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We test the high-end Valdyr Drop Seat Mountain Pants from Jöttnar to review their mountaineer credentials

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Overall Score
Thoughtfully designed and skilfully made

Most of us, I assume, have never needed to drop the seat of their pants on a mountain, other than in the relative comfort of a lift-station restaurant loo. It says something about the users of Jöttnar clothing that the Valdyr pants have 'Drop Seat' as a headline feature. And if they're at that stage of product development then a pretty solid level of weather protection and mountain functionality must have been ticked off long ago, right?

Well the feature list confirms the basics are nailed, but more importantly our testing confirms those features work. Firstly, that drop seat functionality includes leg zips that extend the full length of the pants, meaning they can be put on while wearing skis or crampons. Considering the Valdyr pants partner very well with Jöttnar's Vali softshell pants (and can therefore be stowed for a relatively airy ski touring ascent, and put on for the downhill) this is a useful feature.

That also speaks to the lightness of the Valdyr pants - there are not too many shell pants burly enough to be used for ski mountaineering, yet still light enough to be thought of as overtrousers.

Then again that description does them a disservice. And that's because of the proprietary Skjoldr waterproof fabric. On paper it boasts 20k/20k ratings for waterproofing and breathability, but in practice that breathability more than holds its own against any of the well known membrane brands. In fact the lack of clamminess on energetic ascents is quite remarkable.

The fit - close enough to avoid flappy excess material, but loose enough to not restrict movement - combined with the weight and the evident durability makes the Valdyr pants way more versatile than a ski shell has any right to be. And the absolutely flawless construction makes them good value at the price too.

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