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Details

  • Price: £55.00
  • Year: from 2009
  • Weight: 700g
  • Website: http://www.alpkit.com

Alpkit Jeanius

Reviewed: 17 April 2009 by Jon
Look denim, feels like denim, shrugs off water, allows easy movement. Nice detailing.
 
Slim, snug cut won't suit everyone - loose cut now available.

What's Are They For?

Ever wished you could wear jeans on the hill, in drizzle or light rain without getting cold, wet, stiff legs and being glared at by safety Nazis? Jeanius is the answer, water-resistant jeans that look just like, well, jeans really, but don't get instantly sodden as soon as it rains and have been cut to allow bouldering and climbing too.

The Techy Bits

The key to Jeanius is the fabric. It's a technology called EPIC which encapsulates the individual fibres of the fabric in a silicone coating which is thin enough to leave the fabric feeling like normal denim, but leaves tiny micro-holes to allow moisture to escape and maintain breathability but stops the fabric absorbing water and also makes it effectively windproof. The fabric also has some elastane in it for a bit of give under pressure.

The other key is design - the crotch is a diamond panel to allow high step ups, bridging and simply comfortable cross-legged sitting and the knees have an articulated cut.

How They Performed

The final production version of Jeanius was launched at the OS Outdoors Show, but we've been using some prototypes regularly for a year or so, so we know all about the fabric's performance.

It feels like denim, but spray water down it and it simple beads and runs off. Try and blow through it, and the fabric's clearly windproof. In actual use this means light rain and drizzle really are just shrugged off and they're snug in windy conditions.

In heavy rain, your legs will still get soaked eventually, but one handy side-effect of the silicone encapsulation is that the fabric soaks up significantly less water and dries much faster when it gets the chance. So not waterproof, but much better than normal denim.

All good so far and ideal for appalling fussy folk at the crag or on the hill, but you need to be careful with the cut. Basic detailing is lovely with neat 'driving to the mountains' rear patch pockets, red contrast stitching and 'Alpine Dreaming' crotch buttons. And judging from our protos, they'll also last ages too.  Heat treating the fabric after washing seems to maintain water resistance as well, with the treatment being a nigh on permanent fixture.

The fit on the production version is very snug though. The prototypes were comfortably loose, so it's a bit of a contrast. The legs are very slim all the way down and the waist is snug too, so you may - unless you're a stick insect - need to go up a waist size to get a good fit. We're normally a loose fit in a standardish 32" waist but with Jeanius we needed to go up to a 34" or suffer a skin-tight fit...

As it is, the waist and hips are slightly loose but the thighs are a snug fit and the bottom of the jeans is quite narrow. That said the diamond crotch and stretch combined mean that mobility is still good and quite up to bouldering and radical dance moves... We preferred the older, looser cut though and something half way between the two would be nice.

Verdict

Water resistant rather than water proof, Jeanius looks like denim, feels like denim but behaves in a most unlike denim way when the going gets wet. If you always wanted to walk in jeans, but never dared, here's the answer. Only downside is the slighlty snug cut and unfortunately you can't try before buying so consider sizing up from normal particularly if you have chunky legs. Price is comparable to the likes of Fatface, so not unreasonable given the special fabric.

Buy if... you always wanted to wear jeans in the outdoors without worrying about a spot of rain and can cope with a snug fit albeit with enough mobility for a spot of bouldering.

Score breakdown



Performance:
4.5
Reliability:
4.5
Value:
4.0

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