Days Tested: 20
- Durable 3-Layer Gelanots® Fabric -20,000mm waterproof/breathable
- YKK Aquaguard® water-resistant zippers
- Street-cut hand pockets
- Convenient mini-cargo pocket
- Spacious cargo pockets
- Elastic waist adjustments for little kids with big pants
- SUPERFABRIC 360 degrees around the cuff and full-instep protection.
- Weight: 28 oz
In his review of the Bellows jacket and Trewth Bibs, Jonathan Ellsworth noted just how bomber Trew outerwear is. I had the chance to put some time in the same bibs and jacket in Las Leñas this past August, and after just a few days found myself agreeing with Jonathan on all fronts.
No doubt: Trew puts out some of the burliest outerwear on the planet.
After well over 50 days of testing in a huge range of conditions, the Trewth Bibs proved themselves as a seriously functional, seriously durable piece of outerwear.
But suspenders aren’t for everyone. I found the fit of the bibs (and that loose material around my waist) to be less comfortable than regular pants. Fortunately, Trew offers the Eagle.
After being so impressed with the Bibs, we were curious to see how the Eagle pant stacks up against other quality softgoods, namely the Flylow Stash pant.
One thing I loved about the Stash was its dual venting (with big 18” outer and 9” inner thigh vents). With this in mind, we’ll start with the venting and breathability of the Eagle.
Venting / Breathability
Trew uses Gelanots, a 3-layer laminate fabric, across most of their outerwear line. The material is noticeably thicker than the reinforced nylon twill of the Stash, though it still allows the Eagle to hang comfortably. (I’ll go into greater detail on the fit of the pants a bit later.) The material itself is not too rigid and doesn’t feel unlike a softer DWR treated fabric (though it vastly outperforms it).
This has been a warm season in general, and spring in Colorado is proving to be downright tropical. With their thicker fabric, I was a little unsure how the Eagle would breathe in really warm conditions, and whether the 10″ vents on the inner thighs would provide adequate airflow. The short answer: I haven’t found the Gelanots to be lacking in breathability whatsoever. A hike up Taos’ Kachina Peak in February (in temps over 40 with clear skies and no wind) was a good indicator of this, as were a couple 60-degree days of slush riding later in the season in Summit County.
Even wearing full long underwear underneath the Eagle on those warmer days, with the zips open, the pants’ venting was totally adequate. They might not provide quite as much airflow as the Trewth Bibs (which feature full-length zippers) or the Stash, but I still think the Eagle is perfectly suitable for a day of hiking or touring late in the season. The venting is sufficient and the fabric (with a breathability rating of 20,000 g/m² ) performs just as well as any other high-end material, even with its heavier construction.
Wind / Waterproofing
There have been some questions about how windproof Trew’s Gelanots fabric is. Neither Jonathan, Jason Hutchins, Andrew Gregovich, Julia Van Raalte, nor I (the five of us at BLISTER who have used TREW jackets and / or pants) have found windproofing—or a lack of windproofness (that’s a word, right?)—to be an issue with any Trew gear, and the Eagle is no exception.
In typical “Breckenwind” fashion, some friends and I were assaulted by ripping winds (strong enough to close the Imperial lift) while hiking the Lake Chutes. Things were cold, and my face felt like it could have been ripped apart by graupel, but the pants held up to it all without a problem.
Taos Ski Valley has been blessed with some awesome conditions this season and a number of storm days that we’ve been lucky to hit. (If you feel like reminiscing about some of the better days of this season, consider browsing the Trip Reports page.) In thinking back to a particular weekend at Taos, the mountain had to be closed for part of a day in February because of high winds and whiteout conditions. I have to say I was pretty disappointed by this. In the Eagle, I would have been happy to hang atop the Highline Ridge for the entirety of the afternoon.
With snow piling up in my lap on the chairlift, the fabric showed no serious signs of saturation. If anything, there was a tiny amount of surface moisture, but most snow and collected water brushed off completely. I was perfectly dry and comfy.
Now, we’re talking about wet snow by New Mexico standards. People of the Pacific Northwest, feel free to scoff. I’ve never experienced slush (God forbid rain) falling out of the sky while skiing. Still, if you do happen to live somewhere with wetter maritime snow, I feel confident saying you have nothing to worry about with these pants.
(If you’re still not convinced, Andrew Gregovich—an Alaska native—had the chance to sport the Eagle on BLISTER’s Niseko, Japan, testing trip, where he and the rest of the crew spent a good deal of their time submerged in pow. His upcoming input should be able to dispel any doubt about the Eagle’s capabilities in the elements.)