Looking for freeride trousers for skiing or snowboarding? Then check out this Helly Hansen Garibaldi Pant review.
Like most snowboarders I love to get off-piste. I often hike for fresh lines and head out into the backcountry when I can. I like to jump off things, try tricks and have fun whatever the conditions.
So for me a pair of freeride trousers for skiing or snowboarding need to be waterproof, breathable, comfortable and non-restrictive. Plus I like them to be an interesting colour and have useful pockets!
I have spent more than twenty days testing these Garibaldi pants by Helly Hansen. During which I have experienced everything from warm, wet and rainy conditions to bright sun, white outs, -20°C, ferocious winds and lots of fresh snow.
Job number one of any ski trousers is to keep the elements out. As a snowboarder you end up sitting and kneeling in the snow quite a bit. So you need highly waterproof trousers.
The Garibaldi pants use top of the range Helly Tech® Professional 2L fabric and are fully seam sealed. This provides a waterproof rating of around 20,000mm. Having spent a day snowboarding in rain I can confirm that they keep you dry.
The Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment means that moisture just beads off the surface. However, after a day in the rain the outer material got wet where pressure was applied (bottom and knees). But it never got through to the inside meaning I remained dry.
Staying dry is the first step to keeping warm. The Garibaldi freeride trousers for skiing and snowboarding do not have any insulation. But because of their lining they are much warmer than purely shell pants.
I’ve worn them in -20°C in a windy whiteout that closed the lifts. I have always worn them with standard thermals and been warm enough. But any colder I would wear an extra pair of thermals.
Keeping the elements out is only half the battle. The moisture you produce also needs to escape otherwise you will get damp and cold. As I have said I often hike for lines and I snowboard hard so work up quite a sweat.
Fortunately, the Helly Tech® Professional 2L fabric is highly breathable rated at over 20,000. Even when working hard in warm conditions I have never had any significant sweat build up on the inside of the Garibaldi Pants.
In really damp conditions – that rainy day again! – I have felt slightly sweaty. This is because when it’s wet on the outside breathability is reduced with any garment.
If you get too warm open the vents to let out moist air. Unlike most trousers for skiing or snowboarding the vents are not between the legs but on the outside of the thigh. Not sure why, but they do just as good a job and the mesh stops snow getting in if you fall.
There is no point in having waterproof, windproof and breathable trousers if they are uncomfortable. So this section of the Helly Hansen Garibaldi Pant review is all about fit and comfort.
I am quite short so ski pants are always too long, with a couple of inches of extra material at the bottom. The Garibaldi’s hems and inseam are all reinforced to reduce wear and tear if, like me, you end up walking on them.
Once I have snowboard boots on the length is not a problem. Just be aware that if, like me, you are 5’7 (171cm) they will be too long.
With a 32 inch (before lunch size) to 34 inch (after Italian ski lunch size!) waist I went for medium. They fit well around the waist and the velcro adjuster means I can make them looser if I over do it at lunch…
I would describe the fit as casual to baggy – perfect for snowboarding as there is no restriction of movement. The articulated seat and knee areas make for an excellent fit and again allow great freedom of movement.
The lining on the inside of the pants makes them more comfortable than purely shell pants. Particularly when it’s warm and you don’t wear thermals.
If you like pockets in your pants then you’ll love the Garibaldi’s! They have two zipped hip pockets with YKK® Aqua guard™ zippers, one of which has an inner beacon loop. There are also two front thigh combat style velcro pockets and a rear velcro pocket on the right.
The pockets are not just numerous but useful. The hip pockets are not very deep so are good for tissues. I can get a tissue out without taking my gloves off which is a first for any snow pants.
The hip pockets are also good for coins and keys. However, my keys made a hole in the pocket and all the coins ended up in the lining!
As with any good ski pants, and particularly freeride trousers for skiing or snowboarding, they have snow gaiters. This stops snow from getting up your trouser legs and into your boots. These gaiters use a silicone grip which is better than metal clips as they hurt if you tread on them.
They come equipped with the RECCO® Advanced Rescue system. This is not a replacement for an avalanche transceiver, however it does improve your chances of being found in an avalanche.
To conclude this Helly Hansen Garibaldi Pant review I’d say they are an excellent piece of kit. They will keep you warm and dry no matter what the conditions, while being breathable and very comfortable.
The only negative is that my keys made a hole in the pocket, but that was easily fixed. Apart from that they have performed exceptionally well and have become my go to pants.
Plus they look good! More than one riding buddy has said the sweet lime colour stands out on the slope so I am easy to follow. They also come in a bright red/orange colour, black and graphite (kind of dark blue).
I hope you found this Helly Hansen Garibaldi Pant review useful. The RRP is £220 and you can buy from retailers or direct from Helly Hansen: www.hellyhansen.com/garibaldi-pant