Hello and welcome to my review of the 686 Smarty Original Cargo snowboard pants.
This review will look at the Smarty Cargo’s and rate them as insulated snow pants.
As per tradition for SnowboardingProfiles.com reviews, they will be given a score out of 100.
How the Smarty Cargo’s Rated
Product: 686 Smarty Cargo
Recommended Retail Price: $220 (USD)
Rating Score: 94/100
Right, let’s take a look at the details.
This is the most important part of any snowboard pants, in my opinion.
The Smarty Cargo’s have a fabric waterproofness rating of 15,000mm. This is plenty and should help to keep you nice and dry in 99% of conditions.
Fabric Waterproofness score = 4.5/5
Sealing of Seams
The Smarty Cargo’s seams are fully taped. This is really what you want. It’s not much good having great waterproof fabric if moisture can leak in through the seams.
Seam Sealing Score = 5/5
The next most important thing to waterproofing is breathability.
The Smarty Cargo’s have a breathability rating of 10,000k. This is what I have in my own pants and find this is fine.
Fabric Breathability Score = 4/5
Not all snowboarding pants have insulation as it’s often not needed. Your legs are working pretty hard and generating quite a bit of heat as you ride.
But in some conditions and for some people who feel the cold more in their legs, insulation is great – and means you don’t require anything underneath your pants on colder days.
The great thing about the Smarty Cargo’s is that they’re insulation comes in the form of a removable insulated liner. This means that if you do end up in very warm conditions, like riding in fall and spring, you can remove the liner and just use the outer pants as a shell.
And with that liner being a solid 310g fleece liner it should keep your legs super warm when you do need it on those colder days.
Insulation score = 5/5
Dual Layer = 5/5
Jacket to Pant Interface
686 use what they call they’re PJ Connect system on most (if not all) of their pants. This system (which I can only guess stands for pants-jacket connect) locks the pants to the powder skirt of a jacket.
The main advantage of having a jacket to pant interface is to keep snow from making its way into your pants (which is never fun!) but it also helps to keep your pants from slipping down or your jacket from riding up.
Jacket/Pant Interface = 5/5
Boot gaiters are great for keeping snow from entering the pants from the other end of the pants. They also help to keep things warm.
Most snowboard pants worth their salt have them and the Smarty Cargo’s are no exception.
Gaiter Score = 5/5
To help with that breathability it’s nice to have some venting for when things get hot.
As should be expected by now, the Smarty Cargo’s come to the party here too. With meshed zippable venting on the inner thigh you can open them up to cool things down or keep them closed to keep things warm.
And to get a bit of air flow coming from the bottom, the bottom of the pants also have the option of being opened up or snapped shut.
Venting = 5/5
Not gonna be a deal breaker but it’s always nice to have some functional pockets.
The Smarty Cargo’s have plenty of pocket space, with cargo pockets (as you’d expect based on their name 🙂 ) side pocket with goggle cloth, back pockets and a front belt loop stash pocket.
Pockets = 5/5
Check out some of the other features of 686’s Smarty Cargo pants.
- Antifray hem for the bottom of the pan
- Waistband adjustment
- Loose fit to allow flexibility of movement
Final Score Breakdown
O.k. let’s check out the overall score.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|Waterproofing (seams sealed):||5.0||20/20|
|Dual Removable Layers:||5.0||10/10|
|Jacket to Pants Interface:||5.0||5/5|
If there were any improvements needed for these pants to give them a perfect score it would be in using slightly more breathable fabric. But that’s clutching at things to really complain about. And for the price you definitely wouldn’t be expecting a perfect score.
Value for Money
Yes, absolutely value for money.
To put this into perspective, of the 25 insulated pants that I looked at:
- The average score was 77.5/100
- The average price was $192
The Smarty Cargo’s may be slightly more expensive than the average price but you get value for that little bit extra that you spend. Their score was way above the average – and when you consider that some snowboarding pants can go close to $400 (and more) then you really are getting great performance at a reasonable price.
More info, current price and user reviews
To learn more about the Smarty Cargo’s, check out what their current price is and check out some user reviews check out the links below. I suggest looking at more than one store in case one of them is having a sale or just have a cheaper price.
You could also check out to see if they have any of last year’s model still in stock as you may be able to get them at a decent discount. Check out the outlet stores at the links below. No guarantees they’ll have any left but worth a try.
Thanks for reading
I hope this review has given you the info you were looking for. Any questions or comments are very welcome as always.