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Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants Review

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants Review

Vidda Pro Pants are tough hiking pants made by Fjallraven, a Swedish company that makes technical expedition clothing and gear. They are constructed from Fjallraven’s G-1000 fabric, which is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. While cotton is taboo for outdoor clothing, this fabric blend makes the Vidda Pro Pants breathable and fast-drying.

RELATED: 10 Best Men’s Hiking Pants

Wearers can make the pants waterproof by applying Greenland Wax to them with an iron or washing it out when it’s unnecessary, using a process unique to Fjallraven. Since the wax is made with natural ingredients, it’s an environmentally friendly process that represents an interesting alternative to waterproof/breathable fabrics that require DWR coatings to remain breathable and shed precipitation.

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants

Freedom of Movement
Fast Drying
Durability
Lots of Pockets
Venting and Air Ciiculation
Weight
Sizing

Tough and Highly Functional

Fjallraven's Vidda Pro Pants are rugged adventure pants that are ideal for off-grid wilderness hiking. They have lots of pockets to keep tools and navigation instruments organized and can even be waterproofed with Greenland wax that can be washed out when its no longer needed.

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Specs at a Glance

  • Outer Material: G-1000 Original: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
  • Gender: Available in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Weight: 590g/20.8oz
  • Leg ending: fixed-length, lace hook and adjustable hem
  • Features: hand pockets, knife pocket, map pocket, compass pocket, cargo pocket, cell-phone holder, pre-shaped knees, boot gaiter system, kneepad compatible
  • Number of pockets: 6
  • Waist: mid waist
  • Reinforcements: knees and butt

Since I was young, I have loved military surplus cargo pants for all my outdoor adventures. Whether playing in the woods outside the house, camping with my father, or heading into the backcountry as an adult, the one constant was a pair of pants with cargo pockets. I love the ability to stash varied odds and ends into cargo pockets and then have them ready on the trail and in camp. With a reinforced butt and knees, a ripstop weave, and adjustable hems, military pants set the standard for what I look for in hiking pants.

Three years ago, I discovered Fjallraven’s Vidda Pro Trousers, and since then, I have worn them on treks in Iceland, the BWCA, Capitol Reef National Park, and many other places. In fact, I often head into the woods for any reason; I wear my Fjallraven Vidda Pro pants.

Two flat pockets on the front of the left leg work well to store a map and compass

What is Fjallraven?

Fjallraven, which means arctic fox in Swedish, is an outdoor gear manufacturer founded in the 1960s. The founder, Ake Nordin, started the company because he was dissatisfied with the technical backpacks and clothing options available at the time. Nordin introduced the G-1000 fabric in 1968 with the aim to offer durable, functional, and dependable clothing. While the Fjallraven Vidda Pro pants are made with the original G-1000 fabric, Fjallraven also offers various weights and blends for varying climates and conditions.

Fjallraven’s G-1000 Fabric

Fjallraven’s G-1000 fabric is a tightly woven blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, which usually comes pre-waxed when used in garments. The G-1000 fabric is extremely durable, provides UV protection, it’s mosquito-proof, and water and wind-resistant. To increase water resistance, one applies Greenland Wax (a proprietary blend of beeswax and paraffin) to the whole or parts of the pants where more protection is desired. Machine-washing the pants will reduce the amount of wax impregnation in the fabric, but it typically takes a few washings to remove all of it.

Increasing the waterproofness of the pants also decreases their breathability, so it can take a little bit of experimentation to find the right amount of wax to suit your preferences. Personally, I prefer to wax the lower legs, knees, and seat areas of the Vidda Pros and then leave the rest of the pants with little or no wax for maximum breathability where I need it most. The cotton yarns in the G-1000 fabric make the un-waxed areas highly breathable, soft, and comfortable.

Typically, before any trip into the backcountry, I assess the type of weather, temperature, and conditions I might be facing and then wax the pants in a way that best meets those conditions. Over time, I have found that I prefer the same waxing pattern on most jaunts, and thus I end up only waxing my pants about 2-3 times per year depending upon the amount of use they get, and mine get a lot.

Vidda Pro Pant Features

The Vidda Pros are loaded with features that make the cargo pant aficionado inside me go giddy with gladness. The pants have six highly functional pockets around the legs, which make it possible to carry everything you need for a short day hike or to efficiently manage key trail tools on longer trips into the backcountry.

The knife pocket on the side of the left leg snaps open and closed at both ends to expand the capability of what you can carry, like a small hatchet.

The pants have a regular, high waist and two chino-style pockets on the front face. There are no rear pockets, as all the gear pockets surround the legs at about mid-thigh. On the left leg, there is a larger side cargo pocket, much like those on a pair of military cargo pants, and on the right leg, there is a top-of-the-thigh map and compass pocket, as well as a side knife pocket.

The left cargo pocket is big enough to carry a cell phone (and it has an internal cell phone sleeve), some snacks for the trail, and other miscellaneous gear that you may want to keep at hand, such as a bandana or a foldable hat. Three pockets surround the right leg. The two pockets on the front of the leg function as flat pockets that work well to store a map and compass, and other low-profile items. On the side of the right leg is a knife or hatchet pocket. This pocket snaps on both ends and can easily carry a long-blade knife or a small hatchet, and is quite balanced while walking with a long-handled and relatively heavy tool.

The best part about the leg pockets is that they do not irritate your legs while hiking. Unless you overload them, it is almost as if you have nothing in your pockets. I load mine up with beef jerky, nuts, Jolly Ranchers (AKA hill busters), a lighter, my cell phone, a map, a compass, and other odds and ends that I always want to keep handy. These pants keep me organized on the trail and in camp. If there is something I need at the ready and don’t want to lose, it goes into one of these pockets. I can always find my lighter, not so sure about the other guy.

A web strap is integrated into the hem so that you can easily adjust the pants around your boots. The strap snaps into multiple points around the hem.

The final feature on these pants, which really sets them apart from the competition, is the integration of an adjustable hem gaiter system. The pants have a brass hook on the front of each ankle hem that you hook into your boot or shoelaces, and then an adjustable webbed strap with robust metal snaps tightens the hem of the pants around the ankles. In effect, the lower third of the pants become a gaiter and this works extremely well at keeping ticks, debris, and water from overtopping your boots. I always wax heavily below the knees on these pants, and on many occasions, I have stepped into water up to the mid-calf level and have not gotten wet.

The fit of the Vidda Pros is a bit unique, and they have no stretch. The pants are high in the waist, and I find that I always need to wear a belt. I typically wear size 34×32 pants, and that translates to a European size 50. The Vidda Pros tend to have a longer leg than most pants, but this is because of the gaiter function and having a longer leg length helps to keep them from being too tight on the knees when sitting down. If you tend to be a bit taller, consider getting these pants in the long version. The Vidda Pros come in regular, short, and long lengths and have both men’s and women’s sizes.

The hem of both pant legs has a brass hook on the front to attach the pants to your boots like a gaiter.

Best Use

I consider the Vidda Pros to be three-season pants, and I use them extensively in the winter with long johns (20+ degrees), Spring, and Fall. My general rule of thumb is that if the temperature is mostly going to be 65 degrees or hotter I put them away and grab my Absiko Lite (zip off) Trekking Trousers, which are made of G-1000 lite and a stretch mesh material that breathes much better in hotter temperatures. Where I live, in Northeastern Minnesota, the weather is mostly colder, and thus, my Vidda Pros get a lot of use. Up here we say that there is no bad weather, just bad clothes – ya sure, you betcha!

The Vidda Pros would also make good work pants for outdoor or construction-type work. Mine have been used hard for three years, and I expect to get many years out of them. I typically only use my trekking gear for trekking or hiking, but my Vidda Pros are the exception because they are such durable pants. I am always finding a reason to put them on.

The Vidda Pros rolled up into “knicker style.” The adjustable hem makes it easy to roll the pants up when the going gets hot, just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Recommendation

The Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants are a workhorse pair of hiking pants for outdoor adventures. With six practical leg pockets, reinforced knees and butt, and an adjustable hem that attaches to your boots like a gaiter, the Vidda Pros have proven to be a durable and practical clothing choice on numerous treks in varied landscapes and temperatures. While these pants are best used in slightly cooler settings (less than 65 degrees), they are flexible enough to perform well in all environments and at higher temperatures. Weatherproof, UV-resistant, and mosquito-proof, the G-1000 fabric sets these pants apart from other technical clothing. Sustainably manufactured and built to last, the Vidda Pros are well worth the price of admission.

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Disclosure:  The author owns this product.

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9 comments

  1. They really are great pants aren’t they? I love mine!

  2. I love my pair of Vidda Pro’s. I have an upcoming AT thru hike this year, and was thinking about bringing them along. They are fairly light, but I am wondering if its a redundant or poor choice in clothing. Any thoughts from anyone more experienced than me?

    • You want a pair of very light long pants, probably convertibles, or a very thin 5″ or 7″ pair of shorts that you can wash out every day. Most definitely not Vidda Pros. Too hot, too long to dry.

  3. Vidda Pro are EXTREMELY Superior if you want Protection and a pants that you can rely on. I mtbike and use them here in Arizona in the ? desert and I can carry with me recharger/cable, fone, electrolyte pills, vitamins, knife, and optical to see far . . . if I slip, trip, fall these pants can take it??

  4. I’ve yet to try these pants as I’m crook at the moment, rgggg. They feel really good and I’ll be using a belt also, I have the 52 regula.
    Your leg pocket description is the wrong way around.

  5. Thank you! I have always wanted a pair since I saw a German mountaineering team wearing them, but they were pricey. I found them on sale at Sierra for a steal and bought 4 pair, LOL. I LOVE them.

  6. Section Hiker publishing an article talking about taking 35% cotton pants out into the winter?! Definitely not a Philip article!

    I have lots of Fjallraven gear, and in my opinion the Vidda Pros are great for the campsite, thats about it. Too hot and thick to do any mountain hiking. Kebs, Keb Agiles, Keb Agile Winters are all far superior options for hiking and being in mountains. The less G-1000 in performance situations, the better.

  7. I have the Ventilated and love em. Read this article, then went and checked further to find enough extensive reviews from Northern Europeans to give them a try. Got them at REI so could return them. Worn in the Dacks and Catskills bushwacking and this spring in Iceland. So I’ve kept them, almost bought a second pair used but don’t really need another.
    With moderate wax they are more wind proof than my REI Activator, (even better with slightly heavier wax) which is what I was looking for.
    Water-The wax outlasts the DWR on REI’s, far simpler to renew once you get the hang of it. I wax the thighs more than the rest since usually have gaitors. I have gotten them damp in light rain once and it felt as if they dry faster than the Activator. That’s subjective but my guess is since 65% poly dries faster 65% nylon the cotton aside. (have a hunch that the wax stays on the cotton easier than the poly-maybe some day I’ll do a test.)
    I wear them in temps up low 50’s. I don’t snowshoe any more, since my knee doesn’t like that, so can’t speak to multi days in deep snow. Have spent plenty of time with microspikes, and of course gaiters wearing them.
    Not as breathable as the Activator panes but the vents make help a lot. Still more breathable than rain pants even when heavily waxed.
    Love the pockets, all of them though the phone pocket does not fit a Pixel 7 Pro with case. No back pockets does not phase me. Bottom cinch strap good but don’t like the boot hooks (newer model may be better?)
    I will be taking them to Iceland again, this time for a 6 day trek next summer but will suffer the extra weight to bring rain gear and 2nd lighter pair of pants with the weather all over the map and being in the middle of nowhere.

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