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Arc'teryx Sabre Pant Review

One of the best ski pants on the market
arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review
Credit: Arc'teryx
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Price:  $550 List
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2022
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 17
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 9.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 7.0
  • Warmth - 10% 5.0
  • Features - 10% 5.0
  • Style - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Sabre is an excellent pant and was previously one of our all-time favorite ski pants. They fit perfectly on a variety of body types, are comfortable to wear, and provide immaculate weather protection. Plus, they're stylish. While a bit short on features and warmth, these are not necessarily detractions since they allow custom layering underneath and lightweight, sleek performance. Our main issue is the price. These pants are quite expensive, and you can find other pants that almost match the performance of the Sabre at a lower price. Still, frequent users and Arc'teryx loyalists will appreciate the refinement of these pants.
REASONS TO BUY
Immaculate weather protection
Excellent fit
Fleecy lining
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Light on features
Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 13, 2022, with information on the updated Sabre pant.

Compare to Similar Products

 
arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $550 List
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Compare at 2 sellers
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Immaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningHighly weather resistant, great fit, good features and styleComfortable, weather resistant, great features, excellent priceGreat performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathableGreat value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibes
Cons Expensive, light on featuresExpensive, not warm, vents have meshNot warm, less durable than other hardshell pantsLacks good style and warmth, average comfortLimited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design
Bottom Line One of the best ski pants on the marketThese are the best ski pants we could find, thanks to their excellent fit and weather resistance, freeride style, and great durabilityThese best-in-class pants feature a removable bib and excellent weather resistanceAn affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and featuresA 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%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ventilation (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (10%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
Features (10%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Style (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
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
Recco Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The pant we tested, the Sabre, has been renamed to the Sabre and features changes to the seamlines and cut. Compare the two versions above; the Sabre AR we tested is shown on the left, followed by the new Sabre on the right. We're linking to this updated Sabre pant in our review.

These pants offer excellent weather protection, top-notch comfort, style, and ventilate well.

Performance Comparison


arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - the arc'teryx sabre pants during testing in the wyoming backcountry.
The Arc'teryx Sabre pants during testing in the Wyoming backcountry.
Credit: Tom Causley

Weather Resistance


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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - the sabre pants easily fended off snow and precipitation during our...
The Sabre pants easily fended off snow and precipitation during our test.
Credit: Tom Causley

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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - the sabre ar has a great fit, not too baggy, but enough room to move...
The Sabre AR has a great fit, not too baggy, but enough room to move around.
Credit: sam willits

Ventilation


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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - long, exterior side vents without mesh allow great ventilation.
Long, exterior side vents without mesh allow great ventilation.

Warmth


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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - the thin, brushed fleece liner of the sabre's shell fabric adds a...
The thin, brushed fleece liner of the Sabre's shell fabric adds a small amount of insulating power, as well as great next-to-skin feel.
Credit: Sam Willits

Features


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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - a closer look at the thigh pockets and waterproof zippers.
A closer look at the thigh pockets and waterproof zippers.
Credit: sam willits

Style


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.

Classy style from the Arc'teryx Sabre pants.
Classy style from the Arc'teryx Sabre pants.
We really like the style and cut of these pants.
We really like the style and cut of these pants.

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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - the sabre will keep you dry and looking good for years.
The Sabre will keep you dry and looking good for years.
Credit: Tom Causley

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.

arc'teryx sabre pant ski pants review - lead editor jeff dobronyi ripping some pow turns on a cold day.
Lead editor Jeff Dobronyi ripping some pow turns on a cold day.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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