Hello pants I use for EVERYTHING (almost)!
Ice climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering, snowshoeing, touring, these pants do it all! For any alpine or windy endeavor, these are my go-to pants. I am even packing these for my upcoming Denali adventure.
The Arc'teryx Gamma AR Softshell pant for women will run you about $199, but like most Arc'teryx items, I have found this one incredibly worth the money. This is by far one of the best clothing items I own, not to mention the trim fit is actually flattering (compared to many softshell pants out there for women).
The Gamma AR pant is super durable and lightweight, and it gives me a very comfortable and secure fit. No matter what I am doing, no butt-cracks here, thanks to the stretchy fit and built-in belt. The belt has quite a few loop options to link into, which I have found incredibly helpful to make these pants even more versatile (i.e. some days I need to wear a layer or two underneath, and some days I don't need any layers, and some days I am just bloated, but they still fit with the belt adjustment!) This sort of comfort is hard to find for me personally, as I am small but have curves!
These pants are very breathable! Even when I am sweating my butt off in them, I never feel sticky (but I do always wear at least a thin legging underneath). But unlike other softshells I have owned, they never make me feel humid.
No matter what terrain I have gone through, the pants have held up very well. The only time I have managed to knick them was when I somehow put the front-point of my ice-climbing crampon through the bottom side. It went right through, but had held-up to the many branches and rocks I have scraped them against Tip: so avoid plunging your crampon through them and you should be fine :)
- Tip: I ALWAYS wear a pair of leggings underneath because I don't like the feel of softshell material on my skin (this one can feel a little like rain pant material) . This can range to a heavy legging to a very thin and non-insulating legging.
- Tip: The pant fits great over a regular boot or shoe, but its a little more of a struggle getting them over ski boots (especially in tour-mode) so a gaiter can be helpful in this situation. Also there is a gaiter clip in the front, which is helpful.
- Tip: Not for warm weather! Think Alpine adventure time or wind/rain. I live in a Colorado Mountain Town at 10,000ft and I can almost use them year-round.
PROS & CONS
Pros: Durable, lightweight, adjustable waste, stretchy (gusseted), wind-resistant, breathable, comfortable under a backpack hip-belt, Low pocket that you can access even in a harness, no butt-crack
Cons: Price ($199!), for me they need a lining layer between my skin and the pant, run a little small (size up if on the cusp).
The one change I would make:
- Like any softshell, they are not completely waterproof, if these had gortex on the knee they would be the perfect softshell for any snowy adventure.
Info: Burly™ double weave—46% nylon, 46% polyester, 8% elastane, 275 g/m².
Highly breathable textiles with stretch and differing degrees of thermal efficiency that can be worn as water-resistant outer layers. High degree of abrasion resistance.
AR | All Around
Provides high performance & weather protection and highlights a range of features to give All Around versatility in multiple activities