Paramo for me is the ideal winter clothing being warm, waterproof ( if treated with Nikwax), comfortable and hard wearing. I have the excellent 3rd Element jacket and with it’s zip off sleeves you can extend the season further into the late spring and even summer if it is cool and wet. But what about trousers? Well Paramo sell trousers which are waterproof, but I have read a number of reviews that suggest that the fit is not that great with swaths of flapping fabric.
On a trip last year to Skye, I popped into Cioch, a small manufacturing company based on the island to look at the options of tailor made trousers using Paramo material. My report is here. I was most impressed with the quality and care taken with the manufacture and so I ordered some on my return early last autumn after giving my measurements.
I have worn these trousers thoughout the autumn, winter and spring ranging from heavy rain to cold dry conditions and blizzard conditions.
Cioch trousers, which are available off the peg for both men and ladies and made to measure are tailored to fit next to the skin. As they are made from the comfortable and waterproof Paramo fabric they can be worn all day, without the requirement of putting waterproof over-trousers on.
The trousers have a waterproof zip, two zipped pockets and articulation in the crutch area and knees for extra movement. For ventilation there are 3/4 length side zips and this has worked well in the warm conditions of March, but I found that once the temperature reached 20C + they were beginning to get too warm unless there was a strong breeze.
Weight: in Large – 595 grams
Renaissance and High-Tech Micro microfibres, ‘Parameta’ directional pump liner.
Also a choice of extras such as reinforced areas on knees, seat and ankles (climbers and scramblers) and braces.
My experience of the Cioch Trousers
This a review based on six months usage. I paid for the garment in question.
I have found these very comfortable to wear and obviously they fit well because I had them made to measure. They are both waterproof and windproof and are warm enough not to require a base layer underneath, even during a blizzard on top of Kinder Plateau.
I have read that people are concerned that sitting down in trousers made from Paramo material on say a wet rock, would push water through the fabric, causing damp underwear. I always take a small sit mat from Multimat that costs £5.00 and weighs 50g, so this has not been a problem for me to date. The ventilation zips work well and keep the water out as the fabric is popper studded underneath the zips.
Overall rating: 5/5
Price: £155.00 for off the peg and an extra £10 for perfect fit
What I like: Comfort, warmth, and waterproof. Great fit.
What I don’t like: Nothing I can think of.
Ouch. £150? I think I would want a personal masseur to give my legs a rub every few miles at that price. Appreciate that they keep you warm and dry, but that’s a bit steep
Hi Sean. Probably looks steep, but Paramo gear lasts for years and it can be repaired as well. So if you compared this with standard waterproofs trousers they are actually good value for money over the long term.
fair enough. What jackets have you tested/recommend – waterproof, all day, can add fleece, with map pocket? Under £100. Too tall an order?
Sean. I have tested Berghaus Knoydart Jacket price £63.00 Does not have map pocket, but if you are on a tight budget, I think it is good for the price.
Atomic DT jacket from Montane also tested – £80-99 depend on retailer. This has a map pocket and is lighter than the Knoydart. Both jackets are waterproof and you can get a fleece underneath them. At this price you tend to get less breathability than some higher priced jackets. If you use the search button on my blog you can find the reviews.
Good to know other experiences. I found the Cascadas a bit baggy. Good that the Ciochs have a proper belt. TBH, I find my RAB Drilliums more comfortable and completely waterproof. Event is very good for overtousers (as well as jackets) as it breathes so well.
Robin, I like the comfort and feel of the Cioch trousers. For summer,if it arrives, I will use my Terra Pants and I received a pair of Drilliums for my birthday back in Feb – so I hope that I will be as happy as you are with yours. Now I need to replace my Atomic DT jacket with an eVent jacket!
As always it’s a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
I’m not a complete convert to Paramo, mainly because they are a bit on the heavy and bulky side, and sometimes too warm when active. Having said that, I’ve got a Torres Smock (good alternative to a down jacket in wet weather) two Fuera Windproof Smocks (yes two – they are very good! – Light, small pack size, windproof and will keep a shower at bay) and a pair of Velez Adventure Trousers.
I bought the Velez as they are not as ‘flappy’ (if that’s a word) as some other Paramo trousers. I mainly use them for dog walking, local walks, etc. On the hills I wear mainly softshell trousers, rarely bothering with a waterproof outer layer unless it’s howling down.
I’m pleased with the performance and fit of the Valez, though once in a while they do start to feel a bit warm – I suppose I should use the leg vents. If I hadn’t already bought the Velez I would probably have put an order in for the Cioch trousers, especially after reading your review.
I pay relatively high prices for good softshell mountain trousers, and I wouldn’t consider the cost of the Cioch’s to be outrageous considering performance and durability.
Thank you Paul. It is “horses for course”s. I will go to Terra Pants + Rab Drilliums when/if the weather clears up. But for winter weather I love Paramo. The weight is not an issue for me as I wear them all day during the winter and don’t carry them. I am quite interested in the Torres, but not sure yet whether I need it as the combination of Paramo Mountain Pull-on and 3rd Element jacket seems pretty warm.
Good to see Cioch gear, yet again, getting a good review.
I too have the trousers which I got about 5 years ago. They are superb. The cost may be high, but, the performance and durability make this pay off over a number of years. My first choice for Winter walking.
Couldn’t agree with you more Gordon!
I had no idea Cioch made trousers with the Paramo material! Personally, I’ve been a Paramo convert for forever, and possess some old Aspira Salopettes (which are quite heavy but brilliant in really cold, snowy conditions like snow shoeing in Canada), some Cascadas and last year got some of the Velez Adventure things as well. Not having the kind of figure that the likes of M&S seem to think that all women have, I’ve not had much trouble with the fit, although the Velez ones are certainly the best fitting of the three, with the Salopettes a close second. And to be honest, now I’ve got the Velez ones, I can’t see me wearing the Cascadas much now except for short dog walks. Out of interest, you can sit down in the Salopettes as they have a different material over the bum area. The other thing I’ve done with both the Cascadas and the Velez ones, is I asked Paramo to make me some of the internal gaiters like I have on the salopettes, and then I’ve added them to the other 2 pairs too. In my humble opinion this makes them even more useful in boggy/wet conditions.
Chrissie -did you get a liking for them when you were in MRT? I think Cioch have supplied a number of teams. What I like about Paramo is that the clothing seem to last for ages and can be repaired. The Cioch trousers mean I can walk all down in the winter/spring and not worry about getting over trousers on.
Yes Mark – don’t know if it still is, but Paramo gear was always standard issue for full team members in Kinder MRT when we were around. I think we got our first stuff through the team around 1997/8, and it’s still going strong, although after a while you feel you have to buy new jackets etc just ‘cos you like the new styles they come out with! Personally I just love being able to walk all day without worrying about overtrousers and I’ve also been out on Kinder loads of times in horrendous weather and always been comfortable.
I always think that Paramo styling is non existent, hence going for made to measure. My Mountain Pull-on I think was modelled on some bloke who must have had a body shape of a large cardboard box !
Not having to wear overtrousers cuts the cost down when you consider trousers £70 + o/t’s best part of £100. So £155 is ok.
Mind you i think you need to wear gaiters looking at the state of them. Your not coming to the pub with me looking like that!ha.
Pretty muddy where I have been of late. It’s all that rain !!
Mark and followers – many thanks for comment on jackets – and now I’ve found how to search for reviews that should keep me busy a while. Please forgive me if I’m not following your “rules” but I need to find a map pen for marking routes on an OS waterproof map – but then being able to remove the marker afterwards – what do I use, where do I buy pens and “solvent” from? Thanks in advance – Sean
Hi Mark, in response to Sean’s query above, I use an ordinary permanent overhead projector pen (available from any good stationery store), and this will rub out off the map when you’ve finished with it, with an ordinary pencil rubber.
Chrissie – huge thanks 🙂
Good to see a great review of a little-known product!
I’m currently using some fairly inexpensive stuff for winter – Craghoppers Ridge II trousers over Uniqlo baselayers – which kept me warm and dry this winter in -14C in Austria, and have the added advantage that the trousers are comfy even without the base layer as they are lined, which means they are good for spring/autumn too.
So far, these trousers have been perfectly fine – the fabric is pretty waterproof and doesn’t need Nikwax to work. I’ve never found breathability a problem (although I know this bothers some people more than others) and the weight is about 500g – so not too bad there. Put ’em on in the morning and leave them on all day. I even wear them on when rain is not imminent – then I don’t have to worry!
However I’d be interested to try something like this as I have been nervous of trying Paramo-type stuff because of all the usual reasons – weight, heat, occasionally unreliable performance, price!
Maybe next time ……
Thanks Jules, what do you use over the top of these if it were really lashing down with rain?
No, nothing required over the top in heavy rain – these will do fine. I suppose if it was really really hosing it down there may be a tiny bit of water ingress, but they are “waterproof” as far as it goes.
I now see that are made from Aquadry waterproof material. Seem to be a good price. Do you sweat in them ?
Not especially. I did some fairly strenuous walking in them in the cold with baselayer leggings under and encountered no undue problems in that respect. I know everyone is different, but for me all was fine!
hi ive worn paramo for past 13 yrs and for winter i agree its perfect,just wondering if youve had any issues with damp/water ! on the shoulders when its wet all day.but when carrying a backpack say 18-25 lb ?