I have been using and abusing a pair of these Paramo Aspira Trousers throughout my BASI instructor course out here in Val d’Isere. When I’m finished in mid-March they’ll have had a full 10 weeks of solid, almost daily use.
I must admit straight off the bat that these are the 2009 model that I managed to pick up from my previous place of work when I found them in the original packaging at the back of a cupboard and so several features have changed from the current season’s model.
These trousers have held up very well throughout their ordeal; keeping me warm, dry and comfortable in temperatures ranging from +8C right down to -25C. Regardless of what the weather was doing the only baselayers I wore were either a Patagonia Capilene 3, or 200 weight Icebreaker GT leggings. The 2 layers combined with copious amounts of skiing were more than enough to keep my legs toasty and dry.
For those that don’t know the brand too well, Paramo is very unique in the way its waterproof products work. The best way to describe it is that is mimics otter fur by actively drawing sweat away from the skin and pumping it to the outer surface to be evaporated. Unlike plastic based membranes such as Gore-Tex or eVent there is no limit to how breathable or waterproof that it can be, the harder the wearer works – the harder the fabric operates. Ideal for all snowsports and any other mountain sport you can throw at it.
With a very well planned range of features these make for a durable yet practical pair of trousers:
Reinforced and padded knees and seat and reinforced shin/calf area stand up remarkably well to freshly serviced skis and any other pointy things that might come into contact with your legs, crampons for example.
Full length, poppered, storm baffled side double zips allow for extra ventilation where you need it most.
A practical sized zippered fly is useable even with the coldest of hands, and 2 generous pockets perfect for wallets, phones, keys, piste maps.
Stitched in suspenders are comfortable and secure once properly fitted – I was forced to uncross them and then re-cross them over my head due to one side constantly slipping down my shoulder and coming loose. Although they are stitched in they are barely noticeable once fitted, the overly elaborate buckle can be fiddly but once in place won’t shake free.
The trousers are fitted slightly loose and allow for a great range of movement whether it be a tight and fast shuss, or a complete cartwheeling ‘yard sale’, they neither bunch up nor restrict movement anywhere on the legs or waist.
A money concious point worth making for these trousers is that although it is a large up front cost for a pair of these, as with all Paramo outerwear, the fabrics can be infinitely washed and re-proofed making for a garment that can (an in a lot of cases, have) last for upwards of 20 years. A high end Gore-Tex Pro Shell piece from Arc’teryx or eVent piece from Rab may reach a decade of use before needing a well earned retirement.
With all Paramo outerwear items, they do weigh slightly more than their competitor counterparts. I feel that the added breathability, comfort and slight warmth benefit of thicker materials outweigh this and make for a solid pair of snowsport/high-mountaineering trousers.
Overall a great option for those wanting to get the most out of a pair of ski/mountain/freezing weather pants. Ideal for the sweatier or hotter ones amongst us that will appreciate the extra venting and breathability of the fabrics, and also the financially concious ones that want top quality kit that lasts as long as they do.
The full salopette version is also the outerwear of choice for the chaps on The Coldest Journey Expedition currently underway on the Antarctic continent.
Weight: 864g (Size M)