UKH

/ GROUP TEST: Winter Mountain Overtrousers

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Winter overtrousers montage, 4 kbWe put seven pairs of winter mountaineering shell trousers through their paces all season. Here's how they compare...

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HarrisonConnie1996 - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Surprised Jottnar didn't get a mention - Good comparison though. 

I had been looking at ME's Tupilak's and Jottnar's Vanir LT's for ages - decided to go cheap and pick up some Simond hardshell pants from Decathlon - they do the job but they just don't feel as bombproof as I'd like them too when it's full Scottish. 

Perhaps I'll upgrade when ME get rid of that awful "visable from 30km away red" - I miss the old blue Tupilaks and Vanir LT's.

 

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Tony Jones - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to HarrisonConnie1996:

It's a lot more pleasant to stick your crampons through a pair of Decathlon overtrousers knowing they only cost forty quid though.

HarrisonConnie1996 - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Tony Jones:

Can't say I've ever found putting crampons through any of my trousers "pleasant" - £40 or £300! 

I try to avoid it in the first place - sometimes easier said than done I'll admit. 

planetmarshall on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to HarrisonConnie1996:

> Surprised Jottnar didn't get a mention - Good comparison though. 

You get a Klaxon for the first "I'm surprised you didn't review brand X" comment on a group test.

HarrisonConnie1996 - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to planetmarshall:

Do I win a pair of over trousers? :P 

joe.91 - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Another vote for Jottnar, fitted better than Tupilak fir my legs!

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planetmarshall on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to joe.91:

> Another vote for Jottnar, fitted better than Tupilak fir my legs!

I have a pair of the full sallopettes, which are excellent. The full sallopette is useful in Scottish Winter as you can stuff gloves/flapjacks etc down the front and they stay unfrozen.

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BnB - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I have a pair of the full sallopettes, which are excellent. The full sallopette is useful in Scottish Winter as you can stuff gloves/flapjacks etc down the front and they stay unfrozen.

I have the Jottnar salliopettes as well. Don't suffer from cold hands so never needed the glove feature but I like the little chest pockets. Super comfortable for all day wear with the Neoshell.

lee birtwistle - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

As expected - I was surprised not to see British / Scottish companies such as Cioch Direct on Skye.

Similar to Paramo but in my opinion Cioch are much better than all the brands you tested.

Come on UKC - at least support our British companies with a trial of their products.

 

 

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The Ex-Engineer - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

In a word - disappointing.

The only information that many people really need (but struggle to obtain without trying items on) is missing - exact size information across the whole size range for each garment. Are the waist sizes accurate? Exactly how much adjustment is there? Exactly how wide across the thighs?And probably the single most crucial thing, what is the EXACT measured leg length in every size?

Quite frankly everything else is pretty much irrelevant for the large minority of us, tall, short, thin, fat etc.. who really struggle to find anything that remotely fits properly.

The ONE review that I really need, and it's a completely wash out...

Sorry to be so negative, but nothing in the review really helps me in my rather futile quest find the closest option to a 28" waist, 34" inside leg...

 

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In reply to lee birtwistle:

Hi Lee

In any comparative review it's inevitable that some brands will be missed out. If we'd gone for fully comprehensive we'd still be trying on new winter overtrousers in August...

I'd be interested in why you think Cioch are much better. We've never had any contact with them (though they're welcome to get in touch).

However despite this omission, British companies are very well represented in this particular review. With Paramo, Rab, Mountain Equipment, Berghaus and Montane that's five out of seven participating brands.

In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

I'm sorry you're struggling for sizes, but I suspect what you ask for is practically impossible to deliver. Even if all that info was even available for every brand, and even if they all used the same measurements (not a hodgepodge of UK and EUR sizing), collating that lot is not a job I'd wish on anyone.

Even if you hypothetically had all that info to hand, measurements on paper versus how a garment actually fits are likely to be different things. Nothing can beat trying things on for yourself I'm afraid. 

The Ex-Engineer - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

> Nothing can beat trying things on for yourself I'm afraid. 

Which rather makes the whole review slightly pointless...

On that issue, useful information on exactly where the items are actually in stock to try on, is not there either. I'm sure you'll again tell me, it falls into that same category of "too difficult" and possibly against the commercial interests of UKC and it's advertisers.

(BTW I've already tried 3 of the 7, none of which fitted and in every case I felt that the designs were stupid, unnecessary compromises that failed to work well with mountaineering boots, as opposed to ski boots.)

Post edited at 15:33
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abcdef - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> a 28" waist, 34" inside leg...

are you a broomhandle?

planetmarshall on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> Which rather makes the whole review slightly pointless...

Well, on the grounds of fit, any review of clothing is going to be largely pointless. Much like a review of mountaineering or ski boots - if they don't fit you in the first place, then it doesn't really matter how they perform for the reviewer.

In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> Which rather makes the whole review slightly pointless...

Perhaps you're right. Except for the general notes on sizing (it's wide/thin/long for its size, whatever), fastenings, fabrics, build quality, prices, fit with boots, weight, extra features and design details, how it feels in use and the rest, we're not really telling you much that you couldn't find out for yourself by looking at all the trousers together and then wearing them all outdoors.

You want us to provide full up-to-the-minute stock info for every brand in every shop in the country? Even the ones that don't advertise with us (in other words, give them free advertising)? To confirm your suspicion, yes I'd say that is too difficult.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help

 

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HimTiggins on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I've got some Berghaus Oktang bib trousers and they are great.  But I rarely wear them ... I normally wear the Simmond Softshells I picked up for £32 from decathlon!

purplemonkeyelephant - on 16 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

If anyone wanted to be fully outfitted in Fjallraven gear for a winter expedition they would have to win the bloody lottery. 

captain paranoia - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

> Even the ones that don't advertise with us (in other words, give them free advertising)?

I assume the manufacturers of the items you have reviewed are advertisers? Do they not have supplier information on their websites?

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Dr.S at work - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

Re -sizes, perhaps if users posted their experience with fit of different products, and their dimensions, a database could be made to help buyers?

 

or go custom? Cinch, PHD etc?

Jim Hamilton - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

All good info - but there must be something better out there than the "Best in Test" which at over £300 "crinkles like a crisp packet with every step"?

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Misha - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Got a pair of Tupilaks this season. Certainly more robust than the mountain hardware trousers I had previously but could still do with reinforced knees (or I should use the knees less?). Also I’ve found the knees have started wetting out. Probably need a waterproof treatment but again reinforcement would help. Nice fit but could do with some pockets. Red is a great colour for photos! And they don’t crinkle that much either. 

Post edited at 12:45
Misha - on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

To be fair, fit is a personal thing so it’s a case of trying on in the shop or mail order at the risk of having to send back. Annoying thing is most shops only stock two or three brands. Understandable I suppose. With the Tupilaks, I didn’t have an opportunity to go to a shop in the Peak to try them on, so went for the mail order option as they seemed to fit on paper. Turned out fine except the waist is a bit wide but that’s fine as the braces are good.

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I've been trying out some Outdoor Research Alpenice Pants this winter and have to say that they are the best winter climbing trousers I have ever used - though there are a couple of points where they could be improved: 1. The waist buckle does not stay tight - I'm going to cut it off and put a Sea to Summit replacement buckle in its place. 2. Instead of the needlessly long vent zips it would be good to have some hand pockets.

They are fleece lined and waterproof in the upper half and softshell below the knees. Overall they are amazingly breathable but I feel I can go out without taking overtrousers - I may be proved wrong on this at some point in the future but so far it's been fine. They are also very light and comfy but have withstood icescrews, granite etc to date. 

Worth a look if you get the chance.

Rick Graham on 17 Mar 2018
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

Hurrah for no hand pockets.

Just looked them up and they do have two thigh pockets, I would ask why?

Only get in the way when climbing or wearing a harness.

I would include in the review if they fit well both wearing and not wearing a harness.

Also if they have a two way zip on the mens so a slash is possible when wearing a harness.

( I will leave it to the ladies to discuss wazz enabling refinements )

nufkin - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Rick Graham:

>  Hurrah for no hand pockets.

I've decided I quite like hand pockets in a softshell trew. You do have to remember to zip them up when climbing, but they're well positioned to keep fingers toasty on the walk in, plus they allow for an unparalleled air of insouciance when sauntering through the Coire Cas car park

Climber Phil on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

Was really tempted to try the alpenice, but the leg length was too long. Ended up getting the ME G2’s. Shame they don’t do the alpenice with a shorter leg

The Ex-Engineer - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

Cheers for the recommendation. I'll certainly try a pair on next time I'm in Keswick.

villa del refuggio - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I must say I quite agree with 'The Ex-Engineer'. Not that I don't like to read reviews or what you did wasn't useful somehow but I think his point was to mention how difficult it was to find something that fits certain type of bodies without knowing what matters essentially... The measurements.

I am 5.6' / 11 stones and I don't consider myself being weirdly proportioned. It is just an absolute nightmare to find a winter trousers that fits well. In fact, correction, that simply fits. Most of the time it is far too long, and/or ridiculously baggy in the lower leg. The justification given that it needs to accommodate B3 boots and ski boots is nowhere near accurate as 1) we all know that and 2) nobody is looking to cover their feet, even large boots, with a parachute! I genuinely struggle to understand manufacturer's choices (although I suppose they have done their market research to appeal to most folks) for allowing so much fabric.

Trying this kind of gear in shops is another challenge. They very rarely stock these kind of pants and certainly not in the 'short' length. Funnily enough, even buying them online is far from being easy and you're left with having to accept to pay the full price. Yes sorry I am not willing to easily throw £350 when you can almost always find quite a lot cheaper. I think most of us have a passion and interest for outdoor garment design, great gear to look at, not to show off because it is an arcteryx or whatever but for yourself because you feel good in them. So I suppose we all read many reviews and imagine that a nice piece of gear we really fancy would fit us. It is absolutely not the end of the world when you finally get to try a pair and it turns out they just look ridiculous on you but it is really disappointing when you have tried over 5 and still haven't find something that fits. It is also time consuming and a total pain in the a**. Now marketing can't quite tell you that 'short' people will look like a total idiots in their gorgeous engineered pants. Maybe it is our own disappointment for not managing our expectations better?

I wondered if anyone who feels that way has tried the ladies version of the pants mentioned above? 

 

lisafer on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Dear UKC,

That is a very nice mens overtrouser review.

As you do say in the review, some are not available in a womens version/size range...in fact it looks like less than half are, and one of those only starts at a size 10, leg 32 (which misses out a large section of the female climbing population).

Pretty please, could you try and encourage some more of the manufacturers to cover the ladies size range, and praising those who do? Pointedly ask for all review items to be available in both versions (have a female and male reviewer?) and when they don't dock them points in the review. (And before anyone says there isn't a market, what happens is we just end up buying rubbish less technical gear and making do/shivering on our belays- there is a market, its just being diverted to the less technical equipment ranges).

p.s. Thank-you to Mountain Equipment. The only winter climbing overtrousers I've ever found that I could wear without falling over/out of them.

villa del refuggio - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to lisafer:

I am glad folks, male and female equally, are shouting about it. This clearly represents an issue, if anything, a trend that a category of the population is left without being able to appreciate this kind of gear.

I am sure there are things that I am not aware of on the manufacturer's side but then it feels a bit like a passive aggressive way of selling good quality gear for everyone when it isn't clearly 'for everyone' (not talking about skills / experiences etc).

If it's just a question of taking my measurements and work it out myself, well I clearly know I won't be an Xl or a Large, so between Medium and Small, well that doesn't fit either, so what does?


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