AS part of its Progress range, SIP Protection has developed the Samourai chainsaw trousers to be not just strong, but stronger. And there’s more. SIP Protection also claims the new Samourai trousers are designed for the most demanding working conditions. So, is that just marketing hype to get us to part with our hard-earned cash or is there something to these claims? Only one way to find out really, and that’s to get a pair on and get them tested out there in the real world.

While the Samourai come in both Type A and Type C versions I have always gone for the all-round protection offered from a Type C chainsaw trouser. No surprise, then, that I opted for the Class 1, Type C Samourai version which complies with European Standards EN 381-5: 1995 / Class 1 – 20 m/s design C and EN ISO 13688: 2013.

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The first thing I noticed was that they don’t feel that heavy for Type Cs. This is partly due to the Dyneema-based chainsaw blocking fibres which are 25 per cent lighter than traditional chainsaw protection. 

I’ve been wearing the trousers now for a couple of weeks and they are a snug fit compared with my last pair of 'other brand' trousers. The waist is elasticated with nine wide belt loops, one of which is made of a laminated, reinforced, rip-stop material. It’s situated on the right hip, which is a handy feature for attaching a pair of secateurs for those small tree-pruning jobs. If you need braces, there are two loops at the front and one at the back. The back bib is not as high as I’ve seen on some other trousers and doesn’t press into the back as it’s made of soft fabric.

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The entire front of the trousers are made of a laminated, reinforced rip-stop fabric that is waterproof. This material extends around the rear of the trousers at the base and about a third of the way up the leg. The rest of the trouser is made of a hard-wearing and very durable four-way rip-stop fabric with exceptional abrasion resistance and tensile strength. Added to this is a Teflon finish which makes the fabric water-, oil- and dirt-repellent. Further reinforcement with a Kevlar-based material is found at the knees. 
So that’s what they’re made of, now to the important question: where do I put my keys and my phone?


At the front are two inset pockets with the now familiar top-down zip closure. These are not as deep as some other trousers I’ve had, so best not to have too big a bunch of keys if that’s your preferred pocket to store them in. On the left-hand thigh is a flapped pocket which is just the right size for a smartphone. The flap is closed using two Velcro strips. The right-hand thigh has a similar-sized zipped pocket. I haven’t found a use for this yet, but I’ll find something (maybe a few plasters ready for those pruning saw cuts). At the rear is a zipped and flapped inset pocket. This is not a place I tend to put anything, so that’s a bit of a redundant pocket for me. There is some retro-reflective piping on one of the pockets as well as above the knees and around the back of the legs.

I’m a believer in the saying 'you get what you pay for', and while these are not the cheapest chainsaw trousers out there, they are certainly not the most expensive. Sometimes quality is worth paying a few extra pounds for.

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In the weeks that I’ve had these on I’ve climbed in them, dragged brash in them, and waded through a few brambles and haven’t seen any damage to the fabric. Perhaps all that marketing talk about these being the toughest chainsaw trousers on the market may just be right.

Given all that 'toughness' and reinforcement I haven’t found them to be too restrictive and I imagine over the next few months they will give a little and become even more flexible. The SIP Protection Samourai therefore seems to be an exceptional combination of both flexibility and toughness in a single chainsaw trouser.