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Hands-on Gear Review
Mammut Bormio HS Pants Review
Cons: Not bibs, not appropriate for warmer conditions
Bottom line: Lightly insulated, soft-constructed, all-around ski pants for those who get a touch colder than average.
The Mammut Bormio is among the highest scoring products in our test. With great comfort, light insulation, and satisfactory weather protection, this contender is worth a look. If you are looking for a pair of lightly insulated, high quality ski pants for use in cold temperatures or on some cold-blooded legs, you won't do better than the Mammut Bormio.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Pants for Men of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Mammut Bormio is a carefully crafted insulated ski garment for the discerning user.
Fit and Comfort
Our entire testing team loved the fit and comfort of these pants. The fit is nuanced and tailored such that even for one skier that usually wears size large, our tested medium pants worked just fine. Contrast this with the occasionally saggy and therefore confining fit of the FlyLow Gear Baker Bibs and you'll find that the Bormio design details are appreciable.
The outermost shell fabric is the softest in our test. It is thin and quiet, but we had no problems with durability, weather resistance, or tearing. The only check against the comfort of the Bormio is the insulation. Few people will actually need, regularly, insulated ski pants. Most users, we find, do better to layer their insulation beneath their pants. In this regard, something like the Arc'teryx Sabre or Best Buy The North Face Freedom Pants is a better all-around choice.
The Bormio pants are constructed with an outer fabric that feels thin and soft; this lightly brushed shell fabric is quiet and supple. This attribute, on first glance, inspires little confidence in the weather-blocking integrity of the textile. However, in all of our on-mountain, backcountry, and formalized shower testing neither wind, nor water, nor snow penetrated at all.
The fuzzy outer fabric did catch and hold snow that made the pants feel heavy and wet, though no weather actually got through. The zippers are all completely flapped and the cuffs provide a tight seal over ski boots. The inner thigh vent zippers are brilliantly designed and constructed. We elaborate further below, but here it is worth noting that the adjacent fabric closes and seals over top of the outside of the vent zippers.
In comparison to the rest of the field, the Bormio is better at protecting from the weather than the Columbia Bugaboo II Pants, but doesn't seal it out as well as the Patagonia Powder Bowl. The gold standard for weather protection is the Top Pick Norrona Lofoten Gore Tex Pro Pants paired with the matching ski jacket, the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell. This combination can be zipped together to form a seamless one piece suit that is unparalleled in weather protection.
These pants offer just the right amount of insulation. If you do not like to wear long underwear, the lightly brushed fleece liner and 40g/m synthetic insulation beneath the waterproof shell of the Bormio Pants will be suitable for most average ski conditions in the Lower 48. For colder conditions you can add long underwear. If you ski in warmer conditions, or get hot in high exertion conditions, this competitor vent effectively, but will probably be overall too warm.
In our test, only the budget-level Columbia Bugaboo Pant II are warmer. Splitting the difference between the Bugaboo and the Bormio, our Top Pick insulated Spyder Dare is likely a better choice for absolute maximum warmth. The Spyder Dare doesn't have the fuzzy outer fabric that catches snow, and the insulation is a little thicker.
The Bormio's thigh vents are the best in our test. As noted above, the fabric seals right over the top of the zipper when closed. This effectively blocks out wind and precipitation. At first, the inner leg vents of the Bormio pants seem similar to those on our Best Buy The North Face Freedom Pant. Both these pants sport a zipped, mesh-backed vent on the inside of each leg. That, however, is where the comparison ends. The vents on the Mammut garment are decidedly lower. Essentially, these are about eight inches long, starting at the knee.
The North Face Freedom vents are a similar length, but higher up in the crotch. Additionally, the Bormio vents are slightly turned towards the front of the pants. Finally, something in the cut and stitching pulls the Mammut vents open once the zipper is pulled aside. Essentially, these vents open, faced forward and away from the confines of the skier's crotch, to force air in and around the skier's legs. The effect is remarkable and effective. Wind and air will blow in, while chunks of firm snow are kept out by the mesh. Finer snow and liquid precipitation, however, will enter. Because of this, the vents are best used in warmer conditions and firmer conditions. If it's rainy, slushy, or powdery, and warm, lighter pants are a better way to modulate temperature.
Our most fashion-conscious tester thought these were the best looking pants in the test. However, he has a thing for our first tested iteration in lime green. Even in the other color schemes, the Bormio pants are a stylish and versatile piece of technical clothing. Their overall cut is less baggy than the Arc'teryx Sabre and FlyLow Baker Bibs, and about the same as The North Face Freedom.
The four pockets on the Bormio pants are useful and secure. The waist can be adjusted with velcro tabs, equipped with your own belt, and snapped to compatible Mammut ski jackets. The direct competitor Spyder Dare sets the bar for ski features. With more pockets and more niceties, the Dare edges slightly ahead. The Sabre Arc'teryx has a better feature set than the Bormio, while the Columbia Bugaboo has fewer features. The Patagonia SnowShot Pants is roughly tied.
These are excellent pants for skiing in cold climates or for those who know they run cold. If you are ever exposed to average or above average temperatures, you will do better in non-insulated ski pants. Our Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Sabre pants, with their beefy shell and lightly fleeced lining, are far more appropriate for average skiers in average conditions.
Again, if these pants will work for you and your ski and travel habits, they are probably the best in our test. The price is smack in the middle of our tested pants. The seams and materials will outlast the ever-changing ski pant style, and the insulation may save you some money on additional under layers.
As noted above, the Bormio pants are actually among the highest scoring pants in our test. Their comfort and design is very nice. However, because of the insulation they come with, their actual application is quite a bit narrower than the non-insulated pants in our test.
— Jediah Porter
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