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Patagonia Upstride Pants Review

Average softshell pants for ski touring
patagonia upstride pants ski pants review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $279 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2022
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 4.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 8.0
  • Warmth - 10% 3.0
  • Features - 10% 6.0
  • Style - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Upstride is a ventilated and relatively comfortable softshell pant that doesn't stand out from the pack. The shell fabric is on the thicker side for a softshell, which adds some warmth and weather protection, but we prefer lighter softshells for touring in good weather. These pants fit a little tight through the crotch and thigh but have plenty of room in the legs, making for an awkward fit. Their features and style aren't anything to write home about. Overall, these are average softshell pants that perform pretty well, but we weren't wowed by them.
REASONS TO BUY
Great breathability
Stretchy fabric
Comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Snug fit
Not warm or weather resistant

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great breathability, stretchy fabric, comfortableGreat performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathableGreat value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibesStretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathableAffordable, warm, comfortable
Cons Snug fit, not warm or weather resistantLacks good style and warmth, average comfortLimited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent designNot waterproof, thin material, climbing styleLight on the features, fit is a bit loose, unremarkable style
Bottom Line Average softshell pants for ski touringAn 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 pantsDurable softshell pants for most days on the backcountry skin trackAn affordable and warm pair of ski pants with a bland style
Rating Categories Patagonia Upstride... Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free... Outdoor Research Tr... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Weather Resistance (25%)
4.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Ventilation (20%)
8.0
9.0
5.0
10.0
6.0
Warmth (10%)
3.0
4.0
9.0
3.0
8.0
Features (10%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Style (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Specs Patagonia Upstride... Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free... Outdoor Research Tr... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Main fabric 100% recycled polyester stretch-knit 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex 100% Nylon 87% nylon, 13% spandex Nylon
Insulation None None 60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled) None Recycled polyester
Waterproofing DWR AscentShell DryVent (2-layer) Pertex Shield+ (partial) 2-layer waterproof breathable laminate
Waistline construction Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with external velcro adjustment, belt loops Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops Button zip fly with hook/loop adjustment
Weight (in pounds) .98 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.69 lbs 1.64 lbs
Weight (in grams) 445 g 599 g 599 g 767 g 744 g
# of Pockets 3 4 3 4 3
Vents Outer thigh zips Inner thigh zips Inner thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Interior thigh zips
Ski-specific features Scuff guards, gaiters, 3-setting snap adjustment and zipper at bottom cuffs Scuff guards, powder cuffs, articulated knees, beacon clip Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, elastic waist
Recco Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the upstride pants topping out on a cold and windy peak in the...
The Upstride Pants topping out on a cold and windy peak in the backcountry.
Credit: Ben Markhart

Weather Resistance


The Patagonia Upstride is a softshell pant, meaning the shell fabric isn't waterproof. It does repel liquid water, thanks to a DWR coating, which we found to be effective for a while — but these pants won't keep you dry in rain or heavy, wet snow. Their fabric is a bit thicker than other softshells on the market, which also provides some extra wind protection.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the upstride is made from a softshell fabric that isn't waterproof...
The Upstride is made from a softshell fabric that isn't waterproof or windproof, though it repels these elements well enough.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Fit and Comfort


The Upstride is a generally comfortable pant, and the fabric feels nice against the skin. Our testers didn't experience any chafing or rubbing during the test period, even on long skin ascents. The fabric also stretches, making long lunges on the skin track more comfortable. However, we found the fit of these pants to be a bit off. They are tighter in the crotch and thighs than other pants in the same size, but offer plenty of length in the legs. The slim waistline has a higher rise, which affects the fit for anyone who doesn't have a completely flat belly. Other pants have a more universal fit, and these won't work for everyone.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the upstride is stretchy and allows a large range of motion.
The Upstride is stretchy and allows a large range of motion.
Credit: Ben Markhart

Ventilation


The Upstride's softshell fabric is relatively breathable compared to most other ski pants, but compared to other softshells, these pants don't breathe as well. The fabric is on the thicker side compared to similar pants, and the transfer of air doesn't happen as easily. This has some upsides, including increased wind resistance and more suitability for use on days with bad weather. There are two 11-inch vents, one on each outer thigh. But, the vents are located low on each thigh, starting at the knee, which means they are more susceptible to powder falling into the legs when the vents are open on warmer days after big storms.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the upstride has long vents and breathable fabric, allowing plenty...
The Upstride has long vents and breathable fabric, allowing plenty of ventilation.
Credit: Ben Markhart

Warmth


These pants don't provide much warmth. The softshell fabric offers little protection against cold surfaces like chairlift seats, and there is no insulation inside the pants. The softshell fabric doesn't breathe as well as others on the market, which means that air warmed by the body has a harder time escaping, which adds some heat capabilities compared to other softshells. Still, if you are looking for a warm pant, look elsewhere. All warmth will have to come from base layers worn underneath, and if there is a breeze or heavy precipitation, these pants won't shield you from the cold.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the patagonia upstride is made from a thin softshell fabric that...
The Patagonia Upstride is made from a thin softshell fabric that doesn't offer much warmth.
Credit: Ben Markhart

Features


These pants have three pockets — two hip pockets and a thigh pocket. The legs have a thin and minimalist powder cuff, and the shell cuff has a zippered flap that zips closed to tighten the pants around the ski boot, and unzips to keep the cuff loose around the boot during uphill motion when buckles are left open and more mobility is required. The pants have a Recco reflector near the cuff, and belt loops. The thigh pockets don't have a loop for clipping a transceiver leash, which is a major oversight.

An elastic boot gaiter keeps powder out.
An elastic boot gaiter keeps powder out.
A zippered cuff allows for multiple different cuff circumferences...
A zippered cuff allows for multiple different cuff circumferences for a customized fit.
Two hip pockets and one thigh pocket provide decent storage space.
Two hip pockets and one thigh pocket provide decent storage space.

Style


These pants look alright, but we don't love their style. They have slim and form-fitting cut, which reminds us of past eras when tight ski pants were cool. Now, a looser, "freeride" fit is in style, and these pants seem out of place with the most recent trends. That said, style is subjective, and if you like the look of these pants, we could see why.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the upstride pants have a neutral look, with a slim fit that isn't...
The Upstride Pants have a neutral look, with a slim fit that isn't the most modern.
Credit: Ben Markhart

Should You Buy the Patagonia Upstride?


These pants cost roughly the same as other top-performing softshells on the market, so we recommend checking those out in addition to the Upstride. If you have a burning loyalty to the Patagonia brand, these are a good overall softshell pant that will suit you well on the skin track. However, we think there are better options out there at a similar price point.

patagonia upstride pants ski pants review - the patagonia upstride pants, during on-slope testing in colorado.
The Patagonia Upstride pants, during on-slope testing in Colorado.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?


If you're looking for softshell ski pants for backcountry skiing, the Norrona Lyngen Flex1 is our favorite softshell pant. If you need a little more weather protection for ski touring, we love the hardshell Patagonia Stormstride pants, as well as the hybrid softshell/hardshell fabric of the Outdoor Research Skyward II AscentShell, which has most of the weather resistance of a hardshell pant with the breathability of a softshell. The Mammut Haldigrat HS is the best option for a more protective hardshell that offers great ventilation and comfort.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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