Having spent last winter rocking the awesome Refugitive range, it's safe to say that eyebrows were definitely raised when we heard there was a new kid in Patagonia town. We were already mightily impressed by the backcountry performance of the 3-layer Refugitive pants so were keen to see what the new Descensionist could bring to the backcountry party.
The Descensionist range exists because Patagonia were determined to develop touring-specific wear that could really deliver true 'waterproof breathability'. If you're used to skiing in super cold, dry climates or are only partial to fair weather mountain adventures then this won't be too much of a problem for you. Venture out into a high precipitation environment with fluctuating freezing levels and you'll know how difficult it can be to find touring gear that keeps you dry whilst simultaneously allowing your body to dispel high exertion effects. Scottish backcountry aficionados will know what we're talking about!
Everything about the 3 layer Descensionist pants has been constructed with waterproof breathability in mind. Constructed using a supersoft stretchy 50D plain-weave fabric with a DWR finish, these pants repel moisture whilst simultaneously allowing your body to breathe. When the temps really crank up additional venting is provided via back of the thigh zips. This is the first pair of pants we've tested that have openings on the back of the thighs rather than on the side and whilst we can't see any particular benefits, we can't see any downsides either as they are easy to reach and manage on the move.
Whether you're stoked on the built-in waist belt will come down to individual preference but in general the fit is likely to have broad appeal. Freeride without being baggy, the Descensionists run pretty true to size and the leg length of the Small size we tested was spot on for a 5'6" skiergirl.