These things work, really, really well.
They are waterproof. They are comfortable across an astonishing temperature range, meaning you don’t carry them in your pack very often so the fact they are heavier than eVent doesn’t matter. We’ve been wearing them the whole winter, since just after I first mentioned them.
To give you some idea, LB and I started a day just after dawn, clear and bright and -2.5C/27.5F with wind chill taking it to -12C/10.5F (according to the Kestrel). It rained, it snowed. We sat and had lunch for half an hour, we sat for ten minutes and grinned as we disappeared under a blanket of wet snow.
So? Well, all through that, neither of us changed clothing. At all. We didn’t take an item off or put one on.
All the rest of what I’ll say is detail that might answer some questions. The main questions; Does it work? Is it comfortable? Is it worth the money? Does it, in short, perform better than eVent/Gore in the Winter? have been answered to my satisfaction. This is very impressive kit.
The hoods are excellent. The brim-stiffeners might look a bit large but they’ve kept a great deal of high-speed snow away from our faces in the last season. Our hoods are actually from the Harta which is the winter-cut and winter-weight equivalent of the Glamaig. We had ours made larger to take a boarding/skiing helmet which worked well. There’s a small flap of material to allow the hood to be rolled up. It’s not very large, and with hoods this big, I think it’s worth having it to stop them flopping about when we aren’t wearing them.
The weights look heavy at first but when you realise that you never really expect to carry them it makes much more sense. They form part of your insulation rather than just being a waterproof shell. We didn’t have to carry them (as opposed to wearing them) from December up until mid May. The temperature comfort range is just so broad.
Mine weighs in at 696gms (slim waist but fairly broad shouldered and about 6’2″/186cm) and LB’s is 594gms (slim, long back for her height and 5’6″/167cms tall). Bear in mind that, leaving aside the fact we had them made large to accommodate winter layers, there is no excess material here. They’re made to measure after all.
Some of that could be saved by not fully lining the sleeves (I hear it works fine), using normal hoods and not having the map pocket. I might go for unlined forearms if I were to buy them again but the hoods and map pocket would stay.
|So what’s wrong with them?|
Well, not a great deal.
The cords that adjust the opening on the hood can flick at your face in a very high wind (40+mph / 65+kph) but I reckon the ends of them could be sewn on to the hood to prevent that (I must mention that to Neil at Cioch).
The map pocket that I was originally unsure of is something that I have found myself using again and again for maps. It’s handy for putting a RFID ski pass in allowing you to glide through the barriers. Would I have one again? Yes.
The hand pockets are the one thing I don’t like. They’re too low and are restricted by the rucksack waist belt. But that’s not at all uncommon in a jacket.
One thing to note when ordering – the arm length on the site says “B: Measure from top of collar bone to…”. That’s effectively wrong – it needs to be from the base of the neck. See B in the diagram (which is accurate) and tell Neil that’s where you’ve taken the measurement. All the other measurement instructions seem spot on.
Overall, I expect to be wearing Parameta based waterproofs in the winter from now on. I would look at Paramo since some of their new range looks good, but more than likely return to Cioch for the excellent custom fit and option to specify exactly what you want.