Rab Latok Alpine Pant
Price Paid: $240
I liked these pants at first, until I tried to put my keys in my pocket. What pocket? Oh well, that's what jacket pockets and packs are for. I can live with that. I like the fit. The waist is a little high for my taste, but other than that they fit snug, but they are not restrictive. The eVent waterproofing absolutely rocks. I've climbed ice under pretty good showers and been coated from head to toe in ice, but remained dry underneath.
The real problem is that the fabric is too light on these pants. I have used them for ice climbing, mountaineering, resort skiing, back country touring, everything winter.
I've spiked many pants with my crampons before, and that comes with the territory, but that is about the only way I would expect to rip my pants. The latoks? Ice screws on my harness have put holes in them (more than one). I tried glissading on my bum on the walk-off of an ice climb in good snow and put two pretty good size rips in the seat. Lord knows what else, but when i went to patch the holes this weekend I found over a half-dozen of them, and I've only been using them for three months.
Oh yeah, and the zipper of the fly doesn't seem to stay closed.
I wouldn't recommend these to my friends. I love the eVent fabric and the way it performs, but the Latok Pants just don't stand up to heavy use.
Price Paid: $200
These pants are a great choice if you are looking for a pair of lightweight, waterproof, and breathable pants to wear or pack on winter outings. The light weight makes packing these pants a no-brainer if you even suspect wet conditions. The eVent fabric seems to perform better than Gore-tex counterparts, especially in high-exertion, low temperature conditions. The pants are really waterproof and stood up to all-day backcountry skiing in 38 degree steady rain.
The elastic waistband provides a comfortable fit without a belt. The waist sizing seems very accurate, but be sure to allow for wearing one or more insulation layers underneath -- these are shells after all. There are heavier fabric patches (probably Cordura or Schoeller) along the lower inside of each leg to protect against crampon dings and ski edges. The nearly full-length three-way zippers on the outside of the legs don't leak, allow plenty of venting on the up, and operate smoothly.
The only drawback to these pants after almost a month of use is the lack of pockets -- not even one. Given the light weight, great fit and performance, and reasonable price, I'm learning to live without the pockets.