Just as with the Unification Pro jacket, the pant is cut with Oakley’s “regular” fit. Also like the jacket, the pant has an exceptional feel but lacks some freeride style. Function, of course, is in my mind the primary goal, and spending days in the backcountry is where the fit of this gear feels perfect. The pants never feel bulky, and there is never any tugging or restriction from the fabric through all ranges of motion.
I typically wear Extra Large pants and would say the Unification Pro’s run true to size. The waist feels great, and with the adjustable tabs the fit can be adjusted to accommodate varying insulation layers.
The length of the pant also feels true to size for a “regular” length pant. That said, I have longer legs and would like to see Oakley make the pant in a “long” option.
With Gore-Tex Pro and a highly functional durable water repellent (DWR), there is little to worry about in terms of water protection with the Unification Pro pant. My experience so far sitting on snow covered and frosted-over chairlifts, skiing deep powder, and even intentionally sitting in a chair with a small puddle, has shown nothing less than top-notch waterproofing.
I can’t comment how the pant will perform in winter’s liquid precipitation (I hate that “R” word this time of year), or Pacific Northwest/Sierra “wet” snow, but from what I’ve seen so far I’ve been very satisfied.
Breathability / Venting
As I mentioned in my North Face Fargo Cargo review, I run into far fewer problems with a pants’ breathability than with jackets. I’m pretty sure my legs have never even broken a sweat in these pants, actually. This includes the 40+ F day we skinned and booted our way over to Cerro Torrecilla from Las Leñas resort. On that day, I wore my normal fleece pants, and opened the inner thigh vents and about 12” of the outer thigh vent. I was completely comfortable.
The only circumstances I can really even foresee myself sweating in the pant is if deep snow prohibits opening the huge vents adequately. In that case, since I have put the jacket to more of a test in this department, and it has done very well, I am confident the pants will equally lose access water vapor.
The Unification Pro pants are perfect for high levels of activity, and warm temperatures.
The Oakley Unification Pro pant is an uninsulated shell, and must be combined with adequate layers to keep body temperatures in check. It is designed to protect the user from the elements, and do so without the feeling of being trapped in a plastic bag. The Unification Pro does this exceptionally well. Because the pant is so breathable and very thin, however, it does very little to trap heat.
I typically wear Polartec fleece pants under my TNF Fargo Cargo pant, and I’m completely comfortable in nearly all temperatures I’m exposed to riding resort at Alta. With the same layer used under the Unification Pro pant, I am comfortable down to around 20F, and, as I said, temps up to around 50 (thoroughly vented). Below 20F and I usually pull out my IceBreaker 200g long underwear, which helps a little. I’ve basically run into the same problem with the pants as I have the jacket: to dress warm enough for cooler temps at the resort, my layers end up being a bit too bulky.
Touring is obviously another story. I have been completely comfortable in temperatures as low as 0F, while skinning around the Wasatch with just my fleece layer as insulation. I can’t say I’d want to spend much time sitting around at those temps, but as long as there is no “dilly-dallying,” it has been easy to stay comfortable.
The take-home message here is that if you choose these pants and live in a cold climate, you will need exceptional insulating pieces. I highly recommend very warm long underwear, and perhaps down insulated mid-layer pants.
To the touch, the Unification Pro pant does not feel like an article of outerwear you’d want to take into your favorite tree stashes. The pants feel like they would rip into shreds just looking at a broken tree limb, but, thankfully, this has not been the case. While limbs grazing the pant have had absolutely no effect to this point, sharp ski edges haven’t been so nice. As you’ll remember, the pants do have a fairly large protective SuperFabric zone; still, there is the possibility of hitting the unprotected nylon.
So far I only have a few ¼ to ½” cuts in the fabric, but it is a cause for alarm. After all, these pants are not cheap. The good news is that the fabric does seem to be highly resistive to tearing, so the small slits haven’t grown one bit and show no signs of fraying.
Otherwise, the pant is constructed impeccably and shows absolutely no signs of deterioration or failure.
If you are looking for the ultimate combination of wind and water protection, along with incredible breathability, the Oakley Unification Pro pant is a great place to be looking. I see the pants working exceptionally well for people looking to make touring a large part of their skiing experience. My only concern is with how well the nylon part of the cuff will hold up over time, but there is no question the Unification Pro pant will continue to be my go-to touring pants.