What's new in ski pants/bibs this year?

Discussion in 'Softgoods: Clothing, Helmets, Goggles, and More' started by Bolder, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Bolder

    Bolder Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Posts:
    222
    I've been skiing in these https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/en/mens/mens-pants/mens-cirque-pants/p/2430500008009 for the past 4 years. However, I think the DWR coating is breaking down, if there even is one, as they seem to be taking on water more easily. (though they dry fast and I wear merino long johns.

    And, I'm thinking that I'd like to have bibs, or maybe something lightly insulated -- could use a bit more warmth, especially on my butt, and maybe some coverage for my lower back -- these have a "regular" rise, so sometimes they gap in the back.

    However, I love skiing in softshell fabric -- really comfortable, doesn't flap in the wind, these pants have just the right number a size of pockets.

    Is there anything new on the market I should look at, for no more than $200-225? I'd like to avoid a hardshell if possible.

    TIA!
     
  2. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Posts:
    625
    Have you tried reapplying a topical DWR (like the Nikwax or Acteryx Nu)? They don't last quite as long as production treatments on the bulk yardage before sewing, but if you've gotten 4 years out of them without a refresh, it'll probably make a big difference.

    In terms of newness, I think the biggest shift in the market has been the shift towards better breatheability and stretch in the hardshell space, so if you haven't shopped the category in a while, some things may have changed. Some people consider them "hybrid pants" - but that goes for both pants like the OR Trailbreaker where there are panels of hardshell and panels of softshell fabric, and pants like the Patagonia Descensionist that are hardshell pants with the look and feel of a softshell. They use more stretch and/or knit fabrics over wovens. Customers are responding to the changes, but the one big asterisk is that knits aren't nearly as durable or protective of the waterproof membrane.

    A few options I'd look at:

    -Marmot Pro Tour: Similar to the Cirques, but adds Gore Windstopper and suspenders. Very similar nylon/poly/span double weave to the Cirque that'll be quite durable.
    -Rab Upslope: Similar to the Pro Tours except no Windstopper.
    -OR Trailbreaker: Similar to the Marmot Pro Tour, but includes some waterproof paneling instead of Windstopper.
    -OR Skyward: These are the latter type of "hybrid" pants. I'd expect fabric durability to be middle of the road.

    I'd keep an eye out for a good deal on the Mammut Eisfeld Guide (checks the box on everything you listed), Arcteryx Sabre (checks everything except the bibs piece), or the Patagonia Descensionist, which is really similar to the Skyward.
     
    jmeb, Slim, David Chaus and 3 others like this.
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Bolder

    Bolder Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Posts:
    222
    Thanks for the detailed answer!

    I'll try nikwax, have a bottle somewhere. I would like a little more warmth, also, so any excuse to buy more gear is good...
     
  4. EricG

    EricG Waiting for snow! Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2018
    Posts:
    731
    Location:
    VT
    Are you looking fir an inbounds insulated pant? Or something you can hike in with some light insulation?

    This year I ended up buying 2 sets of pants.

    I bought the Patagonia Snowshot shell pants since they had a short length (offer regular length too) which I really like. The H2NO I’ve found works great. Maybe not as good as Goretex Pro, but damn good for the price. I’ve never wetted out with H2NO products.
    https://www.patagonia.com/shop/mens-snow-alpine-pants?start=0&sz=24#tile-2

    I also bought a set of a Obermeyer Force suspender pants. They have 40g of insulation for those cold days. I was drawn to these fir the comfy fit and different lengths. The flex fabric, decent waterproofing/breathability and nice big vents seem like a great combo.

    https://www.obermeyer.com/catalog/mens/force-suspender-pant-0?v=19741
     
    Uncle-A likes this.
  5. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,908
    Location:
    Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
    I dress for a 22 minute Burfield chairlift ride at ski area that is colder than most ski areas in western Canada. A light merino long john base layer with a light polyester long john as a mid layer, underneath a Gore Tex shell works for me.
     


  6. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Posts:
    2,711
    Location:
    NJ
    I have both sold and used the Obermeyer line and have found them to be a fine product that is at a fair price. They did not disappoint me or my customers.
     
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    Bolder

    Bolder Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Posts:
    222
    I'd really like to stick with a soft shell pant -- I like the versatility (can use it for occasional ski touring, winter hikes etc) but as I mentioned, the particular ones I have could be a little warmer (guess I could invest in super heavy long johns) and have better back coverage. And, yeah, would like to keep price around 200-250. It may not be a terrible idea to try to rehab them with dwr and then get a shell pant like the patagonias above, that have room for 2 layers underneath for super cold or wet days. In the end would be spending the same amount of money, I guess. What I'd really like to find are a pair of softshell bibs, but I really haven't seen any...
     
  8. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    12,757
    Location:
    Tahoe
    Helly Hansen has an amazing bib that I've been wearing since February.
    Its a shell, waterproof with HellyTech 5 Ply and a zipper that goes to the knee for easy Drop without taking the straps off to use the bathroom.
    I thought I wrote a review, but can't find it. I'll get one up.
     
  9. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Posts:
    834
    Location:
    Duluth, MN
    What @Analisa said.

    I you want to keep multi use functionality, and soft shell, I don’t think there are many warm ones. However, I find a trimmed piece of closed cell foam pad or similar in the butt of the shells keeps that part of my anatomy warm and protects from wet chairlifts seats.

    Warm pants/tights for underneath can be dirt cheap, far less than buying another shell. It also gives you the flexibility on a trip, not to have to pack 2 pairs of shell pants.

    You can use anything to add warmth: different weights of long underwear, running tights, polyester sweatpants or the dedicated zip off high loft pants:

    https://www.swixsport.us/shop2/Apparel/Pants/Menali-Quilted-Short-Mens/(color)/11003
     
  10. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    2,694
    Location:
    Colorado
    I want to know what @Analisa does for work...because her overviews and gear recommendations are spot on across everything from soft goods to bc skis.
     
  11. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Posts:
    625
    Thanks! I run a softgoods brand. Core retail, but I could see making the jump to outdoor gear at some point. I also help run a women's outdoor group in the PNW with around 35,000 members, so I also invest a lot of time helping women navigate gear selection as well.
     
    Bolder, DanoT, Lorenzzo and 2 others like this.
  12. Ron

    Ron AKA Captain Voltaren Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Posts:
    5,558
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, Co
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    Bolder likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice