Outdoor Research Cirque™ Pants

OR Cirque PantsI purchased the OR Cirque™ Pants before the Mammoth Sniper Challenge. My teammate and I were competing in the “Extreme Tough-Man Division”. We arrived a day early and chose to camp out. When we crossed the finish line, I had been living in the Cirque™ pants for four days.

We hiked with 50 pound packs, crawled under barbed wire, ran up obstacles, slid down earthen berms on my backside and a number of other tasks. I was sure that these pants would be trashed when we were done. They held up amazingly.

We encountered temps during the mornings around 30°F and up to 50°F in the afternoon. I wore a lightweight set of polypro bottoms most of the time. The pants breathed well during the fast hikes. I never got drenched in sweat. When we stopped, they allowed my base layer to dry out quickly. If I needed even more airflow, I just unzipped the legs and pulled them up over my knees. During the occasional drizzle or snow flurry they repelled water well. Thankfully I didn’t get a chance to test them in a downpour.

On the last day of the Challenge, we did a 5 mile ruck march through a crotch deep water crossing. I had ditched my base layer at the start and was only wearing a set of compression briefs. It wasn’t fifteen minutes after the water crossing and the Cirque™ were completely dry.

Once I returned from the competition, I unpacked my dirt-crusted pants and threw them in the washer. After hanging them to dry, I was amazed to see that there was no discernible wear on the knees, seat or anywhere else. I had expected at least a little rash from crawling on my knees on hard Georgia clay. It’s hard to believe that material this light can hold up this well.

The Cirque Pants do have some drawbacks. The pockets are very form fitting. Anything you put in them will print. I forgo carrying a wallet when wearing them. A thin pocket knife and chapstick are about all I try to stuff in there. The pockets do have a mesh liner, so keeping them empty gives you the option to use them as vents.

Overall the OR Cirque™ have surpassed my expectations. The are light. breathable, weather resistant and very durable. I have since worn them in an urban environment to shovel snow and the occasional trips out in the light rain. I can’t wait to get them out in the back country again. I am planning some mountaineering courses next year and these will be my go-to soft-shell pants. The $100 price tag is a little steep, but they definitely perform.

Mammoth Sniper Challenge
Outdoor Research Cirque™ Pants on right.


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