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Rush

Rush wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

4 5

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.

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Rush

Rush wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

5 5

Anyone familiar with Patagonia's Primo Pants, or at least their reputation, know that they are pretty freakin' durable. These pants are the mountaineering/touring equivalent of the Primos, and are really quite similar. The stark differences are the fit, the Triolets being much narrower, the full sealed side zips that allow you to take off the pants without taking off your boots in place of the vents, and the elastic waistband with a built-in belt. I love the way these fit as I can't stand hiking backcounty with baggy fitting pants, but a huge disclaimer, they fit super tight in the cuff if you're wearing pure alpine ski boots and not touring or tele boots. Most of the fabrics are identical to the Primo, except the pants are sectioned such that the calf & quad quarters of the pant are a slightly lighter weight fabric than the shin and the butt/hamstring. The kick patch are made out of the same material as the Primo, but lack the inch-high cuff.

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Rush

Rush wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

5 5

Is there a 6-star option? These pants truly go above and beyond anything on the market. Definitely the most rugged feeling pants I've ever come across. And also the baggiest for a skiing/expedition pant. Fit & finish is well beyond what I had expected from North Face gear (or any mfr, for that matter). The nylon strikes me as extremely durable, but not as stiff and crinkly as some of the other Pro Shell pants. Lots of nice features too. Plenty of pocket space with sealed zippers, super durable kick patches on the instep of the pant, also durable nylon patches on the instep of the gaiter, zippered thigh vents, thicker than usual felt on the inside of the waistband, Recco reflector and a waistband that tightens with large, sturdy velcro tabs. Comes with detachable suspenders that have a flap covering the small of your back as a small powder guard. I'm told this small flap can be unzipped and that small area of the waste can be attached to the matching jacket, but I'm not sure I see much benefit to this. Bottom line is I'm bowled over with the features, durability and finish quality of these pants. I just wish they were a bit narrower throughout.

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Rush

Rush wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

5 5

As many have already mentioned, these things are bomber. I'm honestly surprised that these weren't rated Pro Shell (they're certainly priced like they are). These pants have a straighforward simplicity to them: a tiny non-descript Patagonia logo above the right knee embroidered in the same color as the pant, matte finish fabric, very clean seams with articulated knees and sealed zips that are also super clean and well thought out – the zips almost have a durable rubber quality to them rather than the typical glue laminate on other high-end pants. The material is very crinkly but the creases don't appear as much on the thicker matte fabric so wrinkles are fairly smoothed out. The fit is on the baggier side for sure, but hardly in the same league as something like the Free Thinkers and some of the other pants I've seen on the mountain (mostly in the park). Other features include thin felt along the inside of the waistband, zippered thigh vents and durable gaiters. The kick patch on the instep of the pant strikes me as lightweight considering the rest of the fabrics used feel so durable. This instep material extends around the cuff of the pant as well which is a nice touch, which is to say that there is the instep kick patch and an inch high cuff of the same material. If you're looking to save some bucks, the Powder Bowls are more or less identical in a slightly less durable 2-layer fabric rather than 3-layer, and come with a wicking liner that the Primos don't have.

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Rush

Rush wrote a review of on November 30, 2011

4 5

The cut of these are great being slightly narrower in the waist and upper leg than your typical modern day pant with a slight flare to the calf to comfortably fit over your boot. Great design overall with articulated knees, pleated pockets so they stay flat when there's nothing in them, sealed zippers, zippered thigh vents, pretty large velcro tabs around the waist to cinch down the size, thin felt on the inside of the waistband and a reasonably rugged kick patch on the instep, although a far cry from the durability of those on most Pro Shells. The fabric feels surprisingly lightweight for a Performance Shell, and a little disappointing based on my perceived durability for a $400 pant. The gaiters are also made out of a tightly woven mesh rather than a nylon that I imagine would wear & tear after not long. It might be a little odd to note, but these are very noisy pants. The kick patches on the instep make a ton of noise when they rub against each other and the pant fabric is very crinkly. Overall, I love how these pants are cut and designed, but the finish leaves me wanting something more. It's hard not to compare these to the Patagonia Primo, and so, if you don't mind a baggier cut, I'd put my money on the Primos.

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