686 GLCR Gore-Tex Smarty Pant | Review

These versatile ski pants pair up the cleverness of 686 design with the shielding qualities of Gore-Tex

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.

Price: £200


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).

Speaking of durability, the wrapped side seam design is another plus on that score. 

Some other features we like here include the boot gusset with snap closure, the tricot inner waistband for added comfort, the internet waist adjustment, the reassuring double duty waist snaps and the Air-Flo inner legs vent that’ll help to cool you down when you’re overdoing it. 

“The Smarty Cargo Pants can be incorporated perfectly with the Smarty 3-In-1 Jacket”

The belt loop stash pocket, the hidden seam stash pocket, and lift ticket eyelet on the belt loop are also some nice little touches. Not going to set your world on fire by themselves, maybe, but some tasty extra sprinkles if nothing else. 

Last but by no means, the Smarty Cargo Pants can be incorporated perfectly with the Smarty 3-In-1 Jacket, thanks to 686’s Pant Jacket Connection System. It sounds naff, but it’s actually quite good – unifying your top half and bottom, and optimising your outerwear’s protective nature. What this means, in short, is that you won’t have to worry about uncomfortable breezes or big piles of slushy snow breaching the barricades.


Offering great waterproofing, great breathability, and with a very nifty removable stretch poly fleece midlayer included as part of the package, before you even get into the bones of this thing it’s clear you’re well on your way to a winner. 

The genius of 686 meets the genius of Gore-Tex in a highly versatile, highly practical, pair of ski pants. Team it up with the 686 3-In-1 Weapon Jacket and you’ll be in what’s described by no one in the industry (except for us when we’re five beers deep at ISPO) as “outerwear valhalla.” 

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