Mountain Equipment Epic Pants – Review


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
WildSnow Girl lounging comfortably atop Hintere Schwartze, despite that rather chilly Euro breeze. Click images to enlarge.

WildSnow Girl lounging comfortably atop Hintere Schwartze, despite that rather chilly Euro breeze. Click images to enlarge.

Mountain Equipment is a popular gear manufacturer in Europe. Since 1961, they have equipped every British first ascent of an 8000m peak, been part of over 175 Everest summits, and supported expeditions to the North and South Poles. One of their new corporate goals is to distribute in the United States. WildSnow received samples, and our European “second honeymoon” was the perfect opportunity to test them out (we’ll do several reviews, starting with this one).

Ever the clothes horse, WildSnow Girl was especially excited to receive the new ski clothing kit. Even though a declutter consultant may say my closet is overflowing, I desperately needed a new ensemble for our trip. In fact, I always need new ensembles. Isn’t that normal?

Since spring conditions vary widely, and I wanted to keep my pack as light as possible for our traverse of the Otztal Alps, my goal was to take a minimum amount of clothing. To make that happen, items needed to be versatile. I took two pairs of pants on the hut trip:
- Women’s Epic Touring Pant
- Women’s Softshell Chamois Pant

The sample I received of the Women’s Epic Touring Pant was a larger size than I wear. The seams were not taped, so it was easy to take off the waist band and tailor them to fit. Mid-weight Gore Windstopper Softshell fabric was durable, kept me warm when winds were icy, and partial side zips cooled me off when the sun came out. Front pockets were roomy. The only thing I missed with this pant was a third pocket. I like to keep my beacon in a lower thigh pocket, which the Epic Touring Pant does not feature.

The Chamois Pant was the second pair I took on the hut trip. These are made from a lightweight, four-way stretch softshell which is wind resistant and water repellent. It didn’t wrinkle and looks nice for hut lounging. I may have worn this pant while skiing if we’d had warmer days, but since the weather was cool on this trip I wore the Epic each day. The Chamois Pant is not made specifically for ski mountaineering and therefore the zippered leg gusset did not fit easily over my ski boot. But because of the stretchy fabric, I could have done it. This pant was terrific for hiking. Articulated knees move well and the water repellent fabric came in handy on a day with light rain. I even wore this pant home on the plane.

In sum, because both of these pants are made of high quality fabric and are well cut, I love them. They’ll make their home in my closet and I’ll take them out frequently for tours in my home mountains. (I also used a few ME jackets, review coming, and Lou has a review as well).

Shop for Mountain Equipment clothing.

Comments

7 Responses to “Mountain Equipment Epic Pants – Review”

  1. Susan May 9th, 2012 11:12 am

    You look like you scored some cool pieces there Lisa!

  2. Janie May 9th, 2012 12:06 pm

    I spent a winter in London and bought a Mountain Equipment rain jacket when I was there. I’ve had it for at least 5 years and it hasn’t worne out yet. Great clothes! I hope thye distribute in the US soon.

  3. Lisa May 9th, 2012 12:20 pm

    Janie, glad to hear your jacket has held up. I expect the same from the ME pants since they still look new after three weeks of almost constant wear. Lisa

  4. Glenn Sliva May 9th, 2012 1:00 pm

    Girls gone Wildsnow! Just kidding L&L. Lou obviously married up.

    It’s very nice to see the clothing reviews. I’ve tried the tights, loose baggy mountain pants and just plain resort ski clothing. It would be nice to see something in between the tights and the loose baggy stuff reviewed. I’m looking for something that is 3/4 length but not skin tight as first of all I’m a guy, not racing, and near or exceeding Lou’s young age.

    After a 5 hour skin track trip to Betty Bear hut I took my Dynafits off only to realize the “over bloused” mountain pant- zipper had worn a notch in the top of my right boot liner. Ouch. I’m still trying to figure out how to repair it as it looks bad. Thus the search for a cross between tights and a baggy mountain pant.

    Thanks again for the reviews of clothing.

  5. Lou May 9th, 2012 1:59 pm

    Glenn, to repair you liner you could probably glue a nylon patch on there with Seamgrip. As for the pants, any Euro cut mountain pant will be slim, and some of the American pants are as well. For example, the OR Trailbreaker is what I use for just about everything. They’re not baggy, just about perfect.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/5846/trailbreaker-pant-or-review/

    Lou

  6. Bob Coleman May 9th, 2012 2:26 pm

    I bought a synthetic puffy of theirs at Marmot MW in Bellevue, WA. They had some other products as well. Same weight type as the Pata DAS parka.

  7. Craig May 9th, 2012 3:31 pm

    Mountain Gear has a large selection and just did a big e-mail announcement introducing the brand. Check them out at http://www.mountaingear.com

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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