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Thread: Harkila Pro Hunter X trousers review

  1. #1

    Harkila Pro Hunter X trousers review

    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.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:

  2. #2
    I became sold on the ventilation zips the first time I tried some ski pants with them. They really do make a big difference.

    I'm also a fan of the sticky thing inside the waistband. Not sure how common they are, but they really do keep your shirt tucked in.

  3. #3
    Just bought Pro Hunter X jacket and trousers from John Norris at Penrith.
    Got a good deal from them

  4. #4
    Great Review. I will get Simon from Harkila to send it over to the Harkila Design Team for review in future development. We will send you a free Gore-tex repair kit if needed, give Brendan a call at the store on 01525 211488 and mention that Andrew replied to your review on The Stalking Directory.

    If you find that the drying out is a real problem, try washing through with a Nikwax TX wash in. Gore-Tex products have an outer repellent coating on the garment when new and this does rub off so "wet out" starts to appear. The TX wash in will make the whole outer cloth repellent through-out without any detriment to either the membrane, breathability nor the performance of the garment. Nikwax is approved by Gore-Tex to be used on their garments.

    Harkila create three ranges, Performance, Endurance and Classic. Each range has a particular main function, so have a look at these ranges and you might find a blend of some of the garments from these ranges might meet some of the varying needs of the activities through the season

    Many thanks for the great review
    Carhartt, Blaklader, Harkila, Seeland, Workwear & Country Store

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rugged & Tough View Post
    Great Review. I will get Simon from Harkila to send it over to the Harkila Design Team for review in future development.
    Thank you, that would be useful as the pocket thing really is something that is an issue for people like myself who spend time in remote places and the military solution is so simple and must be cost free, especially if the military are using it. If necessary, and they don't understand, buy an army surplus windproof smock and send it to them to see how it is done.

    On my recent trip I was fishing on a loch that was 1.5 hours drive up a remote track from the nearest road and then 1.5 hours walk over the hill to the loch. You can imagine returning to the car to find that the car keys have somehow fallen out of a pocket and in bad weather this is potentially a fatal mistake. Of course Harkila aren't the only people who don't appreciate that if I carry something on a long walk then it is really important and I simply can't afford to lose it and, in truth, they might be better than many other brands but never the less it would be great to get the message out that pockets need to be totally secure.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:

  6. #6
    Hi Andrew,

    You might also want to pass on that dropping the under-arm zips from the Pro Hunter X jacket didn't go down well with some of us. (I sent it back for the older Pro Hunter, which I'm very happy with.)


  7. #7
    not enough vent zips in any clothing IMO

    I have harkila gore tex breeks and find myself venting through the fly!

  8. #8
    Hey Bushie, and you are on here moaning about ticks on your nob??

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOT View Post
    Hey Bushie, and you are on here moaning about ticks on your nob??

    ha, not venting through the fly this time!
    it was hot but not that hot!

  10. #10
    Updating this very old thread I would like to add that the trousers are still going and seeing regular use and I've found them very robust and capable. The pocket thing still annoys me but is something you can work around. Now I haven't tried all the waterproof trousers ever made but must say that if I had to buy another pair then I'd have no hesitation going with the Harkila Pro Hunters again. They are expensive but I've had over a year out of them already and I suspect they have a lot more life in them yet.

    As I've said previously they are probably over engineered for a lot of users and maybe there are some who couldn't wear them out in several lifetimes and so could save cash by taking a less expensive option but if you are hard on your trousers then the Pro Hunters are worth a look.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:

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