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Get a Leg Up: Insulated

posted: 06/16/2005
by Ben Hewitt

6 Predatorwear Tiki
$170 (same for the uninsulated version);
The board-short aesthetic belies the Tiki's true character: Fully lined with fleece, these are some of the warmest pants we tested. There are plenty of pockets (two rear, two hand, two thigh), and every seam of the Tiki's waterproof-breathable fabric is taped.
Gripes: With so much fleece, and only small inner-thigh vents, the Tiki doesn't breathe very well.
Props: If your home resort is chilly, and you prefer to ski from first chair to last, the Tiki is a lot of pant for the price.
Warmth: 4

7Spyder Coach's Bib
Whether you're encouraging groms through the gates or skiing the Midwest in February, this is your pant. Thanks to 100-gram Thinsulate insulation, rugged nylon reinforcement panels, and full-cuff scuff guards, the Coach's Bib is insanely warm and built like a stone axe. Plenty of pockets (three chest, two hand, one thigh, one ankle) provide space to stash radios, snacks, and other goodies.
Gripes: Breathes about as well as Don Corleone with a chest cold.
Props: Padded knees are nice for telemarking and kneeling on ice.
Warmth: 5

8 Völkl Supersport
Magno Flow. Sensortex. Nano Technology. It takes several labels to explain all the fancy terms at play in these pants, but here's what you need to know: Taped seams; four-way stretch, waterproof-breathable fabric; and 40-gram Thinsulate make them rugged, comfy, and quite warm—though not as toasty as the Spyder or Predatorwear. The athletic fit, moto-inspired cut, and Kevlar (yes, Kevlar) outer fabric all scream toughness.
Gripes: Thin Kevlar piping stands in for edge guards, but we think a full panel would work better.
Props: A high, fleece-lined back kept even our skinniest testers toasty, and a nonslip waistband kept their drawers up.
Warmth: 3

9 Patagonia Scythe
Like The North Face Caber, the Patagonia Scythe mixes soft- and hardshell fabrics—making it an ideal choice for any resort outside the Northwest (read: drier climates). Unlike the Caber, it has a light layer of polyester-pile insulation, so while it's a good choice for inbounds skiers, it's a mite warm for backcountry slogging. The stretch-woven softshell fabric is flexible and breathable, and hardshell patches on the butt and knees boost water resistance in critical areas.
Gripes: The zipperless cuffs are too tight; pulling them over the tops of some boots is a struggle.
Props: Patagonia's proprietary DWR water resistant coating lets the Scythe fend off all but the wettest of storms.
Warmth: 2

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