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Full side zip shell pants
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Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Full side zip shell pants on 01/04/2010 06:24:51 MST Print View

I'm looking for a pair of reasonably lightweight and durable shell pants to use for summer mountaineering in the Alps, along with some winter/spring ski-randoneering. I would like something that has full side zips, so that they can be put on/off without danger of crampons snagging or skis being removed. I tried the Arc'teryx beta AR, and I like the feel, but I'm holding out for full zips.

I noticed that the Denali-light crew 2009 used Montbell Alpine Pants. Does anyone have any experience or other recommendations.

I presume that they would stay in the pack most of the time for mountaineering, and probably used on the descent sections of ski tours.

Thanks for your help.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Full side zip shell pants on 01/04/2010 07:45:55 MST Print View

Matt Hage also used Marmot Precip full zips during his 2007 trip to Denali.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Full side zip shell pants on 01/04/2010 08:52:08 MST Print View

To me, the Beta AR essentially has full side zips. I know that they stop in the upper thigh, but practically, that's a design improvement, rather than a disadvantage when compared to full zips. Are you looking for separating side zips?

Andy Berner
(Berner9) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Full side zip shell pants on 01/04/2010 08:56:31 MST Print View

If you do decide to go with only a 3/4ish zip you should check out the RAB Bergen pants. Made of eVENT and they only weigh 340g/12oz.

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
red ledge on 01/04/2010 09:19:54 MST Print View

I have red ledge thunderlight full zip pants. I paid something like $20 for them, but I am not sure I have ever really used them, so can't comment on how well they work. Once I went to using softshell pants, I no longer needed shell pants, so never put them on, and have stopped carrying them. Are you in shorts for these summer/spring trips? If you have pants on already, I am not sure you need the shell pants on top, particularly for the weight of carrying full zips (I totally understand the need for full zips though, since changing pants wearing skis or snowshoes is practically impossible without them).

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Emergency gear on 01/08/2010 02:24:15 MST Print View

Since I'll be making mostly day climbs from refuges in the Alps, a lighter weight offering for emergency use is really all I need. The Marmot precip looks like a great compromise for weight/price in that regard.

That being said, these would perhaps be best coupled with a softshell pant. I have no experience with softshells, coming mostly from the hiking side where their breathability and weight are prohibitive. In the past I've always climbed in the Cascade Mountain Uniform: shorts over long-johns. Ugly, but lightweight and effective. This classic, coupled with LW emergency WPB/proof pants has served me well for years; but the softshell is intriguing.

Nicholas Luhr
(nhluhr) - F
OR Furio on 02/04/2010 12:34:26 MST Print View

Marmot PreCips are okay (lightweight...) but they don't have a fly opening so putting them on over a climbing harness is useless.

I really like my Outdoor Research Furio pants. They aren't ultra-light, but they are fairly bombproof.

Alan Little
(AlanL) - F

Locale: Bavarian & Austrian Alps
Marmot Precips? on 02/23/2010 02:08:53 MST Print View

I wouldn't recommend Marmot Precips for climbing - wore mine for a day's wet weather scrambling in the Karwendel last summer and came away with two big rips. They might be ok for mostly-snow routes, but they're too flimsy for rock.

Stephen R
(32729) - F
Re: red ledge on 12/05/2010 16:49:53 MST Print View

+1 for the red ledge pants. My size mediums weigh 10.5 oz with full side zips. Got them for ~$25 on rei outlet. They work great for winter climbing and mountaineering.

These pants are essentially the same thing as the precip pants - a laminate waterproof breathable full zip rain pant - but the red ledge are a fraction of the price. Easily replaceable if I put a crampon through them too many times.

Edited by 32729 on 12/05/2010 16:52:20 MST.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Another Red Ledge Full Side-Zip user on 12/05/2010 23:43:09 MST Print View

I've used them on three thru-hikes and they've served well.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Montane Spectra on 12/19/2010 13:58:35 MST Print View


Take a look at the Montane Spectra trousers