Expert Review: The North Face Men's Freedom PantsPublished on 07/13/2022 · 5 min read This review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in December 2021.
Girlfriend and I about to drop in the back of Solitude as the snow comes down. All photos courtesy of Rhett Dalton
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in December 2021.
The Men’s Freedom Pants are a great pair of pants for any and all snow activities from skiing to snowboarding. They will keep wearers dry and warm for a full day on the mountain. For those that run cold, they even have an insulated option to keep skiers of all skill levels and temperature tolerances happy.
About the pants
- Brand: The North Face
- Model: Men's Freedom Pants
- Size Fit: Runs large
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 175 lbs.
- Pant size: Medium
- Experience: 23 years
- When I bought this: December 2021
- Days tested: 25
- Where I’ve used it: Big Sky; Salt Lake City; Bend, Oregon; Whiteface; Columbus, Ohio; Mansfield, Ohio
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Powder, Cold, Winter, Spring, Resort, Backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for a durable ski pant that I could own for the next 5-10 years. I wanted them to be made with quality materials and offer proper waterproofing, windbreaking, and warmth so I could enjoy my time on the mountain and not require warm-up breaks.
Why I chose this gear
I am a fan of the brand The Nor and have not been let down by their products or their descriptions. These pants were reasonably priced at $160 when I bought them and considerably cheaper than similar options like Patagonia's Upstride pants. The Freedoms had all the specs I needed including storage capacity, waterproofing, windbreaking, and an adjustable waistband at the right price point, so the choice was easy.
What I love about them
- Comfort: These pants are super comfortable. The adjustable Velcro waistband allows for a customized fit that keeps my pants up without feeling too tight.
- Warmth: The pants do a great job at keeping moisture and wind out, which is the major battle on the mountain. They don’t have much insulation for those that run cold. I generally run hot and don’t have a single complaint about this aspect for me, but could be different for others.
- Waterproofing: I have never once felt damp or wet in these pants. I have spent some time carving on wet spring days, but they have held up in those tests. They keep me dry on the inside thanks to the DryVent 2L fabric.
- Breathability: I have never utilized the inner thigh zip vents on these pants. They are about 8-10 inches on both thighs that would do a great job of venting if one is overheating. They also include a chimney venting system to get moisture and air circulating.
- Durability: The DryVent 2L fabric of these pants is highly trusted and of high quality. Even the cuffs at the bottom, which scrape the ground for me since they run long, are reinforced with extra material to likely combat the exact issue I’m having.
- Weight: The pants are lightweight and easy to roll up into any ski bag or closet. They don’t feel heavy when wearing unless one is packing the numerous pockets full of snacks and/or gear.
- Ease of movement: Since these run a bit large, there is plenty of room for movement. There is no part of these pants that force wearers to be restricted and the elastic waistband allows for additional adjustments.
- Quality: With the DryVent 2L fabric, the materials of these pants are high quality and I’m hoping they last the next 5-10 years. I’m generally a fan of TNF for their quality and their guarantee.
- Special Features: These pants include two zippered hand pockets for secure storage and a secure Velcro cargo pocket for additional storage. The kickpatches are reinforced for the extra abuse they take. These pants also have belt loops for those who prefer to wear a belt.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit: These run a bit large. The bagginess is not an issue as it gives flexibility to layer, but the length is long for me at 5’11”. The extra length scrapes the cuffs on the ground while I walk and they are starting to fray just a little bit.
Favorite moment with this gear
I could go a dozen ways with these pants as they have been with me on every trip over the last couple of years. The best moment I can recall was riding the lift Ramcharger at Big Sky as the snow started to come down. We were covered in snow and got on the lift, which was heated, and watched all of the snow we were covered in melt. By the time we were at the top of the lift, our buns were warm and we were sitting in a puddle. Luckily, I was still bone dry thanks to these pants.
Value for the money vs. other options
The price of these pants is in line with other comparable market options. I primarily float between TNF and Patagonia based on their quality, gear guarantees, and their sustainability. I could not reason with Patagonia’s Upstride pants based on their higher price and more true-to-fit size.
The North Face Men’s Freedom Pants are a high-quality pair of snow pants. They are superior in keeping moisture out and blocking the wind. I have never had a problem staying warm on the mountain with these pants and they have never had an issue with any challenge I put them through.