Patagonia Shelter Stone

The Shelter Stone trousers are Patagonia’s most “bomber, stormproof 3-layer waterproof/breathable pants”, according to the manufacturers. Better still they have an updated fabric for an even better feel and stretch. They are made from Patagonia’s own waterproof and breathable material, and like other trousers here they have full-length side zips and an internal ankle gaiter.

The H2NO fabric is waterproof and breathable thanks to a water-repellent shell. This is combined with a waterproof barrier and an internal scrim. There is also stretch fabric used in the seat and lower leg to provide a little more comfort without having to make the cut too baggy. There is an internal ankle gaiter, which has loops that can be used to attach an instep cord, but there is no lace hook. The ankle cuff has a drawcord adjuster as well as some reinforced material to prevent crampon points from slashing a hole in this area. There are no braces on these trousers but there is a waistbelt and a collection of four zipped pockets around the waist area.

On the hill
The bum area of the Patagonia Shelter Stone was a closer fit on these than any other trousers tested but surprisingly the lower leg was as wide as other trousers’, despite the elasticated material. However the elasticated material does allow the knee area to fit a little more closely as well. I would certainly welcome the ability to attach braces, although the close fit of the waist does mean these stay up reasonably well. Surprisingly for the price these do not get a brushed polyester lining on the inside of the waistband for extra comfort. I’d also like a lace hook on those gaiters to prevent them riding up when crunching through deep snow. The fly has a double zip, which means men can have a pee much more easily even while wearing a climbing harness. I felt these are nice to wear as that stretch fabric at the seat and knee just adds a little less restriction, even though the fit is closer than others. But some might prefer a looser cut, so it would be worth trying these before you buy them.

How waterproof?
As with other trousers with exposed side zips, I got a damp patch at the knee flex point when wearing the Patagonia Shelter Stone for just an hour in the rain. I also had a leak at the fly, which appeared to be because the lower of the two zip pulls doesn’t quite seat itself at the bottom.

Outer H2No and Deluge DWR
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL
Weight 659g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided
Stockist details – tel. 00800 0000 0041;

Patagonia’s Shelter Stone overtrousers have stretch material in the posterior
and lower leg allows closer fit without restriction. But there’s no lace attachment at gaiter; exposed side zips can leak in heavy rain; no braces provided; no women’s version available. They’re good overtrousers if you prefer a closer fit, but like others the side zips are not totally waterproof.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2010