Basecamp Snow Pants
First Ascent Igniter Pants
Like the giant high-loft down jackets brought along on big mountain expeditions, these pants have two crucial roles: making camp life comfortable, and a last line of defense if conditions deteriorate during a move, most importantly on summit day. Pants like these need a big, roomy fit to go on easily over every layer you already have on, and need side zips so they can go on quickly. These get stuffed into your bag as a piece of emergency equipment on particularly committing days. Some manufacturers use down, but we like that FA has gone for synthetic insulation here because of how much contact your lower body comes in with the snow (kneeling and sitting in camp all the time means they’re bound to get a little wet and synthetic handles the moisture much better than down). As designer and mountaineer Dave Hahn says: “There would be no such thing as a game of Texas Hold ‘em at Everest base camp without a pant like these.” [$179; eddiebauer.com]
TIP: As with your down parka, throw these on as soon as you stop moving for the day to retain heat and keep you toasty through dinner.
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