Stepping into Norrona's Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pants feels like pulling on a suit of armour. An expensive and technicolour one! The colouring may not be to everyone's taste, but that reassuring solidity of Gore Tex goes some way to explaining the price.
In fact the solidity is both a blessing and a curse; the super-durable face fabric of the pants makes for a fairly heavy pair of trousers, which may not appeal to those exploring the backcountry under their own steam. Having said that our reviewer spent plenty of time skinning in them, and despite the weight, the full-length side zips dump excess heat immediately.
Once your skis are pointing downhill the burly weight becomes an asset; tree branches are swept aside, wind is sent back to where it came from, and even ski edges are quite effectively deflected by the huge swathes of Aramid around the ankles.
The fit around the waist is true to size, and is adjustable, but the fit lower down is certainly on the baggy side. That maybe to many people's taste but we can't help thinking the weight could have been significantly reduced with less reinforced material at the cuffs. Equally the practicality could be increased - for example for those approaching a descent wearing crampons - by losing some of that fabric flapping around the calves.
On the other hand Norrona have different ranges catering to those requirements, and big mountain freeride demands a little steeze.
In all the sheer protective burl and durability of these pants warrants a high price - the pow-slayer good-looks are an added bonus.