Can someone tell me why the Italians, in particular La Sportiva, are always coming up with such sprightly, attractive ski clothing? While their color ways are sometimes a little crazy for a throwback like me, nearly every day of the winter, I find myself wearing at least one sleek swatch of Italian toggery.
Is this Italian dominance the heritage of Michelangelo? Da Vinci? Benvenuto Cellini? I’ll pick Benve’, he needed functional clothing for successful swordplay, though anyone who can carve the stone like Michelangelo must also have appreciated the liberation of well designed clothing.
I discovered Orizion last winter when I was surveying available ski touring pants. To round out my collection, I needed something suitable for warm, low-tech days: simple resort uphilling, spring touring, half-day pow laps. And most of all, something for that ever elusive hut traverse in the springtime high Alps! Yeah, I’m a dreamer… New this winter from La Sportiva, Orizion togs fit the bill.
This review is simple, because these pants are. A gear tidbit if you will. Check ’em out:
Performance in the field
In my testing, Orizion delivered exactly what I wanted and expected. The ultra-breathable softshell fabric comprising most surfaces never damped out from sweat, and never felt clammy. The membrane fabric at the rear was adequately breathable as well, and did its job the time I “intentionally” wallowed in sun softening springtime powder. One ancillary thing I noticed: as with pretty much all the highly breathable clothing I’ve used over the years, it doesn’t hurt to launder the Orizion with care, and eventually treat with Nikwax products. As for fit, I’m as slim as ever and appreciated the closer cut. As I alluded to above, the only thing I found really wanting was how my beacon situated itself in the cavernous pockets.
That’s it. Like I said, simple review for a delightfully simple product. Puro amoro! Anything I leave out? If so, how much does it weigh, and will it look good in Milan?
Fabric: Mostly non-membrane softshell polyamid, membrane-breathable in the rear. Slight inside fuzz is comfortable against bare skin.
Durability: No problems after about ten days of use, nearly invisible fabric pilling over my thighs.
Weight: 462 grams, size medium
Travel packing size: 2.6 liters
Interior gaiters: None
Colors: I like the blue shown in photos above, but am delighted they’re available in black. Much better for multi-day hut trips and such.
Telemark compatible? Scuff guard might need some work.
Availability: Apparently the Orizion is not widely retailed, but I’m told you can purchase through the La Sportiva website.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.