I got a pair of the Arc'Teryx Beta AR Gore-tex Pants this fall and was very excited to put them to the test. Ski pants have always been a struggle for me to find. When it comes to Gore-tex pants each person has to decide on which factors are important to them; fashion or function. In the past, function has always won out. I usually tour in my soft-shell pants and only break out the gore-tex for the descents; the only exception are for the wettest or coldest of days. Having the ability to but my shell pants on over my boots means that a full leg zip is a must. Often this has limited me in my selection of pants. Arc'Teryx has really found a balance with the Beta AR pants, they feature a full zip but have a cut that can be stylish on the entire mountain, even inbounds. The cuffs are just wide enough to fit over ski boots without flaring out or being baggy.
One of the best features of these pants would have to be the right-hand side pocket. It's the perfect size for an iPhone (no coincidence I'm sure). As an Avalanche Instructor my phone is a crucial tool, whether it's for checking the Whister lift status, reviewing CAC Avalanche bulletins with students or just taking photos for the website; having easy access to my phone is clutch. Not only is the pocket placed in a great spot but it's also internal; so if you're the type of person who ditches the beacon harness and prefers the pocket method then you'll love this feature as well.
The built-in gaiters work with ski boots beautifully but fall short when it comes to hiking boots. That doesn't come as much of a surprise, I usually don't go for pants with a built in gaitor because they don't work. I do appreciate them well wearing my ski boots. My one real negative is that these pants don't come in any colours. I love everything about them, I just wished they popped a little bit more!
These pants retail for $450 CAD and can be purchased online or in store at the new Arc'Teryx Brand Store on West 4th Ave in Vancouver. A huge thanks to Laura from Arc'Teryx for hooking me up with these pants. I couldn't have chose a better pair myself, they fit perfectly!