Gear Review: Ground Puritan Pants

These Ground softshell pants fit a variety of sizes and are remarkably tough.

Mountaineering

Tough, weather-resistant, stretchy: These softshell pants do it all. The Schoeller Dynamic fabric, already highly abrasion-resistant, is reinforced on the seat and inner cuffs; the pants endured crampons and a rough glissade–and looked no worse for wear. The built-in gaiter earned high praise from a tester who spent two hours plowing through deep powder without getting snow in his boots.

And the pants are all but waterproof. Moisture didn't penetrate even when we knelt in the snow, yet the outstanding breathability kept us from overheating on long climbs. They come in a remarkable size range and fit a variety of shapes: Long-torsoed guys loved the suspenders (which keep shirts tucked in), and a curvy female appreciated the waistband's Velcro tabs, which eliminate gaps. All reported great mobility, from ice climbing to skiing. Said one tester, "No matter what I did in the mountains, these pants were perfect." $120;
1 lb. 7 oz.; men's S-XL (reg, short, and long), women's XS-L (petite, reg, and long); groundwear.com