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Shell vs. insulated - pants edition!

Poll Results: Ski pants - shell or insulation?

 
  • 58% (31)
    Shell
  • 15% (8)
    Insulated
  • 20% (11)
    Both
  • 5% (3)
    Who said I wear pants?
53 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We have one for jackets, how about one for pants?

I bring you yet another poll, blatant ripoff style!

Edit- yes I misspelled insulated. I blame my iPhone.
post #2 of 17
You should wear light cotton pants so you will have enough heat loss to wear that insulated jacket.
post #3 of 17
I have found insulated pants to be less comfortable and less flexible in temperature control. They:
  1. Are generally too warm even with a thin inner layer.
  2. Feel gross without an inner layer.
  3. Feel clammier - the moisture seems to stay closer to my legs vs. wearly a thicker inner insulation layer and a shell.
post #4 of 17
Once again, my lightly insulated Phenix pants work wonders. Couple them with the CW-X insulated tights and I'm good to go!

As long as you layer with breathable fabrics coupled with wind- and water-proof outer layers, I think anything ought to keep you warm!
post #5 of 17
As with the jacket question, shell pants allow for more variable layering options. I have light, medium, and expedition weight long underwear, as well as a pair of full-on fleece pants that I can layer beneath the shell as necessary.

A good pair of Goretex shell pants was as good of an investment in skiing comfort as I have ever made.
post #6 of 17
I have both, in fact I have 1 superlite old pair of Spyder Entrant shell pants that I've used 25 years for short, warm late spring backcountry jaunts. I have another pair of heavier non-insulated Mountain Hardwear shells that are very durable, mostly for other bc stuff. Then I have 2 different weight insulated pants for resort skiing. All have full side zips. Like VA, I have many different weights of long underwear & could probably get by with just the Mountain Harware pants. I am in ski pants everyday in the winter, so I may as well have some variety.
JF
post #7 of 17
Where do you normally ski?

Even here in JH, where it gets cold- pretty cold, I don't wear insulated pants. I do ski in a puffy when the temps are below 10F. Rarely is it snowing when the temps are below that. I'm one of the few guys that troops out there when it is well below zero.

I find that insulated ski pants are too cumbersome to move adequately in. Educate me, but I can't find a decent pair.

Also I think if your core is properly insulated the rest of your body will be noticeably warmer.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post
Where do you normally ski?
I'm not sure who you're asking, but so far I think I am the only one who mentioned insulated pants. I ski all over, but mostly in Utah. No, it's not nearly as cold as Jackson. I think different people find comfort in different ways. I don't have a lot of natural insulation, so that could be one contributer. For me, if it's 10 below I'm probably wearing my expedition weight long underwear with the insulated pants & I'm still cold. I also have a high sweat threshhold. I know some people who wear shorts all winter (not skiing). For me, I'm in long pants if it's 70 degrees or lower. Also, I believe humidity plays as much a role in what I wear as temperature. I tend to regulate body temp. more through my headgear & gloves than anything else, but that's a different poll.
Hope that makes some sense.

JF
post #9 of 17
I have both... and softshells.

I rarely/never wear my shell pants resort skiing.

I rarely/never wear my insulated pants in the backcountry.

If I'm hiking it's either the hard or soft shell pants... if I'm riding lifts it's insulated.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I'm not sure who you're asking
JF
The original poster
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post
The original poster

JF
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

JF
No sweat! Thanks for the great answer.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Was more curios in general than for personal reasons. I am buying new pants, probably insulated spyders. I've used a pair of HH shells for years, one of the seams finally gave out last year. Shells were great for southern NE "skiing", nut there would be days in Stowe/Smuggs where heavyweight base + heavyweight fleece pants + shells would barely cut it. I'm a pretty skinny guy tho with poor circulation so my legs seldom get too warm.

Hopefully HH will replace the shells on warranty so I'll have both options available.
post #14 of 17
I wear shell jackets and shell pants. There have been days when I have wished for a bit more warmth up top, but I have never had a problem with my legs being too cold. Feet yes (once or twice). Legs, never. I have mid weight polartec power stretch tights for the really cold days.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post
There have been days when I have wished for a bit more warmth up top, but I have never had a problem with my legs being too cold. Feet yes (once or twice). Legs, never.
If your legs are warmer, your feet will stay warmer. I try to drill that into my kids all the time ... their hands are cold, because they aren't wearing enough layers up top. One day it might sink in....

As to the original question, I wear shells 90% of the time, maybe 95%. But I have an inexpensive pair of insulated pants that are indispensable on really cold days. I'm sure they aren't waterproof (which is unnecessary in such cold weather), and they'll probably fall apart sooner than later, but I only wear them two or three days a years.
post #16 of 17
Seg, your premise makes perfect sense (warmer legs = warmer feet), but I think my problem was that I was tucking the fairly thick elastic at the bottom of the lining of my ski pants into the tops of my boots and it was reducing my circulation when I cinched down the buckles and power strap.

I have since learned that, where my feet are concerned, good blood circulation is paramount to comfort. I haven't had a problem since.

Actually, I think I first found out that "good circulation is the key to foot comfort" in these forums when I was reading a thin vs. thick ski sock debate. It has worked for me.

STE
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post
Seg, your premise makes perfect sense (warmer legs = warmer feet), but I think my problem was that I was tucking the fairly thick elastic at the bottom of the lining of my ski pants into the tops of my boots and it was reducing my circulation when I cinched down the buckles and power strap.

I have since learned that, where my feet are concerned, good blood circulation is paramount to comfort. I haven't had a problem since.

Actually, I think I first found out that "good circulation is the key to foot comfort" in these forums when I was reading a thin vs. thick ski sock debate. It has worked for me.

STE
Well, that's definitely true, too. (Circulation)

The way you said it just reminded me of my son complaining about his hands and feet being cold, when he refuses to wear a heavy-enough jacket on a cold day. "My back isn't cold, my feet are!" I think he's finally figured it out, though ...

My feet are always cold, and it is a circulation issue. I've gotten too used to it ... they get numb and I don't worry about it (b/c I can't feel them), and then I take off my boots and realize they take 4 hours to thaw out. Probably not the best plan of action.
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