Time to upgrade the leg wear - rough budget £100, normally warn on their own unless its really minging then they will be paired with either thermals or goretex. But would much rather wear them on their own. Looking at using them for big winter days in the mountains and winter climbing so durability is a big factor.
I've looked at and tried on Rab Vapour Rise Guide and the Montane Terra thermostretch pant. Both fit me well enough
Any others I should be considering?
Any thoughts on the above two?
In reply to Nath: The Simond softshell trousers are very good and unexpensive. I own a pair of Rab Vapour Rise but if I'm honest I don't like them for ice climbing. They fit and feel wonderful and are breathable and windproof but if I press against the ice with my legs I get wet very quickly.
They are great, water resistant, fairly wind proof (although the can be a bit drafty in very strong cold winds), bomb proof and £40 from decathlon. I kid you not but these are as good as any of the other offerings from other manufacturers at many times the price.
In reply to CurlyStevo:
in full agreement with the chaps above
Simond Breeks can't be beaten at that price whilst I dont use them myself
My Climbing pal has had a pair past 2 Years Bombproof nothing worse than Harpooning ur nice £300 Salopettes
In your shoes I'd be choosing between the Simond and the Montane Thermostretch, the specification of which I really like the look of. The sad part of me that tends to steer away from budget options would have me trying the Montane first but who am I to argue with so many?
Have you tried the Montane ones on? I do like the thought that you could potentially dispense with thermals and the hardshell outer. More free movement and a lighter pack sounds like a winning combination. You might make me green with envy next time I'm huffing and puffing up the Cuillin behind you.
In reply to cyberpunk: Mine just fit over ski boots, but mine are designed for a very mini woman. I guess they get wider as they become man sized! Decathalon have ski stuff, so you could always try them on with a pair of ski boots before buying to check
In reply to BnB: You've got the wrong Nath fella, i can't afford new winter trousers just now so going to need to deal with my half arsed Rab softshells for now, even though i wanted to get myself a nice new pair. Right now getting a pair of axes is higher on the list, i sold my Fly's back in June to get myself a pair of Tennies.
To the OP, i'd go with a mid weight pair of softshell trousers and layer them with leggings. Rab make pretty good gear so i'd look at their range other than the VR stuff. The Torque pant looks good, and comes in darker colours if you don't like the bright red one.
In reply to Nath: I got some Outdoor Research Cirque trousers off sports Direct for £60 a while ago, looks like they've still got small and xl though. Not worn them in anger yet but they look and feel good.
> (In reply to Nath) Can't argue with Decathlon for the price, but if durability is your main criteria and you have the money I'd say go for Haglofs rugged mountain pants.
I agree. I have a pair. They seem pretty bombproof having endured a full winter of crampon abuse. I don't find them the most stretchy but the more rigid fabric in the thigh and general quality of sewing give them a massively better cut and hang than the normal guide pants. You could wear them socially, even, dare I say it, on a date ;-)
In reply to BnB: My Haglöf troos are over ten years old and appear to be made of weave of bullet proof dyneema and diamonds because not much makes a mark on them, but having said that they're not my first choice of winter climbing trousers as they are nearly as stretchy as softshells, they take a bit of time to dry if they get wet and they don't have the soft inside that adds a little warmth. I have actually ice climbed in them a fair amount but normally only on short days when I know what the weather is going to be like.
In reply to BnB: I've got the Haglofs too and they're bombproof, even getting tangled up in spikes in a fall. I do tend to get a cold backside in them though, which I've never experienced with any other trousers. And yes, you can indeed wear them on a date when you get told that they're your smartest trousers and you can't wear what you were originally planning on wearing!
> (In reply to BnB) My Haglöf troos are over ten years old and appear to be made of weave of bullet proof dyneema and diamonds because not much makes a mark on them, but having said that they're not my first choice of winter climbing trousers as they are nearly as stretchy as softshells, they take a bit of time to dry if they get wet and they don't have the soft inside that adds a little warmth. I have actually ice climbed in them a fair amount but normally only on short days when I know what the weather is going to be like.
That chimes with my experience. Not quite stretchy enough for higher grades - so not a problem for me then ;-), lacking a thin fleece liner and tending to wet out in a deluge causing "raw thigh". The massive positive of never worrying about shredding £200 worth of Goretex Proshell or Polartec with my clumsy cramponing means I'm going to persevere with them for another season and get my money's worth. This time with thigh length thermals underneath to protect the thigh without restricting knee articulation. I've also renewed the DWR which used to work fine.
Besides the excellent Simond Alpinism trousers, you might also look at Decathlon's Quechua Forclaz 900 Warm trousers, currently on discount at £40. They're a similar fabric to the Simonds, but with a fluffier inner face, and they're a closer cut, and more 'trouser-like' than the Simonds, which are closer to a salopette.
Double, articulated knees, four zipped pockets, hip belt, shock-corded ankle adjustment. Decent stretch fabric. I'd have preferred a gusset crotch, but the stretch fabric will hopefully mean that isn't a problem.
I've only just picked up a pair so can't comment on longevity or real-world performance yet, but my kit spidey-sense tells me they'll be pretty good.
p.s. as for the store not having them in, whilst checking to see if the men's were discounted to £30 like the women's, I got into a bit of a discussion with the guy in the store about how great they are, and he said, essentially "we don't really stock much climbing stuff". I tried to point out that they're also great for skiing, and how well regarded they are here, but didn't seem to get through.
So, if the price suddenly hikes to £99 and they get rolled out nationwide, it may be my fault...
The more I read into membranes, the less I'm convinced that there are so many ways of making them, hence not so much of a performance range as price might suggest. There are other ePTFE membranes besides Goretex for example - I suspect the stuff Decathlon uses is actually perfectly good generic fabric that will be chemically rather similar to Powershield or Windstopper etc.
In reply to Nath:
I bought a pair of the decathlon trousers last year following a similiar thread. For £39 you can't go wrong and they are well designed and warm and just as good as many of the ones I was looking at for two to three times as much money.
In reply to Nath:
Also on the bargain side of things I got a pair of softshell trousers in a Hawkshead store a couple of years ago for about forty pounds, they have been excellent hard wearing and super value, not maybe what you want for winter climbing but i mention it as another cheap but good bit of hill kit.
> (In reply to Nath) nice numbers on breathability - ePTFE storming ahead... and nice to see what I've been struggling with on Gore-tex. time for a new Gore-Tex Pro me thinks... :-D
It would be very interesting to see non-membrane softshells mapped on the same graph (see pdf mid thread). How much better than new Goretex Pro (ePTFE) would they perform? Undoubtedly better (at breathing), but by how much?
> (In reply to BnB)
> All goretex (and eVent and some others) are ePTFE. e just stands for expanded, if its not expanded it's not breathable, it's just frying pan liner.
Of course, but, as the PDF makes clear, all membranes are not the same. Goretex alone comes in at least 3 flavours currently. I'd just like to see some data comparing the breathability of, say, new Pro vs non-membrane softshell. We know who the winner is. But by how much?
The Forclaz 900 Warm trousers are nice. Really comfortable, warm, wind resistant. So nice I went and ordered a grey pair today. And even the staff found their naming confusing; she nearly ordered a pair of Forclaz 900 Hiking trousers, which aren't the same thing... The only non-membraned jacket seems to be a lightweight soft shell thing.
I've been looking for a decent pair of soft shell troos for some time, but Schoeller Dryskin is damned expensive. And not actually that wind proof. The 900 Warm seem much more wind resistant, and the face fabric seems robust and fairly water repellent. Only time will tell how long that continues...