Mammut Base Jump Advanced Pant – Verdict

Ideal conditions for the Base Jump Advanced

This is going to be my interim verdict, which I will update in the future, and is based on a week of challenging Scottish winter weather: mild, wet and windy. In February, I will compliment this with a contrast of dry, cold winter conditions.

As expected, the success of this trouser comes down to the excellence of its fabric. Technically, it includes all the right components in the right proportions, but it is because of the Schoeller softshell fabric that the trouser really excels. It very much goes to prove substance over style, although Mammut have paid sufficient attention to the latter.

The Schoeller fabric has excellent stretch qualities

Stretch

The first thing I noticed about the Base Jump Advanced was how well the stretch of the Schoeller fabric worked. I layered the trousers over a merino baselayer, and they complimented each other well; I was barely aware of the two. No friction and no rucking up. The Schoeller was very supple allowing easy movement up steep ground. I was very impressed by this aspect, although it was my first foray into softshell trousers.

Conditions typical of 2 out of 6 days

Windproofing

During the few occasions that the weather was dry and windy, there was no need to layer a shell over top of the Base Jump Advanced for extra protection against the wind. In fact, the trousers were very noticeably more windproof than my previous pair, and the wind was very strong when I made this observation – perhaps gusting upto 60mph.

Conditions typical of most of the week - the snow retreated massively

Water resistance

Although the trousers were brand new on use, when I sat on ground one day for a bite to eat, the DWR finish and fabric were well resistant to moisture. James, on the other hand, who did the same, soon complained of a wet backside, which highlighted the effectiveness of the fabric’s resistance. I would have expected some wetting out when directly sitting on the damp ground.

Later in the the week when I allowed the fabric to wet out, it handled well and did not become baggy or droopy, and in all cases, was quick to dry out. That property, if nothing else, is important in a mountain trouser when drying facilities might not be available.

Spikey bit on the zip

Zip on fly

A number of times I got a sharp prick to my finger when zipping up the fly. The zip has a sharp tooth, which when pressed down, is meant to prevent the zip coming undone. However, I found that it is quite easy to grab the zip without thinking and inflict a painful puncture. Throughout the week, I got used to this, and avoided the tooth, but this will no doubt catch out the unwary.

Imagine trying to grab this with a gloved hand...

Lack of zip tabs

It is winter that the success or failure of a garment really becomes obvious when conditions make simple tasks much more difficult. Often I was wearing gloves and wanted to take a camera out of the thigh pocket. This was made difficult by the gloves and the lack of a pull tab on the zip. An additional tab need not be large, but would make a big difference to a normally simple task.

Pocket positions

The thigh pocket proved quite useful because of its position halfway down the leg. When I had no overtrousers on over the Base Jump Advanced, I found it a handy place for storing my camera. However, that said, when I put objects in the two ‘normal’ hip pockets, I found the design caused them (e.g., head torch or keys) to interfere uncomfortably with the crotch – say no more! As said previously, by habit, I don’t carry items in the hips pockets of trousers in case of losing something and for comfort’s sake, but if I did, this would be quite annoying. On the other hand, for shoving a hand in, they are absolutely fine.

Beading on the face of the fabric

Other remarks

As anticipated, I had no need to use the zipped gusset on the trouser legs. Most of the time I wore gaiters to keep snow and mud out. By default, then, the built in crampon protective patches were redundant. Still, they may have their uses in other configurations of clothing. I have also yet to use the trousers with braces, but certainly intend to do so in February. I found layers were continually coming untucked, so imagine that the braces will do much to prevent this.

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