We’ve been talking about this for a while now, "let’s do a blog!" and nothing ever happens. But no more, NO MORE I TELL YOU!
'So what are we gonna talk about?'
We have a shop full of awesome stock and the Lakes on the doorstep, 'we should combine ‘em and create something wonderful'
What to choose?
Well, I haven’t walked long distance in a whole long time (3 small boys put a stop to any of that nonsense a long time ago) The last time I walked in the hills my ‘outdoor gear’ was somewhat less fashionable than the amazing range of outdoor clothing available to today’s outdoor girls! For this trip I decided to upgrade my walking trousers - mine were given to me when I first started working for Freetime over 10 years ago! A baggy, ultra high waisted, zip off affair. Not exactly an attractive look! However, they were comfortable, wind resistant and turned a shower if they needed to.
From the many brands we now stock for women, Montane stood out to me, designed in the UK, and as such sized for the women of the UK, so when I put on a size 14, I knew I was getting a good fit.
I chose the Ineo Pro Pant, and here's why: they look like leggings! Simple as that, skinny fit, they looked comfy before I even took them off the hanger. I wasn’t disappointed, super comfy with 'Mala Stretch' fabric, which according to their blurb offers wind resistance, abrasion resistance and is DWR treated to shed light showers. Now as it happens, there wasn’t actually any rain on my Awfully Big Adventure but I made sure I splish-splashed my way through plenty of puddles and streams to test this out.
Where did I take my new pants?
Cave hunting, that’s where!
So a little while ago, I treated myself to an evening with Mr Chris Hemsworth, in the guise of Snow White's Huntsman (stick with me here); during the film they find themselves at Cathedral Cavern, in Little Langdale. "That’s where I want to go, I want to go to that cave!" The cave where Mr Hemsworth/Thor himself had stood. That's it, decision made!
Parking opposite the Brittania Pub in Elterwater and using the National Trust carpark, I set off! Along Great Langdale Beck, the path works its way along the north side of Elterwater, with amazing views (behind you) of the Langdale Pikes.
Langdale Pikes from Elterwater
The path leads you through a field, (today filled with lazy cows taking in some rays!) to a gate at the end, and onwards to Skelwith Force. 'A waterfall!' - time to test these pants out. It was a hot sunny day, and so it was a welcome relief to feel the spray in the air and on my face as I navigated my way across the rocks to find optimum photographic positioning. And just like the blurb had promised the Ineo Pant had tiny beads of moisture on the outside. Result! DWR was working as promised, first gold star for them.
Over the bridge and I get to feel the stretch on these bad boys. It was time to head up hill. The construction of the Ineo uses the stretch fabric perfectly, a three piece ‘gussett’, (sorry can’t avoid using that word here) makes them incredibly stretchy, I felt like round house kicking Bruce Lee style in my awesome ninja pants. Plus no middle seam meant no rubbing together when I walked (or kicked!).
Now being a thoroughly modern woman, I had taken along my mobile phone, for emergency purposes/capturing the perfect Lakeland moment! but where to put it? The pockets of the pants are ‘slimline’ so when you’ve got them empty and zipped up they look amazing, but start putting things in the pockets and there's no hiding what you've got in there! Having said that, they were big enough to fit my phone in (Sony Experia Z5) and zip up and still be comfortable without interfering at all with the stretch, even when clambering over rocks and tree roots.
Gravity Defying Leggings
This is where the elastic rear waist band and drawcord really came into play. As we know leggings have a tendency to give in to gravity and navigate their way down your legs; not these pants, oh no, they stayed exactly where I wanted them, no unsightly hitching up going on here!
Soft and Light
As I mentioned earlier it was a hot day; I had wondered as I set off whether choosing a full length black, slim fitting pant was very sensible given the heat, however I never once felt annoyed by these pants - you know what I mean, there are times when you're hot, you can get a little grumpy and uneasy with your choice of clothing. Not me today, the fabric was beautifully soft and light and breathed so well, given they are a wind resistant pant. They felt light to wear and I was incredibly comfortable, which helped as I tired as the day wore on.
For those of you who haven’t yet ventured to Cathedral Cavern, please let me recommend it. I chose to enter through the 110m tunnel (you will need a head torch here, as daylight disappears completely half way through). The tunnel opens up to an amazing view of rocks and boulders and the sheer sloping walls of this man-made cavern. But you’re not quite there yet, still a little bit more clambering to do. Up and over the boulders and you are treated to your first view down into it through an opening in the wall.
As it happened on this day, there was the beautiful sound of a choir pouring out of the cavern and echoing perfectly around the walls (a real goosebumps moment here). With a little more humping myself down over the boulder steps you get to enter the cavern. The sun was streaming through the opening in the wall, which is now above you and the singing was getting louder. The sun was bouncing off the water laying on the cavern floor and reflecting in gorgeous ripples all over the cavern's central column. You can see why it makes a perfect setting for a movie.
It turned out (somewhat disappointingly) that the choral sounds were being produced from a laptop that was lying on a rock behind the cental pillar. With no sign of its owner, who had just left it for the visitors enjoyment presumably, that’s the Lakes for you, very trusting folks.
I made it!
So that’s it, I’d made it, I had stood where the glorious Chris Hemsworth had stood, and I did it in style. The Montane Ineo Pro Pant had been a hit as far as I was concerned. Ridiculously comfortable, incredibly breathable, turned enough water away to keep me dry and quick drying when I splish splashed a little too far past the DWR’s comfort zone. On the whole, I can confidently say, these will be my go-to walking, trekking, backpacking, camping, picnicking, kite flying, kung fu-ing, awesome adventuring all rounder pants. You might even find me wearing them to work. (I’ll definitely be wearing them to work!)