WORDS: John Stifter
About halfway through my winter last year, I tried North Face's Spineology Pant and was immediately sold. A part of TNF's Cryptic line, the three-layer GORE-TEX® pant fit baggy in the right places—the waist and knees. The two cargo pockets are placed perfectly on the outside of the upper leg instead of down too far on your knees. The two top zipper pockets run parallel to the waistline, and they're big enough to fit your wallet, pass, and fat hands when you're searching for that stick of gum or tube of Burt's Bees.
Sitting on a slow double chair at Mount Hood Skibowl with sleet slamming me from the side, the pants repelled the slush and pellets and retained warmth. Once I got on the hike out to the shoulder, I opened the two long crotch zips, unzipped the boot gaiters, and hiked with comfort and ease.
The price tag is steep, but if you're looking for a stylie yet technical non-bib pant, the Spineology's deserve serious consideration.