The White Cliffs of Yorkshire & ACAI Skinny Outdoor Trousers review
I’ve always struggled to find outdoor trousers that look and feel good, so when ACAI Activewear asked if I’d review their Skinny Outdoor Trousers for women I jumped at the chance. I’ve been wearing them for the best part of a month, and to really put them to the test I took them for a weekend hiking and camping along the North Yorkshire coast. Starting at the seaside town of Bridlington, we planned to walk around the cliffs and beaches of Flamborough Head, via Filey, to finish at Scarborough. A total of 40km, carrying camping gear, water and snacks. Travelling light, I packed a couple of layers and some shorts to sleep in, planning to wear the Skinny Outdoor Trousers the rest of the time.
The first thing to mention is the fit. I know looks aren’t everything, but I do want to feel good in my outdoor gear! The skinny outdoor trousers look like jeans I’d wear every day, and that’s the biggest selling point for me. I was particularly happy that there’s a longer length option. I’m 5’11” and it’s especially difficult to find longer length outdoor trousers for women. The size guide for the Tall trousers says they’ll fit a 33” inside leg, and they’re easily long enough for me. I think they would be fine even if you usually wear 34”/35”.
So the fit is great and they look good, but at the end of the day they’re outdoor trousers. Do they do the job? ACAI sent me the Cargo Skinny Outdoor Trousers, and I love the additional pockets. I managed to comfortably stash cash in the zip pocket, sunglasses, mobile phone and charger in the cargo pant pockets, and tissues and bobbles in the front pockets, meaning that I didn’t have to interrupt my walk to keep digging into my backpack. These trousers are lightweight for summer, and I found them perfect for long days when it’s cooler in the morning, or there’s a breeze in the evening. When the sun properly came out they were a little warm, but overall they’re right for an average British summer day.
With the skinny fit I was concerned about whether they’d feel restrictive, especially for more strenuous hiking. I didn’t need to worry, they’re made with 4-way stretch, and there was plenty of room for movement even when I was scrambling up and down from the cliff edge to the beach. I wouldn’t wear these trousers for rock climbing as I’m not sure they’d be durable enough, but I’d definitely be happy to wear them for more technical scrambles.
One of the main features of the Skinny Outdoor Trousers is that they’re water resistant, and on first impressions in light rain or wet grass most drops rolled straight off the fabric. After washing though, I did notice that the water resistance was slightly reduced, so be aware that you have to wash according to the care label and reproof every so often to maintain them. It’s worth noting that they’re wipe clean, so they can be worn a good few times before they actually need washing. I found that they’re really fast drying, the odd splash or rain shower dried within minutes on a warm day. They’re not waterproof in heavy rain, so remember if you’re going to get wet you also need to wear fast drying underwear! I made that mistake during a day’s filming outdoors and ended up with dry trousers but a damp bum.
The ACAI Activewear Skinny Outdoor Trousers are the nicest looking and best fitting outdoor trousers I’ve worn. I’ve used them filming in torrential rain, weekends camping and hiking, general dog walking and working in the Peak District. They’re lightweight, so ideal for trips where you don’t want to pack too many clothes, and because they look like normal trousers they can multi task when you’re having coffee or food after a day out. The water resistant quality is impressive, but be aware that it will reduce with washing and needs an additional product to maintain long term. Overall, I’d be keen to order more pairs in different colours, and without the cargo pockets for a slightly smarter look.