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Help the Indecisive on Comfortable Shell Pants

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, please consider this one of the those fun threads.  Id like to add NON-insulated shell pants to "quiver" to compliment the great ibex wool softshells ive had for 7 or eight years.  Basic requirements are:

 

1)  Waterproof/breathable - obviously

2)  Comfort: must be super comfy- gussted crotch?

2)  Venting: these are going to be my warmer weather pair

3)  Not too heavy. Ill be doing mostly inbounds and im not too hard on my pants

4)  Adjustable waist

5)  Not super baggy teenage park rat style- loose is ok

 

 

Im a 35" waist with 32/33 inch inseam.  First thoughts are:

 

1) Cloudveil Koven,

2) Fly low chemical

3) Westcomb Mirage or Vapor FX

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or thoughts....

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuzz View Post

1) Cloudveil Koven,

2) Fly low chemical

3) Westcomb Mirage or Vapor FX 

Hard to go wrong with that list, though to me fit and features (i.e., pockets how they adjust) should be the deciding factor.  Other ones to consider in case these don't work out include: Arc-Teryx (they make so many great models - one must fit the bill), Columbia Titanium (many swear by these even though they ain't chic, but you'll save yourself a ton of $$), Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, and a higher-end Spyder (i.e., with Derzimax EV waterproofing).  Note - the higher-end Gortex TNF pants (i.e., Mammatus) comes with suspenders which doesn't seem to be one of your requirements.

post #3 of 10

I use arcteryx sidewinder pants  all season long .I vary the base layer for conditions.They aren't insulated and have zip vents.They come in a wide range of sizes.Fabulous product.

post #4 of 10

I love my new Cloudveil Zero G pants.

post #5 of 10

Cloudveil Kovens are comfy, durable enough inbounds; full zippers, slimmish fit.  You'd probably take a large.

post #6 of 10

Take a look at the Patagonia PowderBowl pants. They fill all your criteria and have ample pockets. I bought a pair this season and am very pleased.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post

Take a look at the Patagonia PowderBowl pants....

Just retired my 12 year old Patagonia pants.  I felt like a king every time I put them on (they were pretty much the only brand I could try on at the time that came in a short/small and they fit perfectly).  They were bomb-proof, but, alas it was time to move them on (from these cold, dead hands...).  I would have bought Patagonia's again but they no longer offered a  short/small with suspenders so I got a new pair of $150 TNF pants - they are pretty much are POS's compared with the Patagonia's (heed this: consider making sure that the scuff guards are some sort of Kevlar - I'm slicing through the TNF's cordura scuff guards like butter).

 

Anyway, I'd 2nd the Patagonia's but word has it that your list of three are pretty damn bombproof too and:

  • the Flylow appears especially beefy, has four pockets though none at the thighs, and a new-school fit, only has a 10k/8k waterproof technology (good enough for, say, CO/UT in-bounds), and and four vent zips.
  • the Cloudveil is lighter, with suspenders, three pockets (one thigh), 7/8th side zips, and with a stretchy Dermizax-based (20k/20k waterproofing) material.
  • the Westcomb is the lightest weight (more BC/mountaineering focused) with fewest pockets, two vent zips, and with the uber-breathable eVent fabric (20k/20k waterproofing). 

 

Anyway, these pants and the Patagonia's are all at a similar price point (vs. the nose-bleed prices of Arc'teryx), so it all depends on where you want to strike the balance between features (i.e., # of pockets, suspenders, type/# of vent zips), weight, waterproofness, beathability, heavy-dutiness and fit.  Have you had a chance to look at or try on any of these pants?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the informative replies.  Im in NYC so fly low and westcomb are not available for try on.  Also cant find the koven in large here. Was trying to avoid the mail order/return of all three b/c wifey has a heart attack if the word "gear" is mentioned or seen. 

 

Im kinda leaning towards the fly low on the uniqueness factor but being tall and skinny i think they may be a bit too boxy and id look like an old man trying to be hip.Which IMHO is horribly lame. Also im leaning towards something lighter towards spring to augment my scholler soft shell pants

 

I dont need a huge amount of pockets so the westcomb is starting to look nice.....wonder if all of the pants would snap into my cloudveil rpk on a pow day....

 

ahh decisions decisions....

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuzz View Post

....Im in NYC so fly low and westcomb are not available for try on.  Also cant find the koven in large here. Was trying to avoid the mail order/return of all three b/c wifey has a heart attack if the word "gear" is mentioned or seen. 

 

Im kinda leaning towards the fly low on the uniqueness factor but being tall and skinny i think they may be a bit too boxy and id look like an old man trying to be hip.Which IMHO is horribly lame. Also im leaning towards something lighter towards spring to augment my scholler soft shell pants

 

I dont need a huge amount of pockets so the westcomb is starting to look nice.....wonder if all of the pants would snap into my cloudveil rpk on a pow day....

 

ahh decisions decisions....

 


 

Understand your dilemma being in NYC.  A few suggestions:

  • I've seen the Flylows (I live in Denver and that's where they are based) and they are definitely on the baggy side so I would eliminate that from your list.
  • Since you said that these would be your warmer weather pair then the uber-breathable eVent Westcomb is probably the best choice (and it's lighter weight materials won't be an issue since you said you're not hard on pants).  OTOH - I can't tell from the item specs whether it has a very adjustable waist (I've looked at them, but not closely)....
  • Sure it would be nice if you could somehow get feedback here about what would fit you best based on other EpicSkiers with your same body type, but I can't see that happening to the degree needed and, in the end, only you can tell whether something fits properly.
  • Most better stores will order in a garment for you if they don't have it in the size you need - did you try this for the Cloudveil's?
  • There is a Patagonia store in Manhattan (426 Columbus Ave) - even though they aren't on your list of three it would be worth checking them out (their stuff is great).
  • As a person that takes a small I also can't always try on garments before I buy.  This year I had good luck buying from Backcountry.com (though there may be other online retailers in the same league) - they seem fairly knowledgeable about the fit of their garments (I even had they take some measurements for me just to be sure) and to confirm that they have the features that you want (i.e., an adjustable waist).  They could help you make a more informed decision.  I know you don't want end up returning them due to fit/features issue, but if you have to they will take anything back, no questions asked, given the challenge of buying before you try it on.

 

I hope this helps with the your decisions decisions....

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuzz View Post

...Also cant find the koven in large here....

P.S. - Note from the most recent post by axebiker on the following thread that Cloudveil's fit is very generous too - so they may not be the right fit either:
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/80234/ski-jackets-and-pants-what-brands-are-today-s-standards-in-build-construction-quality/30#post_1057785

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