Review: 686 Smarty Original Cargo Pants
10 Apr, 2011
Intended Purpose: The Smarty Original Cargo snowboard pant started it all with the smarty series. Highly waterproof and breathable with a ton of pockets to store everything you need on the mountain.
Fit: The original cargo pants have the baggy fit to them in usual 686 standard sizing. Baggier all around feel and super comfortable if you like baggy.
Appearance: I really liked the bright cayan colorway on the original cargo pants and figured the bright look would go great with the darker plexus sonar softshell jacket I have. I have noticed with the amount of sunny days in CA that the lower portion of the pants have faded a touch versus the pant portion that’s hidden underneath my jacket. The inner pants can be used as pajama pants which helps when you forget yours or don’t expect to crash somewhere and have pajamas. In terms of material, the pants are nylon solid oxford so not a slick material like my last smarty pants and they work just fine for the snow conditions.
Features: The smarty original cargo pants features 15,000mm waterproofing and 10,000mm breathability which worked great for Mammoth conditions this year. I wondered how the waterproofing would hold up with the wet snow days but those were few and when I noticed the pants not being as waterproof, I washed them to get the dirt out of the pores of the material and that made them better. The pants also feature a fleece inner liner pant that works perfectly for pajamas or on the really cold days. For most the season I went naked under the pants and was fine. Features include fully taped seams, zippered thigh pocket, side cargo pockets, back pocket, zippered venting. One thing I noticed with the pockets was since I ride regular, I preferred the right pocket over the left pocket because it had a zippered closure.
Durability: These pants have been my main snowboarding pants all winter long (that’s 6 months of riding and over 70 days) plus I’ll use them well into the summer riding and they are still holding strong. There have been no major issues with the pants, they are holding up strong for wear and tear so far. One noticeable durability test has been the fading of the color. On the pant portion covered up by my jacket, the color is bright as day 1 but the portion that’s been in the elements and in the sun, has noticeably faded over the season.
Thoughts: The original cargo pants have worked for me all winter. Tons of pockets to put extra stuff like camera gear on the mountain but also high quality for waterproofing and breathability. The pants have lasted me over 70 days so far while still in great shape and continue to be exactly what I need every day on the slopes. On the colder days, I wear the inner layer below the pants and on the warmer days, just open up the vent pockets. My only complaint with the pants is the pocket design which I’ve discussed with Mike, the owner of 686. The left pocket is a cargo pocket with 2 small velcro strips to keep it closed and the right pocket is zipper opening with a cargo pocket with velcro closures. The left pocket doesn’t fully close which means on a deep powder day, snow can get in the pocket from riding left foot forward. It also meant having to adjust since I used to put my camera in that front left pocket but now put it in the zippered pocket on the right side so it stays dry on the mountain.
On-snow Video (here’s a couple clips in the pants)
686 Original Cargo Pant Description
Review Disclosure: This product was given to me from 686.