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How We Tested Ski Pants

By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor
Thursday
Changing from the Arc Teryx Sabre into the insulated Columbia Bugaboo II for immediate comparison.
Changing from the Arc Teryx Sabre into the insulated Columbia Bugaboo II for immediate comparison.

For this review, we skied a ton. It's rough, but someone has to do it. Each pair of pants was worn extensively at Grand Targhee in Wyoming's Tetons. Targhee is high and exposed. Storms are intense and foggy. We also tested at California's Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth complements Targhee in that some days are warmer, and its storms are intense and wet. Sunny days are more frequent on Mammoth, and the terrain is bigger and rowdier. These are excellent outerwear testing conditions. The only condition we couldn't replicate here was rain, so to test the waterproofness, we wore each pair of pants in the shower. This proved to be a valuable examination, showing weakness more than on an average ski day.

Our lead test editor is a backcountry ski guide. He wore each pair of pants on at least one short backcountry tour, if not multiple longer tours. With more and more skiers heading out of bounds, this testing helps keep our recommendations current. We loaned the pants to other skiers for both in-bounds use and backcountry testing. Each pair of pants was evaluated for all of the above criteria.

Testing for waterproofness. The Columbia pants  shown here  proved to have excellent water repellency  but one of the vulnerable seams leaked.
Testing for waterproofness. The Columbia pants, shown here, proved to have excellent water repellency, but one of the vulnerable seams leaked.


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