Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants

The Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants are awesome. I haven’t tried these for snowboarding or skiing yet, but I took them on a mountaineering course and some snow frolicking. Then I fell in love.

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At 20.1oz, they’re not the most lightweight pants, but you’ll be wearing them, so the weight is pretty negligible. Made of GORE® WINDSTOPPER® X-FAST Soft Shell, they’re a highly breathable pant for winter activities. Zippered thigh vents allow you to ventilate accordingly. The fabric is extremely stretchy so your range of motion is not limited by your pants. The GORE® WINDSTOPPER® sheds snow super easily and is water-resistant, so you can move quickly through the backcountry. I put the WINDSTOPPER® to work this weekend on a snowy mountain; it lives up to its name.

These pants have four zippered pockets: two hand pockets and two thigh pockets. One also doubles as an avalanche beacon pocket with a key clip attachment. They also have an internal stretchy gaiter with slots for boot power straps.

The cut is standard, and on the roomier side, so no need to size up. Your regular size should be fine.

I don’t really have any negative things to say about these. They’re primarily a ski/snowboard pant, so they are a little baggier, especially around the ankles. If you have snow gaiters to wear over them, you might have some trouble fitting them on. However, can’t take points away from the Valhalla since they’re not meant to take snow gaiters.

If you are in the market for a pair of softshell pants, these might be for you! Lightweight, breathable, and super easy to move in… would definitely recommend!

Buy through Outdoor Research or Moosejawfor $299.

These come with a matching jacket, so check out my Outdoor Research Valhalla jacket review here.

The Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants were sent to me for review.

Outdoor Research Valhalla Jacket

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The Outdoor Research Valhalla is the first softshell I have ever owned. Within one month of testing, it has easily become one of my favorite jackets.

The Valhalla softshell is created from GORE WINDSTOPPER with a roomy and stretchy fit that allows you to layer underneath. My favorite combo is with a Sierra Designs Tov Hoodie and the Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie for ultimate warmth and protection from the wind. It’s a formidable opponent against most weather. The softshell fabric allows for a quiet, dynamic range of motion.

This jacket comes with two full-length pit-zips, in case the WINDSTOPPER fabric isn’t breathable enough. The jacket also has a plethora of pockets: two outer hand zips accessible above hip belt or harness, two chest zips, inner mesh pocket and an inner phone pocket with a headphone slot.

The GORE WINDSTOPPER sheds light snow and rain. This does not do well in torrential downpours. After about 30 minutes of constant rain, you will be soaked.

As awesome as this jacket is, there are a couple cons:

  • The zipper pulls on the pit zips have both fallen off. Once, I managed to find one on the ground and re-attach it, but it detached itself again. Granted, this is only the little OR logo on it, but it still decreases the surface area to pull. When you have bulky gloves on, it makes it difficult to ventilate properly.
  • The zipper abrasion on the fabric area in the pit zip area is not pretty. When the zips are open, the teeth rub against the fabric causing it to rapidly pill and wear. Luckily, it’s under the arm, so it’s not as noticeable, but regardless, I’m pretty anal and I like to keep my gear looking as pristine as possible.

At 19.3 oz, it’s not a big chunk of weight to be lugging around while hopping around windy peaks. And it’s great protection for windy and cold commutes as well.


The Outdoor Research Valhalla Jacket is pictured above summiting Pyramid Peak in Desolation Wilderness. Full hike review to come shortly.