/ Any suggestions for hard wearing waterproof trousers?

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Misha - on 21 Nov 2016
I have a pair of Mountain Hardware waterproof trousers which were good at first but after a couple of seasons they now have more seamgrip and patches than original material on the knees (says something about my climbing style?). More often than not my legs now get get damp from the knees down. So thinking about getting a new pair and keeping the existing ones as a spare and for nice weather days. Any suggestions? Something with additional protection on the knees would be a good idea... Thanks.
Alasdair Fulton - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Have you tried a tough winter softshell? I've not used waterproofs in 6 or 7 seasons, in fact, I had to use some 2 weekends ago because my normal pants were getting repaired. I felt clammy and restricted all day!

Pros of Softshell:


  • Much Cheaper

  • Generally longer lasting (or less degraded by crampon holes etc)

  • Better mobility

  • More Breathable



I'm talking no-brand stretch softshell without a membrane - for example:

http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/mission-pant

http://www.haglofs.com/gb/en/Pants/BRECCIA-PANT-MEN/p/603207.3C3


Or power-shield / shoeller:

http://eu.patagonia.com/enAT/product/mens-alpine-guide-pants?p=83950-1

https://www.mammut.ch/GB/en_GB/B2C-Kategorie/Alpine-Climbing/Base-Jump-Advanced-SO-Pants-AF-Men/p/10...

I just got a pair of the ME Missions, so far so good. My previous pair of Patagonia Backcountry Guide pants lasted about 5 seasons.
Misha - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:
That's an interesting idea. I use a pair of thermals plus normal weight softshell plus waterproofs (and still feel cold sometimes!). A tough softshell might work instead of the two outer layers but I'd be concerned that it's not as warm (e.g. less windproof). Worth having a look though.
koolkat - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

paramo
puppythedog on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

HI MIsha, I have so much less experience than you and probably should not stick my nose in here, however.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/mens-alpinism-pant-id_8010075.html

I use these when I do make it outside in cold icy snowy places. They have had loads of support on here. I can't imagine I would need anything else unless really raining and I am warm enough with just my longjohns underneath
Alasdair Fulton - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Powerstretch (or cheapo stretch fleece if you can find them) tights or & tough softshell is well warm enough for me, never feel the wind - but you need to make sure it's one of the heavier weight softshells, not a summer one.
Alasdair Fulton - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to puppythedog:

Those do have a strong following! Never tried them myself.
Jamie B - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Indestructable, despite my best efforts! http://www.cioch-direct.co.uk/waterproofs/salopettes.html
Simon Caldwell - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to koolkat:

Paramo and crampons don't get on very well together
iksander on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Arc Teryx Theta SV bibs if you want to spoil yourself
Pipecleaner - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:
Hi Misha, I've destroyed more pairs of membrane waterproofs than I can remember and all fairly quickly. I'd finally bitten the bullet and bought a pair of Paramo enduro trousers...not cheap but in the right weather they're great. Cold and windy they're amazing, insulated so pretty warm next to skin, they vent really well and even zipped right open with bare legs it's comfortable in a breeze. They also loose the clammy feeling quickly once you ease off really quickly. Brilliant in proper cold winter...that said if you move very fast...I've managed to overwhelm them with sweat and once they're saturated it's cool and unpleasant. Also more than about 90 min in light to moderate rain and they're rubbish. Once they wet out they get soaked from within and it can be worryingly cold!
Pipecleaner - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Forgot to say that they seem to wear very well...last winter I was out almost every day in them over about 4 months (I'm fortunate to live near hills and work at night!) and they're pretty new looking. The knees even seem to be holding up fine too ;)
koolkat - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

crampons get on well with snow and ice but not any lower legwear
carr0t - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

The diamond alpinism trousers are excellent. Very waterproo, Very breathable and very cheap compared to other ttherefore replaceable
carr0t - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Simond, not diamond.
Fiona Reid - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> Paramo and crampons don't get on very well together

True... you can just stitch them back together very easily though and because they aren't a membrane the odd hole doesn't really matter as far as the waterproofing goes.
Fiona Reid - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

I use Paramo Aspira with the foam knee pads for winter climbing - similar idea to the Cioch Direct ones that Jamie B mentioned but mine are trousers as they only did the ladies ones as trousers.

I've found them fairly bomb proof. They may not win any style points though but if I'm warm and dry I don't really care.
French Erick - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:
+1 for paramo.

Paramo aspira salopettes now into their 7th season! Fairly patched up. About to try to buy another pair before they get discontinued.
I really like them. I wear a pair of light long johns under.

For me only doesn't work when it's really raining damn hard low down or in full on thaw.
Misha - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to puppythedog:
Thanks. Clothing recommendations have nothing to do with what grade you climb!
Misha - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to koolkat:

> paramo

Is it not too warm for fast walk ins?
Misha - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:
Thanks all. I'll investigate 'winter' softshell and paramo, though have some reservations about the latter.
Fiona Reid - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

I guess it depends how fast you walk.... However, I usually wear merino long johns under mine and if it's really hot I just unzip the full length side zips for ventilation. Personally, I find Paramo stuff doesn't get as sweaty etc as Goretex/shell stuff does as it's much more breathable and the side zips really help if it is hot.




mes32 - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

I was cold and miserable for years wearing waterproof trousers. Then invested in Patagonia Kniferidge pants (there's a men's version) which are completely amazing. Pretty water-repellant but also windproof and breathable, with a slight bib and braces which I find helpful because climbing trousers are always too loose around my waist. Slightly stretchy and great range of movement. I wear power stretch leggings underneath and was toasty warm last winter. Plus they're turquoise, but that might not be a good thing.... Mary
Toerag - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

If you want truly tough ones get some Grundens or Guy Cotten commercial fisherman's dungarees. They may not be 'breathable' and they may be bulky when packed, but they're about a million miles more tough & waterproof than 'outdoor' trousers, and breathability isn't a problem because the dungaree style allows chimney effect to transport the moist air out of them.
Dave Kerr - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

> Thanks all. I'll investigate 'winter' softshell and paramo, though have some reservations about the latter.

I've got Paramo Aspira Salopettes that are in their 9th season of pretty heavy use. They're brilliant in the snow and wind but rubbish when it rains as they really soak it up then wet through when pressed. They just seem massively more comfortable than hard shell troos. I've just got a new pair by ordering from the Keswick Paramo shop but I don't think I'd use any of the more recent Paramo models as they all have some failing like looking less durable or lacking a bib which I like. The foam knee pads are also a blessing for Scottish winter climbing!

For wet days I got a pair of ME Karakorum pants. These are pretty burly and can often be picked up cheap, I got mine for 130. They breathe quite well and are definitely waterproof.
climber34neil - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

Just to throw something else into the mix, I've been using black Diamond hybrid bibs (dawn patrol I think but I'm not sure) scholler tech soft shell with hardshell panels where needed, I've found them to be the perfect in terms of warmth windproof and waterproofing and would really recommend them, I wear a thin Base Layer under them and that seems to be plenty warm enough, they can be ventilated for the walk in as well
Alasdair Fulton - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to climber34neil:

> Just to throw something else into the mix, I've been using black Diamond hybrid bibs (dawn patrol I think but I'm not sure) scholler tech soft shell with hardshell panels where needed, I've found them to be the perfect in terms of warmth windproof and waterproofing and would really recommend them, I wear a thin Base Layer under them and that seems to be plenty warm enough, they can be ventilated for the walk in as well

I used a very similar pair of Patagonia Backcountry Guide pants for a few season - waterproof seat and knees, stretch shoftshell elsewhere. They then discontinued them... I looked into getting those BD ones as a replacement but I couldn't find anywhere to try them on.

Misha, do you normally put your hardshells on at the crag, or from the car?
Misha - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:
I put them on in the hut and they stay on all day. On nice days I can unzip the sides for ventilation (although for example last Sunday I didn't need to as it was quite cold), on gash days I need them to stay dry. I know some people layer up at the crag but that just seems like more faff, though I can see why people do it.
Stevos - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Aspira trousers/sallopettes are great. I've used the new ones (Endura I think they're called) and they aren't as warm but seem durable enough (one season of climbing and skiing). Lack of knee pads in the Endura trousers is a shame and they don't come with braces.
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TobyA on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

They are fine in many cold dry situations but I could imagine in Scottish soggy snow and high winds you would want waterproofs over the top. http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/simond-alpinism-pants-review.html
More-On - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

How about keela munro sallopettes?
Mine have had plenty of use over a decade and show no wear whatsoever. Very breathable and have side zips to vent if needed.
I happily wear them all day and haven't needed anything under them, even on seriously cold days when not moving fast.
Alasdair Fulton - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA: I have just read your review and I am surprised at your above comment. I totally agree that in a pissing wet waterfall softshell is no good. That situation is, in fact, the only time in the last 7 years I've chosen to wear top to bottom goretex - when we were trying to get a new route in on Coire Scamadal and we got soaked through the first day.

But in Scotland (and, indeed the alps) I've not worn anything waterproof on my legs in 7 full seasons and never wanted for them. I occasionally will wear a thin shell jacket on a walk-in when the temp is a few above and you have to plod through rain, then sleat, then snow. But I've never felt that soggy snow or high winds needed a hardshell. Of course, I've not tried the Simond ones and maybe they're less weatherproof?
TobyA on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:

You may well be right Alasdair. Thinking about it, when I lived in Scotland I did 4 winter seasons only using Buffalo (occasionally with a duvet in addition to the Buffalo belay jacket). Perhaps I'm just getting soft in my old age and worried about getting a tad damp.

But the Simond cheapy softshells aren't particularly windproof - nothing like the pertex on Buffalo salopettes for example. Most of the time, that's fine for me as I get hot and sweaty, I've ski toured in my Simond troos in Arctic Norway for example - and the breathability of them is great for that. I have used them winter climbing in the Lakes since moving back to the UK and they were great, but that was a good weather day!
shantaram - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

I have a pair of Paramo Aspira trousers that are absolutely awesome for Scottish winter climbing and walking. I wear them as a single layer and they can handle any weather that is thrown at them with great venting for the walk ins. I have also used them for Himalayan climbing trips with a pair of thermal leggings and they are superb. They are mega hard wearing and tough. The biggest drawback is their weight and bulk. I would only use them when I wouldn't have to carry them or pack them in a rucksack, as a layer I keep on for the day.
Alasdair Fulton - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:

It does sound like they're maybe a touch less windproof than what I've been used to/worn. Hard to tell without trying but I'd say the one's I've suggested are easily as windproof as pertex.

For ski touring/ski-accessed climbing I get on really well with the Haglofs Rando Flex as they are very weatherpoof, stretchy and breathable:

http://www.haglofs.com/gb/en/Pants/RANDO-FLEX-PANT-MEN/p/603428.2AT

And I've just shelled out on some ME Missions (as I broke the popper on the braces of the Haglofs and they're away getting repaired...), So far I've only done 1 winter route, 4 Munros & a Corbett in benign winter conditions but so far I'm quite happy. I'll maybe write up a review in a month or so.
puppythedog on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

True enough. I was thinking you get more time in the mountains in a four week period than I have in the last couple of years at winter time
andrewmcleod - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

> Thanks. Clothing recommendations have nothing to do with what grade you climb!

Indeed. Provided you can find the right colour combinations for your grade...
Hay - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:
I don't use waterproof trousers (prefer softshell).
However, I know that the ME Karakorum is well liked. As a company we support Heather Morning with kit. She rates them and really puts them through the mill.
Bruce
Tricadam on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:

A further +1 for Paramo. I find the Aspiras a bit too heavy and warm, so got Paramo to make me a customised pair of the standard Cascada trousers, adding in crampon patches, snow gaiters and under-foot bungee cord. Brilliant. So cheap, incredibly comfortable over a wide range of temperatures, particularly with those big side vents, holes easily repaired, ridiculously breathable, don't wet out, etc. All I wear under them in winter is a pair of Rab MeCo boxers. (Well, 2 pairs if anticipating >1 hour belay stints!) Am defo going to add knee pads next time due to my grovelling winter climbing "style", however!

Important to try on for size first: I'm large for most manufacturers' trousers in terms of waist and thigh size, but medium for Paramo. They do the Cascadas in differing leg lengths which is well handy.
drsdave - on 27 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:
Shoeller material is brilliant, on really cold days you just wear a pair of merino leggings underneath and off you go, toast, stretchy and fast drying.
Post edited at 20:31
HeMa on 27 Nov 2016
In reply to Misha:

I'd prolly look into sailing apparel. As hyped in price as mountaineering stuff, but most of sailing troos have quite robust materials and most also seem to have patches on the knees and arse as well. They tend to be heavy though.

https://www.musto.com/br1-trousers-sb1235.html;red

https://www.musto.com/hpx-gore-tex-ocean-trousers-sh1671.html;sulphur-spring-black
In reply to Misha:

For more than 15 years I've used the same simplified model of Nikwax analogy (Paramo) trousers, made to measure by Cioch Direct- http://www.cioch-direct.co.uk/ here on Skye.

Reinforced backside, knees and inside calf areas, great waist fitting and cover flap over long leg zips. circa 250 a pair and I get about 4 years out of a pair despite them being abused stupidly on the gabbro most days.

Don't like setting off in them (too hot and hate climbing in the rain) but love putting them on for the rest of the day- just like putting pyjamas on ;-)
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Better foot work rquired!
Paramo fixes a whole lot better than Gtex.
IanMcC - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to Mike Lates:

Do Cioch Direct do banana yellow Paramo?
Fiona Reid - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to IanMcC:

Looks like they may well do yellow, see:

http://www.cioch-direct.co.uk/waterproofs/gents_trousers.html
IanMcC - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiona Reid:

Thanks, Fiona. I wondered where Mike got them
In reply to IanMcC:

Yellow for yellow-bellied ;-)
IanMcC - on 21:11 Wed
In reply to Mike Lates:

I'll definitely need to buy them then!!

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