Runner-Up Review: The Shell Pants That Almost Made Our 2022 Winter Buyer’s Guide
We only have space for six pants in the print magazine, but there are plenty more worthy pairs you should know about
There are so many good shell pants on the market these days that it’s hard to choose just a few to highlight in our annual Winter Buyer’s Guide. To make the cut, each pair has to do everything pretty much perfectly, from fit and comfort to function and features. These are the runner-up products that did everything almost perfectly, and are still worth a look.
Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Warm Pant ($129)
Though they’re made for hiking, Mountain Hardwear’s Chockstone Warm pants became a tester favorite for backcountry Nordic touring, too. The softshell exterior sheds snow and light precipitation, while the gridded, fleecy interior is soft enough against skin to go out sans-baselayers on truly warm days. The only downside: the cuffs aren’t tapered or elasticated, the way many dedicated Nordic pants’ are, so you’ll probably get some snow in your socks on deep days. For winter hiking on cold—but not snowy—days, these are the bottoms we’d choose. —Ariella Gintzler (Buyer’s Guide editor), backcountry nordic touring test manager
Marmot Women’s Adventure Bib ($450)
The Adventure bibs are a wise choice for deep winter shredding. Constructed with waterproof and windproof three-layer Gore-Tex fabric and fully taped seams, they provide superb protection from formidable conditions but are still remarkably airy. The athletic cut, racerback silhouette, articulated knees, and adjustable suspenders work together for optimized mobility. Extra long side zippers provide ample venting and deep zippered thigh pockets stash sundries. —Joe Jackson and Melissa McGibbon, ski pants and bibs test managers
FW Future Wild Manifest Tour 3L Bib ($550)
These high-waist bibs more than pass muster for ergonomic design. Long, off-set two-way side zippers in the front provide the novel ability to visit the loo without removing your jacket because they have more give. Extra large thigh pockets, hidden kick patches, adjustable suspenders with comfortable flat buckles, and snaps behind the knees to yield a slimmer silhouette are just a few of the stand-out particulars. Of course, the bibs are made from waterproof, breathable, stretchy fabric, and are also hella cute. (1% for the Planet) —J.J. and M.M.
Jones High Sierra Pant ($200)
The High Sierra Pants wear more like joggers or yoga tights than any ski pant we’ve tested. One tester legitimately forgot he was wearing these lightweight softshell bottoms after a pre-work skin and went about his day as if he were in athleisure. They proved not quite waterproof enough for resort days in wet Cascade concrete snow, but repelled enough of the elements to become one hot running testers’ all time favorite spring pant. —J.J. and M.M.