I’m a few seasons into cross country skiing. I started years ago with skis from the 1950’s falling over myself and spending more time in the snow than gliding over it. I have since updated my skis and my skills. I’ve also updated my wardrobe. Now when I head out for a ski, I’m working hard but not because I’m falling down, because I’m busy counting miles. That means I need clothes to work with me as I sweat, but also keep me protected from the elements.
I’ve been wearing the Gore X7 Women Partial GORE-TEX Infinium Pants for the 2019-2020 winter season every time I go out for a ski. They are a perfect balance of water and windproof, breathable, and ease of movement. The GoreTex Infinium fabric that these pants are made of is lightweight and cuts the wind. It is lightly waterproof, but luckily my falls during cross country skiing have come to a minimum.
One of my favorite features of these pants is the waistband. I have been testing and wearing women’s athletic wear for years. For some reason, the waistband on women’s clothing is always under-designed. I’m not sure the reasons behind the issues, but they’re either too tight, cut in the wrong way, sit on an awkward place on my waist, or ride up and down as I recreate and work out. Not these pants. This is especially hard to accomplish because I’m wearing different materials under the pants in different conditions. Sometimes leggings, sometimes thick baselayers, sometimes nothing! The waistband always stays put, and it’s one less thing I have to worry about while gliding in the backcountry.
The other feature I like about these pants is the tapered fit. Instead of big and baggy snow pants swishing as you ski, these pants stay out of the way and let you focus on the adventure. I really appreciate that you can zip them down over your boots, and not have to worry about laces coming done or snow getting into your boots. Wonderful design!
Pros: Infinium material is windproof (really windproof), but also breathable. Like magic. These are sport-specific and really check all the boxes for an awesome cross country ski pant. The waistband is super comfortable and stays put even with different fabrics under it.
Cons: They run small. I am a medium across the board for most activewear, but I am a size large in most Gore products. They are pricey for a sport-specific article of clothing.
Where I took it: Cross country skiing all over Colorado, Montana, and Alberta, Canada.