Finding the right travel garments can be a challenge. While I certainly haven’t tried all brands, Craghoppers is the best I’ve found so far.
I received my first pair of trousers from Craghoppers as a birthday gift from my best friend nearly five years ago. Sasha had no idea I would be traveling the world with them, and neither did I for that matter. I’m forever grateful to him for that present, as it was one small impetus which started me on my endless journey around the world.
The pants were the classic light gray Kiwi trousers, and I still wear them to this day. They’ve gone through an incredible amount of wear-and-tear and received a little patching, but they’ve remained indispensable as my number-one pair of pants.
The shirts are just as good. Sasha later gave me a Nosilife shirt, which is the insect repellent line that Craghoppers offers.
So what makes them so good?
For starters, they’re incredibly durable. Not only have my trousers lasted for five years, they’ve never torn. Um, except for that one seam, but only once there. I’ve had to replace a couple buttons, but the clothes are always sent with spares.
I was once riding down the freeway on my motorcycle in Oregon when the side mirror of the truck in front of me mysteriously shattered. One of the glass shards hit my thigh…and bounced off. While I later had a thin bruise on my leg, the pants were undamaged. More importantly, my skin was intact.
One of my first trips with my Kiwi pants was down to Mexico City in May, where I went to an outdoor activity center which included horseback riding and go-carts. Despite the temperature rising to over 45°C, the pants kept me cool. Conversely, while hiking through the forests of Finland in October when the temperature was below freezing, the pants kept me comfortably warm.
The shirt is even more versatile. A large ventilation flap stretches across the back to keep you cool and dry. The sleeves also roll up and button by the biceps to make it short-sleeved.
Most of the clothing from Craghoppers is solar-drying. This means that just a few minutes out in the sun will have your clothes dry and ready to wear. There have been many times when I’ve been out in the rain, and within ten minutes of being indoors, had my clothing dry. Whenever I do my laundry, my Craghoppers clothing is always the first to dry.
Bacteria, Insect and Dirt Repellent
Craghoppers manufacture their clothes with anti-bacterial technology and a non-toxic, permanent insect repellent. The material is of exceptional quality and even manages to resist dirt and stains.
When flying from Helsinki to Bangkok, I was clumsy enough to spill my coffee on my pants. I used a napkin to clean it up as best I could. When I got off the flight, my pants were dry, and there was no stain.
While in London, I happened to attend a seminar on mosquitos by a leading research team. After the seminar, I talked to the head of the team, specifically asking him about Craghoppers clothing. He said he was familiar with the products, and considered them an excellent alternative to toxic products containing DEET. As a note, “toxic” is my opinion of DEET; he considered DEET non-toxic. The insect repellent has been a true blessing traveling through mosquito-infested SE Asia, and has even helped to combat the massive swarms of midges in Scotland and on the Isle of Skye.
Possibly the best part of Craghoppers clothing when it comes to international travel is the security. On the pants, five of the nine pockets have zippers, keeping your valuables out of the hands of thieves. One of the pockets, the one which ironically is specifically designed for your passport, is so cunningly hidden that I didn’t find it myself for several years!
The shirts are similarly secure, with pockets on the chest and sleeves, and a big one over the left breast which is big enough for valuable documents.
One thing I really like about the trousers is the high-density plastic belt they are sent with. This allows you to pass through metal detectors without having to take your belt off. Just another little feature which makes these clothes superior.
After Sasha gave me my first pair of pants and shirt, I purchased a pair of shorts and a base-layer t-shirt which have been invaluable in my travels, and most recently I received two new pairs of the classic Kiwi trousers and two Nosilife shirts.
Craghoppers have clothing for men and women, as well as travel accessories like hats, packs and socks. Their color selection is not huge. Rather, they have “natural” colors, which are perfect for hiking and travel (in my opinion).
While their clothing is a little bit more expensive than your average pair of pants or shirt, it’s well worth the investment. I’ve learned the hard way that spending a little more on something that will last several times as long is the way to go! Try them out for yourself and see.
Classic Kiwi Trousers Specifications*
- Nosi Defence
- Wash & Wear
- 9 pockets
- 65% polyester, 35% cotton
- 50 UPF
Nosilife T-Shirt Specifications*
- Moisture control
- Wash & Wear
- 5 pockets
- Main: 100% polyamide / Trim: 100% polyester
- 50 UPF
*All specifications are taken from the Craghoppers website.
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Where was the passport pocket hidden that you couldn’t find it? That is a pretty good place to hide things. I need to look into these since you have had great luck with them lasting more than a couple of years.
The passport pocket is hidden underneath another pocket, and the zipper is perfectly concealed. The clothes are definitely a great investment for long-term travel.
I’ve never heard of the Craghoppers brand, but it sounds really great! It’s so great that you’ve managed to keep your pants for so long and that they are still in good condition—they really do sound durable! It’s nice that the items are quick drying and good for a variety of weather conditions. Really makes it great to bring them traveling. We will have to check these out for sure!
Thanks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I have never heard of Craghoppers before but I am going to look into their stuff. I am very interested in the technical capabilities of different technical wear and their product sounds like it covers a lot of bases!
I haven’t found many other clothing brands that match them for their technical capabilities. Hope you like them.
This is the first time, I hear about Craghopper. After reading your detailed review, I will now search for them in India and try them for sure. Being a frequent traveler, I always desire for comfortable clothing which can last for long. As you know, India is too hot for most part of the year and climate control garments are need of the hours for us. As per your post, it seems Craghopper will certainly fit in to my requirement.
I hope you can find them. I know they ship to the US, but I’m not sure about the rest of the world. They also have a lot of summer clothing too.
I’m always on the lookout for travel clothing. I’ll have to investigate this brand though I’m a fan of bolder colours and prints. I’m impressed that your pants were able to protect you from that exploding glass situation!
Yeah, I got really lucky. I hope you can avail yourself of that clothing.
I had no idea you could get clothes with insect repellent built in – that would be very handy for me as I get eaten alive deet or no deet! I love that they’re stain resistant too, I’m just as clumsy as you!
Thanks! Yeah, they are a great investment. Glad to help.
I love your photo at the Isle of Skye! 🙂 Craghoppers sounds like a great travel companion. Do they come in Asian size? 😀
That’s a really good question. They are a UK brand, and probably tailored for their own citizens, but they do have a huge range of sizes. The pants alone have two dozen options for size. But then again, I’ve seen some Asians far smaller than any native UK citizen. I guess it would just depend on how big or small the Asian was.
Interesting, I haven’t really heard anything about Craghopper – have seen their logo once or twice but that’s it. I actually never put too much thought about my travel equipment at least not to the extent you were describing it here. That makes me think that you must be a pro so I would like to know what you think about my favorite brand (which is just based on branding actually and not so much on anything else haha) Patagonia 😀
You might laugh, but I actually don’t have any clothing from Patagonia. My friends swear by them, and I wouldn’t mind picking up a few pieces, but I just haven’t needed to with what I have from Craghoppers. I don’t know if they are as “travel minded” as Craghoppers are – security pockets, quick-dry, etc.
Insect repellent in the clothes! Now I am going to have to buy some because the bugs love me. Sounds like it would be a good investment for me, since I also travel all the time.
I think you’ll be quite happy with the investment!
I’m glad to know that there are clothes keeping in mind the travellers requirements! How amazing! Climate control, comfort & durability is so important when travelling long term:)
I couldn’t agree more. A lot of my clothing ends up lasting just a month or two in my travels. The Craghoppers clothing has outlasted everything else.