Arc'teryx Sabre Pant Review
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Arc'teryx Sabre Pant
$550.00 at REI
$549.00 at Backcountry
|$399.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Immaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy lining||Highly weather resistant, great fit, good features and style||Comfortable, weather resistant, great features, excellent price||Great performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathable||Great value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibes|
|Cons||Expensive, light on features||Expensive, not warm, vents have mesh||Not warm, less durable than other hardshell pants||Lacks good style and warmth, average comfort||Limited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design|
|Bottom Line||One of the best ski pants on the market||These are the best ski pants we could find, thanks to their excellent fit and weather resistance, freeride style, and great durability||These best-in-class pants feature a removable bib and excellent weather resistance||An affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and features||A good insulated ski pant for budget-minded resort skiers who don't need a technical pair of pants|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Sabre Pant||Norrona Lofoten Gor...||Mammut Haldigrat HS||Outdoor Research Sk...||The North Face Free...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Fit and Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Sabre Pant||Norrona Lofoten Gor...||Mammut Haldigrat HS||Outdoor Research Sk...||The North Face Free...|
|Main fabric||N80p-X Gore-Tex with Cordura Nylon 3L cuff fabric||70D x 160D 100% recycled nylon||100% Polyamide||88% Nylon, 12% Spandex||100% Nylon|
|Insulation||Laminated fleecy lining||None||None||None||60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled)|
|Waterproofing||N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer)||3-layer Gore-Tex||DRYtechnology Pro||AscentShell||DryVent (2-layer)|
|Waistline construction||Snaps, Built-in elastic belt||Snap/zipper fly with adjustable velcro waist tabs||Snap/zipper fly||Snap/zipper fly with external velcro adjustment, belt loops||Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops|
|Weight (in pounds)||1.32 lbs||1.44 lbs||1.09||1.32 lbs||1.32 lbs|
|Weight (in grams)||599 g||653 g||496 g||599 g||599 g|
|# of Pockets||3||3||3||4||3|
|Vents||Exterior thigh zips, no mesh||Outer thigh zips||Outer thigh zips||Inner thigh zips||Inner thigh zips, with mesh|
|Ski-specific features||Key/pass clip inside pocket, touring cuff, scuff guards||Reinforced interior ankle, snap-in solution for powderskirt, gaiters||Removable bib, Dyneema ski edge protection||Scuff guards, powder cuffs, articulated knees, beacon clip||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
These pants offer excellent weather protection, top-notch comfort, style, and ventilate well.
The Sabre is built with Gore-Tex in the shell for top-notch weather resistance. All seams are sealed, and the zippers are all waterproof. The sleek design of these pants means that there are no extra flaps of fabric that can catch snow or wind, and they easily shed all precipitation. Powder cuffs prevent snow from entering the legs of the pants, and the powder cuffs also feature two slits for the boot's power strap to be fastened over the powder cuff. This allows easy transitions for backcountry skiing. The thick shell fabric easily protects against the wind. The weather resistance of these pants is only surpassed by bibs.
Fit and Comfort
We have come to expect excellent tailoring from Arc'teryx, and the Sabre upholds this reputation. These pants fit like a glove. They are perfectly cut through the hips and legs and allow a full range of motion, although they can feel a tad tight in the crotch to some testers. They are also comfortable to wear. The interior of the shell fabric has a fleece-brushed liner, which prevents the fabric from feeling plasticky, as other 3-layer pants often do. In a testament to their comfort, we found the burly and resort-specific Sabre was also excellent for backcountry touring, as long as the pace isn't too fast.
Ventilation in the Sabre is provided by long external leg vents. These vents don't have mesh backing, which is great for maximizing airflow. The Gore-Tex fabric is somewhat breathable, but the brushed fleece lining will trap some heat and make the pants feel hotter. We took these pants into the backcountry, where the vents provided excellent airflow for hot uphill travel, but the thin fleece lining added some heat and made these pants feel a little more stuffy than we would have liked. On warm uptracks and bootpacks, these pants aren't as breathable as we want them to be.
These pants don't provide much in the way of warmth or insulation. We don't mind this, as we prefer shell pants that allow us to layer underneath as necessary. Our lower bodies aren't as sensitive to cold as our upper bodies, and as such, most skiers prefer a shell-only pant for their lower legs. These pants also feature a brushed fleece lining, which provides a minimal amount of insulation power as warm air will be caught between the fleece fibers. On the coldest days of winter, layer properly, and these pants will keep you warm.
The Sabre is decidedly light on features. These pants offer two zippered leg pockets, each located on the thigh. One pocket has a loop for attaching car keys or a transceiver leash, and the other has a mesh slot for a cell phone. For what it's worth, we put our cell phone in the mesh pocket, and it died quickly in the cold. There are also powder cuffs that keep snow out of your ski boots. Other than that, these pants are pretty bare-bones in terms of features.
The Sabre pants have a neutral yet refined style. They are cut just on the snug side of average, but open up enough to fit easily over ski boots. The zippers are clean and discreet. We wish other pants would take style cues from these pants. We think these are among best-looking ski pants on the market.
Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Sabre?
These pants are not cheap. For the high performance and durability that Arc'teryx guarantees, the cost is worth it for the most hardcore and serious skiers. Many other pants on the market almost match the performance of the Sabre and cost a lot less. But for those who want an excellent pair of pants that will perform day in and day out through many winters, these are worth it.
What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?
We love the performance of the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex, which is very similar to the Sabre, but with more useful features. If you want good hardshell pants but don't want to spend a lot of money, the Outdoor Research Skyward II Pant nearly matches the performance of the best hardshells, but comes at a much lower price. And if you're looking for a hardshell better suited for backcountry skiing, the Patagonia Stormstride is our top choice for users who spend most of their time away from the resort.
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