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Recommendations on hardshell pants for ice/snow?
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Jan 11, 2012
MP Community -
I'm looking for a pair of hardshell pants that (ideally) include the following features (outside of being waterproof):
- Full side zips
- Suspenders
- Not insulated
- Alpine (i.e. svelte) fit

Intended use would be ice climbing and backcountry skiing.

I have a solid pair of softshell pants but plan on purchasing hard shell pants for certain conditions. I really like the the Patagonia Stretch Element pants but they no longer make those. Any ideas on anything similar or better?

Joined Mar 30, 2011
0 points
Jan 12, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Skinning up Sand Mountain, OR
i rarely use my hardshell pants but I normally carry patagonia torrentshell pants on every climb. Light, not crazy expensive (like the full on bibs) and keeps me dry. Dave77
From Corvallis, OR
Joined Nov 22, 2011
76 points
Jan 12, 2012
I know you wrote hardshell, but I'm loving the patagonia backcountry guide pant. I just climbed a dripping wet pitch of ice in a chimney, and they kept me totally dry. That pitch would have soaked many a hardshell pant.

For hardshell, I have very light pair of Marmot gore-tex pants that work great.
Joined Nov 30, 2009
33 points
Jan 12, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Tour Ronde North Face
Arcteryx Alpha LT 1/2 bib.

Comes in a wide range of sizes (tall, short, medium)

Light weight, good cut.

Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Jan 6, 2006
261 points
Jan 12, 2012
Thanks for all of the info/advice...

JohnnyG - one of my climbing partners has the backcountry guide pants and loves them as well. I already own the Arc'Teryx Gamma SK bibs and can't rationalize another pair of softshells at the moment (budget!) since I don't own any hardshells...

Kai - another one of my climbing partners climbs in those as well and seems to like them. Unfortunately, a new pair is a bit out of my price range.

Anyone know of anything remotely comparable to the Patagonia Stretch Element (or a good forum other than GearTrade where I might be able to score a used pair)? That is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for...
Joined Mar 30, 2011
0 points
Jan 12, 2012
I have a pair of stretch element bibs I would be willing to sell. They are practically new. Let me know if you are interested and I can post pictures. They are black size medium. JJNS
Joined Sep 30, 2008
499 points
Jan 15, 2012
I just got a set of LLBean Ascent pants. They were on sale for $140 with free shipping when I got them (still on sale but sizes are now more limited). I need "Tall" pants so I got these in the difficult to find (or uber expensive) M Tall size. They are not cut steezy but aren't Euro tight -- a perfect blend to fit over the tops of my beefy AT boots but still be svelte. They have full side zips, suspenders included, no insulation, and are made from GoreTex ProShell -- all for under $150! Minimal pockets and no wanky extras, these are pretty minimalist pants compared to most of the ski industry. They are very light and pack down small, which I like, because it means I have no excuse not to carry them. These were a no brainer that I've wanted for years, but was happy to see them on clearance last month.

Also LLBean has one of the best warranties in the industry, which is a flat-out "must have" for me.
From New England/ Baltimore
Joined Aug 22, 2011
4 points
Jan 15, 2012
Tried 'em all, and I ended up with Loki Levity pants - they are eVent, full zipper, great fit and they absolutely rock!!!
Joined Apr 8, 2011
10 points
Jan 15, 2012
Hey Jason, still got the stretch element bib? divnamite
From New York, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2007
193 points
Jan 15, 2012
Right on...I'll look into both of those options - thanks for the suggestions.

Jason, I'm an L but thanks for the offer man. I don't think you'll have too difficult a time selling them!
Joined Mar 30, 2011
0 points
Jan 16, 2012
Yes I still have them. I will post pictures tomorrow.

Rock Climbing Photo: stretch element bibs
stretch element bibs

Rock Climbing Photo: Leg pocket close-up
Leg pocket close-up

So these are the stretch element bibs I have had since 2008. They are in great shape and have seen limited wear. I can only recall taking them on one trip to Mexico and some winter 14ers in Colorado. I would like to get $200.00 for them.


Joined Sep 30, 2008
499 points
Jan 18, 2012
I've been happy with my Rab Latok eVent pants. I believe they offer another model with suspenders as well. Ted Kuether
From Olathe, KS
Joined Dec 29, 2011
1 points
Jan 18, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Black Dike 12/25/11
Kinda pricy but can be had on sale for 25% off at the moment. Also hard to find in sizes at this point but if you can the Mammut Norwand Pant is sweet for hard shell. If you want soft shell the Mammut Eisberg pant is just as sweet.

Cant go wrong with Patagonia Alpine Guide though 99.9% of the time if you are practically and budget minded.
Joined Nov 8, 2011
281 points

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