Why We Chose The 686 Gore-Tex Smarty 3-In-1 Cargo Pant: Versatile, practical, breathable and tough. It’s a brilliant 3-in-1 product, with Gore-Tex protection.
686 are a clever bunch, regularly serving up intelligent products with delightfully surprising twists. Take the Gore-Tex Smarty 3-In Cargo Pant, for example. Much like the Smarty 3-In-1 Jacket, these pants are packing the kind of UX-enhancing touches that will burrow themselves into your brain and make you question why all other ski outerwear brands aren’t following suit. In lesser hands, these features might come across gimmicky. Here though, they’re superb.
What we’re looking at with this item, on the outside at least, is ‘2-Layer Bluesign Approved Gore-Tex Nylon Fabric + DWR’. This fabric offers first-rate breathability, and next level waterproofing. The waterproofing, it’s worth adding, is enhanced further by the fully taped Gore-Tex seams.
Much like the 686 Smarty 3-In-Jacket, which also features in our Ski 100 this year, the Smarty 3-In-1 Cargo Pant has a removable layer hidden within. This pant liner, made from stretch poly fleece, will keep you warm on the cold days and can be easily removed on the hot ones.
We’ll start at the bottom here. Not the bottom, you understand, but the bottom of the pants. Why? Because that’s where some of the interesting stuff is happening, interesting stuff like the BOA compatible boot system in the gaiter. Obviously a snowboarding feature this, but we like it anyway – shows a kind of innovative thinking that tickles the tiny gear nerd in our brain.
When you inevitably decide to drunkenly swap with your snowboarder mate after lunch – squeezing your feet into his snowboard boots that are two sizes too small – you can at least sort of look like you know what you’re doing with the BOA before inevitably scorpioning down the hill like an absolute kook.
The Atomic Backland Carbon Ski Touring Boot has a BOA, of course, but it’s over the instep so not really compatible here (also, the Backland is designed for super lightweight ski mountaineering whereas these pants are primarily for freeride touring).
Down near the feet, there’s an impressive 500D reinforced inner kick panel that adds to the sense that these things are made for adventuring about the place in. That added toughness is, after all, a bit pointless if you’re just going to be sitting in Le Bar all week – drinking expensive, imported, lager and trying to chat up your ski instructor Noémie (leave her alone, mate, she’s engaged; happily engaged).