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Ultralight Down Pants: Light, Warm, and Versatile
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Ultralight Down Pants: Light, Warm, and Versatile on 03/23/2010 12:50:29 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Down Pants: Light, Warm, and Versatile

Greg Foster
(thefost) - MLife
Minimus Price on 03/23/2010 13:55:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the excellent review!

How can the minimus pants be purchased for $183 in the US? I'm only seeing them for a whopping $234.

Ross P Hemphill
(rbimli) - F

Locale: PNW
loft != insulative value ..? on 03/23/2010 14:19:33 MDT Print View

Richard Nisley has said that loft is not an accurate method of measuring the warmth of down insulation, and has provided information and data which appear to support the assertion. BPL seems to think otherwise: are there any position statements, rebuttals, etc which explain why? (This point is frustrating given BPL's stated commitment to the scientific/objective method.)

Whatever the case, thanks for the article! Of course, BPL continues to be a wonderful resource, whether or not it's "perfect."

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: loft != insulative value ..? on 03/23/2010 18:57:21 MDT Print View

Arr, can you link the thread about measuring warmth?

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Loft on 03/23/2010 19:01:37 MDT Print View

Here we go again with the loft measurements...

(Please refer to my post on the Eddie Bauer jacket review - to which I never got a reply).


(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Down Pants on 03/23/2010 21:35:42 MDT Print View

For What It's Worth: Nunatak sells large-size down knickers that weigh 8.5 oz. Full-length large pants weigh 9.5 oz.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
waist on 03/23/2010 23:54:15 MDT Print View

How well do each of these hold the back of the waist when you sit down? That is one of the issues we are trying to solve in our down pants. (I've currently decided that this is just perfectionism since no pants I've seen really stay put. Not a problem with most jackets anyway...)


Locale: Western Michigan
Addition and Reflection on 03/24/2010 05:57:38 MDT Print View

Here in Michigan I wear the MontBell Down Inner Pants in early spring and late fall and they work well. (In the winter months MontBell Down Inner Pants with Icebreaker 200 Long Johns.) The two variables to keep in mind for warmth: sleep system (what is over you, on you and under you) and your physical state. Below are Nunatak’s Pants and Knickers for comparison…..super equipment for cold sleepers and cold weather.



Edited by KENLARSON on 03/24/2010 05:58:35 MDT.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Section added on 03/24/2010 16:35:31 MDT Print View

We've added a "Warmth" section above. Will didn't have this method worked out when he wrote this particular article, though he plans to include it in future articles where loft is also measured.


Locale: Western Michigan
*Warmpth Tests on 03/25/2010 13:31:44 MDT Print View

Will Rietvelt, have you made any *warmpth tests using the Cocoon UL 60 pants as a comparison, to the three down pants you have reviewed?

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: *Warmpth Tests on 03/26/2010 08:26:23 MDT Print View

Hi Ken, no I didn't measure the Cocoon pant for comparison. Sorry. I am including the Cocoon pullover for comparison in my down jacket test. Best, Will


Locale: Western Michigan
** Answer to Cocoon UL 60 pants Comparison ** on 03/27/2010 07:31:22 MDT Print View

To further explore my question that I posed to Will, "have you made any *warmpth tests using the Cocoon UL 60 pants as a comparison, to the three down pants you currently reviewed?”..... He replied he had not. Still interested in an answer to my question I communicated with Richard Nisley to see if he could give some insight or a definitive answer to this question. His reply to me is as follows. Richard also has presented some data concerning other down pants alternatives that expands this *warmpth question for those of you that are contemplating winter camping and are thinking about expanding your winter wardrobe for next year.

“The Cocoon UL 60 pants use 68 g/m2 PG Delta insulation. The Iclo value (best case – never compressed and un-quilted) = 2.04 oz * .68 clo per oz = 1.39 = 1.75 MET camp chores thermo-neutral temp = 44F.

Using an IR surface temperature test I would anticipate the mid 80’s F for the surface temp.

The Iclo values for the down pants Will tested are as follows:

Montbell UL Down Inner Pants ( 2 oz of 800 fill) = 1.74 Iclo = 40F

Western Mountaineering (2 oz of 850 fill) = 1.84 Iclo = 39F

PHD Minimus Down Trousers (3 oz of 832 fill) = 2.40 Iclo = 33F

Other down pants alternatives in the general range that Will covered include:

Mont-bell UL TEC Down Series (2.4 oz of 800 fill) = 1.96 Iclo = 38F

Western Mountaineering Flight Pants (3.0 oz of 850 fill) = 2.39 Iclo = 33F

Nunatak Kobuk Knickers (4.0 oz of 800 fill) = 2.70 Iclo = 30F

FF Helios Pants (4.9 oz of 800 fill) = 3.17 Iclo = 25F

Nunatak Kobuk Pants (5.0 oz of 800 fill) = 3.22 Iclo = 25F”

Edited by KENLARSON on 03/27/2010 07:32:45 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

More Info on 04/03/2010 17:02:17 MDT Print View

I thought I'd share some helpful information I got from

The helpful customer service rep (Nolan) measured the WM Flash pants and recorded:

inseam: 27.5 inches
waist: 28-31 inches

inseam: 29 inches
waist: 31-33 inches

As the BPL article mentions, these are pretty short legs. I wonder if they are intentionally short so they don't interfere with boots and/or so the down doesn't sneak out the bottom of your pants and get wet.

Based on this article, I'm disappointed with the Flash pants. They came in way over the weight spec (8.4oz vs. 6.5oz listed on WM's site) and with a poor fit, so now I'm left choosing between the less lofty Montbell ones, or settle for poorly fitting and unnecessarily heavy WM ones. I was hoping to get loftier WM down pants for the same weight and price as the Montbell ones but I guess I'm going with Montbell. has the Montbell's on for $125 with free shipping right now.

Edited by dandydan on 04/03/2010 17:03:31 MDT.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Ultralight Down Pants: Light, Warm, and Versatile on 04/05/2010 10:07:00 MDT Print View

I really enjoyed the scope of this article.
I have a pair of the older style Montbell pants. I'm not doing any extended cold weather trips in frigid weather, so taking an extra pair of long johns or fleece pants, or both, is not beyond reason for me.
I appreciate the very light weight of the Montbells and, as Will points out, they work very well for the typical spring, summer and fall outings in the NW.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Montbell Pants and sleep systems on 04/08/2010 14:46:13 MDT Print View

I have owned my pair of Montbells for about 4 years and can attest to their utility in most 3 season conditions. They have held up remarkably well for such thin fabrication. I usually use a pair of woolies top and bottoms when wearing both the down pants and the UL jacket and then put on my loose fitting trail pants and my Patagonia Dragonfly windshirt over them. This 3 layer combo has kept me warm sitting around camp down to about 20 degrees. I have been able to keep this sedentary position for as long as several hours while I read or listen to audio books with no discomfort. It also allows me to pack my light MOntbell SS #4, which is fairly accurately rated to about 35 degrees, and sleep comfortably down into the 20s using my downmat 7 shorty for a pad. Developing a complete sleep system really keeps the weight down and provides tremendous flexiblity especially while you are actually out on the trail.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
wow on 04/08/2010 16:14:13 MDT Print View

nunatak has a nice upcharge there. geez. I have hiked in weather down to 15F and never needed down pants. Used icebreaker 200's + my suplex convertibles, thick wool socks + x-static liner. If i had to i could layer on my rain pants for extra warmth. I would use down pants in camp if i was to use them. But in those kind of cold conditions, once i get to camp, in a matter of minutes im wrapped up in a pad, tq, and uq in my hammock anyway. I have a another pair of icebreakers as well, 150wt bottoms. i guess if i had to i could layer those over my 200's for even more warmth.

Does anyone know how quantum fabric holds up to abrasion/use?

Edited by isaac.mouser on 04/08/2010 16:46:30 MDT.

Greg Foster
(thefost) - MLife
WM Down Pants on 04/16/2010 01:43:31 MDT Print View

Ended up getting the WM down pants in a size small. 28-31 waist seems about correct, and they weigh in at 6.54 oz.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Goosefeet on 04/17/2010 22:43:51 MDT Print View

Ben from GooseFeet ( made me a custom pair of down pants which I'm pretty excited about. Ben made them to my specifications and in my color choice with 800+fp down and Momentum fabrics. They were just sewn today so I won't have them for a couple weeks, but the specs look great.

According to Ben, they weigh 206g (7.26oz) with a generous 3.2oz of down. These pants are a custom fit, but they are roughly size medium. 44% of the weight of these pants is the down which is a significant improvement over the pants is this review (MB = 29%, PHD = 32%, WM = 24%).

I imagine Ben is interested in selling more of these, so give him a shout if you're interested.

Should be a big hit at Starbucks:

GooseFeet Down Pants

Edited by dandydan on 04/17/2010 23:01:41 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Goosefeet on 04/19/2010 21:18:32 MDT Print View

Dan, those pants look sweet!

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: More Info on WM Flash Pants on 11/18/2010 18:55:53 MST Print View

inseam: 27.5 inches
waist: 28-31 inches

inseam: 29 inches
waist: 31-33 inches

I don't suppose anyone has comparable data for the Large and XL sizes?