On our way back through Skye we stopped at the shop and manufacturing unit of Cioch. The company is a specialist outdoor clothing manufacturer and retailer. The shop is situated above the manufacturing unit where all the garments are made, many made to measure and also off the peg. The company also has a website detailing the product range that can be ordered including made to measure. Details here – Cioch
So what items do Cioch manufacture ? Well predominately waterproof jackets and trousers using the Nikwax analogy waterproof system from Paramo as well as similar fabric from a Swedish company.
The shop upstairs stocks Cioch waterproof jackets and trousers as well as Paramo windproofs, Montane and at the budget end Gelert.
I had an interesting and informative chat with the owners Neil and Helen Urquhart about the different weight of fabrics they use and some of the innovative ideas they have. Both are experienced walkers and are members of the local Mountain Rescue team. In fact they supply 3 MRT’s. Helen told us that the clothing is so hard-wearing that one of the MRT haven’t renewed their clothing for 11 years. That may be wonderful for the customer – but I guess not so good for their business !!
I was particularly interested in their water proof trousers for the winter, like Paramo they are trousers that you wear all day rather than putting on and pulling off your waterproof over trousers during the day.
What attracted to me, apart from finding a british manufacturer, was the made to measure option and the attention to detail with fly zip and gusset, rather than a simple toggle to tighten the waistband with normal over trousers.
The trousers also have articulated knees, two zipped pockets and 3/4 length side zips for ventilation. There are extras that can be added such as reinforced knees and seat, internal gaiters and braces
I was certainly impressed with the quality and I will look to purchase these for the winter period. Helen said currently that the made to measure normally takes 2-3 weeks, but can take longer at certain times of the year.
An interesting and informative diversion, that we made during our holiday. It is good to see that there are still companies like Cioch in a sea of international manufacturers and retailers.