These are a bit of a gamble on Arc'Teryx's part. The Arc'Teryx Rush LT attempts to fill a very narrow niche of product and usage. They are seemingly built for human-powered skiing in the gnarliest of storms. In that context, many can and will use their regular ski resort pants. Most regular ski resort pants are superior in fit and comfort while protecting as well as is needed. These pants are closer to rain pants than to fully-featured ski pants, perfect for those who need breathable and protective pants for ski touring in warm but stormy environs.
Arc'teryx Rush LT Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Very waterproof, durable as compared to rain pants
Cons: Bib is too warm and inhibits layer changes, expensive, over-designed
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Arc'teryx Rush LT
|Price||$395.95 at Amazon|
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|$499.00 at REI|
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|$299.00 at REI|
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|$239.20 at Backcountry|
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|$224.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Very waterproof, durable as compared to rain pants||Immaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy lining||Fashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protection||Warm, comfy, weather resistant||Stretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable|
|Cons||Bib is too warm and inhibits layer changes, expensive, over-designed||Expensive, light on features||Mesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistles||Small vents, snug fit, racer style||Not waterproof, thin material, climbing style|
|Bottom Line||Interesting, very specific ski pants for human-powered skiing in wild and warm weather.||These pants are the best of the best, at a price.||Excellent, all-around ski pants suitable for almost all users.||The top insulated ski pants for those who need them.||Durable softshell backcountry skiing pants for most days on the skin track.|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Rush LT||Arc'teryx Sabre AR Pant||Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants||Spyder Dare GTX||Trailbreaker II|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Fit And Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Rush LT||Arc'teryx Sabre AR...||Patagonia Powder...||Spyder Dare GTX||Trailbreaker II|
|Main fabric||100% Nylon 3L||N80p-X Gore-Tex with Cordura Nylon 3L cuff fabric||4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L||Polyester plain weave 2L||87% nylon, 13% spandex|
|Insulation||None||Laminated fleecy lining||Hanging mesh lining||40 g Primaloft Silver Eco synthetic||None|
|Waterproofing||Gore-Tex 3-Layer||N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer)||Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer)||Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer)||Pertex Shield+ (partial)|
|Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?)||Button/zipper fly with removable suspenders||Snaps. Built-in elastic belt||Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs||Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders||Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops|
|Weight (in pounds)||1.19 lbs||1.32 lbs||1.67 lbs||1.79 lbs||1.69 lbs|
|Weight (in grams)||541 g||599 g||756 g||812 g||767 g|
|# of Pockets||3||3||4||5||5|
|Vents?||Exterior thigh zips, no mesh||Exterior thigh zips, no mesh||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh||Inner thigh zips, with mesh||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh|
|Ski-specific features||Touring cuff, beacon pocket with clip, scuff guards||Key/pass clip inside pocket, touring cuff, scuff guards||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, attach to matching jacket's powder cuff||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, cuff zipper||beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rush LT is a backcountry-specific hardshell pant. Most users will want more warmth, more features, or more versatility out of their pants.
With the Rush LT, Arc'Teryx uses a high-quality Gore-Tex shell and a closely tailored fit. The result, predictably, is excellent weather protection. These protect against the harshest and wettest of weather, with virtually no compromises. Our only criticism is that one pocket does not have a zipper (so snow and wetness can get inside the pocket. It won't get inside the pants, but it will sit there, cold and wet, against your leg). Otherwise, the Gore-Tex fabric and waterproof zippers are complemented by excellent seam sealing and Arc'Teryx's "durable water repellent" coating that is virtually unmatched.
Fit and Comfort
First, on sizing. The Rush LT seems to run just a touch small and short. If you are between sizes, order the larger of your two options. If you are true to size, you'll be fine. The sizing differential isn't significant, but it is there.
Next, on comfort. In testing other categories of shell gear, we have long wished that Arc'teryx would make their shells from quieter and softer fabric. The same goes for the Rush LT. Especially when users might wear this product against the skin and in high-output situations, employing a more flexible and less "scratchy" external fabric would be appreciated. The Rush LT (and other Arc'Teryx shell clothing) eventually quiets down with wear and use, but it is pretty crinkly when new. If you choose to wear these directly against your skin, make sure it is a warm day, or you are putting out tons of heat because the thin fabric is pretty cold against the skin. A more robust "fleecy" lining would be appreciated for most conditions.
The exterior, non-mesh backed vents lead the field. One of the side zips goes all the way to the high waistband for both further venting and for donning and doffing of the pants. The shell material is thin and breathes well. However, the bib construction keeps in heat from the torso and complicates layer adjustments.
You shouldn't be expecting much warmth from the Rush LT. These are just shell pants. In initial product selection, when reading Arc'teryx catalog copy, we expected that the "C-Knit" fabric lining would provide a little more fleecy or fuzzy warmth and comfort. That is not the case. The Gore-Tex C-Knit fabric is a little softer on the inside than your typical rain pants, but it doesn't add any insulating value. The bib component retains more warmth from the torso area than regular pants.
The only features to note are the pockets. The bib pocket is configured to hold an avalanche transceiver, with a place to tether it. The two thigh pockets are useful, though the one just has a flap and no zipper. Smaller things will not be as secure in that pocket.
These are function-first ski pants. The look is decidedly "alpine." Aside from the wide cuffs to go over ski boots, these look like your typical hiking or climbing rain pants.
These bibs are super expensive and fill a narrow niche. Unless you are a backcountry skier in the Cascades or Coast Range of BC, these pants are not a great value.
Arc'Teryx makes both proven and established products, and these pants offer the great weather resistance that the company is known for. The product lacks versatility, for which we cannot recommend these pants for everyday resort skiing.
— Jediah Porter