Dramatic swings in temperature and stop-and-start travel can prompt a lot of wardrobe changes in winter. But the last thing you want to do is change your pants, so we often make do with legs that are a little too warm or a little too cold. Not so with the Mezzalamas. These light and packable pants use Polartec Alpha insulation (everywhere but the inner thigh and below the knees), a synthetic fill that breathes incredibly well, keeping us comfortable on climbs while still providing warmth on exposed ridgelines or when the weather turned. “I wore them all day while touring in the Rockies, and even kept them on when I got back to the hut,” one tester says. “The water-resistant face fabric repels wet snow, so I only pulled a shell over them in the worst conditions.” The low-profile fit is trim for puffy pants, so they fit well under a shell.