The Fitzroy is Macpac's premier soft shell pant which combines breathable stretch and high water resistant materials that make a well-rounded performing mountaineering and rock climbing pant in cooler conditions. The Fitzroy pants are made of 50D stretch fabric with DWR treatment for water resistance which means they wick water extremely well for a soft shell pant.
If I had to describe the Mac Pac Fitzroy soft shell pants in one word it would be AWESOME. I have owned many different brands of soft shell pants that are all intended for climbing, however I have been disappointed time and time again when they arrive at my doorstep with their baggy loose fit and I have had to have some of the width taken out of the leg and altered to a more narrow athletic fit (bearing in mind I have absolute chicken legs).
One of the things I have found to be really good about the pants is that they are fleece backer lined for extra warmth, I have even found myself not having to wear a base layer underneath on some occasions, which I haven’t had the luxury of in the past with my other soft shells. I’ve had my pair of Fitzroy pants for just over four months now with bulk of the use being up the Remarkables grovelling away mixed climbing and some trips into Wye Creek ice climbing this past winter and they show no signs of abrasion or tears. I’ve also used them for ski touring which they perform great at with the 50D stretchy material and their breathability.
Another feature of the pants is that they have a zippered cuff allowing you to adjust the width of the leg to accommodate for ski boots and wider alpine boots while still maintaining a low profile fit which is important for ice climbing. The fit of the pants are easily adjustable with a removable webbing belt allowing you to tighten the pant which fits under my harness with no issue and just as easy to loosen them off to make room for those two serve back country meals that I like to inhale after a long day. The cuff also has a hidden boot hook as well as grippy elastic cuffs with tie down loops to attach a piece of cord from the bottom of the pant to prevent them riding up well wading through deep snow and climbing. However, I haven’t had any issues with the pants riding up well climbing due to the articulated knees.
The only thing that Macpac recommend in terms of general care for the pants is to apply a DWR water restorer such as Nikwax to help maintain the waterproof properties of the pants. I’ve done this twice in the 4 months I have had the pants due to excessive grovelling over the winter months and they are still wicking water to this day.
My only criticism would be that the Fitzroy pants don’t have a crampon kick patch on the inside of the pants which is a pretty important feature in my eyes for an alpine climbing pant, although it has forced me to keep my hand in at my sowing repairs when I clumsily snag the inside of my pant. Macpac are currently in the design process of updating the current Fitzroy’s with a newer model that will have a crampon kick patch so be sure to keep an eye out online for these as they are due to be released shortly.
All in all, the Fitzroy pants have been great. They have held up remarkably well to all my abuse I’ve thrown at them, making it an easy decision on what pants to wear when heading out into the alpine.