Excellent pants which are light, durable and provide…
Fabric: Gore-tex XCR
Price Paid: $375
Excellent pants which are light, durable and provide very good protection.
They have an internal gaitor with an instep chord which works with climbing boots and allows one to dispense with seperate gaitors. The outer pant cuffs have a internal toggle adjusted shock chord which serves to provide an nice seal over AT or Tele ski boots thereby eliminating the need for separate gaitors when skiing.
The side zippers are quite effectively waterproof and secure at the cuff end with a stout snap while finishing nicely at the top side with a garage. There is also a generous patch of some extremely tough fabric on the cuffs inside ankle which quite effectively refuses the occasional wayward crampon or ski edge. There is only one small zippered pocket on the thigh which is just enough for keys or snacks and there is a zippered fly which can open the whole front of the bib for ventilation and easily addressing the demands of nature.
The pants are also quite comfortable and allow for considerable range of movement by the articulated gathering of fabric at the knees. This comfort is experienced in the bib area of the pants where there is elastic only around the waist but with nothing near the suspenders. The pants then open up freely at the top so there is no binding at the chest. This provides enhanced comfort for the actively twisting upper body that occurs when skiing or climbing.
The suspenders are very simple and nicely arranged so that the persistent annoyance of creeping shoulder and sagging butt personally experienced with other bibs is almost non existent here. The suspenders are integrated into the bib so that pants are higher in the back and lower in the front. This basically puts material where it is needed most for protection from that occasional nose dive while skiing. It also helps to improve on ventilation when things get too warm and it serves to make the pants as light as possible. To this end these pants actually tip the scales at less than 1.4 lbs. Quite impressive considering all the protection they provide.
Of course, like all things Arc'teryx, they are not cheap. But, as I have found with the few other "A-bird" items I have managed to afford, once the price plunge and spouse explanations are complete, the pleasure of good design and persistently durable function always seem to make the investment very easily worthwhile.