High Performance Freeride Ski Pants and Snowboard Pants – The ins and outs!
Firstly, it should go without saying that your ski and snowboard pants will perform best if they are made from a high-quality waterproof and breathable fabric (see “High Performance Ski and Snowboard Jackets – What You Need To Know!” for more information).
With that said, while ski and snowboard jackets need to be durable, pants need to be even more so. When it comes to pants, durability separates the men from the boys as they take most of the punishment day in, and day out on the slopes. Getting on and off the chairlift, brushing past branches when skiing the trees or grinding it out at the park, basically everything you do will create wear and tear on your pants. If you are looking for high performance pants, you want them to last and perform well, so let’s look at some key quality and durability characteristics.
Three things that make the difference for ski and snowboard pants:
1) Double stitched and bar-tacked seams
As it implies, double stitching makes a seam at least twice as strong compared to single stitching. Since pant fabric has to take up movement in all directions, the seams get pulled and stressed in every direction too. Double stitching is the security to ensure seams are strong and don’t come a part or tear.
Imagine the forces put on seams when you are landing off a rail or ramp, or absorbing bumps. To avoid fabric from blow out or ripping, high performance pants use an additional reinforcement stitch called a ‘bar tack.’ Bar tack stitching is required for those areas that have stress points that would rip due to frequent tension. It’s basically a tight zigzag stitch, like a bar, over a specific seam or stress point where multiple pieces of fabric come together like the crotch, bottom of pant cuffs, tops and bottoms of pockets openings, zipper flaps, and belt loops, etc. This stitching helps resist rips as well as increases the strength of the whole fabric.
2) Reinforced crotch with Diamond technology
For the action sports enthusiasts, who like freeskiing freeriding or big mountain touring, freedom of movement is everything. Diamond technology achieves exactly this by placing a diamond shaped piece fabric into the crotch area of the pants. This design enhancement eliminates four seams coming together in one spot, which not only creates more range of movement, but also allows for a more comfortable wearing experience. The diamond design particularly reduces the fabric stress and tightness around the crotch making high performing pants more durable and pulling grabs just a little bit easier.
3) Elastic boot gators with a lace / buckle hook
A small, but really important feature you have to look out for are that your pants include, built into the cuff, elastic gaiters with a lace / buckle hook. The easiest way to stay warm and dry is to keep the snow out of your boots. That’s exactly what elastic gators are supposed to do, but if you are doing big moves or taking strides up the mountain, the gators can ride up, which lets the snow in. To prevent this, pants need to include a lace / buckle hook. It makes sure everything stays where it supposed to so you never have to worry about it – it’s a small feature with big advantages.
Virtika outerwear is rigorously tested and refined by professional athletes who demand that our gear tolerate their abuse and meet their needs. It’s for them, and you, that we use the best fabrics, parts, and construction to make the most functional, fashionable, and indestructible outerwear on the planet. Our products are the result of countless suggestions, ideas, and demands of people like you.