User Review: Lowe Alpine Paradigm Pant
Price Paid: $39
These pants are made of LA's proprietary Stormweave Softshell Fabric, with a very soft brushed interior. It wicks/breathes voraciously, better than any of my other softshell garments. Of course it is only very water resistant and not waterproof.
The fit is athletic and close from waist to cuff and has gussets in all of the right areas for activities that require high mobility. I've agressively run, scrambled, hiked, and xc skiied in them. Fantastic cut, with 4 way stretch, welded zip pockets, double snap closure and zip fly, and 9+" zips on the legs. The pants dry really quickly for a softshell when wet-through occurs.
Weighing 15.5 oz, they are impressively lightweight, very compressible, and every bit the build equal of any top apparel competitor. Beautifully finished. Perfect to layer underneath WP shell pant, BTW.
The pants have no belt loops, however, and adjusting is not an option. The elastic waistband in back does reasonably well to hold the pants in place, although when I was trail running fast (too fast probably) on descent, the pants slipped down about 1 1/2 inches - a minor annoyance, but again, I was hopping around rocks and shrubs with reckless abandon.
Had the pants stayed up, I would have given them 5 stars, but I'm adding (7) 1/4" webbing belt loops to rectify the problem. Verdict: a one-star deduction for my type of uses since there are no belt loops or velcro waist tighteners.
Update: November 28, 2011
Having really put these through the ringer on a backpacking trip in temps between 4 and 38, I have to bump them up in terms of performance in wet snow and tough conditions.
The high waistline, while not very stylish, works well to keep me warm and dry, and the gussetting in the crotch and knees is excellent at keeping the pants where they need to be with big movements of the legs.
Although I've not yet sewed on belt loops or purchased suspenders, I've not suffered at all. The high waistline and soft waistband allow me to wear the pants directly underneath the hip belt of my 95L winter pack. After repeated bushwacking (in this case, the term means pushing through dense brush off trail to set up an unplanned campsite) the pants came through the trip unscathed. Lowe Alpine's StormWeave soft shell fabric is fantastic in its repellency and breathability, while still providing heat retention.
The longer inseam, stretch cuff with rubber grippers allowed me to pull down over my boots like a gaiter. In fact, I didn't use my gaiters the first day in up to 12" of snow, and all the while avoided any snow in my boots. Kudos, Lowe Alpine.
Hopefully the takeover by RAB will revive this product line in the US.
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