robust on any of them, nor are they very large, so it's likely that you'll mainly be using them as venting spots in hotter conditions. The belt is in-built and easy to adjust, if not remove. There are also zips at the ankles and a slightly elaborate, but well-functioning draw-cord system which allows you to cinch the lower opening tight and then tidy away the cord.

As mentioned, the fabric is a little rougher than some, but our testing revealed it to be extremely well suited to resisting high winds and light rain. It's also not particularly thick, which makes the Defender IIIs a viable year-round option and not just worth saving for winter or high mountain adventures.

Also bear in mind that they are guaranteed produced without the use of damaging fluorocarbons and bear some impressive promises of sustainable and fair production processes via the brand's Green Shape programme. Impressive stuff.

In conclusion: the Defender III trousers are a solid mountain product that ticks every box for climbers, mountaineers and climbers to use year round. They're a little pricier than some other trousers and the storage options aren't five-star, but they still represent a great purchase for ambitious users.

Share on

All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.