For six seasons now I’ve worn a pair of black ski pants that set me back a solid $650. Around the same time that I bought my pants, a tiny blue heeler who I named Metsä came into my life wearing an $800 price tag of her own. I probably seem a little bit goofy for spending almost as much on a pair of ski pants as I did on my dog, but I encourage you to keep reading and find out how after much use, these high priced ski pants of mine (along with my girl Metsä) are still going strong!
Back in 2013 I was on the hunt for a new pair of ski pants when I came across the Theta SV Gore-Tex Pants by Arc’teryx (no longer available, but a similar style, the Beta is available). I was sold on these beauties by aesthetic alone as they were very much my style with a bib and suspenders. They also had important technical features like waterproof zippers and were breathable thanks to being constructed of Gore-Tex. I then looked down at the price tag – $650! I told myself that spending this amount of money on a single article of ski gear would be goofy, but I really liked them! What to do next?
Using my business acumen I knew that I should determine if my ROI (return on investment) for the pants would have me in the black after a specific amount of time and number of uses. Two years was the average amount of time my previous ski pants had usually lasted. Up until this point I was typically spending an average of $275 on a pair of ski pants and using them eighty days out of the year. I asked myself if in order to make my investment worth it would these high priced pants that I coveted last at least 5 years? I didn’t know the answer so I started researching.
I dove deep into gear reviews on Arc’teryx products and was impressed with what I found. Descriptive words like durable, breathable, quality, waterproof and comfortable kept popping up on review after review. The phrases “worth the investment“, “the only (pants) I’ll ever own” and “great warranty policy” became a constant theme within the accolades for the brand, their products and customer service.
Satisfied that Arc’teryx made products that would hold up to lots of use and after a few visits to my local ski shop and trying the pants on so many times that the sales associate knew me by name I made a decision. I pulled out my cash and moments later walked out of the shop with a pair of ski pants in hand worth more than my monthly car payment! I made a promise to myself that I would only buy a new pair of ski pants when these ones either wore out, were no longer waterproof, or heaven forbid I lost them!
- I resort/backcountry ski, split-board and nordic ski an average of sixty days a year, and I walk my dog in the cold and snow most days in winter.
- As a professional photographer in the adventure + outdoor industry I am out on location shooting photos in winter ten to fifteen times a month.
- I figure that over the past six seasons, given my activities, I’ve worn these ski pants close to five-hundred times.
- After hundreds of wears this pair of Arc’teryx Theta SV Pants has one seam rip on the lower leg that I fixed with gear tape (the original tape is still holding on) and a tiny hole in the bum that I just noticed when I started putting this article together.
- I’ve followed the pants’ care instructions using Granger’s Wash and Repel Soap for waterproof apparel and never have a wet bum – not even when riding the sometimes soggy chairlifts during a powder day at one of the many ski resorts in the West Kootenay’s!
- I’ve lived in these pants during week long backcountry lodge trips where I’m out on the snow for more time than I am indoors. From day trips ski touring in Kananaskis Country to 40 below dogs walks, cross country ski adventures with friends and out in the elements shooting photos, these pants have played a key role in keeping me warm, dry and comfortable.
So after six seasons and about five-hundred wears, this $650 pair of seemingly outrageously expensive ski pants has cost me the following:
- $108.33 per year versus $137.50 per year based on my previous two year lifespan at an average of two-hundred and seventy five dollars per pair of ski pants.
- $1.35 per wear versus $1.72 per year based on my previous two year lifespan at an average of two-hundred and seventy five dollars per pair of ski pants.
Based on my math that’s a sound ROI !
T E S T E D – W R I T T E N + P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y
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