The Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers are intended to be three-season trekking trousers for general use, which should make them perfect for pretty much anything, from walking the dog in the morning to afternoon rambles and weekend camping trips. They're a lighter weight version of the original Keb trousers, which are a bit of a hiking classic.
The new Agile trousers are mens-only, with no current women's alternative (although you can still get the original Keb in a women's cut – see our Fjallraven Keb Curved review for more on what we thought). With three colourways to choose from, the Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers are priced at an RRP of GBP £185 / USD $195, which means they'll need to really shine to be considered amongst the best hiking trousers around. I put them to the test to find out if they hold up to their billing. Read on for my full Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers review.
Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers review: design and quality
The Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers are made entirely out of a double-woven stretch fabric, itself made from partly recycled polyamide and elastane. The zip-front pockets, knees and inside ankles are reinforced with G-1000 Lite Eco Stretch for extra toughness. A pair of standard open hand pockets sit where you’d expect them to, neatly cut and lined around the high-wear areas, and the cut is nicely tapered towards the ankle without being restrictive (on my legs, anyway).
A tab and popper arrangement allows the ankles to be enlarged, and there’s a pair of vents that run parallel to the top pockets along the outside edge of your leg – along the ITB, basically. There’s a slightly weird arrangement around the belt loops, which are all entirely normal except the front two, which have an extra loop at the bottom, presumably for attaching things to, although why you’d want that we’re not sure.
A simple press-stud style brass button is the main closure, the inside of the zip and inside waistband are lined with what looks like more G-1000 Lite Eco Stretch. Overall the Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers are immediately and very obviously nicely crafted, reinforced in high wear areas, and nicely lined elsewhere.
Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers review: comfort and performance
Comfort is excellent, thanks to that stretch fabric, a gusseted groin area allowing climbing-style moves with ease, and striding up steep inclines is in no way hindered by the trousers. The reinforcement sits neatly over the knee, an ideal place for it, and the generous pockets are easily to hand, as well as being usefully ripped and non-zipped, both useful for different purposes.
The fabric is also slightly wind-resistant, as you’d want in an outdoor trouser, but not too heavyweight for warmer conditions – it’s a good mix that’ll see you right for most outdoor situations, in short. I tested these in spring/summer temperatures, which were ideal, but they’d be fine in winter at a push, especially if layered for more extreme conditions.
The ITB vents work very well to cool overheating legs, and we’ve seen similar systems before, the only downside in the Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers is that the vents are not lined with mesh or similar, just open to the elements. This is fine for ventilation, but bad for midges and similar airborne pests. I'm not sure if they’d be better with the zip running the other way up (push down to open, up to close, as opposed to the actual zip down to close), but either way opening and closing the zip on the move is a bit of a fumble.
Fjällräven Keb Agile Trousers review: verdict
There are good, bad and indifferent walking trousers, and the Fjällräven Keb Agile fit firmly into the good category. There are things I'd change, but not dramatically. If I were being super-critical I might mutter about how useful the ankle reinforcement areas and tabs are in the real world, but they don’t get in the way and aren’t entirely useless, although clearly designed to ape more serious winter trousers, where reinforcing patches are vital to prevent crampon damage.
The rest of the trouser is well-made, well designed and perfect for the job Fjällräven describes, although arguably the material weight is more Spring/Autumn rather than full summer. In short, these are good all-round outdoor trousers that have immediately become my go-to outdoor legwear.