For most of my winter movements last season I used a pair of Mountain Equipment Ultimate Mountain Pants. The G2 Pant is Mountain Equipment’s top of the range softshell trouser, offering excellent protection from the elements, superb comfort and a nice level of breathability. The pant is made from Gore Windstopper Membrane fabric which is very good at keeping the wind and wet out. In frozen environments there’s no real need to wear a shell pant over the top, the G2 provides all the protection you need.
For winter climbing in the Lakes, Snowdonia and Scotland I combined them with Ortovox merino baselayer pants and found this was a good balance between not cooking on the walk-in and not freezing on the belays. On an 8-day ski-tour in the Bernese Oberland I wore the pants with no baselayer and I found they kept to wind off brilliantly. The fleecy backing of the fabric is comfortable against the skin and the thigh vents seem to work really well despite being quite small. I think this is due to the positioning of the vent, angled to the front of your thigh instead of being down the side of the leg like on many other designs.
For ski-tourers, winter climbers and winter walkers I recommend this pant highly. Mountain Equipment have got the balance just right between, warmth/weight and breathability/comfort. The braces and newly improved belt add to the comfort levels of the pant, they help prevent cold spots and drafts coming in. Depending on what you wear underneath, the Mountain Equipment Ultimate Mountain Pant is versatile and gives great protection against wind, rain, snow and ice.