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Rain Chaps
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Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Rain Chaps on 04/15/2009 18:17:24 MDT Print View

In a recent review of my gear I identified my golite reed pants as an item not often used. I have already reduced the weight of the reeds by removing the zippers, but they are still 4.75 oz. I'm considering rain chaps instead to save weight. The MLD sylnylon chaps are 2.2 oz and the cubens are 1.4 oz. Anyone have success with rain chaps or anyone had problems with them?


Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Rain Chaps on 04/15/2009 18:38:49 MDT Print View

I feel the function is largely dependent by your selection/preference of upper body rain protection.

I prefer a true rain jacket (arcteryx alpha sl) for summer use, and the jacket is cut quite short. This allows for no overlap between the jacket and the rain chaps. A ULA rain skirt would work better with such a jacket.

If you use a rain poncho or a longer cut rain jacket you will likely be pleased with both the protection and the weight.

Edited by thomdarrah on 04/15/2009 19:45:13 MDT.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Rain Chaps on 04/15/2009 18:42:16 MDT Print View

I had a pair of rain chaps many years ago, bought at REI, of all places. Back then I was wearing a poncho, so they worked OK. With the shorter rain jackets that many of us wear, I'm not sure they would provide adequate coverage.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Rain Chaps on 04/15/2009 18:53:16 MDT Print View

Alan Dixon uses them on XUL trips (Full-skin out < 5 lbs).

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
ULA Rain Wrap on 04/15/2009 19:00:15 MDT Print View

I was also interested in getting the MLD Rain Chaps but I was worried about the breathability of these. Although since this is an item you said you won't be using that often, breathability shouldn't be a big problem for you.
I ended up going with the ULA Rain Wrap instead, which weighs in at 2.9 oz in size medium. I use it with my Marmot Mica jacket and it works great. Just another option to consider.


Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Rain Chaps on 04/15/2009 19:03:17 MDT Print View

Good is a pic using my go to jacket these days which is a simple golite virga size large.


It hangs below my waist so chaps might work in a pinch. I think I'd be alright with them not being breathable based on the way I hike and sweat. Still pondering so all opinions are welcome.


Edited by jshortt on 04/15/2009 19:12:53 MDT.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
chaps on 04/15/2009 21:07:20 MDT Print View

Jamie - just a thought, has anyone here successfully used a mont-bell or golite style umbrella with spinn-chaps?
my umbrella sees use when weather is light rain, but i have the problem of wet legs if walking fast especially.. seems like this combination would yeild great results in some circumstances..

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 04/15/2009 21:11:38 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rain Chaps on 04/16/2009 09:57:36 MDT Print View


I have the MLD rain chaps and have used them in the rain 2 or 3 times so far, paired with the MLD poncho tarp.

I agree with the others that the ability to use the rain chaps is dependant on what you have for your upper body.

The poncho tarp does a very good job of drapping over the open crotch area and prevents rain from getting to that area.

I can not see how using a conventional rain jacket would work with the rain chaps unless it really was long enough to cover your backside/crotch area.

What I do like about the rain chaps is that they are very light and they do breath well....the groing area naturally being an area of heat build up (kinda sounds dirty doesn't it?) with all the major arteries there.

One difference betwee some traditional rain pants and the rain chaps is that the rain chaps do not have an elastic bottom cuff for closure.

The MLD rain chaps comes with a shock cord like stirup to wrap around the bottom of your shoes to keep the pant leg from riding up.

I have yet to use them and removed them from the rain chaps...just had not had any issues of the pant leg riding up. (Then again, I am not a tall guy at 5'6").

The only slight negative is that pulling them out in a rain storm and getting them on quick is something that I have not mastered uses a elastic cord for a belt to which each pant leg is attached and upon pulling them out of the stuff bag, I have to take a few moments to get them positioned in the right way to put them on properly.

The fact that they don't have a zipper at the bottom to make it easier to get your foot through is a slight negative too, but that would add weight.

Overall, I love em and have no plans on switching back.

Hope that this helps you out.


Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Rain Chaps on 04/16/2009 11:49:54 MDT Print View

Unless it's quite cold out, I find that I can't walk in rain chaps or rain pants of any sort without getting wet from the inside-out. If the weather isn't too cold to make it practical, the best approach I find is shorts and poncho.

When it is cold enough to sustain some sort of rain pant, chaps are great IMO, particularly due to the ability to more easily put them on and take them off ... one leg at a time. Less nice sometimes in camp or at breaks as you can't sit on anything wet without having something (else) dry to sit on.

Most of the time when I carry chaps, that's exactly what I do ... carry chaps, not wear them.

Since I use a poncho, I'm not interested in a rain skirt, because a loosely belted poncho is basically a rain jacket plus a rain skirt anyway. If poncho is long enough, one could consider relatively long & light gaiters instead or --- just let the lower leg get wet. The only issue with this latter strategy is if you're using some sort of waterproof or water resistant shoe, you don't want socks to wet out from the top-down.

One suggestion before buying rain chaps is to consider making a pair by converting frogg togg or dri-ducks pants (when you buy a set of these they come with both jacket and rain pants). My converted dri-ducks pants work great as chaps, were inexpensive given that I also got a jacket out of the deal, and it wasn't a great deal of sewing work to do the conversion.

Kevin Egelhoff
(kegelhoff) - F

Locale: Southern Cal
Easy to make your own Cuben Rain Chaps !!! on 04/16/2009 12:52:09 MDT Print View

I made a pair last year from Cuben weighing right at 1.0 oz. and wore them in 2 straight days of prolonged rain and loved them !!! I modified the basic chap design to enclose the entire seat area but still have the crotch area open to vent. That way rain coming down my back doesn't go down the back of my pants and I never had a problem with the crotch area getting wet with my slightly longer rain jacket. It was warm enough that I was able to wear shorts on the first day. Weather was much colder the second day and I was able to wear them over pants without any overheating problems ! The only downside was at the end of the first day doing 22 miles in the rain I slipped on some rocks and tore some small holes in one knee section. This would have ripped any pair of rain pants I'm guessing. The good news is that Cuben is so easy to do on-the-trail repairs with some tape.