I've had a system or systems that have worked fairly well for about the last 15 years but it's all getting close to replacement point and I'm out of touch with what's good. I've been using Paramo salopettes with long johns underneath on days when rain was unlikely on the walk in and Powerfleece bibs with hardshell salopettes when rain or wet snow was possible.
What are folks using these days that will be robust, warm enough and deal with the ever present risk of a piss miserable walk in?
Honest answer - Powerstretch bibs and hard shell salopettes.
Powerstretch tights if not so cold and softshell (Patagonia Guide pants, which they haven't made for a while) over the top if not so wet.
Very similar for me as well. Vast majority of the time is leggings and GoreTex hard shell trousers, leggings are either running leggings or merino depending. On the rare blue sky days, some thinner synthetic leggings and Mountain Equipment g2 trousers.
I was looking at the G2s. How do you find them? I was thinking that they could work well with a cheap, light set of waterproof trousers for those shitty walk-ins.
"Hard" softshell trousers (almost shell like with soft lining) with leggings underneath (powerstretch for me on a cold day, something thinner otherwise). Carry a very light pair of overtrousers but almost never needed.
G2 are very good, warm, wind proof climb well, with light waterproof trousers they would do everything I need.
That said I don't do masses in Scotland so couldn't comment on a savage Scottish conditions
I've got a pair of G2 Pants, fine for cold, frosty days, Paramo Salopettes for everything else, including rain! Longjohn's, G2s and waterproof trousers, would be too warm to walk in.
Do you wear a Paramo jacket too? I don't and if it rains it runs off my goretex and soaks my trousers. I hear you about 3 layers being boil in the bag.
Fleece lined Goretex salopettes. My mum custom made them for me years ago and they're amazing, several climbing partners have made serious offers to have a pair made. They've got full length vents, internal gaiters, generous pockets for map and guidebook and best of all neoprene padding in the knee and bum so you don't get cold sitting/kneeling on belays. As someone who is built like a lampost, they actually fit properly which is a rare treat. They're getting a bit battered these days, might have to learn to sew so I can make some more when they get beyond repair.
Sorry this doesn't actually help you in any way.
> I was looking at the G2s. .
I've got G2s and don't really rate them. I find the internal fabric doesn't slide well over longjohn's so they're surprisingly restrictive. Also, they don't take tape repairs well when I inevitably rip them. Once I put my harness on I'm unlikely to stop and don waterproof trousers, so I got wet a lot. They're OK in nice spring conditions, but there's probably better alternatives.
Goretex and powerstrech for me 95% of the time. Boring but there you go.
> I've got G2s and don't really rate them. I find the internal fabric doesn't slide well over longjohn's so they're surprisingly restrictive.
Funnily enough that's exactly what I found when I tried them on in the shop.
Found the same with long johns. I just wear running tights under mine (<£10 decathlon ones); the shiny surface means the two layers don't bind.
For winter climbing I had paramo aspira trousers and merino longjohns plus gaiters to protect the paramos for ten years. Two years ago switched to ME Tupilak hardshell and now the new ME kinesis base layer pants. The ME system is much better for me. If super cold I might consider Brynje mesh under the Kinesis. The kinesis stuff from ME is absolutely top notch.
For winter walking on mixed days I use Buffalo HA salopettes with no base layer.
G2's whiich i also own are fine for bluebird days and alpine stuff but are nowhere near waterproof enough for a typical scottish climbing day.
Tupilaks over Kinesis is a great combo, although I have the regular Kinesis rather than base ones, but that does mean I can add power stretch leggings underneath for bitterly cold temps, and the regular Kinesis can be worn on their own without looking like a Hoxton mountaineer!
Do they still make Helanca salopettes? As an old timer, I bought a pair about 40 years ago. I wore them in cold wintry conditions about a month ago. They still seemed brilliant. Not too tight, enough ventilation to spill heat, hard wearing. I would wear a goretex shell over them if too wet.
To be honest, pretty much, if there's a chance of any precipitation at all, I will wear GTX hard shell trousers. The G2s won't handle much rain at all and wearing even light weight over trouser over the top will get very sweaty due to the 2 layers of membrane. I will still carry some light weight over trousers just in case but I will have no plan on wearing them.
But climbing in just some leggings and the g2s is 10 times more comfortable that any hard shell bottoms I have found. So for them few days that you can get away with them they are great.
I have found the same with some leggings as well. With the G2s I make sure I wear some with a smooth outer fabric to ensure they slide well, this is usually my running leggings.
Tights and hardshell most of the time.
I've got a pair of G2s and I really rate them. They've got a bit of stretch and a good cut. As others have said, only good for the cold dry days, worn with leggings. I've ended up using them more in autumn and spring for big mountain days.
Tried to get on with Paramo but found it too warm.
I switched from hardshell to normal leggings and softshell trousers (Montane Gradient and ME Mission) about 3 years ago with a pair of Paclite waterproofs in the bag for wet walk in's, often taking them off when gearing up above the freezing level but I try my best not to walk in in the rain if I can help it! I get very sweaty walking uphill so like to be without waterpoofs on the walk in but always carry a full change of dry upper layers to climb in. Pretty much all my partners wear waterproofs with long johns underneath or with a light softshell instead.
I didn't notice any major change when I stopped wearing waterproof overtrousers in terms of warmth but definitely more mobility and don't overheat as easily when climbing. They also dry really quickly in my experience and can quite happily climb in them when hovering around the freezing level. Been considering the same switch to softshell jackets but haven't managed to find the right one to try it out given my top half doesn't feel as restricted as my legs did.
The added bonus is that softshell sticks to snow so using knees to get onto ledges is sometimes a little easier, although maybe not as much as my head thinks it is!
Cheapo Go Outdoors fleece trousers and Tupilaks over the top for me - maybe some decathlon running tights if it’s mega cold but not needed that on these shores.
I don't wear Paramo jacket, not 'cool' enough and heavy to carry. My friend Ian's head to toe Paramo, works for him.
I would have to be really convinced, walking through the rain would offer product on the crags, with few exceptions.
> ME kinesis base layer pants. The ME system is much better for me.
Have they got a fly?
Yes, two way Fly. By far and away the best base layer i have ever used. They even have pockets and IMHO look far less MAMIL then other base layers do!
Dave I can't recall how tall you are but Braemar Mountain Sports have a pair of Outdoor Research Hemisphere bibs in a women's large. I tried them on, they were a very good fit if you're 6'2" with long legs and slim. Very well cut with good mobility. £180 down from about £550 or something insane. No fly or full length zips, though you could pull the front panel across.
To the rest of the thread:
Has anyone used the Patagonia Dual Aspect bibs? I'm tempted, mainly for skiing but the lack of full length side zips put me off a little.
Kinesis Base Layer Pants and Tupilak for me too. Base Layer pants get used a lot, I think they're great and if you get them in blue, they don't look anywhere near as ridiculous as Dan Bailey makes them look, in the review on here.
What, you don't think I cut quite a dashing figure in them?
For anyone who's not had the pleasure: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/clothing/softshell/mountain_equipment_ki...
Dashing wasn't the word that sprung to mind! I thought they got a rough ride, I love mine (my bum/legs must be bigger as they aren't as baggy on me......)
FWIW Dave I wear patagucci nano air or Arcteryx proton trousers. Then either westherproof softshell or if it’s really snowy/wet/windy hard shell.
can be warm if it’s a mild walk in but I prefer warmer legs on long belays.
It is a personal thing tho!
This. I use a very similar setup except use some addidas terrex trousers I picked up at TK Maxx for an absolute steal.
Tried hard shells but wasn't too happy with the short lifespan for mixed.
I've now ditched even carrying the light hard shells I was never using them. As long as it's not a deluge on the walk in the softshells tend to dry really quick while you're on the move.
Another vote for G2s
I may wear leggings underneath if it is particularly cold, then I carry lightweight goretex trousers to go on top if needed. Has the advantage that when the shells inevitably rips, they are cheaper to replace. the G2s have seen e through a lot.
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