One of my work friends (hi Jenny!) asked me the other day if I'm doing anything different now that the cold weather has descended upon us. Short answer, yes. I love the cold weather, and the fact the landscapes look like an apocalyptic wasteland (original Red Dawn anyone?) only adds to the fun. However, my legs and thighs, in particular, get cold in all the wind we get here in Cleveland....these would be great for under garb at LARPS, too. So I went and found myself the REI Co-op Talusphere Pants. In a nutshell? They're great. If you want a pair of shell pants that protect from moisture and wind, at a reasonable price, this is them, so go by them at REI. There are a couple of downsides, especially if you're short and fat, like me. If you want the full scoop, read on!
The Price Tag: $89.50
There's some things I really love about the Talusphere pants - they're made from polyester and they have some significant stretch so I can move freely, which I appreciate for scrambling. You can cinch the ankles tight, and it's waterproof, but by some dark magic also breathable. I haven't turned in to a sweaty mess yet. And I love that the pockets have zippers. They come in a whole range of sizes and shapes, both for men and women.
There are two main downsides to these bad boys. First, the sizing. I don't know what's going on at REI, but it was crazy trying to deal with the sizing on these. The women's goes up to an XL (little small for an XL) and the women's "plus size" goes up to 3X. The problem with the women's larger-sized Talusphere is that they don't come in petite unlike the S-XL. Well......I'm short and fat. Awwwwwkward.
If you want to purchase the larger sizes at REI, be aware you must search for "plus-size talusphere women plants." Yes, they're in a totally different section on the website.
When I went in to the store, I explained to the very kind helper that I was short and fat (as mentioned above), and she very happily hung out and tried to help me find the right pants. The men's hips didn't fit, even though they get ALL kinds of inseam options for leg length to waist-size.
I finally had to settle on the 2X Talusphere Women's Pant. You can see from the way they bunch at the ankles they're significantly too big, but I can move freely in them and I can put a lot of layers on underneath if I want. My biggest complaint is the length of the leg, and would be great if REI added some petite options in the larger lady sizes.
My only other complaint, and it's echoed by the reviews on the REI website, is the draw-string waist. It's very thin, and the toggle that holds it in place doesn't work the best, but I just tie a small knot. I haven't had any issues with my pants sagging down, but I have a booty. If you don't, beware!
In the end, I'm very happy with the purchase and they've held up great on the trail so far!
What winter "shell" pants do you use? (If any) What do you love/hate about them? Feel free to comment or contact me here.