I actually have the older style with the belt loops, so can't comment on the new built in belt. I can say that these are amazing pants, breathable and light weight, just enough stretch to stay mobile through any activity. I usually wear these without any insulating layer down to around 10F, if I am working even somewhat hard they are perfectly warm. Cross country skiing? Yup. Climbing ice? Check. Climbing rock? Grab em. Skinning up for fresh lines? Undue the boot cuff and let it ride. Fairly durable, have a few tears from brush thrashing but nothing a little stitching couldn't fix. I usually wash them with Nikwax TX at the beginning of the winter and the DWR stays good for the season. Love them.