Out of the three models of pants you mentioned, the White Smoke pant is the ONLY model that is a "true" softshell... actually it's a hybrid pant with both waterproof/breathable fabric and breathable "true" softshell fabric. If your looking for a softshell (or hybrid), the White Smoke is an awesome pant. The rest of them are just hardshells... they're not much different than your 686's.
I currently own the Arc. Stingray pant and it's awesome! I can assure you that it's NOT a softshell... hopefully you understand this by now.
IMO I feel the powder cuff is nice to have for those, what else, powder days and it's just good insurance over all... especially on snowboard boots. Due to MO, I would avoid the Beyond Fleece pants, but the fabric on them is perfect!
I hope this info helps... good luck with you search!
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:36 am Posts: 65 Location: Middle America
I recently purchased the burton vent pants. They have crotch vents as well as vents on your quads. The quad vents are the most efficent vents I have ever experienced. The pants also have a powder skirt which kind of serves as a cumberbun (genius I must say)
_________________ Can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about the things?