Our Top Pick Award goes to the Arc'teryx Gamma LT for performing ahead of the competition in wet weather. No other pants in our review handled rain and snow as well as this model. Designed as a soft-shell hiking pant, this contender is more like a piece of technical outerwear. Indeed, the thin, slick nylon fabric made them feel more along the lines of a pair of rain pants; while they are not completely waterproof, they are in fact far more water resistant and fast drying than their competitors.
Arc'teryx informed us that the Gamma LT received a make-over in 2017. A layout of the details and a side-by-side photo comparison of the two versions are below the table. We updated the photo above and the links to gear retailers to reflect this fresh model.
While they break the mold regarding materials and performance, they also might break your bank, setting you back $189 for a single pair; pretty much double the average cost of the pants in this review. In most cases, we would prefer our Editors' Choice Award-winning Prana Stretch Zion Convertible pants. They are our absolute first choice for long days of hiking or playing in cooler, wet climates like the Pacific Northwest.
The Arcteryx Gamma AR Pant is the burly bigger brother of the Gamma pant we reviewed and is ideal for three-season rock and alpine climbing. For a slightly increased $199, you can expect better thermal performance and the same awesome durability. For hikers looking to take their pant game to the next level, look no further than the Gamma AR.