Material and Quality
This is the first Virtika product I owned and I have to say I was really impressed. I haven't been a huge fan of some of the Virtika lines, because you need a certain style, but in terms of quality outerwear, Virtika definitely steps it up. I noticed right away the comfort of these pants, the inside material is a breathable sort of mesh style liner. A nice touch i noticed is the reinforced crotch area. A fair number of companies have trouble noticing that the crotches on snow pants do not last long, but virtika listened. They also included a lot of double stitching in "stress area's" such as the lower feet cuffs. This is a fine detail, but it is noticeable that virtika took time into putting high quality buttons on the pants. One thing that really bothers me about traditional snow pants is when the belt buttons become so loose that they can barely stay snapped. The buttons when you first get the pants are almost hard to open. Virtika installed very high quality buttons on the waste and on the pocket flaps. After using them for a few weeks I can tell they will be long lasting.
Virtika put 6 pockets in the pants and one pouch in the detachable suspenders. 7 is about average for a snow pant, it can look too crowded if there is too many more than that. The only thing that disappointed me at all really was the depth of the top pockets. The knee pockets are nice and big, however they definitely could have gone with a deeper front pocket. The pocket on the suspenders is kind of pointless, but the bib section of the suspenders is nice for keeping snow of of your pants. All pockets are waterproof, and I had no trouble leaving my phone in any of them, even on a snowy day.
Warmth and waterproofing
The snow pants are extremely warm, we have had some extremely cold days in Ontario this season (-38 before the windchill factor) and my legs were never the first to get cold. Having lower warm body definitely helps to keep the rest of your body warm. The waterproofing is also top notch, at 25000mm there is virtually no water coming in.
Notable features not yet mentioned
- Zip off bib
- Vents for warmer days, because the pants are so warm, these are really useful
- Elastic boot gators, with a hook, which is always useful
They pants are on sale right now for 119, and they are completely worth it. For the quality and warmth they provide, the price is hard to beat.
Virtika's Signature Pant is one of three entries fielded by the company into the snow-pant market this year. Being the warmest entry in their line, they are definitely designed for some seriously cold temperatures.
The Signature Pant is a extremely feature rich snow pant. With 7 pockets (4 with both magnet and zipper closures), a removable bib, waist cinchers, large vents at the knees, boot gaters, zippered and buttoned boot cuffs and re-enforced seams in all the important places, your going to be riding in style. My personal favorite feature is the bib pocket. I find it the best place to keep my cell phone with absolutely no worry of ever really falling on it. Being under your jacket on the inside keeps your battery warm so you can jam out all day.
My pair of of Signature Pants tested were size L. At 5'9" 160 Lbs, I found them to be a little more slim fitting than I personally prefer. I have a pair of 2013 Triple L pants in L and these are substantially slimmer fitting than those for reference. If you want the tall and baggy look, up-size at least once. That being said, I had no issues with the pants binding up anywhere and I had free range of movement.
As far as how to layer with these, I found myself sweating with a thermal base layer in 0F. At 20F+ I had to keep the leg vents wide open. If I had to change one thing about these, I would add a second set of vents higher up. If you live in a particularly warm area, you may want to look at a less insulated option. They are 25K waterproofed, and although I did not get out in any rain pouring water on them causes it to bead and roll off effortlessly.
For those of you who have bought Virtika in the past and were unimpressed with the durability of the outer layer, your complaints have been heard. The outer layer of these seems extremely durable. So far they have not suffered a scratch on them, despite several impacts with both trees and rails. I am highly impressed with the turn around the company made in a single season on this front.
Overall I love these pants. They are warm as hell, bombproof and look great. I would most certainly buy these again.
I had the opportunity to wear a few version on the Virtika gear over the years, and I can with all honesty say they have improved year over year. I no longer have any doubts that they are building high quality products.
I have always been a fan of bibs, never having to worry about snow and wind getting around your waist is a huge bonus. The bib height is great, not too high that it gets bulky, but high enough to give that perfect seal. Having it removable though is a plus, as there are days I just want a pair of pants and a belt, usually in the warmer days rocking lighter layers.
Design has definitely been refined over the years. The colour blocks of the past are much more discrete, and fit in much better with the lines of the pants. Pockets have gone from random massive add ons, to really well placed and discrete, for the most part. As they are better placed, they are also much more functional. Hand and thigh pockets are perfect size for everything you could ever want to carry, without bouncing around against your legs all day.
The insulation is just right as well. While I often prefer to layer under a shell, these are great for that little extra warmth on the cold east coast nights this season. But they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t overheat on the slightly warmer days in the sun. The vents are well placed when you do get a little too warm, and the mess is awesome to still keep the snow out. They addressed one of my biggest issues as well was just the overall bulk of the suit, this new insulation seems much thinner and lighter, finally making it packable for luggage if you travel.
Durability is no longer an issue with this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gear. The fabric on these is top notch. Highly abrasion resistant outer works well brushing off trees in the woods without coming out totally pock marked. The waterproofing works well after a fair bit of use so far this season, still beading quite well. I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had a full day in the pouring rain yet, but sitting on the chair with heavy wet snow accumulating, it has no seeping when you get up and ride away. Everything else about construction, including the waterproof zippers, magnets and heavy Velcro show attention to detail.
One mention I will give though is to the sizing. This year the overall cut seems to be slimmer than the past (length is still the same) so you may want to check twice on the sizing chart. I made the mistake of sizing down from the XL I usually swim in to a Large, which ended up being pretty tight and a bit restricting.
All in all I am very impressed with the Virtika gear for this season, and it very high up in my outerwear rotation.