By: Levi Opsatnic
One of my favorite layering systems: Patagonia’s Thermal Weight Bottoms and their Synchilla Snap-T Pants
Since Pennsylvania has been getting hit with cold weather for months, it seems that I’ve been able to bust out my all-time favorite winter pants more often than not, and those are Pataognia’s Synch Snap Pants. Years ago, I put myself on a quest to find the perfect pants for winter insulation. While products like Outdoor Research’s Neo Plume Pants and Patagonia’s Nano Puff Pants seemed like great options, I found that they were a bit pricey for me and also only afforded me outdoor wearing options. Instead of that, I sought a pair of pants that could function as a toasty midlayer while fly fishing and hiking in the winter but could also serve me around the house on those chilly nights.
With those two parameters being set, I decided to weigh my options. I found that a few companies seemed to make lightweight fleece pants, but I wanted something a little more heavy-duty that would really keep me warm, so I continued my search until I finally found Patagonia’s Synch Pants. Made from the same recycled polyester as their Synch Snap-T Pullover, I knew that these pants would offer excellent warmth, versatility, and breathability, and while their price was a little high, their ethical background and Ironclad Guarantee was able to quickly convince me that these pants were a worthy investment.
Luckily, I received my pair on a day that was pretty chilly; a temperature around twenty degrees, some wind pushing through, and snow on the ground—perfect conditions for a winter trip down to the Spring Creek Canyon. I quickly donned a pair of baselayers (Patagonia’s Thermal Weight Capilene top and bottom to be exact) and threw on my new Synch Pants and hit the road. Whenever I arrived, I began to don my waders and prepare myself for some cold water. In the past, I’d find myself shivering as I pulled my waders on while sitting on the back of my vehicle, but with the combination of my baselayer bottoms and my Synch Pants overtop, I was downright comfortable as I geared up for an afternoon of fishing.
Upon entering the water, I wasn’t immediately bothered by its cold sensation like I have been in the past, but rather my temperature seemed to be pretty regulated and my legs were free of unnecessary bulk, which is a great combination whenever you’re wading a cold, slippery stream. I continued to fish throughout the afternoon with a few small browns to show for my work, but what really left me impressed was how comfortable I was during the entire trip. My legs didn’t overheat or get cold, no matter how hard I fished and how deep I waded.
Riding the excitement from my fishing trip into a cold evening, I decided to put these pants to an in-house test of tying flies. Considering I don’t like to use excess resources to heat my house, it tends to be a bit brisk during the evenings at my home, but whenever I was equipped in the Synchilla Pants, I found that I was able to stay nice and cozy.
So to break these pants down and what makes them so great, I’ll begin with praising their simple construction. I opted for the color black, which allows you to wear these pants out of your house without feeling underdressed. Not only that, but their Synchilla fabric is about as comfortable as can be. Add in a simple waist tie and spandex binding on each pant leg, and I’ve found that these pants allow me to properly layer without worrying about them riding up or down. Also, a combination of three pockets allows for all of the space that I need, and the addition of a snap on the rear pocket also provides just a little extra security.
Since owning these pants, I’ve worn them on winter hikes under a pair of water/windproof pants, have slept in them on countless overnight journeys, have been on a ton of winter fishing trips, and have been left feeling more than content while lounging around my house. It seems that these pants are incapable of nothing, so much so that I now own more than one pair. So whether you’re looking for a cozy winter lounger, a versatile midlayer, or just something to outdo your current sweatpants, Patagonia’s Synchilla Pants are sure to leave you feeling nothing but impressed.