Looking for over-trousers that keep the rain out while enjoying a range of activities? We try Keela Lightningâ€¦
Have you heard of Keela? This brand, although based in Scotland for 30 years, has only come on to my kit testing radar in the last couple of years. And I have liked what I have tried.
The Keela Lightning waterproof over-trousers are priced at Â£39.95, which puts them in the leisure to keen hill walker market. Unlike pricier waterproof trousers that tend to be made from Gore-Tex, Keela uses its own Rainlife 2000 fabric. This fabric is claimed as being waterproof, windproof and breathable.
Other features include:
â€¢ Elasticated waist
â€¢ Zip to the knee with integrated stormflap
â€¢ Reflective trim on back of calf
â€¢ 2 Velcro adjustable tabs at ankles and calves
â€¢ Fully tape-sealed
â€¢ Belt loops
â€¢ Articulated knees
â€¢ Fly and snap closure
â€¢ Side pockets with snap closure
On test: Keela Lightning trousers
Wearing the size 28 (regular) offers a good fit for me (usually a size UK10). And what I am immediately taken by is the articulated knees. This means that the fit is neat yet with lots of room for movement, so I can walk uphill, scramble and go mountain biking in these trousers. And I know that waterproof trousers are not often rated for good looks but these actually look pretty funky.
The regular length trousers are plenty long enough (Iâ€™m a long-legged 5ft 9in) and thanks to the zip from ankle to knee it is fairly easy to get them on and off over walking boots and very easy over trainers or MTB shoes. There are useful side pockets that give access to pockets beneath the over-trousers although in very wet conditions I worry that water will seep in through these. There is a snap closure but not a zip on the pockets.
I tested these while hill walking in wet but not torrential rain and they worked well. The water simply ran off the trousers. Reading the info I discover that Rainlife 2000 incorporates a lightweight outer nylon with a hydrophilic coating, so it stops rain from getting in, while at the same time moving out moisture caused by perspiration.
I also headed out on a cyclocross bike in damp conditions and worked up a sweat. There wasnâ€™t any noticeable water running down the inside of them so the breathable feature does seem to work, too.
The trousers are not the lightest I have come across, yet for Â£39.95 they do all that you would expect for the price and more. I find that Â I wear out walking waterproofs quickly because I end up scrambling up and down hills on my backside or knees so I prefer to buy more of a cheaper version than one very expensive top-of-the-range Gore-Tex pair.
You would also be able to use the trousers for walking, some cycling and a bit of trail running so they are versatile.
The Keela Lightning trousers come in black, sizes 28 to 42-inch waist and in short, regular and long length.