Patagonia Mens Northwall Pants
31st Jan 2013
Patagonia call them pants. I call them salopettes. Only just been able to really test these out as the winter had been so mild up until a few weeks ago. When it finally did get cold and snow I wore them daily, whether just out and about, sledging, cross country skiing, or fighting through snowdrifts with ice axe, and they performed admirably well on all counts.
First and foremost they are incredibly comfortable. The fleece interior is cosy and smooth on bare skin. They are super warm. Was out in temperatures down to -10 with wind chill on top and never felt cold. The only time any water managed to get through was after a sledging incident when I bruised my cocxyx and deliberately buried my bottom in the cold snow to help reduce the impending inflammation. Half an hour of this and I had a numb and slightly damp bum. Can live with that! Under all other conditions they proved waterproof from the outside and breathable from the inside. Thoroughly impressed.
They look very nice. Last winter I was on a winter route on Ben Nevis with some friends when a confident climber came soloing past us. One of our party stopped the climber to discuss his salopettes. I believe they were the same model! They certainly made an impression (they were lime green!).
Patagonia have a patent pending for what they call micro stitching (see below) which is aimed at reducing the size of any seams. It actually seems to work. ‘Scuse the pun! Seriously though, there is absolutely no feeling of rough seams on the inside, and they are smooth on the outside. The shoulder straps are easy enough to adjust. I like the fact that there’s a droppable seat for really gnarly conditions. The one pocket is handy, and well positioned out of the way of a harness, but I would argue that they’d benefit from a second one on the other side.
All in all a very nice investment if you value keeping warm and mobile whilst active. Will be heading back up to Scotland in a few weeks’ time and am psyched to have these with me.
Here’s the official blurb from Patagonia:
Our premier soft-shell pants for the coldest conditions. The Northwalls' exclusive shell-insulation combo fabric bonds the extremely weather-repellent Polartec® Power Shield® Pro - waterproof in all but a deluge, but also extremely breathable - to our toasty Regulator® R2 grid interior. Sonic-welded seams reinforced with micro-stitching (patent pending) reduce seam bulk and weight while optimizing strength, and the minimalist design features a single zippered thigh pocket and a clean waist that won't interfere with a harness: The separating waistband has a 2-way zippered fly, and the suspenders are configured to allow the upper-thigh side zips to open into a drop seat (no bulky elastic or belt loops). Articulated seat and knees enable mobility, scuff guards protect the lower leg and bottom cuffs have tie-down loops.
Polartec Power Shield Pro fabric with a Regulator high-loft grid fleece interior provides excellent weather resistance and incredible breathability
Sonic-welded seam construction with reinforced stitch (patent pending) reduces seam bulk and weight
Separating waistband with 2-way zipper fly and drop seat configuration works easily with a harness
Thigh pocket has reverse-coil zipper with moisture-shedding DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, and is positioned away from leg-loops
Articulated seat and knee for enhanced mobility
Slim lower leg profile with scuff guard is built for use with crampons
Internal tie-down loops for use with ice-climbing boots
12.5-oz Polartec® Power Shield® Pro 94% polyester/6% spandex with a Regulator® high-loft grid fleece interior
686 g (24.2 oz)
Made in Vietnam.
Retail at £315.00