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This review of Rohan‘s GR Explorer hiking trousers includes a comparison to Rohan’s Trailblazer walking trousers, which were previously my favourite for summer walking. As of 1st April 2020, both are currently half price in the Rohan sale.

Wearing Rohan GR Explorers hiking trousers and Expedition shirt

I wore Rohan’s GR Explorer hiking trousers every day during a wild camping trip around the Isle of Wight in temperatures up to 30 degrees. The trousers were purchased new for the trip from Rohan’s clearance sale (they were a discontinued colour).

The trousers breathed really well and never looked sweaty. I felt pretty good in them, which was impressive given the high temperatures.

In summer I like to wear sun-proof clothing instead of reapplying sun cream when I’m out walking all day, so I wear long trousers instead of shorts in hot weather. These trousers have a rating of UPF 40+ which was ideal for protection from the sun.

Overall opinion

Rohan’s GR Explorers hiking trousers are light weight, dry really quickly and don’t need ironing. They are a simple design, close fitting, with stretchy softshell material and flat seams that make these trousers very comfortable in hot weather.

Bonded seams, no stitching

The soft waist band on these trousers is extremely comfortable and felt great under my rucksack’s hip belt. They are definitely the most comfortable trousers I have ever owned. However, I always wear a belt with my trousers and this pair need a soft, flexible belt to prevent the loss of the waist band’s comfort under a rucksack hip belt.

Soft waist band

I didn’t have any trouble with chafing or soreness anywhere; the flat seams do work and are more comfortable than conventionally-sewn seams.

These are great summer or warm-weather trousers. I can recommend them and these are now my go-to trousers in hot weather.

The 32R trousers are true to size and weigh 287g.

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Wild camping on the Isle of Wight

Rohan Trailblazers vs Rohan GR Explorer

Rohan’s Trailblazer walking trousers are very similar to Rohan GR Explorer, but with more pockets and a slightly looser fit, especially on the legs. They have been my favourite walking trousers for many years. I’ve used them on many long walks, including the Cape Wrath Trail in 2017 and the TGO Challenge in 2018.

The Trailblazers are still my everyday trousers at home because of the useful extra pockets. However, I now prefer the GR Explorers to walk in due to the improved fit, breathable material and the comfort of the flat seams.

My size 32R Trailblazers are true to size and weigh 348g, making them heavier than the GR Explorers.

I keep coming back to Rohan even though I have Marmot and Montane walking trousers in my collection. I wore the Montane Terra trousers on my LEJOG and 3 Peaks walk and wished I’d taken Rohan.

Rohan Trailblazers are my wife’s favourite walking trousers. She’s not tried the GR Explorers yet

What Rohan say about the GR Explorer hiking trousers

With clever bonded seam construction reducing bulk and weight, these rugged trekking trousers are super comfortable and will considerably reduce chaffing allowing you to go for longer.

Seam construction bonds the two faces of the fabric together allowing a continuous bonded joint to replace the thousands of tiny holes created along a conventional seam. This means less bulk in the seam, resistance to water ingress and a neater profile. This translates to greater comfort particularly in hot sticky conditions where chafing can occur with a stitched seam.

Backing up the technology in the GR Explorers is the usual Rohan attention to detail which includes three secure outer pockets, easy grip zip technology, anti-scuff fabric on the hem for longevity, a comfortable stretch fabric, hidden soft elasticated waist and a UPF 40+ protection rating.

You’ll be hard pressed to find lightweight yet rugged trousers as comfortable and resilient as the GR Explorers.

*A Note on Sun Protection

All Rohan garments carrying our sun protection icon have been tested in accordance with recognised international standards for ultraviolet radiation protection. Garments are awarded a rating of UPF 40+. Protection may be significantly reduced with extended wear or if the garment is stretched or wet. Any associated UV risks will vary according to individual skin type or medical history.

Fabric: 94% polyamide, 6% elastane. 
Weight: 280g
Pack Size: 750ml
Drying Time: 4 hours

Further Reading

Rohan Equator shirt review

Rohan Expedition Shirt Review

My 11 Wild Camping Rules

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