Some time back I was asking about suppliers of the Harkila Pro Hunter X Trousers and I ended up buying a pair from Rugged and Tough who, among others, responded to my questions and those of others on the thread:
Although I always recommend the mil surplus windproof smocks for anyone looking the best stalking jacket I've had good luck with Harkila trousers. Until I gave Harkila a try a pair of waterproof trousers would last me a few weeks at most.
I'm just back from the Hebrides after fishing for 3 weeks in the new Pro Hunter X trousers and decided to give some thoughts which might help anyone looking for a pair of waterproof trousers. The first thing to say is that they lasted the whole 3 weeks, no mean feat, and that I've been impressed.
The weather for most of the time was relatively mild, windless and dry so it wasn't an ideal test of their waterproofness but in saying that they did a lot of sitting about in bogs and crawling up and down peat banks and I have no reason to believe they will leak, many other trousers I've had have not even coped with this sort of treatment before they let the water in. In view of the mild weather I had some concerns that I might cook in them and it is true that I did sweat a bit when walking hard however I didn't find them unbearably warm and the ventilation zip system actually works much better than I expected. Although I'm out over 100 days in the year because of where I fish, stalk and walk I'd say there are only a few of those days when the Pro Hunters would be too warm to wear with, perhaps, another handful of days when they would be less that ideal but not the end of the world.
The fabric feels robust and I didn't have any big concerns that a small error on my part was going to result in the destruction of yet another pair of waterproof trousers and the knees have held up to a bit of crawling about plus they have also sustained a bit of a soaking in salt water without any obvious signs of distress.
One thing I do find with lined trousers such as Harkila is that they can be hard to dry out after a day out should, for example, I wade across a river and if you don't have several pairs then this can be a bit of a pain when you are out every day. I also think that the pockets could do with a bit of work. The fact is that if you carry something on a day on the moor when you will be walking many miles then it is important and so you don't want to lose it and anything not in a secure pocket is best considered lost from the ourset. There is only one zipped rear pocket on the Pro Hunters and although the leg pockets have a couple of snap closures on each there is still plenty of space between the snaps for moderate sized objects to fall out. Given this the trousers only really have one very small completely secure pocket and why Harkila and others don't adopt the "fold over flap" type system as used on the mil surplus jackets I just don't know as it is very secure and adds nothing to the cost. So, for the most part I'd say the pockets are not fit for purpose.
In terms of cost then these trousers are expensive and, to be honest, I suspect that they are specified beyond what most people need. The truth is that many people who might buy these are probably only out in harsh conditions a few times in the year, if ever, and so simply don't need to spend this sort of cash for the Pro Hunters. My advice is that unless you are out towards 2 days per week across the year in the wilder and more remote parts of the country then buy something cheaper and spend the rest on stalking as you'll get more benefit from that. However, if you are out a lot and walking hard in genuinely difficult conditions I think these are worth the money and I woulc certainly buy another pair. Clearly I haven't tried every pair of trousers on the market but to date I've never been disappointed by Harkila and I can't say this for many other brands.