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Patagonia Stormstride Pants Review

These light and protective hardshell pants are the best option for backcountry skiing
patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $449 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2022
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 17
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 8.0
  • Warmth - 10% 5.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0
  • Style - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Stormstride is a light, protective, and well-fitting hardshell pant that is the best option on the market for backcountry skiing. It protects the user from the elements while simultaneously allowing good breathability and freedom of movement. It also looks great and shaves the grams off your touring setup. It is light on pockets and useful features for resort skiing, but it has perfect features for the backcountry, like a beacon pocket and an adjustable cuff opening. These pants are the ideal companion if you chase powder in the backcountry, and they can double as an inbounds pant if needed.
REASONS TO BUY
Great protection
Comfort
Ventilation
And style
REASONS TO AVOID
Not warm
Few pockets

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great protection, comfort, ventilation, and styleHighly 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 Not warm, few pocketsExpensive, 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 These light and protective hardshell pants are the best option for backcountry skiingThese 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 Patagonia Stormstri... Norrona Lofoten Gor... Mammut Haldigrat HS Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free...
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ventilation (20%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (10%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
Features (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Style (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia Stormstri... Norrona Lofoten Gor... Mammut Haldigrat HS Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free...
Main fabric 100% Nylon 70D x 160D 100% recycled nylon 100% Polyamide 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex 100% Nylon
Insulation None None None None 60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled)
Waterproofing H2No 3-layer Gore-Tex DRYtechnology Pro AscentShell DryVent (2-layer)
Waistline construction Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs 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) 1.05 lbs 1.44 lbs 1.09 1.32 lbs 1.32 lbs
Weight (in grams) 476 g 653 g 496 g 599 g 599 g
# of Pockets 2 3 3 4 3
Vents Outer thigh zips Outer thigh zips Outer thigh zips Inner thigh zips Inner thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Scuff guards, gaiters, 3-setting snap adjustment and zipper at bottom cuffs 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

These pants score well across the board, losing major points only in the warmth and features metrics. For backcountry skiers, these deductions aren't a big deal, but if you're looking for a pant for resort skiing, these might feel a bit undergunned.

Performance Comparison


patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - the patagonia stormstride, equally at home on groomers as it is in...
The Patagonia Stormstride, equally at home on groomers as it is in the backcountry.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Weather Resistance


The Patagonia Stormstride is a highly protective pant, thanks to its waterproof fabric and DWR coating. These pants use Patagonia's proprietary H2No waterproof membrane inside the 3-layer shell fabric and also have waterproof pockets and vent zippers. Our testers found that these pants adequately repel the worst winter weather, especially during cold, snowy, and windy days.


Each seam is taped and sealed, which means that liquid water can't get inside these pants. They sit rather high on the hips, which also gives them good coverage from snow getting into the pant from above. They withstood the deluge of our shower test. They also have a tight, protective gaiter that still fits easily around ski boots. The pant cuff can zip open and closed to tighten or loosen around a boot, sealing out snow during bootpacks. These are plenty protective for backcountry skiing, even competing with the best resort pants on wet chairlift rides, though we generally prefer Gore-Tex pants for resort skiing.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - the waterproof stormstride provides excellent weather resistance...
The waterproof Stormstride provides excellent weather resistance, fending off the worst backcountry storms.
Credit: Bart Young

Fit and Comfort


These pants fit very well. They have a contoured cut that helps them bend with the body's joints, and the shell material feels slightly stretchy, making long leg strides and acrobatic skiing easy and comfortable. The fit isn't tight nor loose, and for most users, it's perfect.


The shell fabric itself is much more comfortable than stiffer hardshell materials, and these pants feel soft and pliable, rather than crinkly and hard, like a mix between a hardshell and soft shell pant. The more we wore these pants, the more we appreciated their great fit, especially on the skin track, where they proved themselves pleasant to wear day after day.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - these pants are very comfortable thanks to a great fit in the waist...
These pants are very comfortable thanks to a great fit in the waist and hips.
Credit: Bart Young

Ventilation


The Stormstride is a very breathable ski pant, especially considering how weather resistant it is. The shell material feels more breathable than Gore-Tex, and it's thin, which allows some wind through, but not much. The vents are long and open without any mesh.


On the skin track, we noticed that we never got too hot in these pants, and in our early winter testing, we didn't have to open the vents to control our temperatures or to stay cool. On stormy days where breaking trail was a chore, these pants maintained our lower body temperatures perfectly.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - long vents without mesh allow tons of air movement. these are highly...
Long vents without mesh allow tons of air movement. These are highly ventilated pants.
Credit: Bart Young

Warmth


These aren't warm pants. As a shell-only garment, they provide one fabric layer between the user and the outside environment, and they don't have any insulation. This is great for backcountry skiing, where users prefer to layer underneath their shells to achieve warmth. Sometimes, we didn't wear any layers underneath for days with lots of uphill travel, since our lower legs are more tolerant of temperature swings than our upper bodies.


These pants do trap some air inside, simply by providing a barrier, and we found that the warmth these pants provide was just right for cold winter days in the backcountry while we were moving. If you are going to be standing around a lot digging snow pits, these might feel a bit chilly, and they will certainly feel cold at the ski resort, but most backcountry skiers who take these to the resort already know how to layer their lower body.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - the stormstride's thin hardshell fabric won't keep the user warm.
The Stormstride's thin hardshell fabric won't keep the user warm.
Credit: Bart Young

Features


With only two thigh pockets, these pants don't have much room for storage. The right pocket is a dedicated transceiver pocket with a small loop for clipping a beacon's tether. The thigh pockets are big enough to hold phones, wallets, neck gaiters, and other common accessories.


Otherwise, the Stormstride is light on features, but they are all well-designed. The elastic boot gaiters open with a hook-and-loop seam, and a button at the bottom of this seam fully closes the gaiter. The pants cuff has a lightweight scuff guard, but this feature is not nearly as heavy-duty as on more heavyweight shell pants.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - a zippered cuff allows the user to choose from different cuff...
A zippered cuff allows the user to choose from different cuff circumferences.
Credit: Bart Young

The cuff has a zipper that opens to allow two more inches of circumference, which we used to fit around our boots when unbuckled for uphill travel. At the top of the run, when we buckled our boots, we could zip the cuff down to its normal circumference. There's even a button that allows for another inch smaller diameter, which can seal the pants tightly so that powder doesn't make its way up into the boots during long bootpacks through deep snow.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - the right thigh pocket has an internal loop for clipping an...
The right thigh pocket has an internal loop for clipping an avalanche transceiver.
Credit: Bart Young

Style


We think these pants look great. They have a neutral style, which is augmented by nice contours and a performance fit. Our testers all thought they looked good in these pants. Style is subjective, and you might not agree, but we couldn't find many people who didn't like the look of the Stormstride.


Ski pants can try to make a statement, but when it comes to fashion, we prefer pants that let the upper body do the talking. Still, pants can help the cause by fitting well and looking like a tailor worked on them, compared to a baggy, straight, and generic fit. These pants look great, in a subtle way.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - we like the understated look of these pants.
We like the understated look of these pants.
Credit: Bart Young

Should You Buy the Patagonia Stormstride Pants?


The Stormstride is an all-around high-performance hardshell pant that doesn't cost as much as the best shells on the market, but nearly matches their performance. They are a great deal and will be especially appreciated by backcountry skiers for their light weight and fantastic range of motion. If you spend the majority of your ski days in the backcountry but still want a pant that can also pull double-duty at the ski area, this pant is for you.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - the stormstride, hard at work setting the uptrack on a stormy day in...
The Stormstride, hard at work setting the uptrack on a stormy day in the backcountry.
Credit: Bart Young

What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?


If you are looking for a great pair of hardshell pants for backcountry touring but you want to save a couple bucks, the Outdoor Research Skyward II Ascentshell is a great option. If you need even more protection for deep days in the backcountry, the Mammut Haldigrat HS is a lightweight bib that zips off to convert to pants. And if you're seeking a great hardshell pant with even more protection and durability, the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex is our favorite for inbounds skiing with the occasional tour thrown in.

patagonia stormstride pants ski pants review - shredding groomers in the patagonia stormstride.
Shredding groomers in the Patagonia Stormstride.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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