Trew Tempest Pants
Stated Weight: 22 oz
- Private Reserve 3L shell fabric featuring waterproof/breathable DERMIZAK EV membrane
- 20,000mm waterproof/breathable
- 140 denier nylon plain-weave face fabric (DWR treated)
- 20 denier nylon tricot backer
- SuperFabric cuffs and kick patches
- Zip mesh-lined inner thigh vents
- Zip hand pockets
- Zip accessory/stash pocket
- Flap thigh cargo pockets
- Vertical zip thigh pocket
- Double-button closure with zip fly
- Belt loops with velcro waist adjustment tabs
- 3-point powder skirt connection system
- Internal boot gaiters with gripper elastic
- Boot-access zip cuffs with snap covers
- YKK Aquaguard zippers on all exposed openings
Reviewer: 5’6”, 125lbs
- Inseam: 30.5”
- Waist: 28”
Days Tested: 8
I reviewed TREW’s Cosmic jacket several seasons ago and loved its durable construction and style. After hearing about TREW’s women’s outerwear lineup they released last season, I was eager to check out some of their new pieces.
For the 14/15 season, TREW is introducing the Tempest pants into their women’s outerwear line. The new Tempest are three-layer shell pants that have a looser freeride cut with a more feminine shape.
Fit / Sizing
In women’s ski pants, I typically wear a size Medium. As I’ve mentioned in several of my other pants reviews (Helly Hansen Legendary and Scott Explorair), I almost always fall between a Small and Medium, but usually size up in order to accommodate my wider hips and extra layers on cold days. While Medium pants usually feel less restrictive, they’re almost always a little long on me.
The Medium Tempest pants are a tad larger than other size Medium pants I’ve worn; however, I don’t think I would downsize to a Small. I have a 28” waist, and the waist fits me perfectly. I think a Small waist would feel too tight through the waist and hips. I also spent time in the TREW Chariot bibs (review coming soon), and found the Medium to be larger than I would have liked, and would actually downsize to a Small in the bibs.
The Tempest pants have a very loose, relaxed fit. From the waist, they fall straight down and begin to flare out around the knees. The pants are pretty baggy between the knees and the cuff. But even though the Tempest has a looser cut, the pants have a more form-fitting, female shape in the waist and hips than the men’s Eagle pants. Occasionally, I felt like there was a little too much material around my lower leg, but that never inhibited my skiing, so I generally I really liked the pants’ looser cut.
Though most Medium pants are long on me, the Tempest are a little longer than usual. Even with the cuffs rolled up, making the pants several inches shorter, I still found myself having to pull the cuffs up when clicking into my bindings to make sure they didn’t get caught. The crotch of the pants also feels a bit long. This only became an issue when wearing a harness for the rope tows at the Canterbury club fields; the harness would push the pants down slightly, causing the pants to sit a little too low while skiing. I don’t think this will be an issue while skiing the resort without a harness, however.
The Tempest has adjustable velcro waist tabs and wide belt loops. The front waistband buttons shut, rather than closing with snaps. The buttons take just a second longer to close than snaps, but I’ve never had them pop open on me.
The Tempest pants have five pockets in the front and no rear pockets. The two zipped hand pockets are large enough to fit a pair of goggles, though not very comfortably. The hand pocket on the right side also has a smaller zippered pocket on the outside that fits an IPhone 5 perfectly. There is another large zippered pocket on the right leg above the knee, but I didn’t like carrying bulky items in this pocket since they bounced around while skiing. The Tempest also has a big cargo pocket with a velcro closure on the left thigh, though I still preferred to stash my things in the hand pockets that sit a little higher.
There are mesh-lined vents on the inner side of each leg, which have been effective. In my experience, vents placed on the outside of the leg seem to provide a little more airflow, but the vents on the Tempest pants still moved air well. The Chariot bibs have full-length zippers on the outside of the legs, which, unsurprisingly, allowed for more air to move through the pants than the Tempest’s smaller inner vents.
Fabric / Performance
The Tempest pants are made from a three-layer shell material. Given the pants’ freeride-oriented design, I was expecting the fabric to have a similar feel and weight to the Cosmic or The North Face Free Thinker jackets. Both are highly waterproof and breathable shells that feature a fairly heavy face fabric to improve durability and warmth. These heavier sorts of fabric usually feel a little stiffer, too.
The face fabric used on the Tempest pants feels surprisingly soft and smooth given its dense, 140-denier weave. The material actually feels lighter than that of either the Free Thinker and the older Cosmic I tested (though TREW now makes the Cosmic with the same Private Reserve fabric that’s found on the Tempest). The pants use a waterproof/breathable polyurethane-based laminate, and if you want to read more about how these laminates work, I’d highly recommend taking a look at Sam Shaheen’s detailed Outerwear 101 article.
So far, the pants feel fairly similar to the Scott Explorair pants, which uses the new Gore-Tex Pro fabric. The Explorair pants are a bit lighter (around 20 oz versus 22 oz for the Tempest), which can be attributed to their minimal design and slimmer alpine cut. The Exploriar’s fabric feels slightly thinner, too. The Tempest seems to offer a little more warmth and slightly decreased breathability than the Exploair, but overall, the difference in performance between the two pants hasn’t seemed very significant.
I haven’t had the opportunity to test out the pants’ DWR and waterproofing performance yet, but I am not concerned about their ability to repel precipitation. I’ll be sure to update this review if I experience any issues with the Tempest’s DWR.
I spent most of my time in the Tempest skiing on warm, spring days, and was really impressed with the pants’ breathability. I wore a thin merino layer under the pants, which kept me plenty warm enough down to 25ºF, and I never felt my lower body overheat while hiking on days where the temperatures rose above 45ºF.
On longer bootpacks, I almost always had to open the pants’ the vents, which allowed for enough airflow to keep me cool. I predict the Tempest will be a great pair of pants for touring, because even though they provide a decent amount of warmth, they are also quite breathable with the zips open.
I’ve torn the cuffs on almost every pair of ski pants I’ve worn, sometimes within a week of starting to wear them. The cuffs on the Tempest are reinforced with a thick, almost slippery material that feels really durable. The inner part of the cuff is also lined with this fabric, so when I roll the cuffs up to shorten the pants’ length, I don’t have to worry about exposing a less durable fabric. Even though I hiked through scree fields with many sharp rocks, I haven’t experienced any rips or tears in the cuffs, or on any other part of the pants, yet.
I’ve gotten a few stains on the pants so far, but the darker Emerald color hides dirt quite well. Some of the more persistent dirt stains have come out easily when I scrubbed them with a wet cloth.
I’m really happy that TREW has introduced women’s pieces to their outerwear lineup, and so far, I think they’ve done a great job. The TREW Tempest is a breathable, highly durable pair of pants with a feminine, freeride look. I would recommend them to any ladies who are looking for looser, comfortable, and stylish pants.