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Gear Review

4 5

Performance or Soft Shell

That's the debate I wrestled with in my head while trying these on - which do I really want? As soft shell suggests, these are made of a very relaxed and supple fabric. They feel reasonably durable, but by touch alone, I can't imagine they'd stand up to the same abuse as your typical Performance Shell pant. Presumably they breathe considerably better though. The cut has been updated to a modern bagginess though visually they don't appear this way as the fabric hangs rather than crinkles. Personally, I think the seam design and fabric make these pants very visually appealing. Features are four diagonal zip pockets, zippered thigh vents, Recco reflector and a thin felt liner that I wish more shells had. Unfortunately there are a couple minor features that I think fall short of Arcteryx's stellar reputation: the waist has a dinky plastic belt buckle and the gaiter doesn't have a cinch or closure button. The kick patch feels pretty sturdy, but for whatever reason, there were some color fading spots on the kick patch even though the pant was brand new.