/ Leg Layering
At present I wear my decathlon soft shells straight over my legs and a cheapish pair of berghaus waterproofs. My legs are always baltic and it makes winter days out unenjoyable if standing about.
I wanted a new pair of bright trousers for new year motivation. I got a pair of the Millet Pro K GTX salopettes.
Now they are just a really good hard shell layer with crampon patches, and various reinforced sections. They have full leg zips for taking on and off and also for venting.
The waist is very high and perfect for tucking everything in and out of the way of the harness - I find the decathlon softshells not very good for this and the waist is always in the way of my harness and end up with exposed midriff somehow.
My question is how best to add some layers to this. I am not sure how much warmth the GTX will keep in by itself. Would I get away with merino wool long johns alone (I have never really worn a base or thermal layer. Or should I take the braces off the softshells and wear them under? I am not sure whether the softshells and the new harshells might be a bit restrictive of movement.
Any suggestions appreciated.
Daleswear have North Cape ones on special here for £20 - I've bought two pairs already, might even get some more because £20 is very good.
Here's the website - http://www.daleswear.co.uk/?action=shop.detail&product=north-cape-powerstretch-pants
It depends what you will walk in wearing. I think these trousers are going to be too hot for many walk ins. If this is the case Id wear soft shell trousers with baselayer for the walk in and then chuck these on once you start climbing.
If however you find you can walk in wearing them I suggest trying fleece trousers underneath with options of differing base layers depending on weather.
For winter I have a pair of Mammut soft-shell trousers and some Lowe Alpine long johns underneath and carry full leg zip lightweight waterproofs. These troos:
If I get too hot they have side vents and I've only ever been a wee bit cold in them and that's only when I stop. Saying that, I do more walking, lower level gullies these days rather than winter climbing so these may not be ideal except on drier days.
I wear Powerstretch (I think - thick stretchy stuff) leggings below these. Sometimes hardshell goes on at car park (if a bit grim), sometimes at gearing up point.
Did you consider wearing thermal leggings under you soft-shell? I find this plus a pair of un-cool gaiters to protect from crampons works fine on drier (and sometimes colder) days.
> For winter I have a pair of Mammut soft-shell trousers and some Lowe Alpine long johns underneath and carry full leg zip lightweight waterproofs. These troos:
> If I get too hot they have side vents and I've only ever been a wee bit cold in them and that's only when I stop. Saying that, I do more walking, lower level gullies these days rather than winter climbing so these may not be ideal except on drier days.
I found with my Gtx trousers with side vents that you still get sweaty even when venting during the walk in if you are wearing enough leg layers to stay warm on belays.
I find the key to staying comfortable winter climbing is to not get unduely sweaty, once this has happened you will get cold when you stop.
So walk in is:
* sofshells and base layer.
* or harshells and base / fleece layer.
The main unknown just now is just hot the GTX will be.
Let me ask:
If side by side I wore GTX against just a baselayer compared to just softshells against skin. What would be warmer?
depends if you allow for venting.
In anycase when moving I think the GTX with base layer will be warmer / sweatier without venting than the soft shells with baselayer. When still I think they will be colder than softshells (both with baselayer)
I used to detest walking a long distance or uphill with a base layer and a Goretex shell, even vented i used to feel hot and sweaty. As I said above with regards to soft-shell and a base layer, only feel the cold a wee bit when I stop. I could be stopped for a while but I've never been uncomfortably cold.
If I know it is going to be dry and Baltic and I'm planning to stop for an extended period of time, I have some army issue primaloft over trios that compress right down. Complete overkill to walk in but if I'm stopped for a while, I can zip them on and I'm toasty.
I wear the Decathlon Simond/Quechua Bionnassay softshell pants like yourself. That combo does everything apart from very wet conditions - for which I'll stick a pair of very light shell pants in my bag, if the forecast looks dodgy.
I've also got a bomb-proof pair of Patagonia shell pants for long-distance multi-day trips in winter when I must keep dry, and the powerstretch go under those too.
But if it's going to be grimmer then I'll start out in gore (or eVent) winter overtrousers and usually just have powerstretch fleece tights under them. I also have a pair of cheap microfleece Decathlon trousers which are a bit looser but only cost £10 and I often wear those instead of the power stretch as they're just as warm. If it's really baltic though, I'll put some thin leggins or 3/4 thermals on under the cheap micro fleece trousers, under the hard-shells. The three layers are toasty - as proved in windy, snowy, beyond freezing cold cairngorm shizzle over the last couple of days! Co:
Personally for walking I find having the legs flap irritating, whilst only opening from hip to knee often to too hot / sweaty.
Right now at 3000m on fuji in insane weather (-21, 95km winds).
Wearing powershield trousers with powerdry base and power dry boxers. Toasty.
I use basic wicking leggings (Helly Lifa or Haglofs Dryskin) on warmer or more active days (ski touring, alpine climbing with few rests) and I wear my Rock & Run stretchy fleece bottoms when it's colder, or I'm stopping more often. (-15c ski days, ice climbing, winter climbing).
I pretty much never wear hardshells (unless it's raining) but I doubt the top layer makes a lot of difference (use use Patagonia Backcountry Guide Pants)
I have the softshells because they were cheap, comfy, have braces, crampon patches and on good weather (or not too cold) days are warm. When it is windy though or colder I need to chuck my cheap waterproof over the softshells which arent warm.
The hardshells I got are brand new. Not worn them.
Now, since you've just splashed the cash on a decent pair of hardshells, the next best option will probably be head out in a pair of stretchy base layer leggings and your softshell pants, then chuck on your GTX in the coire when gearing up. I reckon you'll be plenty warm in that combo.
Should be able to get some H/H lifas for £25 or so. Powerstretch is also great stuff but a fair bit warmer and more expensive.
The softshells got soaked through in driving wind and sleet plus they were slightly too short for me and I didnt like the waist on them. With the cheap waterproofs on I lost the crampon patches.
Plus they look cool as hell.
These under shells, all you ever need. With an extra thermal under these if it gets a bit parky. Soft shell pants never make sense to me in winter for routes, usual little/no insulation, not fully waterproof. Skiing/touring, summer alpine yes, but foreign ice, on the ben or in the lakes/wales im not convinced.
I think soft shell trousers are great for Scottish winter, even if you only use them for the walkin and then chuck water proofs over the top. It keeps the wind out for that and stops the snow sticking.
Awesome. Thanks for the tip off. Just ordered 3 pairs!
I have the same tenner micro fleece troos from Decathlon, for me they are a trim fit and one of the best ten quids I've spent. Under goretex, over a base layer they keep my legs warm in the coldest conditions (-20 or so).
Milesy, I find with just merino long johns under my goretex pants they are surprisingly warm. For Finnish ice climbing I generally either do that or wear softshells with one layer under them. I add a second layer (the microfleece) if it's below -10.
> Awesome. Thanks for the tip off. Just ordered 3 pairs!
Another vote for powerstretch - I wear them under lined hardshell pants and have never had cold legs.
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