Here is another kind-of-winter-themed item for your perusal. Thank you for the edits that I'm sure will be coming. :)
OR Sugoi Espresso Pant (Women's)
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
November 1, 2010
Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Location: Elkford, British Columbia, Canada
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don't have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don't consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Manufacturer's URL: www.sugoi.com
Model: Espresso Pant (Women's)
Year of Manufacture: Assumed 2009
MSRP: CAD $110.00
Sizes Available: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Size Reviewed: S
Other Colours Available: Black
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 466 g (16.4 oz)
The Sugoi Espresso Pants are midweight, loose-fitting tights which are lightly insulated. The exterior of the pants is smooth, and the inside feels slightly fleecy. The pants are constructed from 90% polyester and 10% spandex, so are quite stretchy. They have an elastic drawstring waistband. There is a zip pocket on each side seam, and a 16 cm (6.3 in) long zipper on the outside of each ankle. There is a stitched rib down the front of each leg that appears to be decorative.
There is a tag on the inside of the pants which tells me the size and fabric content. As well, there are symbols for the care instructions, which, when deciphered, tell me to machine wash in cold water and tumble dry low, without ironing, bleaching, or drycleaning. It also says to avoid contact with abrasive surfaces. My favourite part of the tag is where it says "Made in Vancouver, B.C. Canada". I can't complain about clothes that were made in my own province.
I purchased the Sugoi Espresso Pants in late 2009 and have used them year-round since then. I started out using them for cross-country skiing down to about -10 C (14 F), and used them for that purpose about 15 times, either alone or with long underwear underneath. I have also worn the pants while cycling several times, as they are tapered at the bottom and don't catch in my chain. This fall I have discovered that they are also excellent for hiking in, so have worn them for several days of hiking within a few degrees either side of freezing.
Comfort & Fit:
The Sugoi Espresso Pants are very comfortable. The fit is snug, but not tight. They are described by the manufacturer as a loose-fitting tight, which I think is very accurate. The pants are tapered at the ankle like a pair of tights, but they are not skin-tight.
The fleecy inside of the fabric is very soft and comfortable. I don't find the seams to be uncomfortable, and the ankle zippers have never bothered me. The waistband is comfortable, and I have never found that I needed to use the drawstring.
Since I'm so short, the pants are a bit long for me. They bunch up around my hiking or cross-country skiing boots slightly, but it's not really a problem. I also find them slightly long crotch-to-waist, so I sometimes look like my pants are falling down when they're really not. Again, not something that I worry about too much when I'm out in the woods.
Warmth, Wind & Water Resistance:
When cross-country skiing, I have found the Espresso pants to be warm enough on their own down to about -5 C (23 F). Below that temperature, I wear lightweight long underwear underneath them and am comfortable down to about -10 C (14 F). At below -10 C (14 F), I start looking for a more heavily insulated set-up. I was surprised the first few times I wore the pants that they weren't very wind-resistant. I believe that it is due to the breeze that I need to put on another layer rather than the true temperature, because they always seem warm enough when I'm standing still.
When hiking, I wore the Espresso pants alone (around freezing temperatures), but added a pair of long underwear underneath once I was at camp for the evening and no longer active. I found this combination to be very comfortable, and I was warm enough when sleeping in the long underwear and Espresso pants.
The Espresso pants are not waterproof, but they are slightly water-resistant. They shed light snow, but will wet out in very wet snow or if the snow sits on the surface of the pants and melts.
I have consistently washed the Espresso pants in a regular wash cycle and hung them to dry. They are still in excellent condition. There is a small amount of pilling at the side seams (next to the pocket zippers), probably from my waterbottle waist-pack that I carry when cross-country skiing. There are no snags or loose stitching.
The Sugoi Espresso Pant is a midweight pant that is lightly insulated and somewhat fitted. It offers good warmth and allows for layering underneath, but is not wind-resistant. I find these pants to be an excellent outer layer at moderate temperatures.
Slim, but not tight, fit
Sheds light snow
Not very wind resistant