[women ’s softshell]
“These were my only pants on a four-day ski tour, and the comfort range was outstanding,” says our gear editor, who wore the Verglas sans baselayer in temps from the 60s down to 20°F. The stretchy, laminated waterproof/breathable softshell fabric—smooth and abrasion-resistant on the outside with a soft, gridded fleece on the inside—hits the ideal balance between breathability and weather resistance.
By unzipping the side vents, she stayed cool on a steamy spring climb in Norway’s Fjordland, but when a storm moved in, she was protected from wind-driven snow. Streamlined Velcro tabs on the waistband customize the fit and eliminate uncomfortable gaps beneath a pack’s hipbelt. A long zipper on the cuff expands the opening to fit over boots, and a hem cinch cord seals out snow.
Bonus: The zippered fly and buttoned waistband—along with a great all-around fit—give the Verglas a flattering silhouette. (Note: In the production model, the side vent and ankle gusset each have their own zipper.) $200; 1 lb. 6 oz. (M); w’s XS-XL; hellyhansen.com