Wearing the right kit for your hiking, walking and mountain adventures is definitely one of the first things you should think about. Adventures in Britain are far removed from being all about blue skies and gentle breezes and even more so as you head to hills and mountains.
I have been testing some kit this winter from a great quality brand, CIMALP. I must admit I had not used in the past but had heard many good things about the quality of their clothing and kit against the elements combined with comfort. It has been a pleasure to get out in all weathers testing their new Vinson Jacket and Piton Trousers.
Vinson Hardshell Jacket
This jacket has been designed and made for coping in lots of extreme conditions. You can feel that as soon as you put it on. It may be hardshell but it is extremely light and comfortable to wear and hike in. In fact the weight comes in at just 690g.
Here is just some of the information as to how it is designed for extreme weathers.
- Waterproof to 20,000 mm
- For breathability it is 80,000 MVP (Moisture Vapour Permeability)
- Kevlar Reinforcements from shoulders to toward the elbows
- Hood can be tightened at 3 points and helmet friendly
- Welded seams to ensure waterproofing to max
- Pockets galore interior also including headphone slot
To give you an indication of just how protective this can be, an average jacket you often see, designed for quality waterproofing in heavy rain is around 10,000mm, this jacket doubles that. Note: The figure implies that this is the amount of rain a jacket can take in one go before it becomes less waterproof.
Piton Softshell Trousers
I take great care when I am looking for trousers for my hiking. I personally don’t like getting too warm as I constantly move, even when hiking in winter. I also don’t like them too heavy. That being said I am never a fan of just throwing plain waterproof outers over the top when needed as they always get uncomfortable and make me sound like a crisp packet walking along.
On altitude climbs in the past I have needed to wear hiking salopettes of course but that doesn’t mean I found them light and comfortable. With these Cimalp Piton trousers I have realised that design and fabric technology has caught up. These are now my favourite winter and heavy rain hiking trousers.
Some info on the trousers:
- Waterproof 10,000 mm
- Breathability 10,000 MVP
- Ventilation zips to allow more breathability as you walk.
There is more. I find the integrated gators in the bottom of the legs a great addition for walking in mud and rain. They are designed as snow gators for skiers but work great in the wet bogs. There are protective inserts in the rear, knees and ankles but they do not inhibit walking comfort at all. Something I appreciated. The stretchability of the fabric helps so much.
These are of course salopettes and the braces ensure comfort whilst keeping the trousers high on the waist. Again something I used to find uncomfortable in older brands I have used.
They are also fitted with a Recco reflector. If you are going extreme, the Recco reflector assists mountain rescues around the world in trying to locate you.
I have walked many miles in these trousers now, and through some heavy rain and snow. They work a treat!
Give me rain, give me snow, give me extremes. I am ready.