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Thoughts on; Waterproof trousers

Updated: Feb 20

Waterproof trousers

Anyone who has been out with me in the last month or so will know this is a piece of kit that is truly important to me. Not only do I obviously want to be dry, but I want to be comfortable, if not the little voice in my head keeps reminding me how cold I am and how it’s x hours before I get back to a warm car! On a serious note you lose a considerable amount of body heat through your thighs, so it needs to work. My 1st pair of old fashioned 2oz nylon waterproof trousers all those years ago funnily enough were as useful as a chocolate teapot… When I upgraded to the 4oz versions, wow, that was it…watertight! Well, apart from the condensation. Over the years I’ve used most versions of Gore, Event and various types of manufacturers own fabrics ranging in price from about £80 to £400. I love it when you enter a shop and start looking at some expensive pair of trousers and the shop assistant hurriedly saunters over. Hydrostatic head, DWR, coated, laminated…and the technical words keep coming. What do I really want to know, well price is important as I seem to go through trousers every 4-5 months, so it can get a little expensive. Durability - whilst I’m sure manufacturers test their products in real conditions, thrutching around some of the classic routes in Snowdonia in heavy rain, using my knees(!) probably isn’t one of the ways! It’s always the knee area that leaks first (and the crutch - no wisecracks thanks!), I guess the continuous pressure eventfully wins! Ease of getting on - proper full length side zips otherwise I don’t even consider them. The zips need to be heavy duty enough and water proof and I prefer the salopette versions, nothing worse than a cold draft up your back. Weight - simple, I don’t like carrying lots of weight. They need simple cleaning instructions and they need to be waterproof! The problem with this last one is that there are a number of big holes in the fabric (for your legs and waist!) and this means lots of joins and seams. I started this year in Montane Astro Event trousers and my current Mountain Equipment Tupilak Pants are now struggling in anything more than a couple of hours. The Event pair were pretty good, about £150 and with regular cleaning and tumble drying they lasted for about 4 months, usual areas went first and the tapes on the seams starting lifting too. Now the Tupilak is one of ME’s top line pants, but after about 5 months, regular washing, not only do they leak fairly quickly, but 1 seam has actually become unglued, which is a little unusual as I have had so many pairs of ME over the years as I’ve found them to be pretty bombproof. However the 4 pairs I’ve had in the last few years haven’t quite been as reliable. So I’m in the market for a new pair, is there such a thing as Goretex fisherman waders? They’ve got to be waterproof surely…..

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