Our Klattermusen Vidar Salopettes Review explores a durable and sustainably produced hard shell option from a prestigious and innovative Swedish manufacturer. Please read on to find out more.
We have enjoyed working with Klattermusen for several years and really like their quirky designs, excellent quality and strong sustainability ethos. We have now reviewed a number of their products and there are links to these at the bottom of this review. Please do take the time to check out some of their other products.
The focus of this review is the Klattermusen Vidar salopettes. These are a premium pair of climbing and mountaineering pants with specific features, highly durable fabric and excellent weather resistance. I have now used these salopettes for winter adventures in Scotland, mountaineering in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and ski touring in the Alps. They have faced heavy rain, strong winds and a lot of snow and ice. I am happy to share my findings and I really hope you find this review useful.
The Vidar is targeted at climbers and mountaineers and the feature set is tailored to that. The fabric is Klattermusen’s 3-Layer Cutan. Cutan is a proprietary Klättermusen fabric which they to improve on existing fabric options both in performance as well as sustainability. Cutan is fluorocarbon free and has PTFE-free membranes. All Klattermusen products have been fluorocarbon free since 2017.
Cutan is a highly durable and breathable fabric with 20,000 mm water column rating. Technically speaking this means you can place a water column 20.000mm high on top of your fabric before water would begin to seep through. More simply, 20,000 mm is a high level of waterproofness. B
Cutan also has a moisture vapour permeability (MVP) level of >20,000 g/m2/24 hours. This is measured by the quantity of water vapour that seeps through it over a 24 hour period in laboratory tests. The higher the figure attached to the fabric, the more breathable it is. 20,000 is a very high level of breathability suited to high levels of aerobic activity.
Klattermusen also introduced a system called the Mass Flow Resistance (MFR) system. This is designed to help users decide what equipment to choose for different situations and activity levels. The MFR system was created to scale the air permeability of individual fabrics. The Vidar has their MFR10 rating which categorises it as windproof and waterproof. More details on this system are available on their website here.
Durability & Performance
3-layer fabrics offer high levels of durability and performance. The Durable Water Repellant (DWR) treated face fabric is bonded to the waterproof and permeable membrane. This is then bonded to an inner liner layer which protects the membrane. In the case of the Vidar this is an inside layer of polyamide, a waterproof polyurethane membrane in the middle and another outer fabric of polyamide. All the Vidar seams are fully taped.
Ventilation & Other Features
The salopettes have side ventilation zips that run from the top of the salopettes to above the knee. This allows a drop seat function that can be crucial for toilet visits in some mountain situations. There is a further central zip that closes the elastic bib to offer weather proofing and insulation. The bib is then topped by broad removable braces. There are also 2 zip pockets in the bib.
The Vidar has knee pad pockets (although no padding comes with the pants) and there is an integrated reinforced snow gaiter with adjustment. Klattermusen also incorporate a RECCO Reflector. Finally, there is an expandable zipped pocket on the right thigh with loops for gear attachment.
The Vidar is available in a single colour called Raven. This is best described as a very dark grey. The stated weight is 969 grams but Klattermusen don’t specify which size this equates too. On our workshop scales the small size sent weighed 1035 grams (see photo).
They are described as regular fit with an inseam of 86cm. For reference, I have found the size small perfect for my 30” waist. At 5’8” the Vidar’s are slightly long when not wearing footwear, but with boots they work perfectly and allow an excellent range of movement. The retail price for the Vidar Salopettes is £599. They are also available in a women’s version.
The Cutan fabric used for the Vidar’s feels extremely durable. You pull these salopettes on and they feel they will protect you from any weather. So far they have proved well up to time on Scottish winter, the High Atlas mountains and time in the Alps. These are venues offering very different climates and different challenges for fabrics, but so far no problem for the Vidar’s. They also breathe extremely well. They have kept me comfortable on a Vanoise ski tour and walking in to Scottish climbs in damp and craggy weather just as they have for downhill skiing.
Despite the durability of the 3 layer material, Cutan fabric also feels soft and quiet to wear. Some hardshell fabric feel crispy and make crinkling noises when you move around in them. This is especially true of the more hard wearing 3 layer options out there. This certainly isn’t my experience with Cutan.
The fit of the salopettes is great. There is plenty of room for a full range of movement and yet they aren’t overly baggy. The elasticated bib zips up snugly around the chest and yet, due to its elasticated build, it doesn’t restrict movement. For the bib Klattermusen have used a chunky 2 way zipper that looks, at first sight, like it has been sewn on top. Infact, it has! They have deliberately sewn the zip so that it can easily be replaced if needed. Another nod to a more sustainable approach. The bib also has 2 zipped and elasticated pockets that I have found really useful. They will easily hold a phone or similar sized items. Finally, there are cord adjustments to tighten the bibs around the waist if needed.
The bibs are very comfortable and work well to hold the salopettes in place. They are also removable if needed. I have often shied away from salopettes because I don’t feel bibs offer much advantage over high waisted pants with braces. I have grown to really like the bibs on the Vidar though. There is no restriction of comfort or movement and they breathe well. I can tuck base and mid layers inside too. I haven’t had any call to use the drop seat function for real, but I have tried the system in practice and it works very well. Having a two way front zip is ideal for other calls of nature!
The long side zips are perfect for venting. Klattermusen describe them on the website as full length and yet, unless I’ve missed something, they actually only run from the top of the bibs down to just above the knee. This isn’t a problem and I like this style. Venting is extremely easy and yet when you need to seal yourself in that is simple too. I was surprised that water resistant zips weren’t used for these side zips, but they are chunky and durable and covered by substantial storm flaps. I’ve had no problem with water ingress.
At the bottom of the legs there is an adjustable closure covered by a protective flap. There are also internal elasticated gaiters. These work really well and seal well around mountaineering or ski boots. There is the facility to add a length of cord and fasten them under the boot. I haven’t felt the need for this as they have stayed in place even when potholing through deep snow.
Other Features & Storage
As mentioned earlier, the Vidar’s have sleeves sewn into the the knees for pads. Pads aren’t included but I imagine you could easily make some from pieces of sleeping mat type closed cell foam. I have never used knee pads in climbing pants and haven’t yet tried them in these. A couple of people I climbed with in Norway this winter were using them and they seemed a great idea on ice routes. I also think they might be great for winter skills type adventures where you end up kneeling and digging in snow a lot. I will be keen to give them a go next winter season.
There is another zipped pocket on the right thigh. The zip isn’t waterproof but it’s covered by a substantial weatherproof flap. This pocket could be used for lots of things. It is ideally sized for small electronics and makes a potential storage place for an avalanche transceiver (if you prefer to keep your transceiver in your pocket rather than a harness). On the outside of this pocket there is a row of three substantial clip in loops. They can again be used for any items and would maybe again work for a transceiver keeper cord. That said, I would personally have liked a clip in point inside the pocket as well. I don’t mind the exterior ones but I’m not sure I will have loads of uses for them.
Finally, this Klattermusen Vidar Salopettes Review needs to consider sustainability. Klattermusen produce premium products designed to really last. This in itself is perhaps the biggest thing a manufacturer can do to minimise waste. Everything about these pants suggests they will last the user a long time and give reliable performance for many adventures. Beyond that, the other key elements are sustainable fabrics and a sustainable approach to manufacture. On both counts Klattermusen are industry leaders and protecting the environment is in their blood. A few years ago I had the chance to interview the company CEO Gonz Ferrero and his passion for protecting the natural environment shone through. I have also attended a number of Klattermusen webinars and product launches and it is always environment first.
My Klattermusen Vidar Salopettes Review explores a high performance product built to endure the harshest conditions. The pants are tailored at climbers, mountaineers and winter exploration and they excel at this. They also work extremely well for back country skiing. Klattermusen have got the feature set just right and the fit is great. They will become a trusted companion on steep ascents and remote adventures. Klattermusen have also carefully considered the environmental sustainability of this garment and that’s going to be another key factor for discerning buyers.
The Vidar’s are a premium product with a premium price tag and there are plenty of cheaper options on the market. What you are getting with this product is a performance product that will last a long time and keep protecting you season after season. That will often balance out the higher initial outlay. Full details on the Vidar Salopettes is available on the Klattermusen website here. The short video below also gives an overview of the key features.
Our Klattermusen Vidar Salopettes Review is only one of a number of our Klattermusen product reviews. We hope you will find time to check out some of the others. For example, we recently reviewed their Bestla Anorak here and their Alv Jacket here. We also tested their Gere 2.0 pants here. These and other Klattermusen reviews are on our website reviews section here.