Arc’Teryx have a well-deserved reputation for making some of the best outdoor kit on the market. Whether it’s ski gear, serious mountaineering boots or innovative backpacks, this Vancouver-based brand is all about the top end of the market. The Shashka Pants, designed specifically for skiing and snowboarding, are a great example.
Bib pants were once the preserve of the practically minded, but have undergone something of an image evolution in recent seasons. They’ve now very much the “in" thing to wear for skiers and snowboarders - from teenaged park rats doing rail tricks all the way up to grizzled backcountry veterans.
"Comfortable, convenient, waterproof and highly breathable, these are some of the best ski touring pants you can buy."
A glance at the spec of the Shaska Pants (not to mention the price) will be enough to tell you that these are aimed more towards the latter demographic. These are a seriously technical bit of kit. They’re made out of Gore-Tex with Gore C-Knit Backer Technology, which is lighter weight than conventional Gore-Tex and feels better on the skin while still offering full waterproof protection.
The fabric is cut and stitched in such a way that it offers maximum freedom of movement (Arc’Teryx call this e3D patterning), which is obviously useful when you’re skinning up steep sections, or stretching to make a difficult kick turn. The cut is women’s specific too, and nicely fitted to the female body shape. There are a ton of other features aimed specifically at tourers and split-boarders too.
They’ve got fully-taped seams and waterproof zips on the side vents and the pockets. There’s also a special Touring Cuff that you can adjust easily with a velcro strap to stop snow getting in when you switch your boots to touring mode, and a stash pocket with a key fob which is a nice touch. The suspenders on the bib pants can be taken off easily if you’d prefer to wear these as regular ski trousers too.
Arc’teryx are never going to be the cheapest brand on the market, and £380 for a pair of ski pants might seem pricey. But as with everything they make, the design and the build quality of these is absolutely second to none. Comfortable, convenient, waterproof and highly breathable, these are some of the best ski touring pants you can buy. They’ll help you make the most of your days out on the hill, and last you for years to come.
Arc’teryx Shashka Bib Pants