Outdoor Research Cirque softshell pants $229.90
Used by: Snow addict features and trips writer Hazel Phillips
Used for: Four years
We joke in our ski club that these pants are part of the club ‘team uniform’ – but that’s a testament to how well they work in multiple situations, notably alpine.
The Cirque pants are ‘technical’ pants and the big advantage is that they keep the wind out but are still quite breathable. I primarily use mine in winter and they go into hibernation for summer as they’re too heavy to comfortably tramp in unless you’re spending large chunks of time above the bushline.
They’re a trim fit but they do stretch a little, which should be taken into account when sizing. The lower inner legs are reinforced, which has saved the day with sharp crampon points and ski edges more than once.
Verdict: Hardwearing pants ideal for alpine conditions that will last for (many, many) years.