Like all of us, I’ve been spending a lot of time sitting at home over the last couple of weeks. And then it suddenly hit me: Why not make good use of all this free time? So, I started exploring every nook and cranny of my new home, southern Germany’s rural Allgäu region. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to really put my new Maier Sports outdoor pants “Inara Vario” to the test, using them extensively under real-life conditions and in a variety of weather conditions.
Choosing the colour and size
I’m typically very cautious when it comes to ordering pants online since it’s really important to me that they fit perfectly. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of information on that subject in the really detailed product descriptions on the Maier Sports website.
By choosing the Inara Vario hiking pants, I decided to go for a slim-fit cut. These pants also feature 4-way stretch materials and dryprotec technology. So, I was expecting them to be tight-fitting, elastic and breathable, which would be perfect for hiking. I was particularly curious about the new Vario waistband, which – according to Maier Sports – would make wearing a belt unnecessary. I was excited, to say the least.
The Inara Vario is available in twelve different colour schemes, from bright Hibiscus to some more muted colours, leaving nothing to be desired. For my pants, I chose Night Sky, a rich dark blue which would make them easy to combine with other clothes I own.
Looking at the Maier Sports size chart, I realized that with my height of 1,78 m, I technically needed a special long size – which, unfortunately, wasn’t available for the Inara Vario pants when I bought them. So, I simply ordered a size 40 (M/L) and remained optimistic. After all, this size is supposed to fit people of up to 1,76 m, so I figured the difference was probably not very significant.
The Inara Vario at a glance:
- 4-way stretch for absolute freedom of movement
- Dries fast thanks to dryprotec technology
- Provides a comfortable fit thanks to high-cut waistband and flex zone
- 4 pockets + 1 leg pocket with zip fastener
- Water-repellent and environmentally friendly PFC-free finish
- Outer layer: 90 % polyamide, 10 % elastane
- Cut: slim-fit
- Weight: only 400 grams
- Recommended retail price (RRP): 99,95 €
Hiking with the Inara Vario
Admittedly, I was expecting a lot from these outdoor pants: Would they fit comfortably, without putting too much pressure on my thighs, despite the slim-fit cut? Would the waistband be comfortable? Would it stay in place during a hike, even when wearing no belt? After putting on the Inara Vario in the safety of my own home, I was already thrilled: The pants felt neither loo loose nor too tight-fitting for my purposes, instead being comfortably tight in all areas. The Vario waistband also fully met my expectations: It’s flexible while providing a perfect fit, sits high on my hips and remains comfortable whether I’m standing or sitting down.
I took three long hikes with the Inara Vario, which form the basis of my test:
- Hiking around the mountainous Hündeleskopf near Nesselwang in moderately warm temperatures
- Hiking along the Trettach river near Oberstdorf on an especially sunny day
- Hiking through the wet, tall grass around Immenstadt
On all three trips, the Vario perfectly supported me, regardless of the temperature, humidity or the specific motions I had to perform to traverse the terrain. Since the fabric is very light, it feels airy and comfortable even at higher temperatures. Having zip fasteners on the pockets also proved to be a wise decision by Maier Sports: I was using the thigh pocket to carry my smartphone and I was able to easily reach it for navigation or a quick snapshot, without the risk of losing it or having moisture penetrate the pocket.
That being said, my personal highlight of the Inara Vario is definitely the Vario waistband. Its high cut makes sure nothing slips when I take a big step or move up and down stairs, and the material makes for such a comfortable fit, I never once needed to pull up my pants, despite not wearing a belt. In addition, the Inara Vario didn’t get damaged or warped when I washed it after hiking (“sports clothes” setting on my machine).
The Maier Sports Inara Vario are highly comfortable and versatile hiking pants. And I can promise you they haven’t seen the last of my corner of the Allgäu mountains! That’s because they reliably helped to regulate my body temperature, so they’re not only perfect for in-between seasons, I can also wear them during the warm summer months. The length of the legs was just about right for me and my ankle-high hiking boots. I’m assuming if I had chosen a long size, the specially constructed knee area would be a bit lower, but I didn’t have any problem with the knee area of the normal-sized pants.
Here you can find the original outdooractive endurance test
© Kay Charlotte Fischer, Outdooractive GmbH