Outdoor Research Aspect Pant Review
If you are in the market for a pair of versatile ski or ride pants, look no further than the Outdoor Research Aspect Pants. These pants are available for men and women – equal-opportunity awesomeness.
The Aspect Pants are composed of a highly-breathable, waterproof, soft shell fabric (Ventia Dry). I found these pants to be comfortable in a variety of temperatures and kept me extremely warm in all the right places. The soft shell material is backed with fleece in areas that are prone to getting cold, namely your thighs and seat. The lower legs are backed with a lighter-weight tricot, that allows these areas to vent and breathe. The blending of these two fabrics helps to keep you warm where you need it, but also cool in higher heat areas when skinning or boot-packing up the mountain. These pants also feature generous thigh vents that are easy to zip up and down with gloves or mittens on, to help dissipate additional heat.
One feature that I really liked was the burly scuff guard on the inside cuff, adding reinforcement to a high wear-and-tear area. I am prone to tearing the inner cuff, and the generous square patch of highly-durable fabric appears that it may survive multiple seasons, even with me. The Aspect pants feature a long, below-the-knee zip for easy on and off, while the leg opening easily accommodates ski boots without feeling too tight, even with buckles open. The internal gaiter stays put along your boot, and can zip off if you so choose. After skiing some knee-deep snow, my inner boot remained dry thanks to a nice seal with the gaiter and the ability to cinch and snap the cuff closed.
As for protection from the elements: the Aspect Pants are extremely water-resistant, though I would not classify them as waterproof. When worn out in the heavy snow on a full day of adventure, they did the job and kept me dry thanks to the fabric composition and water-resistant zippers. However, after longer use, I eventually experienced some moisture at junctions within the seams of the pants. This may be some of the tradeoff you get with highly-breathable fabric.
The fit is a regular one, as opposed to a baggy one. If you like your pants to be a bit loose, you may want to size up from what the size guide recommends (for example it says I would be a small, but I actually found the medium to be my perfect comfort fit). The gusseted crouch, articulated knees, and stretch of the softshell allow the pants to really move with you. Adjustable elastic tabs with velcro help customize the fit around the waist. Zippered hand, thigh, and beacon pockets keep your small stuff safe. Add a pair of your own suspenders for a complete backcountry set up.
Overall, the Aspect Pants pack a lot of great features into a streamlined (22 0z.) ski and ride pant. The price tag is a very reasonable $250 for both men’s and women’s styles. Great pants for a good price. Remember also that Outdoor Research has an “Infinite Guarantee”, which means their products are guaranteed forever.
The Aspect Pants are available in black only, and in sizes XS to L for women, and S to XL for men.