Winter conditions call for suitable kit, and these Paramo Aspira Trousers are designed for any winter conditions you’re likely to encounter.
With padded knees and backside, you can comfortably sit or kneel in the snow; useful if you’re doing serious climbing or just sitting down on the summit enjoying a cuppa. This does mean that you have extra insulation in that area, making them very warm and sometimes a bit sweaty – not a term usually bandied about with Paramo gear. Fortunately, there’s a full length zip along the side of the trousers to help cool you down as the trousers do provide a great deal of insulation regardless of the arse insert.
Snow might be great to walk or climb in, but not so good when it finds it’s way into your boots and starts to melt. To prevent this there’s an internal snow gaiter that seals off your boots. So long as you remember to pull this over your boots at the start, it seems to work. While we’re at this end, your boots will more than likely have crampons on at some point, so tough crampon patches on the insides of the ankles prevents both damage to the trews and lessens the danger of tripping if you catch your crampon in the cuff. They’re apparently removable, but I’m yet to work out how after owning them two years.
They’ve an “access all areas” feature – basically this means that the back of the trousers can be opened up in order for you to do what you have to in the wilds. You then expose a minimal amount of your body to the elements, though it doesn’t feel that way at the time. The pockets are also nice and spacious, more than adequate for keeping odds and ends.
These were bought to replace a pair of Paramo Cascada trousers that did an excellent job, but kept falling down and had the misfortune of being supplied a particularly nasty ‘Navy Blue’. Neither could I find a pair of suitable braces for them, which is what really makes these the best winter trousers from Paramo. Plus they’re available only in Black, which suits me fine. They stay up and even with a pack, the straps are so soft that you don’t remember they’re there. While the straps are soft, the rest of the trousers are as tough as you like. The only damage I’ve inflicted in countless trips was trying to glissade on my backside on icy ground – resulting in a small hole in the arse about two weeks after I’d bought them. I was gutted, but they still functioned and a few battlescars only serve to enhance this sort of no-nonsense kit.
At the side of the waist, the trousers are sealed by poppers in what turns out to be the Aspira Trousers Achilles heel. While the pair I have fit comfortably, the sides pop open whenever I bend over or step up too high and it’s all too common to hear me pipe up that “I’ve popped again” whenever I’m on a winter jaunt. They’re next to impossible to close again with gloves, and I’ve been in situations where my hands have become dangerously cold as a direct result. This isn’t something that’s apparent when you first try them on, as I thought the fit on these was spot on. If in doubt, make sure you try touching your toes a few times as if closing your boot laces, and raise your knee as high as you can in order to check that they are indeed the perfect fit. You may find you need to go up a size – no room for vanity here. A velcro patch along with the poppers would prevent this, and I intend to modify mine in this way soon.
If you’re serious about your winter activities then you will need a serious pair of trousers such as the Paramo Aspiras. The problem with serious trousers is that they come with a serious price tag to match. £200 might seem like a lot to pay, but other than the popper issue (which is partly due to the poppers and more to do with eating a few too many pies) you’ll find that they’re a piece of kit you can rely on in true winter conditions. Anyone wanting even more protection can shell out for the salopettes (who aren’t a 60s girl group from Shropshire). They only lose the half a mark as the sides are just a little tough to close with gloves.
What the Manufacturer Says about the Paramo Aspira.
- Increased abrasion resistance and security through strong reversed zips.
- Minimal chafing over the shoulders through the use of broad elastic braces.
- Increased water shedding on thigh area through reinforced lining.
- ‘Access all areas’, even during harness use, via drop seat and zip fly.
- Unrestricted leg movement due to increased knee articulation and diamond gusset.
- Added protection and insulation via our unique slimline removable knee and seat foam inserts.
- Increased abrasion resistance to the seat, knee and ankle area through the use of new and improved ‘Reebag’ fabric.
- Rapid temperature adjustment provided by the new full length reversed side zips with new single internal storm flap.
- Improved safety whilst using crampons through new calf adjust cord.
- ‘Snowsport friendly’ – with wider hem in boot area and poppered ankle adjustment to secure hem. Allowing use with most plastic and higher volume boots.
- Internal ankle snow cuff can be secured out of the way when not in use.