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Ski Pants Help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm going skiing in Vermont for 4 days in a week and a half and I really don't have any suitable skit pants to bring with. I've been looking around but am finding it very difficult to get the info I need. I searched North Face's site, for example (my fleece and shell are north face) and couldn't get any grasp on which pants are for skiing (product descriptions mostly mention trekking and climbing). Is there a difference between boarding pants and ski pants?

Could you guys give me some advice here? I could spend around $300 if I was convinced it would make all the difference, but I'd prefer to stay around half that. I'd like to have pants warm enough that I could just wear long underwear and nylon gym shorts underneat.

Thanks a lot for your help,
post #2 of 12
I've used Beater Pants for years.
I have worn just regular pants underneath to 20 below...and sitting on wet chairs is no problem.
post #3 of 12
I like pants with full side zips for easy on and off. Beyond that I have purchased primarily based on fit and price. My current pair is Sportiva, an off brand but they fit well and have kept me warm and dry. I think I spent $40 - $50 for them. If you look beyond the brand names but focus on fit and features, you can save some serious dough. If you are a ski pro and wear them 100+ days a year then the marquis brands are probably worth it. For the rest of us, I'm not so sure.
post #4 of 12
I think the main differences in the expensive pants are durability, good design and comfort. Goretex and its competitors are expensive, but breathe well and will reliably keep you dry and are really windproof. I have had only 2 pairs in the past 15 years (1st were NorthFace, had for 10 years; current ones are Mountain Hardwear, both bought at closeout sales of the previous year's models). They are indestructable, and the amortized cost is much cheaper than many more pairs of cheap ski pants. As was previously mentioned, side zips are great for getting in and out, as well as for ventilation on hot days (unzip about 6" at the top). Bomb-proof abrasion panels on the inside ankle prevent cuts from ski edges (this feature may be missing on many snowboard pants, which will dramatically decrease the longevity of your pants). Snowboard pants are also very baggy- personally, I think they look stupid, and with all that extra useless space in there, they are not as warm or (in my opinion) comfortable.

Best deal I see right now at my usual places for bargains are these by Moonstone at REI outlet (only size XL, however). No other really great bargains that I noticed for goretex or other waterproof breathables less than $150, but here's a pair of softshell pants (more breathable, but less waterproof- may be a great option in the west, perhaps less ideal in the east) at a good price. Look at mgear.com, sierratradingpost.com for more expensive options.

A (well, relatively) economical option are the cheaper goretx options like NorhtFace's Hyvent, Mt Hardwear Conduit, etc. They work well, and are much cheaper.

The stuff made for mountaineering as opposed to skiing is usually super durable and well-made, but most are shells, so no insulation. I like that, but it sounds like you may not- personal preference (you need more insulation underneath, but you can tailor that layer to current conditions)

[ December 10, 2003, 08:42 PM: Message edited by: dp ]
post #5 of 12

I was concerned about the mountaineering gear fitting properly WRT ski boots, so I looked more exclusively at ski gear. The only thing I could find with GoreTex that fit was North Face Mountain Light pants which are mountaineering pants according to TNF. I have a couple days in them and am very happy.

I would go with GoreTex. The day you realize you need it won't be fun and eastern skiing can be wet.
post #6 of 12
Decent, but not awesome pants are required for maximum fun/minimum hassle. I bought a pair of no-name GoreTex pants on sale for $110, and they've lasted 50 days in 3 years with no rips & no discernible wear. Zippers are nice when temps get hot, but if you're hot...just take off your hat for 2 minutes.

You might find a deal here: www.sierratradingpost.com
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I was looking at the North Face Mountain Light Pants too. I was also admiring the North Face Freedom Pants. I guess they're boarding pants but I really like the look. I don't think they'll be too baggy since I have big tree trunk legs . Plus, Dick's has them for $99. Does anyone have any experience with these? I'm guessing they're pretty new since there don't seem to be any reviews online.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I looked more closely at Dicks' selection and noticed they also have the North Face Mountain Side Zip Pants - does anyone know if this is the same thing as the Mountain Light Pants? I was all set to go to the nearest Dicks and check them out, but when I called ahead I was told that they didn't actually carry any North Face products.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I was wondering...what do you wear underneath your Mountain Light Pants? Are they warm enough to just wear long underwear?
post #10 of 12
rip curl makes a great pant. lots of pockets too, and warmmmm!!! and inexpensivvvve!!!
post #11 of 12
Look around.

A lot of time, pants marketed for snowboarders are really cheap.
I got a pair for $40. I dont even wear long underwear underneath and Ive been warm down to 0F (never done any skiing below that)
post #12 of 12
Invertedflight, I wore them last weekend for two days and it was 20-30 deg and windy. I wore only "Hot Chili" underwear (not their newer heavier fleece underwear) and was warm for the most part. I was actually pleasantly surprized at how warm they were since I used to wear insulated pants. I am going to get the Hot Chilis "Mountain Weight" though for colder days. The pants really blocked the wind well. I am not sure about whether the "north face mountain side zip" is the same or not although I don't recall a product with that name being on TNF website.
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