Visually the Ortler Waterproof Pants look like a smart pair of stretchy, soft shell, trekking trousers, but the give-away is in the name: they're actually waterproof thanks to a fully-taped and stretchy Berghaus AQ lining. We've got a pair in for review and we're looking forward to seeing how they perform.

Basics

  • £100 / 530g
  • Outer fabric 90% Polyamide / 10% elastane
  • Liner AQ Polyester withPU coating
  • Reinforced Polyamide liner at cuffs
  • Zip fly and hand-pockets
  • Adjustable ankle cuffs
  • Belt loops and press-stud waist fastening

First Impressions

Visually the Ortler Pants look just any other grey - why always grey? - stretch soft shell trekking trousers, but pick them up and you realise they're seriously hefty, some 530g for a pair of 32" waist test trews. That's because they're effectively two trousers in one.

On the outside they're a tough-feeling, stretchy, Nylon fabric, while on the inside there's a taped and, says Berghaus, fully waterproof stretch liner made from their own-brand AQ. The only external giveaway, is the AQ 2.5 STRETCH logo in reflective print at the top of the left side of the butt. That and just slightly more rustle than you might expect.

The concept's not a million miles away from the Sprayway All Day Rain Pant we also have on the go right now, but the Berghaus version feels more substantial all round and seem to have more stretch to it as well. That's a good thing as the cut is pretty snug, close enough that the lack of a belt doesn't seem to be an issue for us anyway - there are belt loops if you need them.

The stretch means that despite the closeness of the fit, you can tuck your foot behind your head, kneel down easily, do the splits, throw shapes at will without any sense of restriction. We' d happily wear them for scrambling, or maybe even climbing.

The lower leg is a nice compromise too, not skin tight, but not loose and flappy either, we figure you'll be able to see what your feet are up to on holds. And if you need extra snugness, the ankles have adjustable shock-corded closures.

Finally, they don't feel unpleasant next to the skin thanks to the smooth polyester liner. There's a very slight hint of clamminess to them, which may develop into something more pronounced on the go, but we'll what happens.

Initial Verdict

On really wet days we'd still choose conventional overtrousers because they're 'the right way round' and we suspect that 'dry-lined legwear' like the Ortler will eventually result in a soaked-through outer and, as a result, a sweaty inner layer, but on changeable, showery days, these could work well. We'll let you know.

Note also that Berghaus has a standard, non-waterproof Ortler Pant, which is simple, stretch Nylon soft shell without the waterproof liner.

More information

Full details at www.berghaus.com.

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