The North Face Purist Pants are designed for backcountry skiers and riders that tend to get after it. These pants are rugged, breathable and are made with a GORE-TEX membrane, what more could you want? And as an added bonus the Purist Pant area apart of The North Face’s legendary Summit Series collection featuring “the world’s finest alpine equipment.”
3L GORE-TEX Material
What sets The North Face Purist Pants apart from other ski mountaineering / splitboarding pants is the way these pants move with you on the skin track. TNF was able to pull this off was by adding a gusset to the crotch area, this triangular piece of material allows the fabric to stretch out in the crotch area while at the same time relieving tension on the seems.
With vents on both the inner and outer part of the Purist Pant, it’s super easy to dump heat if needed. Having worn this pant in temperatures down to -20F (-28c) and all the way up to 40F (4.4c) I found the 3L GORE-TEX material worked fine in terms of breathability.
The Purist pants use a 70-denier Nylon material that’s durable from top to bottom. You’ll never have to worry about ripping these or getting them snagged on a tree while bushwacking.
In terms of warmth, if you stay on the move The North Face Purist Pants work fine. However, the Nylon did seem to get a bit cold when sitting around when temperatures dropped below zero.
The sizing on these is a little funky, as they run big in the upper part of the legs. You may actually find yourself in between sizes. Where this is most noticeable is in the middle of the pants not so much at the waist. So ideally go try The North Face Purist Pants on in person before buying to make sure you have the correct size.
At the bottom of the pants is a generous amount of room at the cuff that’s reinforced with extra material. This part of the pant is burly. There’s even also an elastic snow gaiter that can be pulled over your ski or snowboard boots and bindings for when you’re setting a skin track in deep snow and don’t want snow getting in where it doesn’t belong.
There are 4 pockets on the front of these pants. 2 at the very top which seemed to work perfectly for holding just about everything you could want quick access to from snacks to your phone, keys and more. I found myself using the top pockets 100% of the time. As you move down the pants there are 2 additional pockets, one of which is designed to hold an avalanche beacon. For those looking for a quick and secure place to put your beacon the left pocket on the Purist pants is designed just for that.
The only hiccup with the bottom pockets is if you put stuff inside them, even something as small as chapstick it’s really noticeable banging against your knees while touring. That being said, just stick to the top pockets…
What can be Improved?
After 50+ days in The North Face Purist Pants, the only thing that could use updating is new zippers. These zippers are waterproof however they’re not the most durable and the tabs can be hard to get ahold of with bulky snowboard gloves on. It would be great to see the zippers match the other durability and tech found on the rest of this North Face piece of gear.
Last but not least the button snap closure at the top of the pants comes undone easily. I wear a belt so it doesn’t really matter, however – The North Face if you’re listening these two things should be made more stout.
The North Face Purist Pants ($448) are a little loud on the skin track, especially at first with the combo of GORE-TEX and Nylon. Once you get past that you have a really durable pair of pants that can be taken on any backcountry adventure.
Even with a few flaws, The North Face Purist Pants have become my go-to pair of splitboarding pants used numerous times throughout the week while testing gear this winter. And when paired with The North Face Purist Jacket ($648.95) this kit is pretty darn solid. Turns out these pants are popular as they are sold out at most places online. Grab a pair of these pants while you can or wait to try The North Face FUTURELIGHT Pants in 2020.