Flylow Chemical Pant Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Rugged and weather-ready
Cons: Waterproof but non-confidence inspiring water repellant, stiff fabric, confining cut
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Flylow Chemical Pant
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|$209.30 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Rugged and weather-ready||Good weather resistance, fits great, plenty of ventilation||Warm, comfy, weather resistant||Stretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable||Great value, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Waterproof but non-confidence inspiring water repellant, stiff fabric, confining cut||Shell pants provide little warmth, short on features, muted style||Small vents, snug fit, racer style||Not waterproof, thin material, climbing style||Limited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design|
|Bottom Line||Sturdy pants for the regular user that values weather protection and style over freedom of motion and comfort||These are a great pair of bibs that keep the weather out and fit well||The top insulated ski pants for those who want some extra warmth around their legs||Durable softshell pants for most days on the backcountry skin track||A solid performing model for budget-minded resort skiers|
|Rating Categories||Flylow Chemical Pant||Outdoor Research Ca...||Spyder Dare GTX||Trailbreaker II||Freedom Insulated|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Fit And Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Flylow Chemical Pant||Outdoor Research Ca...||Spyder Dare GTX||Trailbreaker II||Freedom Insulated|
|Main fabric||Intuitive Oxford 100% polyester 3L||100% nylon 40D||Polyester plain weave 2L||87% nylon, 13% spandex||100% Nylon|
|Insulation||None||None||40 g Primaloft Silver Eco synthetic||None||60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled)|
|Waterproofing||OmniBloq DWR||Pertex Shield 3L||Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer)||Pertex Shield+ (partial)||DryVent (2-layer)|
|Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?)||Button/zipper fly with hook/loop adjustment||Bibs||Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders||Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops||Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops|
|Weight (in pounds)||1.43 lbs||1.64 lbs||1.79 lbs||1.69 lbs||1.32 lbs|
|Weight (in grams)||648 g||744 g||812 g||767 g||599 g|
|# of Pockets||3||3||5||5||3|
|Vents?||Inner and outer thigh zips, no mesh||Exterior thigh||Inner thigh zips, with mesh||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh||Inner thigh zips, with mesh|
|Ski-specific features||Reinforced knees, scuff guards elastic powder cuffs||Bibs, power strap-compatible cuffs, beacon pocket, scuff guards||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, cuff zipper||beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
These are sturdy, basic ski and snowboard pants in a baggy "dirtbag" style. The construction is very robust, and the materials are nearly top notch. Despite the baggy cut, the stiff fabric and a low crotch seem to inhibit freedom of motion more than other pants we've tested. When scored on our overall matrix, the Chemical Snow Pants are below average. The primary issues are fit and mobility.
FlyLow's proprietary "Intuitive" fabric will keep out the water. Sealed seams and waterproof zippers all-around complement this. New for this season, Flylow has introduced a new DWR finish that beads water much better than previous versions, so make sure you purchase a new pair, not one from an older season. The pants also feature buttons that attached to the powder skirt in Flylow jackets. Overall, the Chemical Pants are very weather resistant.
Fit and Comfort
One's first impression of the Chemical Pants is that they are big and baggy. If you are between sizes, we recommend sizing down. The fabric is also quite stiff. This inhibits motion. Further inhibiting motion is something about the tailoring. It seems that the crotch of the pants hangs lower, blocking some motion. There's enough motion for most ski and snowboard moves, but walking around and climbing, scrambling, or park time will meet resistance.
FlyLow pants top the ventilation charts. The dual leg vents (two, per leg!) lead the field and provide cross ventilation that none others provide. If you open both non-mesh-backed vents in a stiff breeze, it can feel almost as if you are wearing shorts. These pants are great for skiers who run warm or do a lot of hiking for fresh tracks, as is the norm at resorts like Alta, Bridger Bowl, or Jackson Hole.
There is no insulation in the FlyLow Chemical Pant. Nonetheless, the thick fabric feels warmer than other "three-layer" style pants. Other shell pants feature a hanging mesh liner, but that is absent in these pants. As a result, and due to the stiff shell fabric, expect to wear long underwear when wearing these pants.
Pockets are the primary feature of the Chemical Pant. There are only three of them, but each is lined with smooth nylon and sealed with a waterproof zipper. We like that.
These are decidedly targeted to the youthful rider. The cut is baggy and low, and in general, we think Flylow pants try to emulate work clothes that landscapers or construction workers would wear. That style is popular in places with lots of young skiers, like Salt Lake City, Bozeman, Bellingham, and Burlington. It's less popular in destination resorts like Vail, Aspen, or Jackson Hole. They will stick right out in a racing environment or in European resorts. In general, these pants look more like work clothing than athletic wear, and those who like the style of these pants will not mind the sacrifices in comfort.
These pants are not cheap, but they will last a long time. Construction and materials are robust enough to last many years of regular use. Your per-day cost will be lower than some more expensive but less durable options.
FlyLow Chemical Pants are normal uninsulated ski pants that are baggy and super durable.
— Jediah Porter