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snow pants
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Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
snow pants questions on 01/04/2008 11:07:42 MST Print View

I am planning on using my Patagonia puff pants with the monte bell inner down pants under these. Over these I was thinking of using my REI ultra light rain pants for the outer shell.This would be for hanging around camp. While snowshoeing I was thinking of not wearing the puff pants and just the down inner pants and rain pains as shell. I will be wearing some ultralight smartwool base layer, too.I have hiked with my wool base layer and my REI rain pants before, on a cold day down hill,and they worked fine. I didn't get too sweaty. These rain pants are considered waterproof breathable(sort of).
I also have a pair of quicksilver snowboarding snowboarding overalls that I got for free that are pretty heavy. I could hike in these and then layer under them at camp.
So what do you all use for snow pants? I'm not apposed to buying something nice.
Thanks for the help.Josh

Edited by Joshua on 01/05/2008 14:25:17 MST.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
sweating in down on 01/04/2008 12:49:27 MST Print View

I wouldn't sweat in down if I had an option.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: snow pants and sweating in down on 01/04/2008 13:48:10 MST Print View

I have better luck with down pulling moisture away from me also.

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Winter leg insulation on 01/04/2008 16:22:01 MST Print View

Ice climbing in Ouray CO around Christmas we had morning lows around 5 F and it warmed up to maybe just below freezing. I wore expedition weight polypro under supplex nylon pants. My butt got cold for a few minutes sitting on an ice covered bench to put on crampons. While belaying I wore a Golite belay parka in polarguard over my climbing layers which were a zip-t lightweight top, a zip-t heavy weight top (both polyester) and a wind breaker (polyester Marmot Chinook). Gloves were borrowed Patagucci ice gloves and I also wore a fleece balaclava under my foam-cored helmet. I never had to put on side zip 300 wt fleece pants. I wore Koflach double plastic boots and no gaiters.

Legs tend to not need much insulation in my experience. You may find the down pants overkill during any activity. Down does breath nicely but rain pants can mess that up. But even so it may not wet out from sweat the way a down jacket can under a pack.

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Thanks for the reply on 01/05/2008 14:24:31 MST Print View

I wasn't planning on hiking very far 3-4miles for starters. If I take it easy will I still get sweaty if I'm in cold temps like Yosemite.Maybe a heavy fleece would be better than down. I think a heavy fleece and rain pants maybe lighter than my snowboarding pants.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Thanks for the reply on 01/05/2008 18:18:54 MST Print View

Hi Joshua,
I think fleece while actually hiking is overkill. Have you considered using a Capilene-1(or its equivalent) under a pair of wind pants while on the move, with the fleece readily available to throw on at rest stops? Same goes for the upper body. That is my standard outfit for snowshoeing, and I have yet to get cold, down to the low 20's. And I'm a skinny lil' 135 pounder with very little margin for error.

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Tom on 01/05/2008 19:08:17 MST Print View

So the wind pants are water resistant enough to keep the snow from getting in when combined with gaiters. What about if the snow is wet or coming down.What are some good wind pants and top. I was looking at the golite stuff. I guess when you are snowshoeing you don't need the same gear as skiing or something.
Thanks, Josh

Edited by Joshua on 01/05/2008 19:09:52 MST.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Windpants on 01/05/2008 19:25:14 MST Print View


I really like the Golite Whim windpants. They breathe well and have a decent dwr, even when that wears off, the fabric is calendered and tightly woven so water runs off well. My size small are 3.50 stock and 2.90 after modification. They are on sale at various places, I got mine for $39.99.

I just went for a run in pouring rain wearing my whims and a thin baselayer underneath, eventually high contact points wet through but all layers dry very fast because of the breathable nature of the fabric. This is the experience of others (see the recent article here on BPL about Roger Caffin's France tour and the thread on Cold Weather Hiking).


Paul Luther
(eredluin) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Re: Windpants on 01/05/2008 19:57:14 MST Print View

Hi Joshua,
Check out the Montane Featherlite pants. They're light, water and wind resistant, and have nice ankle zips, so you can take them on and off without having to remove your shoes.

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
windpants on 01/06/2008 14:26:54 MST Print View

I have a pair of REI sahara nylon pants that zip off to shorts. How are these different from wind pants?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: windpants on 01/06/2008 16:02:19 MST Print View

Josh asked, "I have a pair of REI sahara nylon pants that zip off to shorts. How are these different from wind pants?"

The REI have more bells and whistles, weigh a lot more and are more porous-- great for hot weather.

The Whim pants are thinner, more fragile, have one simple inside pocket (more for stowing), a drawstring waist, no fly, belt loops, or ankle zips. They are much more windproof and water repellent. They would be a sweatbox in direct sun and hot weather.

My way to test windproofing is to stretch the fabric across the end of my fist and try to blow through it. In this case, the Whim fabric barely passes any air at all, where the Sahara pants allow some air through.

Either would be better than bare legs, but it can make a difference. I had some loose weave travel pants that I wore to Italy in the winter. My legs got sorely chapped one day out in the cold wind on the coast. I spent the evening slathered in lotion and reading with a blanket wrapped around me to get my skin back in walking mode.

My XL Sahara pants are 12oz vs the XL Whim at 4.4oz. I've mentioned before that GoLite should offer lighter colors besides black for the Whim pants so they could be used for bug protection in a pinch.

My strategy is to use the Whim pants with the lightest running shorts for the hottest weather/lightest combo, also allowing the Whim pants to double as summer rain gear. The Sahara pants are just good all-round warm weather hikers. For colder weather I have some really tough REI Cordura pants. For a lot of winter hiking in my locale it is raining in lower elevations and a combo of polyester long johns and rain pants do the trick. One stage colder and I can use Power Stretch under the rain gear.

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
Thanks for all the info. on 01/06/2008 17:20:36 MST Print View

Thank you to everyone who has given such great info.I'll be testing out some combo soon in the snow.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Tom on 01/06/2008 18:01:32 MST Print View

Hi Joshua,
My personal favorite windpants are Mountain Hardwear Transition pants(worn over a pair of Patagonia Cap-1 pants). They breathe well, have a good DWR coating, and a Gore Windstopper membrane which makes them about as close to windproof as anything I have ever seen. They definitely shed snow very well and I use them in rainy weather as well. They are not waterproof, but with the rain striking them at an angle, most of it dribbles off, and most of what makes it through gets expelled as water vapor along with my perspiration. At the end of a day, I am occasionally damp, but never soaked. They are not adequate for a torrential downpour, but that doesn't often happen in snowshoeing conditions. In any case, I carry a pair of Golite Reeds(4 oz) just in case things get sloppy. On my upper body I wear a Patagonia R1 Hoody and a Mountain Hardwear vest. This is great for all but the heaviest snowfall, or if it turns to rain. Then I just slip into an Integral Designs Event shell about 80% unzipped for ventilation and keep on truckin'. All of this said, there lots of great windpants on the market, but I don't think most of them breathe as well as the Transitions. They are a lot lighter, however. The Transitions weigh ~ 8 oz(size M), but I don't even notice. Bottom line: you can dress a lot lighter than you might think when you're on the move, especially snowshoeing, which really puts out the heat. Hope this helps.
Oops, just noticed Paul's post, above. Montane Featherlites would also be a great solution.

Edited by ouzel on 01/06/2008 18:03:36 MST.