Soft-shell pants are made of high-performance synthetic fabrics that are resistant to abrasions & tears. They hold up extremely well to mountain abuse. They are typically water-resistant (not water proof) which means they are breathable and shed light rain and snow and dry quickly when they get wet.
The question: Are they required or will my ski pants, fleece pants or other synthetic pants work? Should they be insulated?
The answer: No they are not required, but strongly encouraged. Fleece pants or a combination of other synthetic pants or ski pants will definitely work. The big differences being efficiency, comfort, breathability and weight. Soft-shell pants should not be insulated. The flexibility of wearing or not wearing long-underwear makes insulation unnecessary.
The bottom line is you will spend every minute of your climb in these pants so comfort is key. Soft-shell pants are a must have for any serious climber!
Our guides wear the Outdoor Research Exos Pants and love em!
Stay tuned for more gear questions answered…