/ Winter layers, lower half

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McDuck on 24 Dec 2012
First post for this wok smuggling, beer drinking, fortysomething yearold who's just broke his winter duck with an ascent of Left Parallel Gully on Brown Cove Crags. Wanting advice on what trousers people wear. The day we were out I had on North Face tights for insulation, Craghopper pants and Berghaus Deluge waterproofs which seemed to be fighting against each other resulting in very sore thighs at the end of the day. How do climbers deal with layering, have been thinking about trying thin salopettes or would they be too warm, cheers.
jas wood - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: changes on conditions but i'd say a pair of softshell pants (regatta are cheap - you'll knack them in no time when winter climbing) and a cheap pair of waterproof pants in the bag. gaiters are also important.
Northern Climber on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: I wear some thermal leggings with a pair of thickish softshell trousers (with braces)over the top.
Iain Thow - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: Second the softshell trousers bit, although if you get better ones they last longer (surprise, surprise). I alternate between Rab's Fusion Trousers and ME Guide Pants. Had the Fusions 3 years & got the MEs early last winter and haven't managed to knacker either yet.
GridNorth - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: I've just bought a pair of softshell trousers from Decathlon for about 40 and they look very good. 1/4 of the price of my previous Mammut ones which were more like 130 but lasted for over 10 years. I wear them over a powerstretch tight and would only put overtrousers on if it was extremely wet e.g. rain in Scotland. I also have a pair of Rab VR Guide pants which are OK but my legs got a little wet ice fall climbing last year so I'm not convinced about the VR material in that respect. I never got wet in my Mammut ones. The Rab Fusion pants look a lot better but again are over 100.
xplorer on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:

I wear I synthetic baselayer and some ME Karakorums. Full length zips allow for ventilation. I normally open both zips a few inches at the top, and works well.

peas65 - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

VR is meant to keep you warm when wet not dry.

VR is very good for a cheapish pair of pants.
ianstevens - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: Softshell trousers (definatley echo the sentiments that you get what you pay for with regards to durability, waterproof trousers in the sack. Never bothered with thermals, the one time i did my legs had a day similar to one at the beach with regards to temperature. If you start to get a bit chilly, move about a bit, even if this just means shaking your legs around whilst giving a belay. But then I'm quite good at dealing with the cold...
GridNorth - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to peas65: I'll try again. Bear in mind that I am talking about ice climbing and not Scottish rain. Other softshell fabrics, like schoeller, offer better water resistance than VR in my opinion. I have never felt a cold wet spot on my legs in other softshell fabrics like I did in the VR ones when I pressed against the ice. The fabric of my even cheaper Decathlon trousers is also better than VR in that respect.
Gav Parker - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:

For the last few yrs Ive used Mammut Base Jump which I think are very good..if things get wet the over trousers go on.....I wore vapour rise trousers for a few yrs which are fleece lined and very tough outer but do wet out quickly....only required thermals when very very cold.....
pff - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:
I havent been ice climbing, but i wear cycling longs, that have a very thin fleece lining under regular trekking trousers for wet cold winter walks. Also wear them a lot underneath my drysuit when kayaking. The bibs are great for protecting the lower back from wind. Never actually feel that cold wearing these,even when standing round climbing as three.
OwenM - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: Patagonia silk-weight long johns, a very slidey finish so they don't fight with your trousers. Softshell trousers mine are Rab, will cover most things. A very light weight over-trouser in the sack for when it really pisses down. Full length side zips help here but are hard to find on light-weights.
alasdair19 on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: always been a gore tex outer then fleece trousers sort of guy. Using power stretch tights at moment. A lot of people get on well with paramo trousers.

Soft shells are probably fine for the good days in Scotland. The decathalon ones are.good in My experience.
iksander on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: If can, wear one layer - lighter, more comfortable, better movenet and "access". But that means you have to lots of different trousers and judge the conditions right. Thin salopettes are a good shout for a more flexible system eg different thickness base layers depending on conditions.
Alan M - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:

I wear a North face salopettes that I purchased in 2002 (dont know their name) they are quite heavy but work well. They have full length zips which I open fully when walking in and out. I wear nothing underneath other than my underpants.

I personally find that I dont think too much for layering on my lower half in the UK. Its doesn't get cold enough for long enough to impact my legs, even when sitting on a belay for an hour or so. I layer the top half, wear good socks on my feet with good boots and my legs just get what ever I feel like wearing on the day.

The salopettes with nothing underneath work well for me. My other choice is low alpine base layer tights (10) and a light waterproof trouser over the top (7 Karrimor) works a treat, and has never leaked, or not been warm enough.....So far!!

Go with what your are comfortable with. Trial and error came up with my current methods I have technical soft shell trousers costing the best part of 100 and I never wear them.

ice.solo - on 25 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:

Powershield or neoshell trousers/bib with side zips and no unbreathable inner gaiters, thinnest baselayer possible, powerstretch boxers if its really cold.
All with matching access zips for taking a dump.
McDuck on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: Thanks for the advice, looks like I'm gonna need a trip to the shops to check out some softshell then, already got Regatta Geo Extol pants for summer walking, wouldn't have thought they were thick enough to be called softshell mind, but that's how Go Outdoors rate them. Will look for something a bit thicker.
The_Boy_ODwyer - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: I've done softshell, waterproofs, thermals and all combinations of the above. What I'm using nowadays which for me are superior to everything else I've tried are a pair of powerstretch tights underneath a pair of Mountain Equip Karakorum pants. absolutely great...
philhilo - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck: A bit different to most with a bit of faff but cheap and effective. Walk in in powerstretch tights, then at the kitting up point the faff, cheapo (GO OUTDOOR own brand)softshell padded salopettes but no full length zips, so boots off, salopettes on. Has kept me warm and dry doing 11 hours as a threesome on the Ben.
needvert on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to ice.solo:

Never seen in person powershield or neoshell.

Would you carry hardshell pants in either case? I notice neoshell is apparently waterproof.

Nic DW - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to McDuck:

Paramo Cascadias (or the cioch direct custom made alternative if your feeling flush)

Had mine for years, taken them out in all-sorts of weather and cant swear by them enough, even if they are now mainly ducktape. Nothing else needed (except boxers!- I'm not a real scotsman)

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