Work hard and play hard.

The Outdoor Research Blackpowder Pant keeps your lower bits dry while you're working and playing in the snow. Whether you're pushing up the mountain for a pre-work tour, digging pits, or setting off hand charges because that's what you do for work, these pants give you pro-level protection in a wide range of winter environments. The burly 200D nylon fabric is laminated with a fully waterproof and breathable Pertex Shield+ membrane that'll stand up the worst conditions you'll run into, and the knees, cuffs, and hem are all reinforced to take a serious beating from ski edges, rocks, ropes, and biting snow snakes. Fully taped seams take the waterproofing up a notch, and detachable suspenders and ankle gaiters keep things tight so snow doesn't sneak in through the gaps when you're getting down and dirty. Maybe best of all, the Blackpowder has a whole mess of pockets--zippered hand, thigh, back, and beacon—to keep all your key gear handy, whether you're out doing 6am patrol routes or knocking out some pre-work pow laps.

  • Waterproof and breathable two-layer Pertex Shield+ membrane
  • 200D nylon face fabric with polyester tricot lining
  • Fully taped seams
  • Inner and outer thigh vents
  • Hand, thigh, and back pockets
  • Beacon pocket with key clip
  • Reinforced articulated knees, scuff guards, and hem
  • Detachable suspenders and stretch ankle gaiters
  • Reviews
  • Q & A


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I know no one cares, but I telemark. By the nature of telemark, I have a lot of interaction with the snow. Whether I am kneeling down to snap up those foolish heel bails, dropping my knee into bottomless powder, or tomahawking down the slope, my resort shells see more contact with the snow than the average skier's. I need a durable pant, and I have found it here in the Blackpowder pant. The 200D face fabric is more than capable of standing up to season after season of hard use, whether by a ski patroller, liftie, or reckless freeheeler. The pertex shield has kept me dry in many wet new england days, and the huge thigh vents (both inner and outer) keep me cool on those long, thigh-burning bump runs, as well as on the occasional bootpack or short tour. Suspenders keep the generous fit up around my waist, and I now much prefer them over a belt for anything ski related. One of my favorite features are the integrated kneepad sleeves. The black diamond telekenesis kneepads fit beautifully, and I just leave them in the pants and forget they are even there. Gone are the days of fiddling with straps that cut off your circulation. Scuff guards add to the durability, while a recco reflector and beacon pocket add some safety. All of this at a price point that is easy to swallow for a poor telemark skier.

I have about 150 days on these pants and they are just breaking in. They will easily last me for 150 more, and I would highly recommend these as an affordable, bulletproof, inbound pant to anyone who spends a lot of time on snow in a resort setting. OR hit a homerun with this one.

INDEED!!! Great review, and thank you!

OR Rep

Great and Affordable Inbound Pant

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

These are a great set of pants for skiing in all kind of weather on the resort. I have used these pants on multiple trips to Mammoth, Big Bear, Vail, Aspen and Keystone.

The pants fit a little relaxed (I am 6 ft, 200 lbs and wear a L) and work great in various temperatures and weather conditions. There are many ways to dump heat in different degrees (smaller inner thigh zips to protect from wet snow in Sierras) or ouster thigh zips for warm days on Big Bear.

These bad boys are bombproof as they have taken a couple yard sales on hard pack snow and ice patches and have no visible damage. On very cold days with high winds, all that has been needed are mid-weight leggings to stay comfortably warm.

If you want a great pair of reliable and affordable ski pants without breaking the bank on Gore-Tex, these are definitely the pants for you.


  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Small

First, the fit. I'm 5'8 145ish. 30" waist. The small fits perfectly, very similar to a pair of 30x30 carhartts, only slightly wider cuffs that accommodate a ski boot well.

The main body is very sturdy and feels about as tough as the cuff protectors on another pair of ski pants I have. The cuffs on these blackpowders is next-level burl, cordura-type.

Knee articulations are in the right place. There are pockets for pads.

Speaking of pockets, these have four. Two zipped front, one zipped thigh, one zipped back and an interior avy beacon pocket-inside-a-pocket inside the right front. Enough space for me.

Vents are large and work well.

Overall this is a substantial pant meant for people that use gear daily and hard. Just what I was looking for.

Thank you for the great review! I have always loved this style OR makes and wish we had something as cool looking for chicks! Like a feminine version! Enjoy these -

OR Rep

Nice Pant

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

Nice comfortable pant. Sizing chart is accurate although I felt the inseam was just slightly too long. The cut is a little baggy/roomy which is fine, just know they definitely aren't slim fitting. The outer leg vents are long and the inner mesh back thigh vents are awesome. Pants have held up to some long hard days on the hill and I'm confident they will continue to do so.

Hey Patrick, thank you for the great review. Enjoy those Blackpowder Pants!

OR Rep

does anyone know if these pants have knee pad pockets like the trailbreaker shoftshell pants have?

Hey there - sorry for the delay. No go on the knee pad pockets for the Blackpowder Pant. Great Pant, though!


OR Rep

Great pants

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

This review is for a previous year's model, 2013 or 2014.

Used for both backcountry touring and DH skiing in temps from minus 10 to 30 F. Was worried they might be too burly and hot for highly aerobic activity but, no... With the dual vents in the thighs and crotch, I'm never too hot in these pants.

They've held up durability-wise despite what seems to be lack of a reinforced knee - mentioned elsewhere. I've lost count of how many times I've used these pants, and are still in one piece, so don't be overly concerned about the knee issue.

Fit is perfect and is what I'd call an athletic fit. Waist is snug and truely a 32 if not a bit smaller, and pants are fuller in th thighs. This is a rarity these days when seems all other pants have an oversized waist and are too tight in the thighs and elsewhere. I don't dig having to overly snug up my belt, and bunch up the waistline, just to keep the pants from falling down on long treks. I hope this newer model keeps the same snug waistline.

The length is good for me but I've got very long legs, but do think these would still work for people with a regular inseam.

All pockets and zippers work great.

Hope they didn't change the new model too much as I'm ready to buy a backup pair.

Super comfortable. So much so I forget to take them off when I get home.

Wish the gaitors had a small attachment point to attach and run a cord under a smaller leather ski boot to hold them down. While the elastic stretch band works great on a full plastic ski boot, they don't grip a thinner boot (like a 3 pin leather Asolo) tightly enough to stay put. No big deal though, as it's an easy fix to sew loops onto the gators yourself.

Not quite as described (Part II)

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

First off, gcoaster nailed it: the photos show what appear to be reinforced knees (or at least different colored knees). The pants don't actually have this feature. Buyer beware.

That said, I'm keeping the pants because they still seem quite burly and they fit really well.

Fit: I'm 6'2" / 185 and wear a 34/34 in jeans (maybe getting closer to a 35 in the waist, but just don't want to admit it). I bought the Large. The waist and length are perfect -- maybe even a tad on the long side, but not enough that they go below my boot.

These are on the baggy side of the spectrum, but sit high on the waist, so they come off more as baggy work pants rather than saggy-skater pants.

They're lightly insulated (very thin brushed fleese on the inside). They have vents on the inner and outer thigh to dump heat. On super cold days, there's plenty of room for layering.

The material seems very tough and is quiet when moved. Being quiet is important to me, because I can't stand the "crackling" sound some ski pants make. There's no range of motion issues.

All the pockets are in the right place (two hip pockets that are oriented vertically, one butt pocket, and one thigh pocket).

Anyway, that's the extent of my review because I just got these and haven't used them yet. I simply can't imagine that the'll be anything short of awesome. They only lose a star because of the monochromatic knees when two colors are shown in the photos.

Not quite as described

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

OR makes great stuff and these appear high quality as expected. But the pants aren't the way they look online. The knee box is articulated but NOT reinforced with the scuff guard material like the bottom hem, as it appears in photos. So it wasn't really what I expected. The waist is slightly tighter than my North Face and HH ski pants but not too bad. Overall fit was nice, but it only gets 2 stars because whats on Backcountry and OR website is wrong. See photo for difference in the knees. I have a pair of Flylow pants with real reinforced knees and there is a big difference. So if you know what to expect by all means grab the pants, they just won't look like the promo photos. I returned them.

Not quite as described

Thanks for posting this.

Do the still have the knee pad pockets though?

Hey Cody, the knees are articulated so they are sewn in a way that has a roomy, "pre-bent" box to them, its just they are not reinforced in any way with extra durable materials. OR customer service confirmed this.