Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jottnar Vanir Salopette - Medium Term Review

Jöttnar are a small UK company who produce high quality gear for use in the worst conditions the mountains can throw at us. The company was founded by Tommy Kelly and Steve Howarth, both accomplished mountaineers and former Royal Marines with the aim of providing a technical clothing range that would provide a modern day suit of armour against the raging brutality of weather in the mountains. 

In Norse myth Thor's hammer, Mjölnir, provided protection against the brutal mountain giants. Their range bears Mjölnir as their logo, designed to protect you against your most formidable opponents.

At the moment the range is small and elite and is due to be expanded this autumn, including some new colours to existing products which will be great - regular readers will know that I try and avoid black and red wherever possible! 

I have been using the Vanir Salopettes for much of this year. I found the product after a search for salopettes that were made from Polartec Neoshell, having been previously impressed with a jacket made of the same fabric and having become more and more disillusioned with Goretex. In a constant quest for breathability and low weight the latest incarnations of the Goretex Pro fabric have become less and less durable and they are still not as breathable in the field as Event or Neoshell so I wanted an alternative. 

The Fabric
Polartec Neoshell is lab tested to be more breathable than its competitors and my experience in the mountains backs this up. I also like the fact that it is a stretchy fabric and therefore feels much more comfortable to wear, more like a soft-shell than a hardshell. Its construction uses a porous membrane that is air-permeable. This means that vapour can move out through the membrane as soon as you start sweating.

This breathability hasn't sacrificed either durability or waterproofness in use. I have stayed dry every time I have worn the salopettes which is pretty impressive as they have been used in rain, wind, snow and n multi-day backpacking trips where it felt like it didn't stop raining the whole time we were out. They have also stood up to the daily abuse that life in the mountains throws at them, regardless of what I have worn underneath! 

The Fit
The cut is fairly athletic, I am a 32" waist and regular leg and I found the Small was too tight on me whilst the Medium fits perfectly. The staff at Jottnar are incredibly helpful and if you give them your measurements they will tell you the size thats right for you. The salopettes come beautifully packaged and feel like a quality product from the moment they arrive through the door. 

Much like the original Model T Ford you can have any colour as long as its black, they do have a natty green trim on them though which I like :-) 
They have 3/4 length zips, kevlar protected instep patches, internal gaiters, adjustable/detachable braces and a chest pocket that I have never found a use for. 

You get what you pay for. These are top quality salopettes that are built to last, to withstand the harshest conditions the mountains can throw at us and are comfortable into the bargain. Get more details and order your pair here:
If you book onto one of our courses this winter you will also qualify for a 10% discount off the whole Jottnar range. 

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