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Capable, Cool, and Comfortable: Fjällräven’s Abisko Trousers Can Handle the Heat

This article was produced in partnership with Fjällräven.

Whether you’re scaling rock walls or bushwhacking through a forest, shorts aren’t always a wise choice for outdoor adventures, even in summer. They’ll leave your legs exposed to thorns, brambles, bugs, and the beating sun. After a long day in the wild, you’ll likely wish you had more protection. Fortunately, that’s where Fjällräven’s Abisko trousers shine: This family of versatile pants provides complete protection while venting body heat as you move. And like the rest of the Swedish outfitter’s lineup, they’ve been tested on countless backcountry expeditions (and on city streets, too).

Named after a small village in Sweden, located north of the Arctic Circle, the Abisko line is inspired by the mountains, wildlife, and flora in the area, and every pair is built to last through an array of climates and challenging terrain. That’s something Teddy Cosco, a psychology professor and angler based in Vancouver, BC, has seen firsthand. On recent treks to Volcano Lake and Circlet Lake on Vancouver Island, Cosco opted for the Abisko Midsummer Trousers because he knew temperatures would be hot but trail conditions would be rough.

“I’m a trousers over shorts person pretty much all season,” he tells Men’s Journal.

The Abisko Midsummer Trousers are well-suited to these kinds of trips. They’re made of lightweight-but-durable G-1000 Stretch fabric, which flexes in the hips, knees, and crotch for more freedom of movement during high-intensity activities. Zippered vents run from the hip to the knee to circulate air, while two spacious leg pockets and two zippered hand pockets hold essentials for easy access. (If you really need a pair of shorts, Fjällräven also makes a pair of Midsummers that convert to shorts.)

Cosco opts for his Midsummer Trousers above all else when he wants something airy and breathable that keeps his legs from getting munched by mosquitos and torn up by branches. On a recent fishing trip, even a hole in his waders couldn’t slow Cosco down—thanks to Abisko’s quick-drying properties.

“I was confident my left pant leg would dry immediately,” he says.

For something more form-fitting and flexible, Fjällräven offers two tights: Abisko Trekking Tights and Abisko Trail Tights. The trekking pair is thicker, but both feature extra-tough fabric on the seat and knees for protection against scrapes. You can wear them on their own or layer them undern a different pair of Fjällräven trousers.

The Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers are another popular option in the Abisko family. They’re a favorite of Forrest Cortes, who works as a community engagement director for an environmental nonprofit, volunteers for the Chicago Audubon Society, and founded Out in Nature, an LGBTQIA+ outdoor meetup group. He reaches for his Abisko Lites when he’s leading groups on warm-weather nature outings, such as a trip to the sand dunes near his home in Chicago.

“My volunteer work requires a lot of sitting, standing, and squatting,” he says. “I need pants that are going to let me lift and dig, and not rip in front of a group of people.”

They fit like a dream thanks to the articulated rear and knees, and they’re cut from Fjällräven’s G-1000 Lite fabric, so they breathe when it’s hot out. The waist rises a little higher for extra comfort and coverage—great for activities that require lots of bending and getting low to the ground. Reinforcements on the outside and inside of the leg endings resist abrasions from brush and boots.

Cortes has found they’re also a great pick for travel, even in very different climates—like a trip he took to see California’s redwoods this summer.

“It’s really foggy and misty there, but by the time the sun was out, the pants were dry and there wasn’t that annoying dampness all day,” he says.

While extremely capable outdoors, the Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers perform just as well as an everyday option for work and casual wear. Cal MacKintosh, a bushcrafter based in Portland, OR, likes to wear his Abiskos when roaming around the city.

“You look and feel good wearing them,” he says.

So good, in fact, that when a friend came to visit for the weekend, the first item on their agenda was getting him a pair. They went straight to the Fjällräven store to outfit his friend in gear, then routed to the Olympic Coast in Washington for a weekend of camping.

Urban streets to a backcountry campsite all in one pair of pants? With the Abisko family of trousers, it’s not just practical—it’s enjoyable, too.

[Abisko Midsummer Trousers: $150; fjallraven.com]

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[Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers: $175; fjallraven.com]

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