Question New Backcountry Ski Pants

Vanders

Hard Yards
Jul 25, 2015
69
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Newcastle
My old faithful Mont Syncro backcountry pants have endured a bashing over the last maybe 7-8 years, and now need a retirement.
I'd like to say that I've worn them out (they've survived a lot) but they're shrinking i swear! -ok ok, I've gotten fat...

Can anyone recommend backcountry ski pants for Australian (wet & icy) conditions?

I've absolutely loved the Mont design, but funds are tight this year.
 
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ajmit3

Hard Yards
Jul 8, 2007
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melbourne
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol - can get them cheap. Did 18 days in japan with them. I think they would translate well to Aus as well. Get em from Barrabes or snowinn.
 
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Kletterer

Thredbo Doughnut Tragic
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Nov 26, 2014
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What ever you choose consider ones with scuff pads on the inside leg to protect from ski edge damage.
 

Vanders

Hard Yards
Jul 25, 2015
69
60
68
Newcastle
how do you guys find the softshell pants in a storm? I'd like to avoid carrying extra overpants...

I've found softshell jackets to range from amazing to terrible.
 
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ladycamper

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Jul 16, 2010
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They should have a good length zip in the calf area, so if bushwalking or skiing in the base layers and the rain/snow/strong wind comes, you can put them on while wearing boots.
 
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ladycamper

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Softshell can be fine, depends on assessment of the conditions, location and the season. For some cases, hardshell only is best, but in winter where there is more snow than rain, it takes longer for moisture to penetrate the layers.
 
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Fozzie Bear

A Local
Ski Pass
Jun 2, 2014
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@Vanders only got them at the beginning of the year, so haven't had a chance to wear them in anger.... so far a dozen lift assisted alpine skiing days in Yourope and Oztralia. However, other than in rain (and i try to avoid skiing in unconstituted snow) these soft shell pants (and they are supposed to be climbing pants) are the duck's nuts and they are now my default lower half wear.
 
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prcoy

Hard Yards
Ski Pass
Aug 3, 2010
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Point Leo, Australia
Ive been using a pair of Mont Tempest for the past 7 years, a little cheaper and lighter than the Syncro. Excellent shell type pants, really comfortable and lightweight, but starting to get a bit thin in the seat area. It would be good if they had some extra reinforcement there.
Contemplating replacing them with the same again or the Syncro.
Only fault I have with them is how they sit at the boot area. They tend to stick out a bit like Canadian mounted police pants, between the boot and knee. My fashion police kids and wife do tend to let me know about that!
 
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ladycamper

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Jul 16, 2010
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Ive been using a pair of Mont Tempest for the past 7 years, a little cheaper and lighter than the Syncro. Excellent shell type pants, really comfortable and lightweight, but starting to get a bit thin in the seat area. It would be good if they had some extra reinforcement there.
Contemplating replacing them with the same again or the Syncro.
Only fault I have with them is how they sit at the boot area. They tend to stick out a bit like Canadian mounted police pants, between the boot and knee. My fashion police kids and wife do tend to let me know about that!

You been sitting on rough surfaces? Cutout a bit of foam mat and use it for sitting when out and about.
 

Vanders

Hard Yards
Jul 25, 2015
69
60
68
Newcastle
Ive been using a pair of Mont Tempest for the past 7 years, a little cheaper and lighter than the Syncro. Excellent shell type pants, really comfortable and lightweight, but starting to get a bit thin in the seat area. It would be good if they had some extra reinforcement there.
Contemplating replacing them with the same again or the Syncro.
Only fault I have with them is how they sit at the boot area. They tend to stick out a bit like Canadian mounted police pants, between the boot and knee. My fashion police kids and wife do tend to let me know about that!

Haha, I've outgrown my syncro and my wife kindly informs me that they look like 70's tights....
I love how tough the syncro are, and the drop-seat feature is great when you 'have to go' in a hurry.
 

ocker

Hard Yards
Feb 28, 2002
151
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Melbourne
www.kiewaview.com
I have had a jacket and set of backcountry overalls INOC from Aldi for about 5 years, have worn them to Siberia and multiple back country trips to central Hokkaido and could not have been happier with them. A couple of guides have asked where did you get that nice gear from (err the supermarket). Too late for Aldi sale for this season, idea if you can hold out until next season.
 
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satanas

Addicted
May 26, 2005
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I'd also recommend softshells, since they stretch and are much more breathable. I have some OR softshell pants with integral gaiters and large zip vents, and they've been excellent in all conditions so far. Yes, one needs to carry some sort of waterproof layer in case of torrential rain, but this can be light, and doesn't need to be expensive; the sofshell fabric deals well with snow and light rain, as long as the latter is intermittent.

Personally, I'd never wear Goretex or such as a default layer for BC skiing or touring, but I've found softshell fabrics comfortable for both, and for resort skiing. Decent merino underwear helps too.
 

telecrag

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Oct 12, 2007
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I think I got the last pair of Synchro in L the other day, the model has been discontinued. New model looks pretty good, lighter, but not as light as the Tempest, with more reo. I still have the Tempest for touring, but got the Synchro for resort.
 
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telecrag

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
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That was direct from the source, they are probably still in shops.

Can you wait for the factory sale and either get to Canberra or get someone to buy for you? Generally a rrp of $430ish goes for $250ish in the sales.
 

chriscross

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 1, 2005
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Happy Birthday for next week. Hope you get to try out the new gear soon. I will be in W.A. that week ( for Richo's birthday), so with any luck it should dump then. Maybe catch up for some touring after that.
 

weerab

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Jul 13, 2009
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Happy Birthday for next week. Hope you get to try out the new gear soon. I will be in W.A. that week ( for Richo's birthday), so with any luck it should dump then. Maybe catch up for some touring after that.
Thanks, just waiting for the next big dump! Very good of you to go to WA for Richo's birthday! Also happy birthday for the 15th IIRC. It get's bloody depressing as you approach "three score and ten" as they used to say.
Are you Hoppeting this year?
 

AndrewA

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Jun 26, 2012
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I used to use soft shell pants, but weighed them, and was surprised as to how heavy they were. Now just use merino under 300g Cabelas goretex paclite or RAB event pants as my ski pants. No probs with sweat, wind or rain. And if they're reasonably dry at the end of the day, I just chuck my down pants over them, and sleep in the whole lot under a light quilt ( with down jacket and sometimes tele inner boots too! Works a treat.
 
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Ian

One of Us
Ski Pass
Oct 2, 2002
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Seconded: love my OR pants. Great ventilation too. Think I might have the heavier version with reinforced ankles and thigh length zips.

I'm happy with the Cirque too. Link

They're not waterproof, but shed snow well. I like the stretchy fit.They fit tightly over my Black Diamond Seeker boots, you might want to take your big boots when you try them on.

I've worn these as a middle layer in Japan too.

Most of my gear I've had for decades and I've decided the to shift the tradeoff back towards lightness vs durability, YMMV.
 
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DPS Driver

A Local
Jul 18, 2014
5,603
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I don't wear any soft shell gear. Didn't like the earlier products so steered clear. I prefer the durability of hard shell for the work I do in the snow and the type of skiing I mostly do.

I wear Trew Gear's, Trewth Bib and Cosmic jacket.
 
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Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
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Australian clear snow happens in Spring which is our touring season so waterproof is important in my book.
And full length zips, to unlayer easily.
 
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Any

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Aug 23, 2015
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I don't wear any soft shell gear. Didn't like the earlier products so steered clear. I prefer the durability of hard shell for the work I do in the snow and the type of skiing I mostly do.
ski too close to a tree in my soft shell jacket and even the little twigs that stick out leave marks and scratches in the material. i hate it. pants must be way worse.
i crash right through the middle of a jungle in my hard shell and come out the other side with no damage.
 

Red_switch

Old n' Crusty
Ski Pass
Jun 5, 2006
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Softshell fuckin rules. Currently without my beloved OR Cirque pants (they were in my car when it was flooded, and are now trashed...) so have been touring/doing alpine fieldwork in hardshell pants again. Fuckin horrible in comparison.

IMO, these days, GoreTex is best left in your pack for when you really need it. But I'm probably tending to be pretty minimal when it comes to outerwear these days. Standard upper half is a poly-prop thermal and a very lightweight, not even waterproof at all, nylon wind breaker (it's actually a cycling jacket). I keep a hooded primaloft jacket and goretex shell in the bottom of my pack, should they be needed.
 

Wheres Walle

Addicted
Aug 28, 2016
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I've been running 3 layer hardshell stuff, stays dry on snow days, breathes well enough to tour in without even needing to touch the vents. When it's actually warm it's not like you're going to wear a shell anyway, and last of all i'd hate to be carrying two sets of outerwear in my pack on multi dayers.. works really well as an all round solution.
 

Ian

One of Us
Ski Pass
Oct 2, 2002
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Queanbeyan
I've gone for a lightweight tradeoff, thick weight merino base, old pile jacket midlayer and light goretex shell. I wore this skiing Japan and had no problems. I'm trialling a replacement mid layer as the pile collar is too tight under the shell collar. I carry a collarless down jacket for lunchstops.

I find in windy weather a balaclava and goggles makes a big difference.
 

LMB

Old but definitely not Crusty!
Moderator
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May 6, 2010
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Anyone with recommendations for a decent women's set up - love to hear it. Everything I've looked at is so below the standard of fit for purpose of men's gears it's ridiculous!

Was chatting with a few female store staff in QT this past week and they agree - and have given the reps heaps.
 

weerab

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Jul 13, 2009
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Just a quick update on the RAB Calibre pants after a few days at Falls Creek. I really liked the fit and the vents on the legs but they are quite breathable so when it is windy you can feel the air coming thru. When you are touring they are fine but one day in the resort I ended up putting on overpants. So, overall I was impressed, but considering they are classed as mountaineering pants, I thought they would have been warmer in Aussie conditions.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
32,016
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Anyone with recommendations for a decent women's set up - love to hear it. Everything I've looked at is so below the standard of fit for purpose of men's gears it's ridiculous!

Was chatting with a few female store staff in QT this past week and they agree - and have given the reps heaps.

The wildandfree one uses a lot of Patagonia stuff cos it fits & works. And she spends a lot of time outside teaching nordic & guiding.
 
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Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
9,730
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You want something for wet & icy (so presumably cold too) therefore outside of short tours you're looking at hard shell.

I've been lightly using OR Furio pants for 9 years.

http://www.bogong.com.au/or-furio-pants-l-black-1.html

They vent reasonably well. A combo of light & medium Goretex.

I wouldn't have gone for full zips but it was a requirement of a guiding firm I went with. It's proven to be well worth it. Without them you tend to put up with discomfort for too long. Goretex doesn't 'breathe' on a humid day which are common enough on our fields.

Some folk criticise the zip-out mesh gaiters for weight and complexity but if you expect to bootpack in soft snow they will pay their way.
 

AndrewA

One of Us
Jun 26, 2012
722
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Melbourne
After the "blizzard" weekend on Bogong in early August, I'm now settled on 200 wt polar fleece pants over merino longjons, under lightweight hard shell pants ( goretex paclight or whatever). It'd be nice if polar fleece was actually an " insert" to hard shell pants, but it ain't going to happen - I mostly use longjons under the hard shell.


My main issue is weight, and multiple use, but depends on seasonal temps - eg whether mid winter, or Spring.


And it all gets back to layering.....

A
 

BillyKidd

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2010
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Yep, layers in a word. Good to experiment. If you structure it right then it won't be an inconvenience for sealing (tucking in to you and me) or if you have to take a crap - it should be easy to....well, prep and position oneself. Not always easy when the wind is howling, if you are at real altitude or if the temperature is seriously low (there's more than one form of blue balls!). Anoraks used by the Inuit are shaped the way they are, with slits, seams and folds, to make it easy to get on or off, to seal up (drawstring) or to attend to one's ablutions without getting shite all over your mukluks :eek::D
 

Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
9,730
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563
After the "blizzard" weekend on Bogong in early August, I'm now settled on 200 wt polar fleece pants over merino longjons, under lightweight hard shell pants ( goretex paclight or whatever). It'd be nice if polar fleece was actually an " insert" to hard shell pants, but it ain't going to happen - I mostly use longjons under the hard shell.


My main issue is weight, and multiple use, but depends on seasonal temps - eg whether mid winter, or Spring.


And it all gets back to layering.....

A
That's my setup too in cold weather. The fleece pants have little windproofness though so the shell tends to stay on with the side zips at half mast.
I still miss the old Kinetix pants with their close fit and combo of insulation and wind resistance.
 

Peagreenboat

Addicted
Jul 9, 2015
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Anyone with recommendations for a decent women's set up - love to hear it. Everything I've looked at is so below the standard of fit for purpose of men's gears it's ridiculous!

Was chatting with a few female store staff in QT this past week and they agree - and have given the reps heaps.

I ski backcountry in the Aldi Inoc gear. i find it great. Zips/ pockets are plentiful and it stands up to rain (20,000 rated) Have pants x 2 and jacket. Fit is good for my longer torso and shaping is good. I had the 2015 pants (too large): the material was heavier (but bullet proof against branches) and blocked more cold than the 2016 pair I bought. I mostly use the 2016 pair now, as they pack lighter. I use lots of layers.
 

weerab

One of Us
Jul 13, 2009
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I ski backcountry in the Aldi Inoc gear. i find it great. Zips/ pockets are plentiful and it stands up to rain (20,000 rated) Have pants x 2 and jacket. Fit is good for my longer torso and shaping is good. I had the 2015 pants (too large): the material was heavier (but bullet proof against branches) and blocked more cold than the 2016 pair I bought. I mostly use the 2016 pair now, as they pack lighter. I use lots of layers.
I wear the Aldi Inoc jacket while walking the dog in the rain. It's probably 2015, definitely heavier than my Goretex or Event and does not breathe as well. The newer Inoc definitely feels more lightweight. I still have Inoc pants from 2015 or so which I have only worn once or twice as because the weather has not been too bad.
 
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