CimAlp Piton 2H Softshell Zip-Off Waterproof Trousers for Men
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Piton 2H Softshell Zip-Off Waterproof Trousers for Men
Features to Note:
CimAlp says:"These Hiking salopettes are comfortable and sturdy thanks to their stretch and protective inserts at the rear, knees and ankles.
The new PITON H is made of extremely breathable and durable Softshell fabric, also windproof and waterproof.
They are a first choice and highly versatile salopettes, perfect in any weather conditions and for any activity, from hiking to skiing or mountaineering. High-waisted and featuring a back bib with braces, a Recco reflector for security, ventilation zippers and integrated powder gaiters.
The fabrics produce by CimAlp are labelled Bluesign®, assuring they are eco-friendly manufactured at every stage, from the fibres and dyes they select, through to the finished products."
CimAlp is a French company founded in 1964 specialising in technical, high performance outdoor gear for hiking, trail running, skiing and mountaineering.
Note: In the UK when we talk about Zip-Off* Trousers we are usually referring to walking trousers that convert to shorts by detaching the trouser legs via zip fastenings. This is not the case with the Piton 2H Softshell Zip-Off* Waterproof Trousers from CimAlp. These do not convert to shorts. Instead they have side openings that zipped down from my waist to just short of my knee to aid ventilation (and exposing everything that you might have underneath).
Material: The Piton 2H Softshell Zip-Off* Waterproof Trousers are made from a 100% polyester softshell material comprising 340g/m². This material is 'stretchy' and is claimed to offer high protection from the wind and is waterproof to 10,000mm of water pressure or 10,000 Schmerber. A waterproofing range between 5,000mm and 10,000mm of water pressure is generally considered excellent for keeping the occupant dry in wet weather conditions. On an extended, very showery walk in the Peak District these trousers were highly effective deflecting water keeping me warm and dry throughout a long day.
The breathability of this material is stated as 10,000g/m²/24h and there is a double zipped opening on either side that opens from the waist band down to the knee for further ventilation. These openings can be zipped from the bottom up or the top down depending on your requirements. On my extended walk in the Peak District I found them to be reasonably breathable with the side zips closed but the temperature control was really enhanced with the side zips open about 10cm (4").
At the time of writing (October, 2020) it has not been cold enough to test the Piton 2H in winter conditions - but we will. However, during my Peak District walk, I did feel these trousers were too warm for the UK Autumn conditions (12°C, Breezy & Showery).
Fit: The overall cut of the CimAlp Piton 2H is on the athletic side. We ordered a pair in L (Large) and while the length and the trouser legs are fine, the waist is much more of a challenge. The material is just about stretchy enough for me to be able to fasten the waist. Adding a belt is not an option since there aren't any belt loops though there are a set of braces included. This is no doubt partly due to my body shape but I recommend you try a pair on before buying to make sure you get a pair that fit.
Pockets: There are two hand-warming pockets that are big enough for a ungloved hand but not much else. Both pockets are closed via a zip. There is no back pocket.
The inside of the trouser leg bottoms have an inset of reinforced material to guard against excessive wear and tear. The bottom of the trousers legs have 25cm (9½") zips with a similarly velcro'd snow guard on the inside. Neither is large enough to enable taking the trousers on and off with walking boots on. This makes little difference since the trouser legs themselves are fitted and too narrow to get a booted foot through. Having said that, the Piton 2H from CimAlp are not over trousers, but walking and skiing trousers in their own right that you would put on at the beginning of the day and not remove until back at base.
Recco: Sewn in to the left-hand trouser leg is a Recco® Reflector. A Recco® Reflector enables the wearer to be located by search and rescue equipped with a Recco® Detector. A Recco® Detector emits a cone like search signal that is reflected back to the detector by the Recco® Reflector. Recco® Detectors can be small and hand-held or much larger and hung beneath a helicopter to scan mach larger areas. At the time of writing (October, 2020) Recco® is used in 28 countries around the world but not the UK as yet. For more information see Recco®
*This seems to be a translation error since the english translation on the .fr version of the CimAlp website it refers to 'side openings' where the .co.uk version of the CimAlp website it refers to 'zip-off'.
These super stylish trousers are waterproof, windproof and breathable. They may well be aimed at skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, extreme cold and mountaineering but will be just at home during winter in Scotland, the Lake District, Snowdonia, Yorkshire Dales or the Peak District. Just make sure you try a pair on for size before buying*.
*CimAlp do not have physical shops in the UK where one can try its products. However, if your order a CimAlp product that does not fit, they will replace it for one the correct size at no cost. Since this review, CimAlp say they have updated the size sheet on their website to be more accurate.
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