What makes a good pair of waterproof golf trousers?November 7, 2017 Golf Equipment
They are uncomfortable, they are noisy, they get in the way. So what actually makes a decent pair of waterproof golf trousers? James Savage investigates in his latest Tech Talk
Finding a good pair of waterproof golf trousers really isn’t easy. In fact, we think they are one of the hardest things to find.
We’ve been testing waterproofs here at NCG for years and the really good pairs are few and far between.
Not many brands struggle to make good waterproof jackets but it’s often the trousers which let the suit down.
So what makes a good pair of waterproof golf trousers? And why are they so difficult to find?
We often find there is an awful fit with loads of excess material around backside or crotch area.
They are uncomfortable, they are noisy, they get in the way. Some are also really tricky to get on and off. Sometimes the sizing is all over the place. Sometimes there is no adjustability.
There’s rarely any consistency when it comes to pockets – some are just holes which allow access to your normal trouser pockets but we forget and end up losing things.
I could go on but I think you get the idea.
We caught up recently with Tom Burlison from Galvin Green – the market leaders when it comes to waterproofs – to find out a bit more about what Galvin think makes a good pair of waterproof golf trousers.
Galvin waterproof trousers cost the same as the jackets. Why?
“The trouser is one area that often gets overlooked but there’s a lot of detail and production that goes into it.
“The jacket is often seen as the glamour purchase and it allows more of a story to be told with the colours.
“But we probably place greater emphasis on the trouser as it is likely to be worn more often than the jacket.
“On the inside of the crotch on our Paclite trouser there are actually four seems meeting in one place and there’s Gore-Tex tape going across those so it’s a lot of handy work around the crotch and waist area.”
What about getting them on and off quickly?
“Another area we find is an absolute must on a waterproof trouser is a long zip opening. Some people may wear their waterproof trousers for a whole round but if you are taking them on and off for showers – you need to have the ability to get them on and off quickly.
“Our zips are really long to allow you to get your feet in and out easily. There’s nothing worse than getting your foot stuck when you’re trying to get them on or off quickly.
“You don’t want to end up having to take your shoes off and get wet feet.”
Should they be worn on their own or over the top of a normal pair?
“It’s all about how warm or breathable the fabric is. The primary function is for them to be waterproof. But as with many of our other products in the range our trousers are very breathable so you can wear them over the top of other trousers.
“But some people don’t want that or feel like they need that extra warmth. Our waterproof golf trousers have a really comfortable smooth fabric so it’s fine next to the skin – you could happily wear then for four hours out on the course.”
Should I go for Paclite or full technical?
“It really depends what you are looking for – we have three different types of trousers with thin lining, thicker lining or no lining – it’s the same with our jackets.
“We always say the Paclite is the performance product – it’s always the streamlined version of what we offer.
“For pure performance on the golf course it’s the Paclite. The lined products have more of a crossover to off-course as well because they are a bit thicker and warmer – a bit more versatile.
“Paclite is the lightest, very easy to wear and to take on and off.”
How will I be able to get the right size?
“In our waterproof trousers we actually have 26 size options – seven waist options from small up to XXXXL and then four different leg lengths – extra short, short, standard and long.
“So hopefully everyone can find a size combination that works but each size can be made bigger or smaller thanks to an elasticated waist. From relaxed to stretched there is about six or seven inches of tolerance.
“It has always been a real focus of ours to make products that fit as many people as possible. Everyone is built differently so we don’t want to alienate any type of golfer.”
Belt loops or adjustability? Which works best?
“We did have belt loops in the Alf Stretch which were released in 2016.
“But historically we’ve never really done that. There is a still a small demand for belt loops but we’ve actually added in an elasticated drawstring which fulfils the function of a belt.
“We put it at the back but it was at the front three or four years ago. We found the toggles were a bit uncomfortable at the front and they did get in the way a bit.
“We put it at the back to take it out of the golfers mind and then there’a a velcro strap which is actually made from a more robust fabric than the rest of the trouser.”
How do you get the pockets right?
“The pockets are key areas – we use patch pockets. You’re probably going to put your hand in your pocket around 100 times during a round.
“So on trousers where the pockets are part of the fabric, you are always going to be putting moisture in them from your ball or your tees – the moisture can get through to the fabric and then into the trouser.
“So we put the pocket on over the top and don’t use a sealed seam so any moisture that gets inside can actually pass through but without getting through to the skin or another layer underneath.
“Our pockets are fleece-lined as well for a bit of added warmth but it also adds some comfort as well.”