Arcteryx Sabre Pants: Look Fresh, Stay Dry
I’ve never owned anything Arcteryx in my life. In fact, I haven’t owned anything Gore-tex since my dad gave me his old MEC rain pants in 1993. I liked that technical gore-tex garment look back then because it made me feel like I was going to climb Everest. But since then no one wants to look like a mountaineer when freeskiing. That’s why technical outewear brands now create products with a more relaxed fit. This is where the Sabre line comes in. Not baggy, but not hipster. A pant designed for someone who spends a lot of time with skis on their feet, whether it’s the slackcounty, resort hot-laps, or multi-day trips. The fit isn’t focused on accommodating a climbing harness or crampons, instead it’s designed to keep you looking cool, warm and dry.
Standout features of these pants are:
- Cordura inserts at the inner ankle to protect the inside edge of your skis from cutting you pants.
- Non boner-alert technology. A relaxed crotch lets you hide your inner drives and desires. It also allows for more mobility in the legs and hips.
- Pockets. Finally someone figured out that you can put pockets in ski pants big enough for something besides a credit card. These pockets are big enough to fit a field notebook, map, or 6 inch sub.
- Lightweight, waterproof-breathable fabric – so when your 6 inch sub explodes in your pocket, it won’t stain your underwear…..more than normal. Made of N80p-X GORE-TEX 3L fabric, which translated to english means a 3 layer gore-tex shell with the lightest of soft shell insulation. It’s not the bulky gore-tex George Costanza wears, instead just a slight touch up to the inside of thefabric to help it keep the wind and cold cutting through it when it’s stormy, while still keeping it real breathable. It’s the best fabric money can buy when you don’t know if the next storm is coming in as 30cms or 30mls.
I used these pants throughout a half season of cat-ski guiding, resort days, slackcountry touring and family Asian-Canadian downhills. My butt was never wet on the chairlift, I didn’t overheat touring, the wind couldn’t cool me down, and had no problems with the fit. The only time I was worried about the pants was when I was eating fries and ketchup with my 6 year old at lunch. I’m more nervous about staining them than anything else.
If you want a relaxed-fitting pant that you can use for anything from looking stylishly frustrated and impatient in the Spanky’s Ladder lineup, to multiday ski touring trips these are your ski trousers. But with any great product, there needs to be an appropriate cost. They aren’t giving these things away. You’ll never feel wet again, provided you don’t feel soaked by the price.
If you spend time in the mountains getting pummeled by the elements, whether it’s skiing the alpine in the resort, ski touring, or sled skiing, and need something to keep your ass warm, dry, and looking good, the Arcteryx Sabre pant fits the bill, as long as the bill fits you.
- Storm insulated – not really warm, but helps keep the wind-chill out
- Waterproof but still breathable
- I don’t look like my dad in them, unlike many other gore-tex item
- Not lightweight enough to be a summer mountaineering pant
- The price makes it a real heart breaker if they get a mustard stain