The Arc'teryx Procline Pant is our favorite pair for backcountry skiing. It is made from softshell material that stretches and breathes, and it has a well-tailored cut that fits our bodies perfectly and looks great, too. It isn't waterproof, which means it isn't suitable to be your only pair of ski pants, and the material doesn't keep much body heat inside, so you'll have to layer underneath if you want warm legs. The features are slim, which suits their backcountry specificity, but not great if you like lots of storage. And, these pants are expensive, considering they can't do it all. But for backcountry skiing, where we run hot, open vents to stay cool, and want a pair that is stretchy, comfortable, and breathable, our testers reach for these pants every time.
Arc'teryx Procline Pant Review
Cons: Not waterproof or warm, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arc'teryx Procline Pant doesn't score well in some important categories for resort skiers, but it performs well during warm, aerobic activities like backcountry skiing or warm spring days at the resort.
The Procline features Gore-Tex Infinium softshell technology to keep light moisture and wind from penetrating the interior of these pants. They'll easily dispatch light snowfall and a gentle breeze, but if the wind picks up, the precipitation becomes wet, or the chairlift seats get covered with snow, these pants won't protect you.
The shell fabric is treated with a DWR to bead water and prevent the material from getting soaked, but after some time, this treatment will wear off, and the shell won't be waterproof. The zippers aren't waterproof either, which gives water an additional entry point. To be fair, these pants aren't designed to be waterproof, sacrificing weather resistance for huge gains in comfort and ventilation. But if you are looking for one pair of pants for every day of the winter, these pants won't work for you.
Fit and Comfort
The Procline Pant stands out from most other ski pants with its stretchy softshell fabric, which is much more comfortable to wear than crinkly hard shells. These pants stretch with your movements, and won't restrict your range of motion. Our testers loved using these pants in high-movement activities like backcountry skiing, for which they are perfect.
These pants go one step further by including well-tailored features like articulated knees and tapered thighs and lower legs. These pants fit the curves of the body perfectly without feeling too skin-tight. These pants are among the most comfortable we have ever tested. The sizing runs just a tad on the small side, so if you are on the fence between sizes, choose the larger one.
The Procline breathes and vents better than most other ski pants on the market. Most of this performance is from the use of soft shell Gore-Tex Infinium fabric, which is just the rebranded version of Gore's famous Windstopper softshell fabric. This porous and stretchy material allows plenty of airflow, meaning that heat and water vapor from perspiration during exercise can easily escape from the inside of the pant. It breathes better than most other ski pants on the market.
In addition to breathable fabric, the Procline Pant features outer thigh vents on each leg, which have long openings with a zipper that is easy to grab. These huge vents make it easy to quickly dump heat and gain more airflow in a hurry. If you go backcountry ski touring regularly, you will appreciate the ventilation of these pants on the skin track.
With no insulation and a thin, breathable shell fabric, the Procline Pant doesn't provide any warmth. The shell material is of average thickness compared to other similar options, and while there are thinner softshells on the market, these pants don't help the user preserve much body heat. Any lower body warmth must be attained with layers worn underneath.
While this lack of warmth may be an issue for some, our expert testers found these pants to be great on the skin track and on warmer days on the slopes. Their breathability and the thin fabric actually make them more versatile, and we found that layering thick or medium-weight long underwear on the coldest days worked well, and on average to warm days, we didn't wear any layers underneath and were comfortable. Windy and stormy conditions were a bit much for these pants, even with relatively thick long underwear.
The Procline has decent features, which make the pants easy to use while also preserving the svelte cut and comfortable range of motion. There are two waist pockets and one thigh pocket on the right leg, which also has an internal fabric loop for clipping an avalanche transceiver or car keys. In our experience with transceiver pockets on the thigh, it is actually a comfortable place for this feature, rather than in the crook of the waist where it can impede the hip flexor's range of motion.
Three pockets are about average in number for the backcountry-oriented options, but they might leave the resort skier wishing for more storage. The pants also feature burly scuff guards on the inside of each ankle and a button closure on the elastic boot cuff. The built-in waistline belt is slim and unobtrusive, which we appreciate, too.
Our testers like the look of the Arc'teryx Procline. It has a tailored cut that fits the body like a glove, and sharp lines that produce a sophisticated cut. The length is just right. This pant looks great, and also allows a wide range of motion without getting in your way, so you can ski and ride at your best.
We prefer the style of pants that look well-cut and refined. These pants aren't exotic looking, but they don't blend in with the crowd either. They are equally at home in the singles line on the expert chairlift as they are in the bar for après. You could even get away with them at a high-end restaurant for dinner after a long day of skiing. Our ski guide testers felt great teaching courses and leading trips in these pants, feeling professional and stylish the whole time.
These pants come at a high price, considering that they aren't protective enough to be your only pair. For backcountry skiing, you could probably get away with just this pair, but you might be wishing you had a pair of hardshell pants for stormy days or multi-day tours. But for most skiers, these are a specialty piece, and they are an expensive pair that only regular backcountry skiers and riders will find justifiable.
The Arc'teryx Procline is a specially-designed softshell pant that excels in the backcountry and on warm, sunny days at the ski resort. If that's what you're seeking, you won't do better than this pair.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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