When I was about eight years old I coveted one item above all others; my dad's Peak National Park ranger uniform jacket. To me everything about this jacket was perfect. I loved the number of pockets it had, I loved the green colour it came in. I loved the sturdy looking buttons and press studs and most of all as an eight-year-old child I loved the little leather fox that sat on the arm of the jacket. So, when nearly 30 years later I was offered the chance to try a pair of the trousers from the same company - Fjällräven - you can understand that with a powerful wave of nostalgia I jumped at the chance.
I received a pair of Vidda Pro trousers to test around the middle of last summer - not a time I would usually wear trousers as I'm a fan of shorts. However British summers being what they are I soon had a few colder days out where they came in very handy. The first time I wore them was an overcast day in July that turned into a huge, hour-long downpour. Throughout all this the trousers stayed comfortable; they didn't rub or chafe like wet trousers sometimes can and dried very quickly.
After using them on a few more occasions, they quickly became my 'go to' pair of outdoor trousers and I abandoned the softshell trousers I would have picked up in the past. They proved especially good on rough moorland and protected well against the sharp and prickly undergrowth that can sometimes get the better of lesser trousers.
One day, after a very wet day on Bleaklow I decided it was time to use the Fjällräven (not so secret) weapon; Greenland wax! Adding this to the tough G1000 polycotton fabric gives a fantastic water resistant barrier, extending the range of use of all Fjällräven G1000 products.
After doing some research on YouTube I decided waxing was the way to go. People treat them in three different ways. Firstly, using an iron on a low heat after applying the Greenland wax to the desired area, with extra care being given to the ankle, knee and bum areas. The second method is to use a hair dryer to melt the wax into the trousers. The third is the 'in the field’ technique of using a gas camp stove to melt the wax once applied to the correct areas.
Being a man who doesn't own an iron and given that I'm enough of a fire risk at the best of times, I decided on option 2. After borrowing a hairdryer from my girlfriend, who had a very suspicious look on her face, I was on my way!
At first I thought I'd made a terrible mistake rubbing what looks like a soap bar into my favourite pair of trousers. But once the hairdryer was on the wax and it started to melt into the fabric you can to see the magic happen in front of your eyes.
On the whole I was very pleased with the result but I could see there was room for improvement with my work, so I was relieved that the wax washes out after four washes. However, since then I have got better at it. Now summer is coming along I don't think I'll be waxing them for a while but it's nice to have such a flexible option.
As you can probably tell I really like the Vidda Pro trousers and one year on they are still going strong. When some of my other clothes wear out I will be looking at replacing them with more Fjällräven gear.
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