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Flylow Chemical Pant Review

Sturdy pants for the regular user that values weather protection and style over freedom of motion and comfort.
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Price:  $360 List | $233.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Rugged and weather-ready
Cons:  Waterproof but non-confidence inspiring water repellant, stiff fabric, confining cut
Manufacturer:   Flylow
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 10, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 5
  • Ventilation - 20% 9
  • Warmth - 10% 4
  • Features - 10% 4
  • Style - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The FlyLow Chemical Pant is a basic, functional, and durable pair of ski and snowboard pants. They'll last seasons and seasons, and keep out the gnarliest of weather along the way. We wish that the tailoring and fabrics allowed for more freedom of motion. Overall, though, we verify that these pants are legit. They also make more of a style statement than several other models in our test group.


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Pros Rugged and weather-readyImmaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningFashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protectionWarm, comfy, weather resistantStretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable
Cons Waterproof but non-confidence inspiring water repellant, stiff fabric, confining cutExpensive, light on featuresMesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistlesSmall vents, snug fit, racer styleNot waterproof, thin material, climbing style
Bottom Line These rugged pants are made for heavy users that require stout protection and baggy style.Excellent ski pants in every regard, and you'll pay for it.Great ski pants for a variety of applications and a wide range of skiers and riders.If warmth is a primary concern, check out these ski pants.Snug fitting softshell pants for regular use on the skin track.
Rating Categories Flylow Chemical Pant Arc'teryx Sabre AR Pant Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Spyder Dare GTX Trailbreaker II
Weather Resistance (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
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3
Fit And Comfort (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
9
Ventilation (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
10
Warmth (10%)
10
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4
10
0
4
10
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6
10
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10
10
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5
Features (10%)
10
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4
10
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4
10
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6
10
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7
10
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8
Style (10%)
10
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7
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9
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6
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4
Specs Flylow Chemical Pant Arc'teryx Sabre AR... Patagonia Powder... Spyder Dare GTX Trailbreaker II
Main fabric Intuitive Oxford 100% polyester 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 OmniBloq DWR 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 hook/loop adjustment 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) 1.43 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.67 lbs 1.79 lbs 1.69 lbs
Weight (in grams) 648 g 599 g 756 g 812 g 767 g
# of Pockets 3 3 4 5 5
Vents? Inner and outer 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 Reinforced knees, scuff guards elastic powder cuffs 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
Recco? No Yes Yes No No

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.

Performance Comparison


Lead test editor and IFMGA mountain guide Jediah Porter in the Chemical Snow Pants during an avalanche course.
Lead test editor and IFMGA mountain guide Jediah Porter in the Chemical Snow Pants during an avalanche course.

Weather Resistance


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.

The Chemical Snow pants snap to FlyLow ski jackets for a high level of protection.
The Chemical Snow pants snap to FlyLow ski jackets for a high level of protection.

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.

Ventilation


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.

For maximum airflow  we love the dual vents of the Chemical snow pants. That's two vents per leg that virtually turn your pants into shorts.
For maximum airflow, we love the dual vents of the Chemical snow pants. That's two vents per leg that virtually turn your pants into shorts.

Warmth


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.

Features


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.

The baggy cuffs of the FlyLow Chemical offer refreshing boot adjustments. The overall trend to slimmer ski pants is welcome  except when making boot buckle adjustments.
The baggy cuffs of the FlyLow Chemical offer refreshing boot adjustments. The overall trend to slimmer ski pants is welcome, except when making boot buckle adjustments.

Style


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.

The FlyLow Chemical ski pants are color coordinated with a variety of FlyLow jacket options.
The FlyLow Chemical ski pants are color coordinated with a variety of FlyLow jacket options.

Value


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.

Deep snow  fast moves  hard charging. For rough-and-tumble skiers riding it all  the robust construction of FlyLow gear inspires confidence.
Deep snow, fast moves, hard charging. For rough-and-tumble skiers riding it all, the robust construction of FlyLow gear inspires confidence.

Conclusion


FlyLow Chemical Pants are normal uninsulated ski pants that are baggy and super durable.


Jediah Porter