Top critical review
Not the quality of the past Kiwi's. Don't expect too much.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 March 2016
Felt a review was necessary to highlight the downward spiral of quality of these trousers, which is a real shame. I'm in the informed position to highlight the quality issues as I have been a wearer of the original Kiwi's for about 14 years.
I used to be a comms field engineer and as such I had a uniform. The only part that was supplied to me was the top half, so, formal shirts, polo shirts, jumpers and a jacket. The rest was up to me. I decided on Craghoppers kiwi's as they are smart and the blue colour they were originally only available in suited my needs.
I have two original pairs from 2003 and they are still ok physically, they look a bit tired visually now as you would expect. The knees are quite thin, I've lost a belt from a pair but they're still intact.
The original pairs had a side release buckle that was sturdy and held up well. The fabric construction of the trousers was thick and sturdy. Built to last.
I bought a pair of the kiwi convertibles when they came out as it made working in summer just that bit more bearable, and they were also the same great quality.
Fast forward to 2016 and I no longer work in the field, but I spend my time in a lot of fields, so I decided on a few new pairs of kiwis.
I thought they would be the same great quality and longevity from Craghoppers that I'd always expected. Unfortunately I was mistaken.
The fabric is much thinner than it used to be and nowhere near as insulating on a cold day.
The hip pockets have become so shallow that they are little more than useless. Anything that remaining is in the pocket will fall out when you sit down it it's not already fallen out whilst you were walking.
The zip on the secondary hip pocket on mine has broken after 5 wears.
The webbing belt is no longer a side release buckle, it's a front release buckle so if you hold anything tightly against your waist whilst carrying it, it may come undone. The webbing itself is much thinner.
They still fit relatively well, but the quality has slid so far away from what I was expecting and had experienced from older pairs it's quite disappointing.
Old vs New belts
My original kiwi convertibles after 10+ years and my new kiwis which have impossibly shallow pockets and a broken zip after only 7 months.