If you’re looking for a pair of multi-purpose women’s hiking trousers, the Maier Sports NATAs are a great choice. While the premium price tag might deter casual walkers, hikers prepared to invest that little extra will get a well-designed pair of trekking trousers to suit most weathers.
Maier Sports NATA vs Craghoppers Kiwi Stretch
Historically, I’ve been a regular user of the Craghoppers Kiwi Stretch trousers. They’re around half the price of the Maier Sports offering. However, their fit is not perfect and, after several uses, the waistband overstretches.
Maier Sports NATA trousers fit
As a size 8 – 10 and at 5ft 3 inches, I’ve always struggled to find the right-fitting hiking trousers. The waist is either too tight, or the legs are too baggy. Often, the short length is too small, while the regular length is too long.
That’s one of the first benefits I noticed about the Maier Sports NATA hiking trousers. The brand prides itself on being fitting specialists and the trousers, to me, did appear more ‘female fitted.’ Unlike other cheaper hiking trousers, Maier Sports has factored in the female form; fitting closer at the waist, allowing for slightly larger hips, and tapering in on the legs. The 4-way stretch fabric really helped here to create a comfortable but flattering slim fit.
However, that being said, I did have to try on both the size 8 and 10 short offerings to find the right fit. Despite being a 27-inch waist (an apparent size 10 on their size guide), the 26-inch (a UK size 8) fitted me much better. Again, this could be down to different body shapes, so I think it’s worth trying your advised size and the one below.
Fabric and features
Another great advantage of the Maier Sports NATA hiking trousers was the fabric. I’ve been using these trousers regularly for a couple of months, in both England’s summer and the French Alps in October. After a heavy rainstorm, the light fabric did dry very quickly. The trousers stayed cool and breathable in the summer, but thanks to their close fit, during the cooler climes of autumn in the Alps, they offered some warmth and wind protection.
In addition to fit and fabric performance, the zip-off functionality was another huge plus. I’ve had zip-offs before, but found the trousers themselves and the zip quite bulky. The Maier Sports NATA trousers are much more streamlined; the zip is neat and goes unnoticed and, once off, the trouser legs fold down small. On top of this, the trousers also feature a velcro strap at the ankle and a half-leg length side zip. This enables you to convert them into shorts by removing the legs without having to take your boots off—a neat bonus that’s a real-time saver.
Can you wear the Maier Sports NATA trousers while rock climbing?
While the Maier Sports NATA trousers never claim to be anything but hiking trousers, I did wear them for some outdoor rock climbing. The stretch fabric works really well for this, but after a few scrapes on some rough rock, I did notice the fabric around the knee starting to bobble. If the NATAs could be improved, I’d suggest reinforced fabric around the knees to make them suitable for a wider range of outdoor activities.
For such a simple ‘thin’ pair of trousers, I’ve been really impressed at the functionality of Maier Sports NATA trousers. Their simple form, slim fit, and three exterior pockets work perfectly for hiking, and even exploring the local town without needing a bag (thanks to its inside security pocket).