Pockets: A bit more variation here. The Cabelas arrived to me with just four pockets. Two slash and two rear with buttoned flaps. As supplied they had cargo pockets as well but the previous owner removed them so I cannot comment. The inner material felt like cotton
and a bit thin to me. As I tend to have busy pockets they are something I often wear through.
The Danish trousers had only three pockets, two slash and one buttoned rear right. Much thicker material again feeling like cotton or poly cotton.
The Johnson pockets, two slashed, two rear (left buttoned) felt the most robust with a drilled weave again cotton or poly cotton I think.
Stormy Kromer departed from the norm by applying patch pockets of the same material as the trousers.
Two front, two rear (left buttoned) and another short narrow pocket on the right thigh, possibly for a knife (although I would have liked some method to secure it if that is the case.)
The only pockets I had doubts about were the Cabelas which felt no more rugged than a pair of office trousers.
All had sturdy belt loops, the Danish ones being best of all but of all the pairs, they were the only ones to lack internal button points for braces. This could easily be rectified of
I was hoping for some really cold conditions to give them all a try in but Winter here turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.
In the mixture of conditions I used them in I would say that the Stormy Kromers were the warmest on their own followed by the Danish then the Cabelas and lastly the Johnsons which seems perfectly consistent with the material thickness’.
With the use of a thin base layer this remained much the same order but when used with a thicker
base layer like the Woolpower 400g, which I use in very cold conditions, then the slightly more generous cut of the Danish trousers prevented the loopstitch from getting crushed and hindering its performance. In the end this was a deciding factor in my kit choice for the Arctic trip but for UK use it would rarely be an issue.
In conclusion, which will I wear? As stated, I took the Danish trousers on my 2012 Arctic trip and I will probably keep these for use with the Woolpower base layer
in really tough conditions.
The Johnsons are not really what I would consider as Winter trousers and were the odd pair in the bunch. Having said that they are hard wearing, spark resistant and comfortable on the skin without a base layer. They will be very good for Spring/Autumn conditions and may as such see the most use.
The Cabelas seem reasonably well made but the pocket linings were a slight disappointment to say nothing of the difficulties I had with the company when I ordered some.
For UK winter conditions, either on their own or with a thin base layer, the Stormy Kromers are very well suited. I particularly liked the fact that if by chance they do get wet, the patch pocket arrangement means there is no cotton lining, apart from the belt band, to retain that moisture.
So I think they’ll all earn their place on my kit lists but probably on different lists at different times.
As for the cap by the way, It is a well made, warm and comfortable piece of gear. I particularly like the way the band can be pulled down over the top of your ears to keep the wind out.
I don’t wear a cap very much as I much prefer my old Roo skin hat but the peak of a cap is very useful when wearing a fur ruff such as the one I have on my Parka in cold conditions.
For that reason this Stormy Kromer Makinaw wool cap will certainly earn a place in my winter gear.