Why We Chose The CimAlp Storm Pro Pant 2H Lightweight, waterproof, breathable, small packed size
Waterproof overtrousers are a sort of necessary evil. You never really want to have to put them on, but when the heavens open and the only alternative is cold, wet kecks and a seeping sense of dampness down under, you don’t really have a choice.
The main problem is that most overtrousers soon get hot and humid, especially if you’re trying to move quickly. CimAlp’s Storm Pro pants are designed to be much less muggy than most though, making use of a highly breathable 3-layer waterproof fabric, and being equipped with some nifty knee vents too.
They also overcome another common drawback of many overtrousers by being supremely lightweight and packable. This ensures they take up minimum space in your rucksack and have only a small weight penalty, meaning you won’t resent carrying them, even on the fastest, lightest missions.
Who Are The CimAlp Storm Pro Pants 2H For?
CimAlp claim these trousers have been designed for ‘demanding athletes in the most extreme conditions’, citing cross-country skiing, ultra-light hiking, trail running, ski touring and fast-hiking as potential pursuits for such athletes. We’d agree with most of that, although the way we ski and some of the out-of-the-way places that we’ve hiked would probably shred these pretty quickly.
But the essential point is sound: they’re intended for high-tempo, fast-moving outdoor disciplines. They offer excellent weather protection for minimal weight, plus a 3-layer construction that makes them more comfortable and breathable than the majority of overtrousers on the market.
The pants are made from CimAlp’s own three-layer fabric called UltraShell, a 160gsm, 100% nylon face fabric with a laminated membrane and a tricot backer, with fully taped seams throughout. They’re completely windproof and waterproof, with lab stats supposedly rated at 20,000mm Hydrostatic Head and MVT rates of 80,000g/m2/24h. The latter figure is an industry-standard measure of breathability, and though the numbers are often difficult to compare and measure objectively, 80,000 is very high indeed – in fact, it’s a number that is rarely seen in waterproof gear. As such, we’d take it with a healthy dose of scepticism, though we’d still agree that the fabric is very breathable, up there with the best PU-based membranes. That’s just as well, since there are only small vents to help you dump excess heat (unusually placed at the knees).
“They are super lightweight and impressively packable, while being very weather resistant and comfortable.”
The fabric is quite thin though, and unfortunately we actually managed to put a few holes in our test pair after a weekend in Snowdonia. So, they’re perhaps not the toughest. On the other hand, they are impressively light, at just 240g in a size M. They’re also neatly cut and slim fitting, particularly compared to many other overtrousers. It’s worth noting that they only come in one leg length, with an inseam of 80cm (31.5 inches) in a men’s medium.
We have to give CimAlp top marks for sustainability though, since these trousers are bluesign approved, employing organic dyes and a PFC-free DWR Teflon EcoElite treatment derived from renewable resources. It’s good to see a greener approach to waterproof outdoor gear, which has been (and in many cases, still is) largely to blame for some of the most harmful chemistry in the industry.