The Heyburn 2.0s have a 10k waterproof rating, which is perfectly fine for the drier snow that falls here in the Mountain West, but I did have an issue with the pants’ DWR waterproof coating. I have stayed dry in them (except for the little bit of leakage in the vents, which I’ll discuss in a moment), but water did stop beading up on the surface after only a few days of wear. Just out of curiosity, I ran them quickly under the showerhead and watched the material soak up water.
Having DWR wear off a new pant this quickly is concerning. Without a DWR coating securely bonded to the exterior of your shell, moisture and dirt clog the fabric, reducing its breathability and ability to shed water from its outer layer. I expect a good quality pant to have an exterior coating that would last at least a season, and the Heyburn 2.0’s coating didn’t hold up longer than a few days. So keep in mind that applying another DWR coat yourself might be necessary, especially if you live in wetter climates like the Pacific Northwest or the East Coast.
On the other hand, First Ascent has delivered excellent wind protection with the Heyburn 2.0 pant. Spring 2012 dished out some of the windiest days I can remember at Alta, including a few subzero days with gale-force gusts up on top of West Rustler, and I never felt any air cutting through the pants, even when wearing lightweight or no base layers.
One feature that seems silly to me, however, is the use of non-waterproof zippers on the back pocket and the thigh vents. This was kind of a head scratcher at first on an otherwise pretty strong design, especially when the zippers on the four other pockets are waterproof YKK Aquaguard Zippers. Instead, First Ascent used flaps and kissing welts to keep moisture out of these openings in the pant, and I don’t think this was the best choice. I have already noticed some leakage in the vents, and the zippers themselves are small and flimsy. That being said, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a pant with full waterproof zippers and vents at $200, so expect to pay more if those are things you must have.
The ventilation of the Heyburn 2.0 is definitely effective, controlled by the 11” inner thigh vents. But they aren’t the best design on these pants. While they vent efficiently, both the mesh on the inside of the vents and the kissing welts on the outside of the zippers get caught in the zippers frequently when zipping shut.
I did notice the Heyburn 2.0 wicks moisture very efficiently. First Ascent’s two-layer 70-denier nylon fabric seems to be doing its job in moving moisture away from my legs. I stayed nice and dry on my ascents during backcountry tours.
The interior mesh lining is super comfortable and makes the Heyburn 2.0 easy to put on and take off no matter what kind of layers I chose underneath. This allowed me a good deal of versatility depending on the temperature and weather conditions, which is awesome, as I tend to live in my ski pants during the ski season. (Yes, that also means that skiing in just boxers under the Heyburn 2.0 is totally an added bonus for all the spring skiing days I spent in these pants.)
The Heyburn 2.0 offers 60G synthetic internal insulation, located in the seat and on the knees down across the shins. I found that I was sufficiently warm on the chair and sitting in snow on colder days with mid to heavy base layers. (As long as the vents didn’t leak.) Ideally, you want a ski pant that can be used all season while maintaining a comfortable body temp, and the Heyburn 2.0 definitely delivers in this area.
The Heyburn 2.0 pants are also designed to integrate with the Heyburn 2.0 Jacket by attaching to small bands just under the belt loops. This feature secures the jacket to the pants, making a sort of “Onesie” out of the setup.
The light weight, versatility, and great fit of the First Ascent Heyburn 2.0 make it a solid choice for any day on or off the hill.
The Volkl Nanga is an extremely comfortable pant with a clean, sleek design that will keep you warm on even the coldest days.
Flylow's Stash pant gets freeride right.