In terms of storage and features, the Stio Environ and Black Diamond Mission pants stand out as the clear winners of the group. The Environ pant boasts the most pockets of all the pants in the test, while the Mission pant features a dedicated avalanche beacon pocket designed to integrate with Pieps products. Both pants have waist adjustments, as well as ample storage options for any items users need quick access to.
As far as comfort goes, look no further than the Arc’teryx Stingray pant. Built from superb outer material (70 denier Gore-Tex), this pant also features a brushed flannel backer which gives it a soft, quiet feel. The Stingray articulates well and is ergonomic and comfortable. It is also the most minimalist, no-frills pant in our test.
With continued innovation and improvement in lightweight, breathable fabrics, snow sports clothing has trended toward versatile, quiver-of-one pieces as the most common gear preference. These pieces strive for a balance between keeping the elements out while maintaining breathability and temperature control. To accomplish this, every ski pant in this test is constructed using 3-layer breathable materials (generally Gore-Tex) and features some form of leg zip for temperature control purposes on warmer days or while hiking. This enables the pants in this test to be used in a wide range of temperatures, covering virtually any scenario a user may face in the backcountry.
The pant with the most versatile temperature control is the Mountain Hardwear Hellgate pant. This is the only pant that feature a 3/4 length leg zip that when open, provides more airflow than any of its counterparts. The Hellgate is also suitable for colder days out, although it isn’t quite as warm as the Environ and Untracked pants.
For uncompromised warmth and durability, look to the Stio Environ pant. It is consequently also the heaviest pant in the group, but its thick Dermizax 3-layer proprietary material may be worth the extra ounces for users looking for an ultra-rugged pant.
Lastly, tying all of these categories together into our Best in Class Winner, is the Patagonia Untracked pant. This one checks every box, which makes it the overall most versatile pant in the group. The Untracked pant is durable, comfortable, functions well in a wide range of temperatures, and has plenty of storage options. It is also the only pant with a mesh liner covering the side zip seam for sun protection.