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NILS Barbara 2.0 Pant Gear Review

Women in red ski jacket

NILS Barbara 2.0 Pant is unexpectedly spectacular for long days on the slopes

 

NILS Skiwear is one of the first Fashion focused ski clothing companies to incorporate Gore-Tex into their collections. A smaller brand than many others, NILS has been able to incorporate high fashion accents into technologically comfortable winter skiwear. With the innovative design of the high waist, stretch bottom suit they soon began to dominate the stretch suit market. Over the course of the next several years NILS established a reputation as the best fitting women’s skiwear collection in the business and the product offering was extended to include sweaters, fleece, resort wear and petites. The universal active sportswear layering system and waterproof, breathable outerwear system is consistently regarded as the most complete offering for women in the industry.

The NILS Barbara 2.0 is no exception to the high standards NILS sets. The Barbara is they’re best selling women’s winter ski pant with a regular fit and mid waist rise. Designed to fit like your favorite pair of jeans, the Barbara is 20K/20K waterproofing to breathablity. This is the highest set standard for winter pants. Essentially the fabric is of a highest quality to resist water up to a certain pressure per square inch. For example brands like Arc’teryx are 20K rated.

Seams are critically seam sealed. Critical seam sealing is different than full seam sealing. Critical seam sealing essentially means that the critical seams have been taped for waterproofing. Full seam sealing can make pants more stiff and restrictive hence why NILS went with Critical seam sealing to allow the pants to move more freely. To top it all off, the zipper is a YKK zipper. High quality, durable and easy moving- YKK’s are the zippers of choice amongst winter ski companies.

Performance

We can go on and on all day about the tech of the Barbara, and some of you came here for that. But let’s be honest- if it doesn’t perform on the slopes, what’s the point in owning a pair? 60 grams of synthetic ecoloft insulation adds a good amount of warmth without the additional weight. Typically the heaviest winter pants you find (that still retain decent breathability ratings) is 100 grams. So 60 is slight above average for warmth.

When you first pull on the Barbara you’ll notice how stretchy it is. It moves with you and not against you. I personally like it, because it’s a quiet snowpant. Some pants with Gore-Tex Pro are stiff and in some ways restricting to move in. The Barbara is definitely not like that- and like your favorite pair of jeans, is incredibly comfortable. The best performance feature I found was the warmth factor. On those cold, slow chairlifts, my bum did not get cold. It was nice and toasty which is kind of a big deal. In comparison to other shell pants I’ve worn I was pleasently suprise by the warmth of the Barbara. The other nice thing too was that I wasn’t overheating. I was a happy warm and not sweaty.

Final Thoughts

For a good looking, functional pant that will keep you warm I think the Barbara is a great choice. I would recommend this pant to the skier who maybe won’t spend an entire day on the slopes. Someone who will take a few runs then maybe hang out in the base lodge. The seams are critically seam sealed and not fully taped which means, once they do get wet eventually water will sneak in. The other aspect of this pant is that though it is functional and oh so warm, it’s not necessarily technical. It feels like it’s more designed for the comfort and function aspects of skiing, not necessarily the technical aspects that sometimes come with the sport. So if you’re a weekend warrior, a mom with a VIP chair in the base lodge, or just someone wanting to get into a quality ski pant, I’d say the NILS Barbara 2.0 is your ticket.

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