UKC

NEW REVIEW: Hardshell Pants Comparison Review

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 UKC Gear 04 Mar 2014
Hardshell Pants Montage Image, 5 kbCharlie Boscoe puts several top pairs of hard shell pants to the test.

"The basic requirements are that they fit well, have appropriate and well designed features, are able to breathe / be vented when the going gets hot and they keep you dry when needed. Surely that's not too much to ask...?"

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=6167

In reply to UKC Gear:

Good review. I'd be interested to know if Charlie noticed any difference between the different fabrics in terms of breathability? I guess the Marmot "wedgie" Spires aren't Goretex Pro, whilst all the others are (which makes the Berghaus ones seem very competitively priced)?

I got to the review the great Jöttnar Vanir salopettes, so they're not included here - but at a pricey £350, they suddenly become "mid priced" compared to the Arc' and Mammut ones here! Well worth considering too if you want a salopette for mountaineering.

And what are those ski poles Charlie? Not seen anything like them before.
 galpinos 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:
The ski poles are made by Black Crows. All the rage in Cham darling.......

A snip at £90.
Post edited at 10:29
Charlie Boscoe 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Hi Toby. I can't say I noticed a huge difference in practical breathability (but no doubt the statistics would say otherwise). I tend to get the side zips open pretty quickly when I'm getting too hot so it can be tough to tell. I always intend to leave them closed in order to do a better breathability test but my resolve usually crumbles into a sweaty heap after 20 minutes or so! In the time I had the trousers I didn't feel that any other than the Rab ones (which use a different fabric) breathed radically differently to the others.

The poles are Black Crows Furtis and they are pricey but great. Got a really good rubber grip that extends a long way down (really good for different slope angles when skinning) and a metal cap on top so that you can turn it upside down and jab it into the snow if you want some security or a temporary anchor. I wouldn't ab off it but it's been of use a few times!
In reply to galpinos:

I kind of figured it would be something like that - but what's the actual logic of them? They obviously feel that you don't need wrist loops.

...And then back to the trousers!
Charlie Boscoe 04 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

They come with a wrist loop but I took it off - you can take them on and off with one little screw. If I get avalanched I want to ditch my poles and I've also had a few problems of poles snapping and/or wrenching my shoulders when they've got stuck in a tree branch or a bush that I've skied past and I haven't been able to let go. No doubt I'll drop one sooner or later and wish I'd kept the loops on!
In reply to Charlie Boscoe:

> I can't say I noticed a huge difference in practical breathability (but no doubt the statistics would say otherwise). I tend to get the side zips open pretty quickly when I'm getting too hot so it can be tough to tell.

I've found assessing breathability really hard too, and like you say design plays a big part because if ventilation is easy and works well, the difference in the materials may not matter too much. It's good to know though as it means people don't need to write off the lower priced options not made out of the newest versions of fabrics.

> Got a really good rubber grip that extends a long way down (really good for different slope angles when skinning) and a metal cap on top so that you can turn it upside down and jab it into the snow if you want some security or a temporary anchor.

I saw for the first time last year in Lyngen a couple of guys literally running up Holmbuktind on SkiMo race gear using what to me looked like XC poles (and they passed us coming back down as we were still plodding upwards!). Their poles looked weird enough, but I shall be on the look out for your type this Easter. I guess I'll keep on with my twenty year old Lekis, which resolutely fail to break or misbehave in anyway despite my rubbish technique!

 Jon Wickham 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Charlie Boscoe:

Hi Charlie, great review. On breathability I couldn't see why you had scored the Arc'teryx Theta SVs as 3/5, compared to other pants also in Gore-tex Pro which had scored higher?
Charlie Boscoe 04 Mar 2014
In reply to Jon Wickham:

Cheers Jon. I just found that with the sturdier feel and more heavy duty lining the Theta didn't breathe quite as well as the other trousers. They are designed to be bombproof on cold days though so I didn't feel that it was too much of an issue. They didn't breathe quite as well but they felt as tough as motor bike leathers!
 aalper 04 Mar 2014
Do you think full length zips or even the 3/4 zips are necessary? I would put these trousers on right from the beginning so I don't really understand why they have so long zips? For ventilations smaller zips would work I guess. On the other hand for light weight over trousers like Marmot precip pants, full length zips make sense because I will put it on when it starts raining and when I already have my boots and crampons on. Am I wrong?
matejn 04 Mar 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

Will any of them last more than a season of ice climbing, without being shredded by an ice screws. That's all I want to know
 alasdair19 05 Mar 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

Hi Charlie

Nice article. But surely a review where expensive kit is rated for durability requires more than several days with each product? A bigger review team perhaps?

Al

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