Versatility We expect a softshell worth the name to minimize clamminess, and the Dawn Patrol did just that. “Only on sunny, mild spring tours did I need to open the side zips for venting,” reports one tester, who wore them while summiting Colorado’s 14,265-foot Quandary Peak. But these pants also proved highly protective in 45-mph winds at nearby Cameron Pass. “And the way wet snow rolls off the Schoeller stretch-woven fabric, you’d think it was Teflon,” says another tester, who found that the NanoSphere treatment also repels light rain and sleet.
Fit & features Stretchy fabric (9 percent spandex, 91 percent nylon) and an articulated cut allow for unfettered movement. Keprotec kick patches on the inner cuffs make these tougher than typical softshells. But the detachable suspenders feel clunky beneath a pack and the inner snow gaiters barely fit over touring boots.
$299; 1 lb. 7 oz. (w’s S); blackdiamondequipment.com