There’s nothing like a 3 a. m. start to test the versatility and comfort of your gear. For starters, you’re probably still half asleep, and then you realize it’s -57 degrees in the parking lot, and then you get sweaty after ten minutes of hiking, and then the wind’s howling as soon as you hit the ridge. Not much gear can really handle the vagaries of fast-paced cold-weather touring, but the Recon Men’s Pant isn’t most gear. Black Diamond designed it specifically to handle changing conditions and varying aerobic outputs, with a Windstopper membrane to keep bluster off your legs and key panels of stretchy and highly breathable Schoeller softshell to prevent sweat build up and allow uninhibited movement. The Schoeller panels also feature a Nanosphere treatment to repel water, dirt, and stains, so you don’t have to sacrifice weather protection just to enjoy improved moisture management. The Recon is cut for movement, with a relatively slim fit and articulated knees, but Black Diamond didn’t opt for a totally bare-bones approach. Most impressively, it engineered a special PIEPS beacon pocket on the right thigh, which features an integrated harness, Poron XD Impact Foam, and a tether that attaches the beacon to the Recon’s integrated belt so you won’t lose your transceiver in the snow if you drop it. All these features are easy to use with gloves, even if your beacon isn’t, and means you won’t have to mess with a clumsy chest harness ever again. There are also offset outer thigh vents to increase breathability, zippered back and thigh pockets for gear storage, and an embedded Recco reflector for added in-bounds security. Finally, Black Diamond finished the Recon off with tough Keprotec kick patches to protect the hem from ski edges and crampons, ankle zippers for easy boot access, and internal ankle gaiters that make sure rogue powder doesn’t creep down into your boots and turn your socks into a soggy mess.