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Ski pants help please :)

Discussion in 'Ski Gear' started by Nikole, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    Hi !

    I just recently moved to Utah and decided to get myself outside during winter and buy a season pass to Snowbasin.

    I'm really struggling to decide which ski pants I should get. Is 10k waterproofing enough or do I want more? do I NEED insulation or would I be fine to just layer my legs? I have some Nike Hyperwarm Dri-fit leggings that I am planning to wear under ski pants. I'll post some of the pants i'm looking at. Obviously since I'm new and won't even be doing it a ton I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars.

    https://www.evo.com/shell-pants/volcom-species-stretch-womens My favorite choice. 15k waterproofing on all colors except heather grey which is 10k. of course I prefer the grey hahaha.

    https://www.evo.com/outlet/insulated-pants/dakine-tamarack-gore-tex-womens 28k waterproofing gore-tex. Can't find any reviews on these though

    https://www.evo.com/shell-pants/orage-clara-womens 20k waterproofing. Also can't find reviews on these.

    So far I've decided to save a little bit of money and use the winter jacket that I currently have. It's a 2015 The North Face HyVent with a synthetic down jacket that zips in. If needed I do have a thin goosedown TNF jacket I can switch out with the synthetic. I also plan to wear a lightweight base layer and then i'm even contemplating getting a TNF midweight neck zip baselayer. Does that sound okay or should I just spend the money and get an actual ski jacket?

    As for gloves/mittens i'm thinking these: https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/womens-accessories-gloves/womens-montana-mitt-cth1?variationId=LJN

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! thank you!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  2. socalgal

    socalgal Certified Ski Diva

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    Welcome!

    I have been using my TNF apex jacket underneath my Marmot goretex rain shell. Not an "official" ski jacket, but it has worked for me. I think the main consideration would be the waterproofness of your outer layer, and then the rest per the conditions and your own comfort. In fairness though, I am in the market for a ski specific jacket-- mainly for the strategic pocket placements.

    I have some 10K pants and they started acting like a water wick this past season :frown:
     
  3. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    Maybe that's something i'll have to look into! i'm fairly sure my jacket is pretty waterproof because with rainstorms and such I haven't had any issues. Of course I'm not out in wet weather for hours like I will be but we will see :smile: And that's what I was afraid of with the pants :frown: I'm hoping someone will read through this that has the Volcom Species Stretch and let me know how they like them. I'm definitely leaning towards those althoug the goretex ones would be awesome too. I just prefer the "fit" of the Volcom ones ;)
     
  4. bounceswoosh

    bounceswoosh Moderator & Angel Diva Staff Member

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    Hi, @Nikole !

    In Utah, I don't think you need to obsess about waterproofing. I sure don't need to in Colorado, although I do like the extra assurance.

    You certainly won't be "out in wet weather for hours" in Utah! You'll quickly, very quickly, get spoiled. Unless you're an instructor (and have a uniform, anyway), you won't be skiing in the rain. Certainly not after your first season. I'd bet money.

    I have an insulated TNF ski jacket with HyVent, and it works just great on frigid, snowy days. Granted, the snow isn't wet those days, but it doesn't get soaked through when I go in for lunch, either.

    I do like GoreTex, so I like Arc'Teryx. But I also like Arc'Teryx for its many panels and well thought out features (mostly. Women's jacket pockets are still a VERY weak point). That is likely more than you want to spend out of the gate, though.


    My personal layering system (may or may not be appropriate for you):

    Typical Colorado temps -
    Top: wool base layer, fleece mid layer, wind and waterproof shell.
    Bottom: wool tights (Icebreaker ftw!), "puffy" (insulated quilted) pants, bib shell. I like bibs because air/snow can't get up my back, and it also puts no pressure on my belly - remarkably liberating.

    Frigid temps -

    Top - wool base layer, fleece mid layer, insulated shell. It's fairly wind and waterproof, but waterproof isn't necessary at these temps as long as the body is well insulated (so that your body heat doesn't melt the snow).

    Bottom - wool tights and puffy pants, plus insulated pants. Insulated bibs are weirdly hard to find. I'm in the process of ordering/trying on some that I've finally found and hope will work.

    Have you thought about how long your torso is, and how long you want jackets to drape? There seem to be two lines of thought depending on your outlook:
    1) Want it fairly short because you want a waist (visual appeal)
    2) Want it fairly long because you want your butt to be warm (comfort appeal)

    Then there are some ladies with short torsos who just want a short jacket so that they don't look like they're wearing an overcoat!
     
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  5. bounceswoosh

    bounceswoosh Moderator & Angel Diva Staff Member

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    ^^ Oh, forgot to add - for in between days, a puffy vest or puffy full jacket may appear. I sweat a lot in bumps and trees, so a full puffy usually holds too much heat for me to tolerate - I overheat and then can't dump it, so the sweat gets cold and then I freeze even worse. But on those rare ungodly cold days, it may make an appearance.
     
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  6. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    Awesome points!! I'm from Michigan so I totally believe the feeling spoiled thing. I'm used to wet dreary winters! I think i'm definitely leaning towards the Volcom Species Stretch and maybe i'll just opt out of the heather grey (10k) and get another color that is 15k waterproof just for peace of mind :smile: Not insulated but I can definitely take some tips from you and just layer my bottom half to whatever is comfortable!

    I definitely haven't thought about torso and jacket length at all. I think what I have now is a bit of an inbetween. Maybe I should wait for the season to start before jacket hunting so I can see how comfortable/uncomfortable I am. I have been eyeballing this : https://www.sierratradingpost.com/the-north-face-thermoball-snow-triclimate-parka-waterproof-insulated-3-in-1-for-women~p~206xw/?filterString=s~the-north-face/women~d~5324/womens-clothing~d~6/specdataor~features!waterproof (all),waterproof (gore-tex),insulated/ but they only have it in a M on this site and I imagine i'm a Small in it. Even though I should account for layers ;) i'm about 5'2" and 120lbs

    edit to add: https://www.mountainsports.com/item...MIzfzTjabk1gIVgUSGCh1lOAeHEAQYBCABEgJOTvD_BwE also definitely been eyeballing this. for $150 i'd say that's not bad at all lol
     
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  7. Obrules15

    Obrules15 Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Colorado winters (and I assume Utah by association) and MI bear no resemblance to each other, so you should be quite pleasantly surprised. I've lived in both lower & upper Michigan and there's no grey like Michigan winter grey. They actually think it contributes to higher smoking rates, obesity, and depression.

    Just one clarification, if you've never skied or boarded before you will likely fall--a lot, and that's OK, but because of falls, I'd think a higher waterproof rating for your pants would be indicated. Soon it won't matter but in the beginning, high waterproofing might be best.

    The jacket will likely be fine. I don't know where in MI you are from but as I moved away from the UP the winter after it dropped to -25 F on a regular basis I think starting with regular layering should work fine. As you develop you'll figure out if you just need to be warm, or need things that are breathable that will dry fast.

    I would definitely wait a bit to figure out your needs, there are so many different things on the market and you never know what will actually work for you.

    For instance though @bounceswoosh mentioned her layering system might not work for you, she left out that she is a crazy amazing skier (who routinely underestimates her skill set) who prior to an injury and now hopefully after, does crazy backcountry skiing and hiking and all sorts of things that make me (an advancing intermediate) nauseous.

    Ultimately there's no way to know until you try, and if you wait just a little bit you'll have more fun with your new purchases 'cause they'll fit your needs better.
     
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  8. bounceswoosh

    bounceswoosh Moderator & Angel Diva Staff Member

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    Good point above - if you are still new to this sport, you'll be in a lot more contact with the snow on a regular basis than if you have some experience. Hopefully.

    Okay, I don't do very much backcountry at all (I'm on my 3rd pair of AT boots, and if these don't work, I am DONE). That aside, I suspect that layering as a beginner/low intermediate is similar to layering as a more ... aggressive skier. Beginners will be falling a lot, which takes a ton of energy, meaning they sweat. They will also typically be on the warmer part of the mountain, down low. More aggressive skiers will be skiing bumps and trees a lot, which takes a lot of energy, meaning sweat. As does hiking. The difference is that they might be in nastier weather conditions.

    Somewhere in between might be a sweet spot where you're mostly cruising blue groomers, in which case you might want to dress super warmly, because you can do that without expending much energy.
     
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  9. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    Excellent points!

    And I so agree. I have only been in Utah since February so I didn't experience a full winter. But man. Michigan winters are just pure depressing. I've also heard from people in Utah I've talked to that gave visited any part of Michigan and they mention how the air doesn't "burn" here. Which makes me sooo excited lol! I'm sooo excited to hopefully find something I like to do all winter. Instead of just sitting inside waiting for winter to be over haha!

    I'm from the Lansing area so it's definitely not -25 degree cold but it did happen. I have family in the UP too so I've seen it all and there is no good Michigan winter weather hahaha. I'm also a huge wimp and always feel cold so I think it'll definitely take some experimenting.

    Good point about falling and waterproof clothes though! I hadn't thought about that! I feel like my Jacke is good enough for now and that's why I've been more worried about pants. I've read sitting on a ski lift alone makes people want something a little more waterproof than usual.
     
  10. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Welcome! Have you been to Second Tracks in Ogden? It's a consignment store but also carries new stuff from a brand or two. Don't know when they change over to winter season stuff but it's a great place to look for ski jackets and pants.

    I haven't worn insulated ski pants for quite a while. Layering works out better for me. Plus shell pants have more pockets. I like to keep all the really important stuff (wallet, phone, car keys) with me when inside a ski lodge. Usually leave jacket, helmet, gloves, etc. at a table when going to the restroom or getting food or whatever.

    In Utah, I rarely need more than one layer under shell pants. I've learned how to layer to keep my core warm and dry. For me, I wear a vest almost all the time.

    Paging @contesstant for advice. She's very familiar with Snowbasin.
     
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  11. bounceswoosh

    bounceswoosh Moderator & Angel Diva Staff Member

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    My lower body gets sooooo cold! On 15* and lower days (which might be colder and much windier up top), I wear layers under my insulation. I am also not above sticking a chemical warmer on my lower back.
     
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  12. contesstant

    contesstant Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Hi Nikole! Welcome to Utah, and specifically, Snowbasin! FWIW, I have a closet full of jackets that I swap out based on conditions, and I also have several pair of pants, some insulated, some not. That's not helpful, is it? The temps here vary WILDLY as does the wetness of the precip that comes down. We do get some rain events on the mountain, and also some very heavy, WET snow that I pull out the GoreTex for. If you plan to be a fair weather skier, then that will simplify what you wear (but you can also miss out on some fun skiing if you do this :tongue:.)

    I'm a big fan of lightly insulated pants that have lots of vents, and if I had to make a choice of ONE pair, that's what I'd get. I'm also a big fan of lightly insulated jackets for the same. I then vary the layers underneath based on temps.

    2nd Tracks is an excellent place to find sometimes brand NEW gear, but past seasons', and of course, used stuff. Another option is to hit the Amersports outlet which carries Salomon and Arc'Teryx. They have KILLER deals during certain sales, with one of their best ones coming up on black Friday. Follow them on FB and you'll get notifications. The best deals are on Salomon. Most of the Salomon stuff is pretty insulated, but it's good stuff. You can pick up a $400 jacket for $150, for example. Or a $200 jacket for $75.

    I still haven't been able to determine if you are brand new to skiing? If so, I hope you took advantage of Snowbasin's Learn and Earn program. If not, you can probably swap out your season pass for a Learn and Earn package, just know that the program sells out every season, so you won't want to wait!

    Crap, never mind, it's already sold out!! I just checked their website.

    Either way, it's a fun mountain that can be pretty intimidating for beginners. I'll be up there a lot, so hit me up! I'd be happy to help you learn to navigate the mountain.
     
  13. Jilly

    Jilly Moderator Staff Member

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    Speaking of Salomon apparell...my avator is all Salomon. Good stuff and just I would take to Utah. That shot is Whistler...it snowed most of the time we were there. I try not to spend too much time in the snow, but it does happen. Most Salomon is 10K waterproof. The jacket has pit zips which is something you might want. The only downfall I have with Salomon is not enough interior pockets.
     
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  14. contesstant

    contesstant Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I also have a full Salomon outfit that I wear on the coldest of days, as it is quite heavily insulated. Very good stuff for sure!
     
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  15. Jilly

    Jilly Moderator Staff Member

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    Not enough for eastern Canada, but close. In fact under that coat in the pic is a down sweater, base layer and 1/4 zip T neck. I only took out the basic bottom base layer. Wished I'd had the warmer pair. WB is not supposed to be that cold. I don't remember needing a down sweater in Utah.
     
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  16. newboots

    newboots Angel Diva

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    I was in your position last year, trying to buy things on a budget. If you order online, remember that if it doesn't fit, you can return it. You have to try on your outer layers with inner layers, to see if you can move well. Like through the shoulders!

    The things I found were necessities: armpit zippers, an interior pocket for the phone (so it doesn't get too cold), an easily accessible zippered pocket for a few $, credit card, and chapstick, and vented legs in my (insulated) pants. I ski in Vermont, so I don't know how many/what kinds of layers you'll want underneath, but if you get cold easily you'll want plenty of room inside your outerwear.

    I LOVE my wool half-zips. I found them all on sierratradingpost.com or REI garage. I got my jacket (last season's TNF Brigantine) at Marshall's, after returning an Arc'teryx from STP that just wouldn't fit over my belly. I am much happier with wool inner layers than the few synthetic ones I have. It's true about the smell - wool just doesn't stink like synthetic and you WILL sweat. You will sweat on the same days that you're cold, too.

    I use chemical hand warmers inside of mittens, not gloves. Can you tell I have cold hands? :-) I bought really warm gloves, but you can't put hand warmers where your fingers need them, and right away I had to buy mittens, to use instead.

    Keep accessories in mind when you budget (or do what the rest of us do, pretend we didn't just spend all that money on gear!). You'll be needing a helmet, goggles, hand warmers, toe warmers, face protection, maybe a beanie or skullcap for under your helmet, a neck gaiter (scarves can get caught on the lift) . . . it goes on and on! Welcome! You might need a second mortgage, but it's worth it!
     
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  17. VickiK

    VickiK Angel Diva

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    Welcome to ski diva @Nikole ! The 2nd Tracks stores in Ogden and Salt Lake City are great. For online vendors, check out Steep And Cheap (SAC), they're part of Backcountry.com. STP (Sierra Trading Post, owned by TJ Maxx) also has deals.
    :ski2:
     
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  18. contesstant

    contesstant Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    @Nikole, I have a lot of stuff that I'm looking to sell this winter, too. My stuff is always in very good shape. I was going to either list it on KSL or sell it at 2nd Tracks. Mostly size small jackets and medium pants. Let me know if you want to see any of it.
     
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  19. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    No I haven't been there but I am definitely going to check it out! THANK YOU! I'm thinking a shell and some layers would be okay for me too :smile: the Gore-Tex pants I listed up there are now even more on sale so i'm wondering if I should just go for it even with not being able to find reviews lol. It seems like a legit brand and all.
     
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  20. Nikole

    Nikole Diva in Training

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    I'll definitely check these places out! I am VERY new to skiing. We did get the Learn to Earn! I had nooo idea it even sold out so I am so so happy right now that we went for it and got those passes! We are even thinking if we like it, that next year we will do the "Learn, Earn, and Return" pass. I'm so excited to get some lessons and not just have to figure things out on my own hahaha.

    I'm almost leaning towards the Dakine Gore-tex pants I listed in the links. They're 40g insulation and of course the 28k waterproofing. They're on super sale right now at $150 originally $280. Are you familiar with that brand?

    That would be sooo cool if we were to see each other there haha! Scheduling starts Nov 1st I believe. I'm probably going to schedule all of our classes in a row so we won't forget things and can get right out there and making attempts lol.
     
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