Mammut Men’s Aenergy Pro Softshell Pants – Great High Output Pants
The Mammut Men’s Aenergy Pro Softshell pants ($159) are a great high output, softshell pants for ski touring, ice climbing, or any really any big day in the alpine were “taking it easy” isn’t part of the plan. I was able to get out for several days testing (ok, skiing) in these softshells in a variety of conditions, from a crisp -10 F morning to an unseasonable warm spring-like day of breakable crust, and even a bit of classic Colorado powder.
Let’s start with fit. I’m 6’3” 180 lbs. and went with the men’s US 32” waist, which has a 32.7” inseam. The Aenergy’s are an athletic fit, i.e. tight, yet they have quite a bit of stretch allowing them to move and flex with you. They don’t necessarily provide a lot of room for layering under them, I usually wore a single light-moderate weight base layer under them, but this seems pretty appropriate for the intended high output use of these pants. Although I haven’t yet had the chance to ice climb in these, I know I’ll appreciate the tight fit for avoiding getting crampons caught when high stepping. It generally wasn’t an issue for me, however being taller I think I’d prefer a ‘long” in these pants, which I believe will be offered eventually.
Ok, features/fabric. Mammut makes these with their patented SOFtechTM material, a blend of primarily 92% Polyamide – 8% Spandex, and polyester added in abrasion panels, as well as Cordura on the inside cuffs for edge/crampon protection. The main point to re-iterate with this material is that although it fits tight, it stretches and flexes as far as you can. The waist does not have belt loops, instead, there are Velcro tabs attached to an elastic band to tighten/loosen the waist. The pants have two zippered front pockets, two zippered side vents, and a zippered cuff expander for fitting over ski-boots. The cuffs also have an elastic band with a silicon liner for a snug fit to the boot as well as a hook on each to attach to boots and further prevent snow from entering.
That’s all great but let’s get to the good stuff, function. My first day out in these was a pre-dawn, ski-tour workout with the thermometer reading -10o F and a nice breeze. Once I got warmed up I was quite pleased with how well the Aenergy’s regulated my temperature; vents sealed up I could keep warm enough even with consistent wind, but as soon as I felt I was overheating opening the vents dumped a lot of heat, and generally I had very little moisture build-up, vents open or closed. The next day out was about as opposite as it gets mid-winter, with temperatures just above freezing, breezeless, sunny and spring-like. Admittedly, days like this are hard to nail the layering on, especially lower body where you’re probably less likely to change layers, however, I still felt the Aenergy’s did great, despite a few warmer moments. Skinning with the vents open the entire time worked plenty well, and I found these pants excel when a weather-appropriate base layer is combined, in this day’s case, no base layer at all. I’m looking forward to more warm spring missions like this wearing just the pants.
Movement-wise, I was skeptical when first trying on the tight-fitting Aenergys, however, after a few ski laps of telemark lunging I was much more convinced of their flexibility and comfort when in action. I will admit, I didn’t have as many good opportunities to test their water-resistance, however, my intuition is they will be similar to most other high-end softshell fabrics; moderate snow and moisture will be shed off just fine, but I wouldn’t be too happy in heavy and/or continuous rain/snowfall. On the one decent powder run, I had in these I stayed dry, but was little colder towards the end of the run due to thinner fabric and their close-to-skin fit. I think I’ll still grab my hard-shells instead of the Aenergys for deeper powder days and cold weather resort skiing.
Mammut Men’s Aenergy Pro Softshell Pants review
In summary, the Mammut Aenergy Pro Softshells are my new go-to softshell pants for long days in the mountains climbing and/or skiing. The Aenergy Pros function great as a single layer in warmer weather (I can’t wait for spring ski missions in these), and do just as well in cold weather when layered and you’ve got the heart rate up – blood flowing.
A transplant of the Midwest, Austen immigrated to the promised land of western Colorado in 2012 in search of good climbing, deep snow, quality rivers, and a college degree when his goofing off allowed. He learned pretty quick the difference quality gear can make on the outcome of a day (or days) in the mountains and began looking for the best gear to abuse.
In the summer Austen is an avid whitewater kayaker, bouncing his boat down the steep, rocky waterways of Colorado, trad climber in search of the route less traveled, and works as a federal river ranger along the Gunnison River. During the winter Austen spends his time telemarking around the backcountry of western Colorado and working as a ski patroller up on the continental divide.
Austen says, “A hundred days of skiing and paddling each per year and you’ll figure out what is wrong or right with your equipment, especially when your lively-hood depends on it.” Austen also has his American Avalanche Association Professional Level 1 avalanche certification, EMT-B, and ACA swift-water rescue cert, as well as a member of the Search and Rescue team in Gunnison County for 6 years.