Our first review from Mountain Hardwear's Ueli Steck Project, the Quasar Pant is Serious gear with a capital "S." Along with the Quasar Pullover (click for review), it's clear that MH is not just using Steck as a marketing ploy: These items are designed for Serious Climbers by Serious Climbers. We're talking 12.5 pounds for the complete kit, 10—count 'em, 10—pieces: upper and lower shell and insulation layers, base layer top, gloves, mittens, backpack, sleeping bag and tent.
The Quasar Pant is made from MH's own Dry.Q Elite, a bombproof hardshell material offering top-notch protection and breathability. The pant has a fantastic waist—something Mountain Hardwear has always done perfectly in their pants—with a traditional zip-up crotch, snap closure and buckle backup complemented by a little bit of elastic in the back.
The Quasar has fully separating side-zips for easy on and off. At the bottom of the leg is an internal stretch gaiter with its own zipper, snap and even two little loops if you want to really secure them in place. Instead of a full crampon patch there's a scuff guard inside each cuff that will protect from normal wear. The pants go on easily, fit wonderfully and perform at a higher level than most of its wearers probably will. They easily shrugged off some of the nastiest late summer/early fall Alaskan weather we've seen in a long time, while easily qualifying for the "forgot we were wearing them" category inhabited by only the best ultralight gear.
Here's the shocker: The Quasar Pant weighs in at 13 ounces for all that. I don't care who you are, that's damn impressive for a pant you can take up any mountain in the world. Of course, it's priced accordingly, but if you're looking for just one pant you can wear around town in the rain, on the slopes and up the nearest 8,000-meter peak, the Quasar is the one pant to rule them all. Kudos to Mountain Hardwear for taking performance to the highest level.