A visit to the outdoor gear manufacturer Cioch

The Cioch shop and manufacturing unit

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.

The shop interior

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 !!

Paramo windproofs

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.

Cioch 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

Showing the ventilation zip detail

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.

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6 Responses to A visit to the outdoor gear manufacturer Cioch

  1. Gordon Green says:

    Hi Mark,
    This is a very good write up on a very good company.
    I called in to the Cioch shop in 2006 and ordered a Fionn smock. Neil measured me up and the fit was perfect – as expected. What is great is that Cioch keep a record of your measurements. So, even if it’s a few years later, you can just ring up and get exactly the right size.I’m 6’2″ and getting a good fit isn’t always that easy.
    I’ve since got a Glamaig smock and a Harta jacket ….. oh, and the trousers with reinforcements. They really are top notch gear.
    Neil also did me a customised windproof jacket. Cioch will customise any of their jackets to whatever is required.
    All the gear is still in excellent condition, and, as you say, this works against Cioch, as I can’t see me needing to replace any of the gear for a very long time.

    • Hi Gordon, thank you for your comments and I am glad that you have confirmed my first impressions of this company. I have the Paramo 3rd element jacket and I was looking at some trousers from them as well, but I have read that the Paramo trousers don’t always fit very well, so I think these made to measure ones will be better and the features I think are better as well.

  2. -maria- says:

    I wish there were more companies like this! Being 155 cm (or 5′ 1”) means it is not always easy find a good fit. I also like gear that lasts, don’t want to replace a jacket every two years – rather pay a little more for something that will serve me for years.

    • Maria, as the company uses fabrics like Paramo’s Nikwax Analogy you can expect the garments to last many years and if you get a rip in them, they can be patched up or repaired. Whilst the initial outlay seems quite high, they are good value if you take into account the length of use you can get with these products.

  3. Chris Grogan says:

    Hi Mark

    This is nothing to do with gear but I thought a comment on your most recent post might be the quickest way to catch your eye.

    After you wrote about Trailblaze I asked the Yorkshire Dales Society (I’m a member) if they would write a formal objection. It’s going to be discussed at the next Policy Committee meeting and the Chair has asked a couple of questions – about what size are the boxes and what is the grid reference of the one you saw near Gargrave (or where is it in relation to the village – I think he’d like to take a look).

    Can you help?
    Many thanks
    Chris

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