THE NORTH FACE SUM­MIT L3 PROPIUS VENTRIX KNICKER

Backpacker - - Pants -

OUR TAKE Tired of freez­ing your butt off? So was our back­coun­try-ski­ing tester, who had spent years suf­fer­ing through the cold­est out­ings with just base­lay­ers un­der shell pants. “In­su­lated pants can get too hot on climbs and don’t fit over ski boots, but th­ese knick­ers zip eas­ily over my pants and boots for elec­tric-blan­ket warmth,” he says. Our tester re­ports that the Ventrix’s 60 grams of syn­thetic fill kept his legs toasty on a windy, 15°F win­ter as­cent of Quandary Peak in Col­orado. He also wore the knick­ers over just a base­layer while loung­ing around camp, and on cold hut morn­ings.

THE DE­TAILS The ny­lon/elas­tane face fab­ric is stretchy, so the Ventrix doesn’t im­pede high-step­ping in deep snow or tak­ing long strides. A DWR coat­ing re­pels light pre­cip and pow­der.

TRAIL CRED “The Ventrix has tiny holes in the fill along the back­side that open when you move and close when you rest. They kept me from get­ting too sweaty on an early-spring tour in Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park,” our tester says. $200; 11.2 oz.; m’s S-XL, w’s XS-XL; thenorth­face.com

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