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The North Face Apex Climbing Pant

The North Face Apex Climbing Pant

Ideal for alpine climbing?

August 15 2007, 

The North Face Men's Apex Climbing Pant

The biggest range of movement, a protection against the bad weather and a good comfort. It is usually what one ask to climbing clothes. The North Face tried to answer logically this requirement with the new Apex Climbing Pant. But did they succeed there?

Apex is the response of TNF to the softshell revolution which appeared a couple of years ago. This membrane fulfills its functions like an external skin in cold and windy weather. Windstopper and resistant to weak rains the softshell has a significant advantage compared to an waterproof external layer, in particular via a bigger capacity of ventilation. It is thus not astonishing that the softshells took the advantage in alpine activities.

Apex Climbing PantMountains also form the ideal ground for the Apex Climbing Pant. The easy ascension of the Rocher Paillon via the pass Emile Pic seemed to be an ideal trek to test it. But for that it was necessary to start by walking to the Refuge of the Ecrins. For somebody who prefers walking in trekking trousers, it is necessary to accept the idea of climbing with two long pipes. Fortunately the weather is variable and a cold wind constitutes the menu of the day. The trousers are flexible and I understand quickly that comfort will not be a real problem. Nevertheless, variable weather or not, I sweat. The Climbing Pant recycles very well sweat, except for an element. A new precept was born: the sweating of the knees! It seems that the reinforcements on the knees do not let the sweating pass, and cause an uncomfortable feeling. Earlier that day, I wondered why there was no reinforcement on the buttocks but after that observation I was honestly rather happy.
The ascension of the Rocher Paillon can be catalogued like a ?small training climb?. It starts with a corridor of 40° and consists in the crossing of an edge of mixed type. The snow which fells the previous days makes the whole a little bit more spicy than usual. Considering the necessity of freedom of movements and protection, the Apex Climbing Pant is really great. In the corridor our knees touch the ice regularly. The reinforcement is this time a very good element. No more sweat coming from the knees. In spite of the strong and cold wind my legs react admirably. I do not carry any additional layer. The Apex reacts well under the gusts of wind! The path zigzags in all directions and the ground varies between snow and rock. As leader I must regularly seek solutions, and that often leads to a rather creative work of legs. The elasticity of the Apex follows me in all my movements. Not only the cut is sporting but the matter also extends in all four directions. Difficult to give an appreciation on the durability of the material, but successive frictions against the rock did not leave strong markings on the fabric.

The Apex Climbing Pant is solid trousers intended for not too hot alpine rises in High Mountain or by extension for sport climbing during the winter. The management of sweating would deserve a bit of improvement, which implies that the trousers are less adapted for path on Average Mountain (often hotter). The pockets are difficult to reach when a harness is carried. A pocket on the side would have been quite useful. The freedom of movements that the trousers offer is without any doubt a strong point, surely for climbers who attack more athletic paths. In short, trousers which do not limit your freedom of movements but which increases it.

Technical details

+++

Freedom of movements

++

Windstopper, resistant to weak rain

-

Management of sweating

Activities recommended

Climbing

Composition

Polyester, 9% Elastane, Apex universal

Colors

Black, Graphite Grey (see picture)

Sizes

S to XL

Weight

377 grams

Public adviser price

150 EUR

Info

www.thenorthface.com

Maarten

 


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