Gear Review: Outdoor Research TrailBreaker Pants

Breathable softshell pants for skiers that log logs of vertical.

[breathable softshell]

Skiers who log lots of vert love the Trailbreaker. “It’s the most breathable softshell I’ve ever worn,” declares one tester who tours incessantly in Colorado’s northern Rockies. That’s partly the result of stretchy Cordura fabric (used from the knees up), which has a fleecy polyester lining that wicks well, and partly due to zippered vents on the outer leg (from waist to knee).

The bottom half is made of durable, waterproof Ventia fabric (a 40-denier mechanical-stretch nylon) that absorbed zero moisture—even after hours of breaking trail through knee-deep fluff. Nor could precipitation sneak in from below: “An elasticized, integrated gaiter, along with an adjustable drawcord on the outer cuff, held fast even when I was postholing,” says our tester. The gusseted inseam and articulated knees offer killer freedom of movement, even when our tester’s tele dip turned into (oops!) an all-out split. Bummer: We saw slight pilling on the inner thighs after miles of hiking. $195; 1 lb. 8 oz. (L); m’s S-XXL;