I’ve got 40+ days in the Micon, and so far, I’m impressed. Obviously, if you rake a sharp ski edge hard enough against a soft fabric, the sharp metal is going to win. So for me, durability is really about the cuff guards. If I had to bet $100 on a cuff guard to stand up to serious abuse, I’d still bet that $100 on TREW Gear’s Trewth Bibs and Eagle pants. But the Shoeller Keprotec cuff guards on the Arc’teryx Micon are a close second. So far, no cuts or tears in the cuff guards of the Micon.
Having said all that, GORE-TEX Pro Shell fabric comes in varying degrees of thickness, so I will say a word about the toughness of the fabric. In Niseko, I did manage to put a small tear just below the knee of the Micon, and I’ll let you decide whether to blame me or the pants: we were night skiing in Niseko and decided to venture far from the lights of the groomers. It was very dark, I was wearing heavily tinted goggles, and we were skiing super tight trees. I could barely see anything. Oh, and I was on the 196cm Blizzard Bodacious—you know, the perfect tool for blacked out night time tree skiing!
I didn’t run straight into a tree, but I never saw the tree coming, either. The fact that I left the scene merely with small tear was the equivalent of winning the lotto. The lesson? Sharp metal edges aren’t the only thing that can tear fabric, so don’t ski tight trees in the dark. So yeah, you decide whether I or Arc’teryx is to blame for the abrasion on the Micon….
For me, the Arc’teryx Micon sets the bar for insulated, freeride pants. While they might not be the absolute burliest pant on the market, I have zero concerns about their durability to date. They are also a perfect freeride fit and cut (Please, Arc’teryx, don’t taper these things!), with a very nice feel and finish. The Micon is fully waterproof, and performed flawlessly in wet, driving snow as well as bottomless pow. I found them to be comfortable across a ridiculously broad temperature range, and they are incredibly comfortable on the mountain and après. In short, everything about the Micon is dialed.
BONUS REVIEW MATERIAL:
Let’s go back to Arc’teryx’s product description of the Micon that states that the pants have wide cuffs that “fit easily over ski boots.”
I was confused. Was Arc’teryx informing us that the Micons are designed so that you can put them on and pull them off over ski boots? And why, exactly, would you ever really want—or need—to pull your pants off while keeping your ski boots on???
I decided to put these questions to some fellow BLISTER reviewers, which led to a ridiculously long and absolutely hilarious email thread, where we basically concluded that all possible answers could be funneled into three basic categories:
(1) Sexy but Cold (e.g., variations on winter trysts in the woods)
(2) Tragic and Cold (e.g., you snap your femur, but you don’t want the paramedics to cut off your expensive pants?)
(3) Gross and Cold: (e.g., … I think I won’t share some of the examples we came up with, and frankly, I encourage you not to exercise your imagination along these lines.)
Regardless of whether Arc’teryx is encouraging us to leave our boots on and our pants off, in the interest of a thorough review process, I checked this out, and I am able to report that I can strip off my Micon’s without removing my size 26.0 Langes. So there.