EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Some Arcteryx and Karbon pants
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Some Arcteryx and Karbon pants

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Having worn several holes right through my old Arcteryx Beta bibs, and patched them enough times they no longer were waterproof, figured time for a change. Wear a knee brace, so pants needed to be wide or more holes on the way. Wanted insulation for NE cold days, and no insulation for warm NE days (we get both in the same week, welcome to climate change) and something for race training. So three choices, and the outcomes so far:

 

1) Arcteryx Micon pants - These are a "relaxed" fit, which means wide enough to accommodate my brace without looking like clown pants. Fairly true to size, meaning that my 32 waist fits into a M nicely. 

 

Pros: Excellent quality, nice attention to detail including a nice flannel like lining. Toasty warm insulation, and Gore Tex seems to be solidly waterproof. Thigh vents are surprisingly effective. These worked nicely in the coldest days we've had so far (14-18 degrees). Fairly soft hand on outside, so not super noisy. To my surprise, didn't rub each other when I skied, but then I've been working on getting rid of my A-framing. Various leg pockets I never use.

 

Cons: Thigh vents can be a surprise if you get on an icy lift seat; they wrap around to rear a bit. Hiyooo!! No lower zips, so while you can pull them on and off over a boot, it's work. Would not like to take these off on-slope, like race pants. Do not come with suspenders, since freestylers like belts these days. And oh yeah, pricey. You get what you pay for, in this case. 

 

2) Arcteryx Saber Bibs - Also a relaxed fit, very similar to the Micons that way, but a bit wider in the trunk and chest. So a M is ample, on the edge of being too big, on me at 32 waist, 6' tall, 33 inseam. These have what Arcteryx claims is a lightly insulated lining, but in reality is simply a fairly soft Gore Tex inner layer. So these are not insulated. They have about the same cold resistance as a typical Gore Tex Pro shell.

 

Pros: Nice attention to detail, unusual bib design that comes all the way up the chest in front, fairly high in back, truly like farmer's bibs. Also like those, has some nice zippered pockets in front, big enough for keys or credit cards and cash. Again, the new, gotta-be-improved Gore Tex seems to be fine. These will be $$ in real powder, no possibility of leaks even if I do a patented triple somersault yard sale deluxe 1 1/2 with a flip. 

 

Cons: Weird to get on and off; zip is on one side, only goes down a ways, so you have to pull whole deal on, including crossed suspenders, with no front opening. Fine once on, but don't plan to do this quickly. Has a fly, so that's taken care of, but of very limited duration, so, ah, can also take some time. If you're a woman, forget these. Fabric is harder on surface than I was expecting, so little noisy, although not irritatingly. These will not be your best choice if you ski with your legs near each other, or on carvers. A more specialized design than I anticipated, jury still out. 

 

3) Karbon Trainers - Inexpensive, full zips, meaning that you can literally take them off to the sides, they separate into a front and back. With light/moderate Thinsulate insulation. No pockets. No zips except at fly. Men's M

 

Pros: Smooth soft hand, good quality details, with a nice lining, perfect fit for a brace over racing suit, so semi-relaxed although inch less wide than the Arcteryx above. And silly cheap. Regardless of training, I've ended up using these for the majority of my days skiing so far; the insulation is about right for 25-35 degrees. Come with removable suspenders that are solid quality and stay adjusted. If you a nice pair of insulated pants that can be removed anytime, anyplace, for 2 Benjamins, these are your answer. More generally, Karbon clothing, race or non-race, is worth a look for good quality at a fair price. The working man's Spyder.

 

Cons: Zip design, while necessary, produces a funny flare at the hips that makes you look like you have a spare tire that moved south. Fabric is old school shiny. If you care about elegant appearance, may not be a starter. Insulation is heavy and I suspect won't last as long as Coreloft or Polarguard. These are not a statement of SES except in the negative. (Unless you appreciate the New England old money thing that goes for battered Volvos and slightly worn looking prep. Lot of younger racers wear these to show they don't need the Spyder emblem)

post #2 of 4

so the knee brace caused the holes in the pants? do you wear it under or over your base layers? if it's a stupid question I am sorry, I don't use a knee brace. I understand why a relaxed fit would be better, I was just thinking if there was some material between your brace and your outer layer pants may prevent the holes from developing? or it may just wear a hole through your base layers? I have always been a big fan of Arc'Teryx. I think you will be happy with either the bib or the pants. You laid out the pro's and cons yourself, so comes down to your personal preference of what you want from your pants. Personally I would go with the Micon's, the bibs have some benefits but seem like a big PITA 

post #3 of 4
Don't know about the brace, and never owned anything arcteryx. But i am a big fan of Karbon durability and common sense, "just enough frills" design. My kid had a pair for two years and they still looked new. Unprecedented. So i bought an identical pair for less than a hundred bucks on sale. Very happy with them.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thedangerzone View Post

so the knee brace caused the holes in the pants? Yep. do you wear it under or over your base layers? Over base layer, under ski pants. Doesn't work effectively if too much fabric between it and knee. if it's a stupid question I am sorry, I don't use a knee brace. Not stupid at all. I understand why a relaxed fit would be better, I was just thinking if there was some material between your brace and your outer layer pants may prevent the holes from developing? Tried that, they make sock-like covers for braces. Helped but not enough. It's a tightness/cumulative friction deal. or it may just wear a hole through your base layers? Nope, no real movement relative to base layer. I have always been a big fan of Arc'Teryx. I think you will be happy with either the bib or the pants. You laid out the pro's and cons yourself, so comes down to your personal preference of what you want from your pants. Personally I would go with the Micon's, the bibs have some benefits but seem like a big PITA Plan to keep both, actually. Bibs should be great for serious powder, also need something uninsulated like my old bibs. Just a bit odd to get on and off. 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Some Arcteryx and Karbon pants