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Making conversion waterproof pants
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christian frye
(root.frye) - F
Making conversion waterproof pants on 05/09/2006 00:46:06 MDT Print View

I'm wondering if anyone else out there has done this and has some advice. My goal is to basicaly turn a pair of waterproof pants into a converstion pants/shorts. I'm looking at taking a couple week hike down the AT and money and weight are my problems.
i found:,46446_Marmot-PreCip%E2%84%A2-Ankle-Zip-Pants-For-Men.html
for 35 bucks at 10oz.
for 25$ at 14oz
If i could make them convertables then i would be able to hike in the shorts(and not bring a pair), or pants if it was cold or raining and use them around camp as it'll be much more durable then the other cheap rainproof alt.
What i was thinking about doing is making a good cut around a 10" inseam. Sew a zipper on the 'legs cut-off', and then about an 1/2" up inside the pair of shorts. Then use a seam sealer over the seams for the zippers..
maybe :
What do you guys think?

Edited by root.frye on 05/09/2006 01:01:32 MDT.

christian frye
(root.frye) - F
. on 05/09/2006 20:56:54 MDT Print View

any ideas anyone? Do you think it'll still be water tight? I dont know a whole lot about sewing and seam sealers..
maybe i should sew a peice of fabric on the inside of the zipper so it doesnt rub against my leg?

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: . on 05/09/2006 21:29:12 MDT Print View

I think 'rain shorts' would be far too hot/humid to wear while moving, and they probably won't have pockets, fly zippers, or other conveniences. But I'll admit I have a bias against convertible clothing in general. You'll also end up carrying a 4-6oz pair of spare legs, when you could just buy some decent wind or rain pants in the same weight range. After factoring in the cost/time of sewing, I'd just buy a pair of pants.

For a 3-season AT trip, I would just have a pair of shorts, a pair of tights, and a pair of wind- or rain pants, depending on the setting.

You also might want to consider rain chaps, like the kind made by Oware or Gossamer Gear. They'd offer just about the same coverage and comparable convenience to convertible pants.

christian frye
(root.frye) - F
. on 05/09/2006 22:53:34 MDT Print View

Yeah they may not be that breathable as shorts. But if i look at taking another pair of shorts, then thats at least 6oz, at least for the shorts i have and have weighed.
your suggested:
10oz rain pants
6oz shorts
8oz sweats?
I don't know about the sweats, i have poleyester/acrylic insulated 'long johns' at 4.8oz i'm brining(underwear).
If i could knock off the extra 5 or 6oz for additional shorts. it seems well worth it.. maybe there's more lightweight clothing(decently priced) out there i dont know about, its hard to find weights on most clohing online. i can just go by what i've weighed.
And as far as the chaps i've definitely considered chaps, tyvek, frogg toggs, dropp stoppers. but i'm afraid of ripping the thin materials of them on a long trail which appears will have pleanty of rain.
If i bring chaps, then i'd have to bring sweats or something else i could wear as long pants
chaps at 4oz
sweats at 8oz
12oz total for not that durable rain protection.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Making conversion waterproof pants on 05/09/2006 23:12:43 MDT Print View

I've thought a lot about bottom layering schemes and the best I can come up with is a pair of silkweight polyester long johns, the PreCip pants, and a pair of light nylon shorts with a built-in brief. When the weather turns, you can put on the rain pants over the shorts and if it gets colder, switch to the long johns, which will keep the cold rain pant fabric off your skin and provide some wicking. Same scheme for cold wind. The long johns are light, easily cleaned and good to sleep in too. We're talking around 20oz for all three.

My current option is a pair of nylon zip-offs, the long johns and Precips and I recommend the same if you can afford it. All my zip-offs came from thrift stores. Sports pants can be nicely water repellent, light weight and really cheap. I like polyester over nylon. I got some New Balance warm-up/running style pants with an elastic and drawstring waist and ankle zips for $5. I've found running shorts with briefs for $3. I have some bright orange Nike shorts that are just a few ounces. Should make me easy to find :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 05/09/2006 23:13:47 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: . on 05/09/2006 23:31:58 MDT Print View

Sorry, I should have been clearer on my gear weights. I choose running shorts, which are only about 3oz. I don't need the pockets or length. My Capilene long johns are about 4-5oz, like yours. Windpants or rain chaps I would use also come out to the 4-6oz range. The GoLite Reed or Whim pants, Montane Featherlite pants, and Equinox Full Moon chaps, GG SpinnChaps, & Oware chaps are the specific products I have in mind.

When and where will you be on the AT? For much of the standard hiking season on most of the trail, I think shorts will see you through just fine while moving. For something I use so rarely, I just want them to be small, light, and fairly cheap. The options I listed above fit the bill for me, and are also durable enough for my needs.

If you haven't seen me plug the site already, is easily the top AT information resource. Lots of great folks in the forums there that I'm sure could also help you with the planning.


Edit: Just have to agree with Dale that comparable items are pretty easily available in thrift stores. Running shorts/swimming trunks, windpants, and rainpants, especially. And at those prices, you don't feel too bad about making modifications, trimming, etc.

Edited by mlarson on 05/09/2006 23:34:34 MDT.

christian frye
(root.frye) - F
. on 05/10/2006 00:04:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replys!
haha oh it seemed like such a good idea. Still is!! if light backpacking is key with durable raingear. i mean even a few ounces for the shorts is a lot, but i guess i can chock it up.
I love the thrift-store. i'll have to take my scale in there and see what i can find, haha.
I'm going to find a decent pair of breathable lightweight rainpants in the future and make them conversion.(if i can get my whole pants scheme under 10oz, i'd be happy)
Probably not the best idea to test it out on this long of a trip.
thanks anyways..

I'm looking at leaving here in a couple weeks, hiking south through the shenandoah park. My plans are still up in the air and i'm just bouncing a resupply box around so i can go as far as i want really.

Your talking about using windpants or chaps. will that really hold up if i'm hiking for a couple days in rain? then a few weeks? i'll check out the links you gave me thanks!

Edited by root.frye on 05/10/2006 00:15:34 MDT.