Active Shell is the most breathable Gore-Tex fabric so I wasn’t surprised when these Mountain Equipment overtrousers stayed dry inside even during a strenuous ascent. They’re certainly one of the most breathable pairs tested. And if you do start to overheat in them the three-quarter length zips can be undone at the top to vent them. I can just get my hands in inner trouser pockets with the zips undone too and the length means they can easily be pulled on over any footwear. The stiff flaps behind the zips should mean that any rain that penetrates doesn’t get far.
The fabric is quite flexible and the overtrousers are comfortable though the fabric does rustle a fair bit. They’re cut quite close so there’s no bagginess. Articulated knees and an extra crotch panel allow good freedom of movement. I’m not keen on the part-elasticated ankle cuffs as these can ride up over boot tops.
The weight is low, making these suitable for carrying on multi-day trips, but the price is on the high side – these are the most expensive overtrousers tested.