For those unaware, S/Lab is the leading design house for Salomon, where the dreams of pro's and designers are developed from cutting-edge-concepts to reality.
The Maverick S/Lab QST Shell Pants are top of the Salomon ski pant tree, and have all the technologies to suit.
It's clear that these are a bulletproof pair of ski pants, built with a high-end Gore-Tex Pro 3L fabric with 100% taped seams which guarantees waterproofing in the worst of storms.
Although highly waterproof and durable, Gore-Tex Pro has a bit of a reputation for being stiff in use which can cause problems with freedom of movement, but Salomon have successfully countered this with their 'Motion Fit 360' technology. Essentially the pants have been anatomically shaped to reflect the movement of the legs. Far from being a gimmick this technology really works, allowing you to move freely when hiking, ski touring, splitboarding or simply shredding the pow.
Being a bib pant the QSTs offer maximum protection around the midriff area. The extra fabric stops base layers rising and then having to be regularly tucked back in which can become tiresome pretty quickly. The removeable 3-point suspenders are comfortable to wear and hold the pants firmly in place and the velcro waist adjuster is preferable to a belt, especially when wearing a pack with a hipbelt. The one downside to this design is that there are no belt loops in case of premature Velcro failure.
The QST pants have a good number of pockets, 2 zipped hand pockets, 2 zipped cargo pockets and 1 zipped pocket in the bib, these are all on the small side but for backcountry use where you’re not likely to be carrying much, if anything in your pants pockets they work fine. The avalanche transceiver lanyard is a nice touch although the usual approach is to wear a transceiver strapped to the body.
The 4 large ventilation zips (inside knee and back of leg) allow huge amounts of air through if you're starting to overheat on hikes or climbs and with everything zipped up the QST pants provide ample windproofing while still allowing the legs to breath.
Overall these are a smart-looking, comfortable, high quality, durable, ultra-effective set of shell pants. The price is top end, but this is reflected in the performance, so if you’re serious about your skiing or snowboarding then the S/Lab QST pants are well worth a look.