Rab Neo Guide Pants
These are hands down the best hard shells available…
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
These are hands down the best hard shells available for all day use. I have hiked, climbed, and ski tour in these, and normally I can't wear softshells for how badly I sweat in them.
- Long three pull side zips
- Solid gaiters
- Good height
- Super breathable
- Not full bibs
- Suspender straps come undone too easily
Fit Disclaimer: I'm 5'10" 155 lbs and very lean. I have small shoulders, a 29-inch waist and always fit a size small. I tend to run very hot and sweat a ton as soon as I start moving. But get cold quickly. I find that Black Diamond Dawn Patrol series and Marmot fit me best and most brands' Trim fits feel normal to me. What works or doesn't for me may Or may not for you.
I've used these pants for over a year now and they are by far and away my favourite. I live in the Rockies and these have been my go to for summer mountaineering, ski touring, spring ski mountaineering, hiking in wet conditions and pretty much every element of mountain living.
Styling the full NeoGuide outfit, jacket and pants, or as my friend calls it "The Fully Euro"
This jacket and pant combo is the best hard shell on the market. I've used it backpacking, ice climbing, ski touring and on a mountaineering trip in the coastal range that involved a lot of rain. This jacket proved to be a true wonder piece. It's stretchy and comfortable wear, and feels more like a thin softshell than a hard shell. The material itself is very soft to the touch. It holds off water the same as anything I've experienced. The DWR seems above average, and so far has worn well.
Breathability is where NeoShell garments shine. It is honestly as breathable as a standard softshell thanks to Polartech's NeoShell material. This does mean that it is air permeable, though I never noticed any winds despite gusts as high as 20km/h.
I did take this jacket out in Scotland in a gust up to 100mph day, and it performed admirably. You could feel a little wind slipping through, but if anything while moving it helped regulate temperature. Just make sure your belay layer is windproof. On hot spring days skiing these are still fantastic, very breathable, and the zippers are extremely long and adjustable.
In terms of waterproofing I've spent a couple days in a row getting poured on. Even when I was soaked, and the DWR gave up, they are still very comfortable to wear. Unlike most Gore jackets, who lose all breathability once the DWR is gone, even soaked through this jacket performed perfectly.
When we slowed down for the rock section of the day it held up great, stretched when it got rubbed against harsh granite, and didn't show signs of abrasion. It was breathable enough that I could wear it, which rarely happens to me.
The gaiters were really handy for breaking trail in the fresh snow. You do need to add your own stretch cord, but that is easy enough.
I have only one complaint about the pants. It's designed for Scottish winter climbing, so it is sized with lots of layers in mind. For me they fit like snow pants, just lightweight material. I was expecting my crampons to catch more, but surprisingly they didn't.
They honestly could have taken 5 cms of width off the legs and that still would have been a little loose for my taste. I do find that with the suspenders they actually fit a little tighter. Comparable to a standard ski touring softshell. But I won't be doing any mixed climbing in these. For me this is too much room as the climate I climb in tends to be dry cold, so one softshell for climbing and a huge belay parka is normally the way to go.
All in all these are fantastic.