If you haven't heard of skiwear and outdoor apparel brand CMP then you're not alone, but this Italian born company are well established in their home country, and also well respected for their wide-ranging collection of technical outdoor gear. We didn't expect much from their ski kit but have so far been pleasantly surprised, with the imaginatively named 'Fixed Man Hood' jacket getting a decent overall score in our recent test. On to the 'Man Salopette' and it's much the same story here.
Immediate impressions are ostensibly good, with what appears to be all the right things in all the right places, and after a fair few years of gear testing initial impressions are usually borne out in use. So, what does this shell pant have going for it? Well, the outer material is soft, fairly flexible and a little less crinkly than some while still offering a decent 15,000mm waterproof rating so they're comfortable to wear and don't ever feel clingy. There's a large reinforced instep area which is vital for protecting your ski pants from premature wear and at the other end there's a removable stretch bib and suspenders to keep the pants in place and the snow out. The zip to the front of the bib allows you to ease your way in after one too many hearty Alpine dinners, and the small but useful pocket is great for storing smaller items. At the waist there's an easy to use Velcro adjuster system as well as belt loops for quite literally a belt and braces approach, and a zip, popper and hook and bar closure ensuring that these pants will never fall down.
Full length waterproof two-way zips run down the outside of the legs giving plenty of ventilation options as well as easy boot fitting at the bottom. Mesh in the top section would have been useful to keep the snow (and prying eyes) out, but to be fair to CMP it's not an unusual system to use.
Breathability in use is good, with a rating of 10,000 MVP - once again placing these pants firmly towards the top of the middle performers so you can go fairly hard on the slopes before sweat starts to build up.
Having now tested a few of CMP's pieces of ski gear we're impressed by the affordable quality on offer and would recommend checking them out. The two items we've reviewed look and feel a lot more high end than the price tag would suggest and this is backed up by the performance out on the slopes where CMP's 50 or so years of experience in designing outdoor gear really shines through. These particular ski pants have an awful lot going for them, with well thought out design and considered use of materials resulting in a comfortable and versatile bib pant providing enough protection from the elements for all but the most hardcore of skiers.