Product Review- Oktang GORE-TEX® Pro Shell Bib Pant

24 02 2014

Berghaus’s Techy Bit:

  • Durable and breathable Men’s Oktang GORE-TEX® Pro Bib Pant – offering a considered design and cut for all EXTREM™ mountaineering activities.
  • The 4-way stretch bib offers excellent comfort and protection against spindrift whilst giving an additional layer to provide warmth.
  • Full side zips allows ease-of-use while wearing crampons or skis
  • SuperFabric® reinforcement patch delivers the ultimate in crampon protection.
  • Weight (approx.): 704g

Oktang Bib Waterproof Trousers

Our Thoughts:

I am going to start this review where I should finish it, but I am going to let you know now that I think the trousers are absolutely fantastic! I have never had a pair of bibbed waterproofs before, but for winter mountaineering I am a convert.

The softshell bib offers an extra layer or warmth, probably equivalent to a thin micro fleece to your core, so you have to take this in to consideration when layering up at the start of the day. There are a couple of pockets high on the bib which are useful for a phone or compass if you wanted to store them somewhere other than in your jacket. The trousers do have pockets in the conventional place but I never found myself using them.

The trousers almost feel like softshell, they have a very soft feel to them. They barely rustle when walking and are just so comfortable to wear. Whilst testing them I found myself stopping and saying ‘these trousers are just so comfortable!’ (Clive Bontoft can vouch for that!) They seem durable enough and certainly show no signs of wear so far, time will tell.

I have a few pairs of salopettes, all with slightly different braces. These were the first pair I’ve had with velcro. Although a little aprehensive at first thinking it would be more likely to ping off then the others, I found they were spot on. Having a pair of bibbed waterproofs with a decent brace on come into their own when wearing a harness loaded with gear. Usually as your harness starts to slip a little it drags your trousers down with it, exposing the small of your back to the elements, but that simply can’t happen with these trousers, ideal! Below Central Gully, Great End

The trousers have a 2 way YKK Aquaguard  Vislon zip up the side right to the hip. I generally wear them from the car with a pair of leggings underneath, but I’d imagine there would be zero hassle putting them on over crampons (or Ski’s). The 2 way zip of course offers you the opportunity to go to the toilet without having to take off the braces.

One of my favorite features of the trousers has to be the reinforced kicker patch on the inside of the legs. The amount of times I have put my crampons through my trousers just above the novelty sized protector patch, it is great to see Berghaus  have put on a decent level of protection so clumsy clowns like myself don’t destroy a great pair of trousers in one kick. On the inside of the trouser you will also find a removable snow gaiter.

These trousers use the new generation Gore-Tex Pro. My feelings about it’s performance are the same as how I felt about it on the Ulvetanna. I hate having wet legs, but I loathe having warm legs even more. Not once whilst wearing these trousers did my legs feel like they were overheating. Besides, if you do run warm then you have a whole legs worth of zip to vent off if needed. I suppose, most importantly for a set of waterproofs, it might be worth mentioning they have always kept me dry.

Price wise the Oktang Bib retails at £300. This may seem pretty expensive for a pair of waterproof trousers, but if you do a quick Google search on some of the other big brands on the market such as Rab, ME, TNF, and Haglofs you will see that £250-£400 is the going rate for a decent set.

So to round it up, the Oktang Bib is a fab set of waterproofs trousers for those who want supreme comfort and protection, whether you are a walker or climber.

These trousers were tested on a variety of winter climbs and walks in the Lake District and Scotland.

Climbing at Brown Cove Crags

All photos taken by Clive Bontoft.