/ Gear Advice - Winter Trousers and Gaiter Modifications

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atreides7887 - on 12 Oct 2017
Hello All,

I'm relatively new to winter mountaineering having been up to Scotland for the last 2 winters and my old re-proofed waterproof trousers are finally done and need to be replaced. So far I've been wearing a baselayer, a softshell trouser and a waterproof over the top. I've got a couple of queries before I go about replacing them and was wondering if anyone could help:

1. New waterproof layer or Paramo - I've always been someone who sweats excessively and have been tempted by Paramo gear in the past, likely the idea of a 'single' layer, but never worn it. Having looked around the options appear to be the Velez Adventure Trouser or the Enduro Trouser. However, my fear is that the Enduro Trouser would be too warm. I've also read a number of bad reviews of the Velez Trouser in terms of its ability to stay dry in high wind, sitting on wet snow so I'm not convinced, however these are all pretty old reviews. has the trouser changed at all and is either model a feasible option for Scottish Winter?

2. Fitting suspenders - Assuming I get a basic pair of waterproof trousers I intend to get some suspenders fitted as I'm tall and thin and always have issues with them falling down. As I've never done this before I have no idea how this works. Do they need to be sown in or do they come with clips that can attach to the trouser waist or something?

3. Gaiter Modifications - As with the trousers, I have big feet, which means a large gaiter, but a small calf, which means it's a real struggle to get them to tighten enough. Is it possible to have them modified to shorten the calf bit so they fit better and don't slowly slide down? If it is can anyone recommend somewhere in London that can do it?

Thanks for any advice people can give.

Regards,
atreides7887
StuMsg - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to atreides7887:

I've done a fair amount of experimenting in Scottish winter. here's some of my tips:

1. I wear softshell close-fitting skiing salopettes. Sitting in snow is fine for a while but I tend to sit on my rucksack instead. I only put on the waterproofs when the wind chill gets too high or if its rain / blizzard conditions. If the weather is nice then I'll just wear the salopettes, if its cold and windy I'll wear a base layer under them, if it's stormy I'll take waterproofs too. No snow down the back of your trousers either.

2. Some come with clips, some come with velcro. Clips are fine for all, velcro ones need the trousers to have the right bits to thread through. Why are the trousers falling down? some waterproof trousers have a 'sticky' inside and that makes them creep down as you walk. Try some waterproofs that are lined or slidey inside to stop this. Or get some salopettes.

3. Depends on the gaiter, some have floppy material that can't hold up it's own weight and will scrunch up around your ankles. I find gaiters that are quite stiff don't bunch up, and I fit mine around the top of my calf which helps again.

SimonCRMC - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to atreides7887:

You'll always get mixed reviews of Paramo - some love it some hate it. I've used Enduro trousers for years (replacing the old Alta trouser) and never had any problems even in the foulest conditions. The way Paramo fabric works you may not be totally dry but you'll never be cold. If the temperature is more than a couple of degrees above freezing you may get a bit warm but I've never found that a problem and I'm someone who easily gets too warm. They don't come with braces (suspenders?) but you can fit Mammut braces yourself which work perfectly. They also have a sown in snow cuff.

Re the gaiter problem you might try Black Diamond half length gaiters which are made of a stiffer material which doesn't slip (without being uncomfortable). They're fine in snow and probably good for anything except the most boggy Scottish walk-ins!

Hope that helps.
Simon
atreides7887 - on 12 Oct 2017
Thanks for the advice.

StuMsg - I'll have a look at skiing salopettes before deciding, anything you'd recommended. If I do go for a cheap pair of waterproof trousers they're unlikely to have the loops so I'll look for some braces with clips.

SimonCRMC - I've had a look at the Black Diamond Talus gaiter and it looks like it might do the job, thanks for the recommendation.
ben b - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to atreides7887:

Try front opening gaiters with a broad overlapping velcro closure e.g. the Outdoor Research Crocodiles. This allows a tight wrap around skinny calves and a very trim fitted instep (less risk of catching crampon points when tired at the end of the day). The expedition versions are built like brick privvies - mine are now 15 years old! The normal ones are fine, the lighter versions (?Rocky Mountain) have less velcro so less adjustable.

cheers

b
climber34neil - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to atreides7887:

Another option is a hybrid salopette , I've been using black diamond ones for the last couple of seasons and so far I think they have been the best solution ( for me anyway) stretchy enough to be comfortable, keeps water/snow out and have a built-in gaiter, I use a base layer underneath when it's really cold.
atreides7887 - on 13 Oct 2017
ben b - Thanks for the recommendation. These also look like they may do the job though I worry I might get a bit hot in them, always a problem for me with gaiters. Also bit more of an outlay so might wait until I get too annoyed with the current ones to wait anymore.

climber34neil - An interesting suggestion. Having a look at the Black Diamond website are you talking about something like the Dawn Patrol Pants or the pricer mission ski pants or sharp end ski pants?

Thanks,
atreides7887


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