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When you're hitting the skin track at first light, you want to be sure your gear is in line with your ambitions. The Mountain Hardwear Women's Drystein Pant offers a full array of features to keep you dry and moving comfortably as you break trail through the snow painted with the glow of a red dawn.

  • Three-layer DryQ Elite softshell fabric offers fully waterproof, highly breathable protection from the elements
  • Stretch panels in the knees and seat offer full mobility as you slash through fresh snow or ascend the ice wall
  • Semi-fitted cut gives you a streamlined fit while giving you room to move or to layer up
  • Adjustable suspenders and integrated webbing belt hold the pant comfortably in place
  • Six-slider, watertight rainbow rear zip allows for easy on-off
  • Internal gaiter keeps the snow out of your boots
  • Choose from inseam lengths of 30in (short), 32in (regular), or 34in (long)
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Looking hot while staying cool

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I love these pants. They're perfect for backcountry skiing. The fabric keeps the water out but doesn't feel too plastic-y or unbreathable. (I've been known to handle a full afternoon of errands in these after a tour). I usually wear a layer underneath because I get cold pretty easily, but the possibility for full-leg venting is great because I get hot on the uphills. Zippers work so great that I don't have to stop skinning to cool down-- important when I'm following my speedy and impatient boyfriend up the hill.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the style of the bibs, but I accidentally packed another pair of pants for a yurt trip AFTER I'd been using these, and my heavy pack buckled around my hips was constantly pulling my pants down. It drove me insane and I always double check that I've got these pants in the bag now.

There are two other great feature on the bib style. MH did a great job with the design and they somehow work perfect with the "ladies". Nicely accentuates them but doesn't bind. Most importantly, I've been loving the backside zipper for peeing in the woods. I used to have to hike off the trail to find a decent tree (which really annoys me when I'm skiing with guys and they can just take care of it off the side of the trail) but I realized that the zip down flap is perfect for privacy! I just step off a few feet, unzip, and voila! I've got my own little crotch privacy screen. If you're a chick in the backcountry, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

An unexpected feature is how GOOD these pants look. I'm more concerned with function in the backcountry, but I can't believe how many compliments I get on these things. My boyfriend AND girlfriends give me the appraising eye nearly every time I wear them.

I'm 5'10" and have a hard time finding pants long enough for my legs. These are perfect. I usually wear a size 10 pants and these in medium are a perfect fit with a light layer underneath.

Looking hot while staying cool

Dry, light, comfortable, and convenient

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These pants are everything I've ever wanted in ski pants. I got these pants to go ski touring and ski mountaineering. I really wanted bib pants, as I absolutely hate the feeling of snow going down my back when I fall skiing, but didn't want to have to strip everything off to use the ladie's room. The rainbow zipper in these pants is the answer--it's possible to do so without even taking off your skis. Woo! The 6 slider zippers also allow you make whatever size vents you want anywhere on your legs; this is definitely a bonus when ski touring in California.

As far as I can tell they are also completely waterproof--yes, even in the stretch panels. I did an entire day of resort skiing in a sierra cement snowstorm (read--very wet), complete with sitting on sopping wet chairlifts, and remained bone dry. By the end of the day the boyfriend decided that he really wanted a pair too.

I usually wear a size medium (W size 8), but I opted for a large in these pants because I wanted to be able to put a couple layers underneath without them restricting my movement. This was a good call for my larger-than-average quads/butt. They are slightly baggy in the legs when wearing just long underwear underneath, but fit perfectly with an additional set of fleece pants. I probably could have gotten away with a medium, but the large ones are super comfy and roomy.

The only potential downside I could see is that the fabric feels very thin. I tend to be pretty rough on outerwear, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see how these hold up. So far they are doing just fine though!