Country Innovation Kestrel ventile trousers (or other brands?)

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Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
Does anyone own (or has owned) a pair of Country Innovation Kestrel ventile trousers? They have a single ventile outer with a Paramo-type liner (I think - the website describes it as "Innovation XL Lining").
I'm looking for warmer, just about waterproof "wear all day and not have to carry overtrousers" trousers for birding, wildfowling and stalking in northern Scotland in the autumn, winter, spring (ie colder and wetter months).
They come highly recommended as warm and quiet by buyers who fill in reviews. I'd like to know if the BCUK hive mind has any insights.
OR, does anyone have an alternative trouser that's quiet that they could recommend? I am looking for waterproof and breathable (or close to it) as I don't want extra to carry when winter stalking.
For background, I have used Fjallraven + thermals + waterproofs for some time but am frustrated by the current alternatives of noisy overtrousers or sodden Fjallravens. I have tried woollen trousers but found them too itchy despite many treatments and alternative types of wool - unfortunately, I'm a sensitive soul!
Over to the experts...


Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
Morning! Have you considered a softshell trouser?

Not waterproof, a lot do come with DWR, but really they're at best shower proof. The real benefit of softshell is its breathability. Heat can escape very well, so you don't get all sweaty and when they do get wet (everything does in the Highlands, either by rain or your sweat ) they will dry quickly and transport any moisture outwards.

I dislike wearing waterproof trousers. Too noisy and they make my legs sweat like buggery..... my choice in terrain like the Highlands, in the conditions you face is a pair of softshells, with a pair of Brynje super thermal leggings underneath.

The softshell trousers I use:

Hope this helps

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk


Full Member
Oct 13, 2005
The banks of the Deveron.
I am a fan of Hilltrek, however I am starting to discover the Ventile cuffs fray rather easily.

I too would vouch for softshell. I wear Rugged Mountain a lot of the time in Winter and Rugged Fjell in the summer when right back. I have wool power long johns too. PCR would help with the environmental aspects of wearing plastic. When it is really cold in Scotland (I have just walked the dogs at 2pm and -5) I wear the Woolen trousers from Varustellekka as I have arthritic knees. Being warm makes a huge difference. I use them stalking up here in Winter or my lined Fjallraven trousers.
Sep 11, 2014
Maidstone, KENT
I've not tried the Kestrel gear.
My Rover jacket is quality & great design.
Also recommend Country Innovation for customer service & buisness ethos.
No affiliations..... My old Hilltrek Smock is still going strong.


Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
Thanks Van Wild - my daughter has soft shells and likes them. I have had issues with nylon trousers - I run quite hot and so have returned to polycotton or cotton combats for comfort and avoidance of other problems. I appreciate the wet challenges, however, judicious use of overtrousers in heavy weather has been ok most of the time.
I will see if I can find someone with the type you've suggested.
I do have some old model ME ultrafleece trousers and braces that used to be very comfortable - maybe worth a re-try.
I would like to try the ventile if they are any good, never the less. Again, if anyone has direct experience.


Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
Thanks Scoman and Dougster. The point about the cuffs is worth knowing.

I have a Westwinds and a Country Innovation jacket, both of which are very comfortable. I tend to use the CI jacket for shooting and the Westwinds for more general use, including dog walking and Scouts as I like the waist and hem drawcords on the CI when out in really foul weather in the back country.


Oct 18, 2013
South West
I have several jacket or anorak in ventile : they are good. But I think that ventile is not a good idea for trousers, except in snow field. Ventile is about 200g/m² 100 cotton, so it is not very rugged for trousers.

Solution ?

Polyester/cotton is universal solution (ok US one is polyamid/cotton) for army since WWII. I think it is often not noisy (but more noisy than wool or corduroy) and If you make some waterprofing (ex : Niwax cotton proof), fairly water resistant. For rainy and cold days you could bring a Brynje polypro long underwear and/or gaitors.

If you have a lot of rain :

Nowadays you could find very light and quite cheap overtrousers/undertrousers/chaps in XXL.

Like this :
or like this :
or like this (you must put it under your polycotton pant) :

So when it is raining a lot, you put your rain pants and it is ok. Noise is not a problem with rain. And without rain a polycotton trousers is way better than the best goretex one.

(I am not affiliated with Decathlon, but it is cheap. You could probably find something like Decathlon in your area. All is made in China...).

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