Review: 686 Smarty Original Cargo Pants

25 Sep, 2012

Intended Purpose: A popular pant in the 686 line, the Smarty Original Cargo snowboard pants offer a pant with tons of pockets and layering that’s highly waterproof and breathable.

Fit:  Definitely a more baggy fit on the original cargo pant but I like them a bit baggier and looser on the mountain.

Appearance: In previous years I chose more bright colors but this year I ended up rocking the original cargo pant in black and tan colors. Mostly because both of these colors could go with anything in terms of jacket outerwear. I ended up spending the winter in the Northwest where neutral colors are popular and found that these were a good choice.

Features: The smarty original cargo pants features 15,000mm waterproofing and 10,000mm breathability. Normally in CA or CO that would be fine, in the NW it was manageable. I made sure to clean and wash the pants to reinvigorate the DWR waterproofing in them and that helped make them last the season. For the cold days, I used the fleece inner liner but generally felt comfortable riding without them. Other features include fully taped seams, zippered thigh pocket, side cargo pockets, back pocket, zippered venting. The one pocket with the velcro would collect snow every now and then.

Durability: I spent most of the season riding the original cargo pants in two colors (black or tan) so throughout the season they got a fair amount of riding days in. Both of them held up in pretty good shape with only the very bottom showing signs of wear from dragging with the longer length. With the waterproofing, I made sure to clean the pants and dry them to keep the DWR working.

Thoughts: For the past couple seasons, the Original Cargo pants have been my main snowboard pant. In fact this year, I wanted two colors of pants so I bought a second pair of cargos. The pocket space allows me to put in camera gear (including lenses) without worrying about it falling out. The Northwest is pretty hard on gear, requiring for some good waterproofing to hold up to the wet snowfall and the original cargo pants aren’t super high end for waterproofing but the 15k will do the job. I ended up riding these pants everywhere from California to Washington to Alaska and they lasted throughout the whole season in fine shape. I was glad to have gotten two colors so that I could mix and match with outerwear during the season. Overall I was pretty happy with the pants and they were able to last through the NW conditions which was good, I didn’t get soaked!

On-snow photos

686 Original Cargo Pant Description

Review Disclosure: One of the pants was given to me from 686 and the other I purchased for myself midway through the season.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. September 26, 2012

    These are my all time favorite snowboard pants….perfect.

  2. February 19, 2013

    The Men’s smarty XS were the first pant I’d found that fit well and didn’t droop down to my knees. Love them. The only problems with them are they are heavy, especially with the fleece liner in them.