/ Softshell legs - anything but black
What is the deal manufacturers??
tell me about it. this has been studied at great lengths by companies.
occasionally other colours pop up in powershield but they never last. even hardshells in other-than-black make up a small portion even in years when its in fashion.
sort of in between is neoshell which is about in non-black, but it simply doesnt sell.
about the only consistant option is grey (light black?).
some of the reason is that trousers have less turn over than shell jackets, so are made in smaller numbers, which means less risk taken with the yardage purchased (minimum yardage per colour can often 20,000m, ie about 10,000 garments...). so although these fabrics can be made in any colour in the pantone binder, when it boils down to it its hard to justify the costs - and then do you make just one colour variant, or more...?
this is compounded as its often a different fabric used for trousers as for jackets which limits the doubling up, and softshell is more prone to this than hardshell (not a lot of powershield or schoeller jackets out there, tho funnily the reverse with windstopper).
then theres the market; climbers are pretty conservative and across the board are more likely to re-buy an old favourite than risk several hundred bucks on a new idea. not everyone of course, but not enough to churn out several thousand pairs. companies sometimes want to bring out coloured trousers in order to be more efficient with fabric stocks, but the risk usually deters them (colour fashions in climbing-wear are just as oscillating as any other fashion)
also theres fashion. lots of jackets come in orange, blue and green and consumers seem unwilling to have matching top and bottom - unless its in black. as fashionistas have known for decades - anything goes with black. by bringing out a less-turned-over garment like trousers in, say, orange messes with the higher-turned-over garments like jackets. in this case it backfires as the consumer then doesnt buy more of both - they switch brands back to - you guessed it - black, done by someone else.
im with you - black is boring. the only way is to voice consumer demand, which is not always easy.
lets start here; what colour would you want given the choice?
Both Rab and Monuntain Equipment sell softshell trousers in others colours, blue and red IIRC.
Although I'm someone that would never buy anything but black trousers, for the exact matching conundrum ice.solo mentions!
Yeah, did think I hadn't ever seen any in the shops. Maybe ME direct?
A veritable trouser-shaped rainbow:
is the offering from Rab, I find them great for climbing in and would be good for winter with a pear of thin leggings underneath.
I've seen the red variety stocked in Tiso's Perth and Glasgow so fairly easy to come by and reasonable priced in relation to the likes of Norrona. You have to get used to the funny looks every black trousered hill-goer gives you though ;)
You have to check with the strict outdoor dress codes before venturing into the complex etiquette of wearing brightly coloured clothing :-)
Managed to find some ME Javelin in blue. Not sure if I am going to receive a Long or Reg leg, but it is a start
Interesting (and full) response from ice.solo re manufacturers motives. I never thought of the business case of multi-coloured clothing.
I suppose it is a safer bet to go with black trousers when there is such a variability in jacket colour. I myself have red, orange, blue, grey and black jackets. I suppose the only solution is to have every fabric/system type garment in every colour combination so you can go out in any weather situation and never fall foul of the fashion police.
Thanks for the clues, i'll see what I get with the Javelins and go from there.
Brilliant! Best get training haha
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