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Gear Review: Ride Beacon Vented Cargo Pant

The Northwest is wet. So consistently wet, in fact, that nearly every season, I find myself buying a new pair of snowboard pants because the waterproofing wears away by season’s end. Ladies get the short end of the stick when it comes to technology in snowboard outerwear, and though companies have greatly improved their women’s lines, it’s still nearly impossible to find a pair of pants with a 20,000mm waterproofing or Goretex (30,000mm). Ride, Burton, and Holden are three companies I’m aware of that make at least one style with those qualities. But still, not a huge variety to choose from.

This year I settled on the Ride Beacon Vented Cargo Pant in Vivid Green. They’re only 15k waterproofing, but will do better than the 10k found in the majority chick’s pants on the market. I’ve had a few days on the snow with them thus far and have loved them. Here’s a review:

About me: I’m 115 lbs. 5’5″ size 2ish waist, with an unproportionately large butt. I’m always cold! I had to get the X Small. They fit me perfectly and are flattering because the slender (not extremely skinny) straight-leg cargo style holds everything in place without a baggy effect or awkward tightness.

Conditions: Heavy, wet snowfall one day, and 14-degree windy conditions another. In each, the pants kept me both warm and dry. No wind whipped through. The NW doesn’t get many “warm” days, but in the case, the Beacon’s zippered vents with mesh stretch from just below the crotch to below the knee–plenty of length for sufficient ventilation.

Features:
15k waterproofing /10k breathability: Should be a decent waterproof rating for a drier Northwest season or for weekend warriors, lasting an entire season, if not into the next. For those who are always on the cold side, the breathability should be ideal, meaning the only time you’ll probably open the vents is if you’re hiking.

Fully Taped Seams: Necessary in the NW. Added guard for keeping the wind and water out. Most outwear comes with this feature, so don’t settle for anything less.

Standard Fit: As I mentioned, this fit is flattering for gals with little waists and big butts. The slender legs are not baggy or awkwardly saggy, nor are they too skinny. In other words, the slender straight-leg allows for much more interior room than is evident to onlookers.

40g Poly Insulation with Tricot Lining: The Polyester fill insulation provides that great cozy warmth, while the 4o grams maintain its low-profile. I still wear long-johns beneath, but I’m cold-blooded. I landed on my butt a couple times on icy runs without much pain to the rear.

Pant-to-Jacket Zip Connector: The next best thing to bibs or a jumper suit. I have a Burton jacket and am able to zip them together. My one complaint with the pants is that the zipper is deeply inset within the ridge of the wasteline fabric border making it difficult to initially connect  pant zipper to jacket zipper. It’s a hassle, but it’s worth it on cold, windy days. Or in deep pow.

Large Button-Sealed Side Cargo Pockets and Back Pockets, Large Belt Loops, Boot Gaters, Zipper-Sealed Side Pockets which close downward: These are all the bells and whistles. The pant has a simple, sophisticated look. It has convenience, but not extravagance. These pants provide the right combination of accessible pockets and correctly-placed protection against pesky snow, while again maintaining the low-profile, slender look.

Waterproof protection is “Strata HD II™”: I’ll let Ride describe this: “A technically innovative dual-layer, micro-porous laminate and coating that wicks away moisture. It remains waterproof and breathable, even after numerous washings, as the inner hydrophilic layer prevents condensation and allows moisture to travel to the outer layer, keeping you warm and dry.”

Time will tell how long this coating lasts in Northwest conditions, but initially I did see the results of this on the near-rainy day I rode. The water droplets did pill-up and were easily whisked away.

Other thoughts: Though simple in design upon first impression, the Beacon is delicately detailed for convenience, warmth and a flattering appearance for most body types. The subtle micro-fiber pattern is chic, and the layered components make for a quality and durable piece of outwear. I believe it is worth the price: $199.99.

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