Outdoor Research Women's Iceline Pant
Price: $245 USD
Weight: 18.7oz/530g (Medium)
The lower back flap is a bonus and is a smart design feature of the pants. I keep mine flipped up at all times and it's nice to know when you bend over to put your harness on no snow will be entering!
The front of the thigh vent zippers are useful on long approaches or hot car rides. They work well with a harness on and are easy to open and close with gloves on. The vents and breathable Ventia fabric are able to regulate my temperature with ease. This fabric performs well in wet conditions - I have never felt moisture seep through.
The tapered legs are nice for ice climbing. They aren't too tight to constrict movement, but slim enough to not get snagged on crampons. The articulated knees are perfect for moving on ice.
The instep lace is like an internal gaiter strap that is fantastic for keeping the pants from riding up when you put your harness on. This feature is genius and I wish all my climbing/hiking pants had this feature.
The polyester grid fleece does in fact keep my system warmer in the winter. As a female who frequently gets cold thighs and butt, I can honestly say my legs have never been warmer ice climbing. I can layer underneath and don't feel any restriction in movement. I tested these pants down to -16C/3F.
The Ventia fabric has not shown any signs of damage or wear, even with ice screws and other sharps near the pants constantly. I generally wear gaiters when I ice climb to prevent crampon holes, but constantly doubt my need for them with these pants. So far, I haven't risked going without.
I have never used the two pockets in the pants and wonder if others ever use them as well. Not sure what I would carry in them that wouldn't restrict my ability to climb.
The cordura ankle scuff guards are great, but for my perfect climbing pant, they would have to come up mid-shin height. I always use gaiters and if I get a slash (normally from walking not climbing), it always comes just higher than the guard is.
Best Uses: Ice climbing of all kinds.
These are the BEST ice climbing pants I have ever owned. I would buy another pair in a heartbeat if these ever wore out, which I'm not expecting they will for a long time! Well thought out pants Outdoor Research! Great design!
Full disclosure: I was given these pants as part of Outdoor Research's #ORInsightLab. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.