Gear Review: The North Face Enzo Shell Pant - Backpacker

Gear Review: The North Face Enzo Shell Pant

From snow to rain, backcountry to lifts, these pants do it all.


After 25 days of use, one tester summed up the blend of features that made the Enzos a favorite: “They work perfectly well for lift, side-, and backcountry skiing and riding, the loose cut allows total mobility and accommodates layering better than skinny-jean climber shells, and they’re light enough (without the removable suspenders) to double as three-season rain pants.” The Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric breathes well, but it’s the airy cut and thigh vents that really make the pants stand out on all-conditions days. “When touring the sidecountry outside of Brighton, Utah, with a midweight baselayer underneath,” says a tester, “I could crank lift laps all morning in single-digit temps, then, once the backcountry gates opened and the sun warmed up, I could unzip the thigh vents and hammer up the wind-scoured ridgelines without sweating to death.” Going deep? The high-waist suspenders add about four inches of protection above the belt line against snow, and internal gaiters keep snow out of boots during postholing. “The gaiters and cuffs are also stretchy and loose, so I didn’t have to wrestle them over bulky AT boot cuffs,” says a tester. Bottom line: An ideal quiver of one for winterholics who want a shell pant that can serve as year-round storm protection. $399; 1 lb. 6 oz. (with 5-oz. suspenders); men’s S-XXL;