stevenjo

stevenjo

stevenjo

stevenjo wrote a review of on April 30, 2013

4 5

These are the toughest pant I've ever owned. After 4 seasons of BC skiing and climbing they have many battle scars from crampons, ski edges and rocks, but are still going strong. As a preface I am part of a Gore sponsored program called Mountain Techs that occasionally tests their products.

Pros:
I am a big fan of the GoreTex proshell fabric. I've found it to be incredibly durable and overall breathes very well for a hardshell - though it is somewhat loud and crinkly (barely softer than liquor store paper paper). The stitching, and attention to detail is also up to Arcteryx standards which you expect for Arcteryx prices. The overall cut is great for climbing with plenty of fabric above the waist to keep a nice overlap with your jacket and keeping the elements out. This is particularly nice when wearing a pack that make the back of your jacket ride up. The internal boot gator works well on fabric or hardshell/ ski boots thanks to a metal hook on the front that keeps it in place. Finally, full length side zippers are a huge plus on these making it easier to regulate heat and remove/put on pants without having to remove boots. I use this last part for search and rescue missions as a backup rain-pant that is tough enough for brush/off trail conditions.

Cons:
Over the years I've found better pants for ski touring.It would be nice to have real pockets such as thigh pockets for a beacon on one leg and on the other, things like snacks, camera, or avalanche science tools (thermometer) that you want quick/regular access too. I also find the bibs a pain for shedding layers and poor cooling on a skin track. As a result they usually end up hanging down instead of being slung around my shoulders on the ski up. Finally, I find that metal gator hook (which is nice for climbing) a pain for ski transitions because it snags on the boot somewhere and I usually have to take my gloves off to undo it.

Beyond that it is a pant that simply will not die

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stevenjo

stevenjo wrote a review of on April 29, 2013

3 5

There are some mixed reviews on these pants, mostly coming down to the style and fit so thought I'd throw my $0.02. As a preface, I ski 90% backcountry and 10% resort. I'm about 6' 160 lbs. Finally, I sometimes review products for GoreTex through a program called Mountain Techs.

Overall I like these pants for skiing at the resort, but the fit makes them difficult for _me_ to use in the backcountry. Too bad because otherwise they are a fantastic pant.

Pro:
I'm personally a big fan of GoreTex proshell fabric which these pants use because of its durability and breathability, even it sounds like you're wearing a paper grocery bag. Arcteryx also did a great job on seems, zippers etc. Aside from quality, my favorite part of these pants are the enormous pockets. I can easily stow an avalanche beacon, snacks, camera and even my thermometer which I like easy access to. The other really nice feature on these pants are the boot gators which is easy to slide up and down when fussing with buckles during a transition (as opposed to the gator on the Arcteryx Theta bibs that have a metal hook and snag on things).

Con.
Biggest complaints are the fit. They are definitely baggy. I don't mind being in fashion but I do find they can make kick turns difficult because of the low crotch. To make this worse, the belt is elastic so its hard to really snug down over my skinny frame. I'm told Arcteryx will replace provide a static belt if you ask for it. The pants also have side/thigh vents but I find they are a little small when I'm working hard on the up track.... making those a little longer would help quite a bit.

Overall - this pant lives up to the Arcteryx and GoreTex names in quality and performance. They are definitely stylish but it seems to come the cost of functionality, at least for me in the backcountry. But still a great resort pant.

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stevenjo

stevenjo wrote a review of on November 29, 2011

4 5

Starting my second season with this and so far it has been great pack with minor complaints.
Pros:
Nice suspension, skis mount up fine, hydration systems seems to work as advertised but i have not taken it into temps too far below freezing (usually above 20F). It's nice to have separate avy compartment to keep main pocket dry along with a side pouch to keep a probe and saw for quick access. Fabric seems pretty bomber and so far no complaints on durability that seem common with older versions. One size fits all is a bit big for my torso (which is short for a 6' male) but not too far off to make it an issue. The role-top closure is a nice touch (as is the helmet carrier) and seems to keep things nice and dry compared to my last pack (BD slide). The other access point, a side zipper behind one shoulder strap is a nice way to grab/stow the jacket, gloves etc if the bag is not too overloaded - otherwise its a bit too small to sort through compressed gear.

Cons:
Admittedly most of these are small gripes with a few notable exceptions but I'll list them all anyway: Starting with the small stuff, the main avy compartment holds my shovel blade but does not accommodate handle all that well (sorry don't have dimensions on hand but it is a Volie Telepro) so it really needs to go in the side pouch if I need to access it quickly and makes it a bit crowded along with a probe and saw. Overall very minor issue. Another complaint is that the side pouch for the probe has a shooty velcro closure that is too small, especially if getting snow or ice on it so I had to attach stainless steel snaps after making a small jump/drop and having my probe fly out (luckily by buddy noticed it). The probe pouch is also too short to accommodate the BCA 35cm snow saw, which is big oversight by BCA in my opinion. To make it fit I had to cut about 2'' off the saw handle, which is not a big deal, but still should be unnecessary when both products are from the same company (though, maybe I'm missing something?). Finally, the two pieces of webbing holding the lid on from the front (above the shoulder straps) are a little small for the fastener
and slid out sometimes. Not necessarily a big deal if they had sewn a stop at the end of the webbing but mine didn't and they came out of the fastener of few times. Again, took a quick mod to double the ends back and fasten with thread but seems like it should have been so out of the bag - perhaps it was just my particular pack but worth checking.

Overall I'm happy with the bag minus a couple of design oversights that required some at home modifications. I would still buy this over similar packs (BD revelation) if nothing else for the hydration system, but the other perks make it worthwhile and something I will hopefully have for several years of backcountry use.

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