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Advice on winter pants

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Advice on winter pants

Postby my5sons » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:12 pm

Would love some pants advice! I am wanting to do more winter hikes but don't want to be underdressed.
Should I get softs shell / insulated / windproof? I have looked at all kinds online but really don't know what to purchase. Being fairly new at this I am learning quick I would like it light as possible too. Thanks in advance for all or any input I can get. I do have a pair of Colombia titanium soft shells that on the few winter climbs I have done with a good first layer I have yet to be cold. I think temp was 25 windchill -10. Thanks again.

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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby Scott P » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

There are many choices, but unless you enjoy snow down your pants, bibs are better.
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby USAKeller » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:29 pm

I really like the Patagonia Backcountry Guide softshell pants for winter hiking, and a medium weight power stretch baselayer (such as the Marmot power stretch layer). The softshells have side zips you can unzip to vent if you get too hot. I've hiked in -10 to -15 windchill using that combo and have found it to work very well for winter hiking (as a female). I only use a hardshell bib in cold weather when I backcountry ski.
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby forbins_mtn » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:45 pm

My Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants(softshell) are some of my favorite pieces of clothing, period. Love them for everything. I wear them in every winter hike/climb, can wear them rock climbing, around town, running in 20 degree morning temps.....highly highly recommend them

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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby RyGuy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:08 pm

Scott P wrote:There are many choices, but unless you enjoy snow down your pants, bibs are better.

Very much agreed. I have a pair of Arc'Teryx Alpha SV bibs and absolutely love them as my outer layer. I use them both climbing and skiing. They are easy to put on, and easy to vent with 7/8 side zipper and full front to back zipper as well. They are also windproof/waterproof and pretty much bomb proof. I see them as the ultimate shields for when the weather gets bad. The only downside is the price...not exactly cheap, but these are pants that will last 10 years easily. For insulation, I usually have a wool baselayer, fleece mid layer, and then the bibs, and that combo has been solid in 60 MPH winds and -20F windchill.

More info: http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Mens/Ice_Climbing/Alpha-SV-Bib

Reviews: http://www.theactivetimes.com/review-arc-teryx-alpha-sv-bib
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby cutbackcoach » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:36 am

Don't be underdressed . . . but don't be overloaded either.

You are doing well in softshell pants and a good base layer under them. That's the uniform for most winter hiking/mountaineering in typical conditions like you describe - temps in teens to twenties, winds up to the low 20s. Get gaiters if you don't have them already - OR Crocs are the tried and true.

Lots of great softshell pants out there - REI Acmes are great, TNF Apex, Patagonia Guides, and many more. Look at those that weight 20 oz or less; not the heavier, overbuilt ones designed for skiing; not sure about the ones you have already, which may be just fine as well.

I'd sure spend resources on getting the upper body system filled out - versatile pieces that you can put together for the conditions (light and medium weight base 1/4 zips, grid fleece hoody, windshirt, middle insulating jacket, soft and/or hardshell, belay parka) - before going beyond the base/softshell combo on the bottom.

Eventually, depending on your activities/conditions you're willing to venture out in, you can look at full zip hardshell pants (good for severe wind, beyond what your softshell pants can handle, or heavy wet precip), insulated pants (good for extended stops/winter camping, or moving in Denali like conditions, but rarely here in CO), or bibs (activities where you need waist coverage, like powder skiing or steep ice/alpine work). For dayhiking in reasonable winter conditions . . . not so much.

Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby Bean » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:40 am

Scott P wrote:There are many choices, but unless you enjoy snow down your pants, bibs are better.

I've never had a problem with snow down my pants (even when tumbling in chest-deep blower), but then again I don't snowshoe.

Softshells, hardshells, and insulated overpants all have their place in winter mountaineering.
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby ThuChad » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:54 am

I'll second the Patagonia Guide line. I just have the regular Guide pants. As stated above there are three; guide, alpine guide, backcountry guide. My Guide pants with cap R1 and women's synchilla under them keep me plenty warm down to 0 degrees. No problems with -25 wind chill either.

The only downside imo to the regular guides is no belt or belt loops and no fly zipper.
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby Dex » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:39 am

my5sons wrote:Would love some pants advice! I am wanting to do more winter hikes but don't want to be underdressed.
Should I get softs shell / insulated / windproof? I have looked at all kinds online but really don't know what to purchase. Being fairly new at this I am learning quick I would like it light as possible too. Thanks in advance for all or any input I can get. I do have a pair of Colombia titanium soft shells that on the few winter climbs I have done with a good first layer I have yet to be cold. I think temp was 25 windchill -10. Thanks again.


I'm probably at your level. I have a Golite softshell pant that they don't make any more. As others have said layering is important and gaiters.

It looks like you can get a mix of bib and regular pants at a good price. Maybe others can comment on these pants - they are on sale now for half price.

http://www.golite.com/Ms-Maroon-Peak-Trinity-3-Layer-Pant-P46878.aspx


These are the pants I have - and it is a good site to do research.

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Clothing/Pants%20and%20Shorts/GoLite%20Paradox%20Pants/Test%20Report%20by%20Jason%20Boyle/
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby Bean » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:18 am

Dex wrote:It looks like you can get a mix of bib and regular pants at a good price. Maybe others can comment on these pants - they are on sale now for half price.

http://www.golite.com/Ms-Maroon-Peak-Trinity-3-Layer-Pant-P46878.aspx

Isn't everything at GoLite "50% off" all the time?

As always my softshell pant recommendation is the Arc'teryx Gamma SK. Lighter and cooler than the backcountry guide, and most importantly, available in not-black. They're on sale in a couple places right now. The regular length fits pretty tall (I wear a small and the legs are plenty long) so size by waist only unless you're ridiculously tall.
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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby dsunwall » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:17 am

Bean wrote:Isn't everything at GoLite "50% off" all the time?


that is true.

I really like golite Castle Peak pants for winter snowshoe hikes. full zip and inner thigh vents, important for insulated pants.

http://www.golite.com/Ms-Castle-Peak-Zonal-Insulated-Ski-Pant-P46879.aspx

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Re: Advice on winter pants

Postby Ramfan24 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:26 am

I really like my Patagucci Alpine Guides.

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