Extreme Cold Weather Trousers

Over the years we have looked at a number of pieces of the quilted extreme cold weather uniform, but up until now I have not had an example of the trousers in my collection to show you. Happily I have now rectified that omission and tonight the blog is considering these:imageThe trousers are made from a green quilted nylon, with a simple Velcro and tie fastener at the fly and waist:imageA zip runs up each side of the pair of trousers, from the ankle to the waist, with a small Velcro tab at the bottom of each trouser leg to secure it:imageOne early user of the trousers explains its function:

They were worn under whatever you want. With the zips inside the legs you can drop your trousers, zip the Mao trousers up, pull your trousers up and you have nicely warm legs underneath whatever you are wearing without having to remove your boots, be it lightweights (de rigour in command Troop whatever the season), combats or overalls as worn by crewmen.

I was first issued a set I suspect in January 1978 for my first ever winter CPX in Command Troop, to be returned post-exercise. We were told they were experimental. Everyone in our recce regt got a full set a year or two later. Excellent piece of kit: only the hands, head and feet turned blue in the cold instead of spreading and turning the body numb all the way to the torso in the West German winter.

A loop is sewn to the back of the trousers below the waist to allow them to be hung up to dry if they got wet:imageA standard green sizing and care label is sewn into the back of them:imageI seem to be slowly acquiring a fairly comprehensive selection of cold weather gear and it’s a fascinating, if overlooked area of collecting.

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