Sometimes a baselayer doesn't cut it.

For those exceptionally cold ski days, layer up with the Outdoor Research Men's Ascendant Pants. The Ascendants offer just enough warmth for aerobic ascents in cold alpine temperatures, and its air-permeable Polartec Alpha insulation starts to breathe the moment you put the insulator on, resulting in a much more comfortable time when you're sweating on the skintrack or swinging your way up a vertical column of ice.

  • Insulated midlayer for exceptionally cold ski days
  • Air-permeable Polartec Alpha insulation ensures breathability
  • Pertex Microlight is water-resistant, windproof, and breathable
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Great pants!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

Love these pants! I bought them for ice climbing. Just tested them out on a 10 mile ride on my mountain bike in windy 18°F weather. Needless to say they preformed great! Stayed comfortable the whole time. Very good at retaining heat yet breathable enough to dry any sweat. I also like the freedom of movement and they took the fleece out of the knee area which gets rid of any pulling or constriction when bending your knees.


  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Size Bought: Large

I agree that these did take a little tiny bit of wiggling to get my feet through but once they were on they were cozy and it wasn't that hard. Not enough to discourage me from packing them along. They run a little shorter than I had hoped so they are going back. This is not a criticism as anything shorter than 34 is too short but I had hoped 33 was close enough to my ankles. It wasn't. I stepped outside in 32F and found them mostly cozy. They definitely are scrunchable and light. I was looking for something I could keep in my car for those surprising nights that turn clear and beg for me to stand around looking through the telescope I also keep in my car. These are not warm enough for that. But if I was moving around they would be fine.

Not easy to put it on.

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: Small

Just received the pants today, so my review is about neither its warmth nor its breathablity because I don't have right weather to evaluate its performance. Right out of the box, the Size Small weights 10.7 oz or 303g. The Polartec Alpha Direct material dangles on its own layer because only the top and bottom are sewn to the back side of Pertex Microlight face fabric. As a result, it's a bit difficult for me to put it on either with or without wearing a baselayer, such as OR Sequence Tights. One thing for sure is you just simply can't put it on or take it off without taking your shoes first.

The pants is definitely not a slim fit and it's bit baggy. Actually I think its fit is somewhere between OR standard and Relaxed fit. I can wear a Sequence tights and Prana Stretch Zion pants under neath it. At the bottom of the legs there are 13" zippers. And I think they should be full length zippers so they can not only make it more breathable but also make it easier to put it on and take it off with or without shoes/boots. Without layers the pants is loose around the waist and two small elastic bands can't hold tight. Want to use belt? Good luck with that. It ain't got any loops for that. Tho there are three suspender loops if you want to do suspender. It's not a particularly mid-layer to me at all. So it's going back.

Hey trailrunner, sorry it was a disappointment. We wanted to keep the pants light and packable, hence the lack of full length zipper. We didn't forget it; we chose not to use it. I would be happy to raise the question with OR when I see them next month. Belt loops would be great though!

I have heard great reviews about this pant, so I was surprised to see yours... however, gear is so personal. So I am sorry you didnt love these pants. you might want to consider the Hoody or Jacket version of this fabric - Incredible!

OR rep

This review is better suited to a personal phone call to the company, George.