Always a sucker for a new pair of ski pants, I nonetheless am quite fickle about them. I like all of the pants that I have, but I usually have one little thing about them I’d change. So when the Synchro pants arrived at the Geargals’ door in a bright blue color, I was sure that the color was the thing I wouldn’t like about these pants. I even warned my ski partner I’d be looking like a clown that day in blue ski pants. He didn’t believe me until I showed up in my new blue pants….and regular pink jacket. As it turned out, I couldn’t go through with it, and I switched to a black jacket, which went nicely with the black accent stripes on the Synchro pants. Now that I’ve seen the pics from that day, I’ve been won over by the blue color; it looks sharp and it’s a nice change from the standard “black or khaki” ski pants staples.
I was also won over by the pants themselves – I think they might be as close to perfect as a soft shell ski pant can get. I’m a little low on creativity today, so let me just list all of the things I like about these pants:
1. They have that nice ski boot-cut without an inner gaiter. They fit perfectly over my boots – not too tight, not too loose. And no gaiter! I dislike inner gaiters on ski pants; they are a hassle when switching from walk to ski mode and don’t seem to do anything special to keep snow out of my boots. I don’t have a “snow in boots” problem to begin with so I really get annoyed with an extra layer of snap/zip/velcro to deal with. Don’t buy these for climbing, they have a perfect boot cut cuff that is clearly intended for ski boots.
2. They have 3/4 length zippers that make venting a breeze (pun intended)! Gaining lots of vertical usually requires generating some heat, and it’s so nice to be able to just zip down the Synchros and let the excess body heat out. There’s no goofy mesh inside the vent zipper either; it’s full access to your base layer. it’s great. I have been struggling all year with finding the right venting situation for my ski pants, and this is it. There is zero reason to not have a vent zipper as simple and effective as this one on ALL ski pants. I was in perfect comfort all day just by adjusting the vent zipper. It seems simple, but trust me, there are gear manufacturers out there who can make a vent zipper waaaaaay too complicated.
3. The material is awesome. Admittedly I’ve only worn these pants twice, so perhaps the water shedding ability will disappear over time, but for now it certainly does seem fully waterproof. They’re waterproof AND a billion times (at least!) warmer than hard shell pants. Perfect!
4. They are extremely flattering. Yes, yes, I know, it’s only function that matters. But not to me! The accent stripes and the flared cuffs make my rather well-developed skier’s legs look long and lean. Hmm, I wonder why these are my favorite pants….
Yeah, I really like the pants! But I would be amiss in my gear tester duties if I didn’t include a note on fit. In my regular size, the Synchros fit really well except for the waist. The waist is too high and therefore too loose. I had to break out my trusty web belt to keep these on, and adding more things around my waist in addition to my backpack hip belt and transceiver harness is not my favorite thing. But it was almost a non-issue, just a slight inconvenience. It seems that taller ladies with a smaller hip: waist ratio might fit these pants perfectly, but that’s going to be an individual thing. For average-height me, the length was good but the rise was about an inch and a half too high and the waist therefore too big. Luckily I can compensate for it, because I’d hate to miss out on wearing these pants.