Several weeks ago, I ordered two pairs of waterproof trousers, in the hope of finding the right size in a style that I felt would be appealing to me. This mode, the Vaude Lierne Full-Zip ‘Pants’, was not available to try on in-store and so, I had to take the plunge and order online.
I ended up returning both pairs and I’ll explain why further down. In this post, I’d like to share some of the features of these waterproof trousers as there is limited information available online and product reviews were scarce, as far as I could see.
A couple of years ago, I bought the Vaude Lierne jacket and I’ve been happy with that ever since. One of the features that stood out for me was Vaude’s commitment to their ethical Green Shape Design. While I’ve seen that Craghoppers recycle plastic bottles in the part-construction of some of their fleeces, I’m not aware of any other manufacturer paying close attention to the process of making their products and with the environment in mind.
I felt like I was doing my bit to save the world, while also keeping my wardrobe uniform…
These are full-zip waterproof trousers, meaning that the zips really do run up to the very top of the waist. My previous (£15) trousers only had zips up to the knee, which meant it was still tricky to fit them over walking boots (as a good pair of waterproof ‘pants’ should) and they didn’t have the option of ventilation.
Before trying these on, I’d imagined that a full-zip was desirable. In practicality, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I couldn’t imagine confidently wearing these trousers on their own (as ‘normal’ trousers) and, if I was to try and ventilate by lowering the top zip, I would’ve been relying solely on the poppers to hold them in place, which also exposes a lot of leg (or underwear…).
I will say though, that with a full-length zip on each side, it was very easy to get these on and off while wearing boots.
Like a lot of trousers, these having a lining layer stitched to the inside. I have mixed feelings about this… On the one hand, it may keep the wind off during the winter. But, in the summer, when it’s hot and humid, I can’t imagine it aids the levels of comfort and it does add grams to the overall item weight.
I liked the addition of the two zipped front pockets. Many overtrousers don’t have these (they’re often a means of allowing water to creep in) but I like pockets so that I can keep a compass and handkerchief within reach.
At the lower end, poppers are used to keep the cuffs tight, while a flap conceals the zip from ankle to hip along each leg. One feature I’ve not photographed is the gaiter-style hook that you can clip on to your walking boot’s laces.
It does come with a mesh bag and I was able to stuff the trousers in to the sack without much of a struggle. Weight-wise, I’ve misplaced the photograph of my scales but they came in at around the 400g mark, which seems to be the average across many brands.
Sizing: I’ve a 32in waist, typically buy my T-shirts in a Medium sizing but found the S (Small) sizing was good for me in this style, with the part-elasticated waist. They were neither too tight or too baggy down the legs (I don’t like baggy trousers when hillwalking).
I also like how they specifically recommend the use of easy-to-find Nikwax products on the washing and care instructions label. I assume they had some kind of agreement through which they were allowed to do this.
So, why did I return them?
Quite simply, they were only available (from Cotswold Outdoor) in an R (Regular) leg length. My inside leg measures about 32in and I typically buy a L (Long) length in any trousers. I’d hoped these would be okay, as I had discount vouchers to use with Cotswold and wasn’t otherwise prepared to spend over £100 on an item that may only get used a handful of times each year… But, with the lace-hook drawing the trousers down from my waist, I had to concede they weren’t quite right for me, without a longer leg.
I have more recently returned both pairs, received my refund and instead, purchased another pair of trousers from a different brand… I’ll tell you more on that, soon.