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The Perfect Pair: Pants for Ladies in the Back-Country

Gear Review: OR Trailbreaker Pants
February 13, 2015
Meet Your Guide For The Alpamayo Expedition (19,511 ft): Andres Marin
March 16, 2015


For most outdoor women, it is considered the Cinderella Story when we finally find the technical apparel that offers functionality without sacrificing the women’s fit that’s been a long-time mystery for the Outdoor Industry. I can confidently say that Outdoor Research has finally nailed it with the Trailbreaker Pants for Women. I have been a huge fan of Outdoor Research when it comes to it’s technical hiking apparel but had never tried the winter-specific product such as the Trailbreaker Pants – I was impressed with all the features they seamlessly included and how they kept Women’s Fit at the top of the list.

Features I Dig:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnkle Zipper – As a Splitboarder, snowboard boots are great for comfort but can be concerning when it comes to choosing pants. In past experience, the lower leg and ankle section of Pants can  be too baggy or too tight, neither tailored for the back-country Splitboarder who needs just the right amount of each for comfortable and efficient skinning. The moment I zipped in my boots, it felt as if Outdoor Research had thought of us “larger boot” back-country enthusiast, as the Ankle Zipper and the stretchable fabric creates a small but perfect detail for those who need it.

Avalanche Beacon Pocket –  Proof that innovation can flourish in something as simple as a pair of pants. The Avalanche Beacon pocket is a feature I use every time I go out. It provides an efficient way to carry my beacon without dealing with my top layers and the typical beacon chest straps that seem to be a distraction when adjusting layers in the ever-changing temperatures of the San Juan Mountains. In conjunction with the Beacon Key Clip, the pocket zipper is tucked away close to your belt loops to provide insurance that Beacon will neither detach or be exposed.

Anti-Mud Magic – Probably not a real term but it’s the truth! This season has been a warm one for the San Juans’ and sadly, there has been lots of debris and mud out there – whether it’s walking back to the car after skiing in-bounds or brushing by trees in the La Plata Mountain Range, the Trailbreaker has proven to trump all with it’s ability to deflect the mud and grime – even after weeks of use!

Fit For Women:

True to Size: One of the most common problems for ladies is the variations of sizing charts for multiple clothing brands. For those of us that dread “trying on” clothes and changing rooms but fear the guessing game of online FullSizeRender.jpgshopping – I can honestly say that the Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants provides a solution when it comes to true sizing. Although we all come in different shapes and sizes, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Medium Trailbreaker fit perfectly! At 5’10” – most of my length being in the legs, it was great to finally have a pair of pants that fit my length without having to upgrade to size Large due to longer limbs.

Cut for Women: I have never had a better fitting pair of ski pants. Personally, The Trailbreaker Series offered me an option that I have been denied for many years; Pants that offered a feminine fit that weren’t too tight nor baggy, a true diamond in the rough. In order to achieve this, there are different  fabrics cuts and angles along the pants resulting in one cohesive product that provides fit perfection.


Knowing Outdoor Research and having used OR gear before, I knew that the Trailbreaker Series would be innovative and functional but the overall fit is what was a welcoming surprise. With the development of Women Outdoor Apparel, it’s refreshing to find the brand that you know will provide the results you want so that you may enjoy your Winter Pursuits and look good doing so. 🙂