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rain shorts? ...possible or just plain stupid?
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Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
rain shorts? ...possible or just plain stupid? on 04/07/2010 20:56:41 MDT Print View

So I have a pair of rain pants that I've never had a chance to use (recieved as a gift, and I have golite reeds). I could always return them, but was contemplating the idea of cutting them down so they are rain shorts. They would probably be lighter than my reeds. Here's what I was thinking. I normally hike in shorts, and sometimes running shorts. I imagine if I use water resistant gaiters, and wore rain shorts over my normal hiking shorts, I would feel pretty comfortable in a downpour. The shorts would end above my knees. Is this just stupid or am I potentially on to something? I imagine it would keep me pretty comfortable, cos itll keep my underwear region dry. Breathability will be high.I probably wouldnt even need the gaiters, so long as I wear shoes that drain quickly. I've hiked in only a rain jacket, without rain pants, in pretty heavy downpour, and I felt okay (the pic in my avatar was taken during a very very wet weekend, just a rain jacket and synthetic shorts) I'd imagine this system would only be an improvement. Thoughts? Hypothermia considerations?

Edited by Konrad1013 on 04/08/2010 00:52:46 MDT.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: rain shorts? ...possible or just plain stupid? on 04/07/2010 21:12:43 MDT Print View

I've been considering this too for the summer. Sit wherever you want with no worries, while staying cool and it's light. If you do it, let us know how it goes.

Ryan Jordan did something similar, but cut them below the knee. There's a photo if you scroll down in this thread:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=1257&disable_pagination=1

I met a German guy on the AT who did the same and was wearing tall gaiters. Seemed like a pretty slick setup to me.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
knickers/manpris on 04/07/2010 22:35:02 MDT Print View

I like the just below the knee rig. I have windpants trimmed in a similar manner.

Mike McHenry
(mtmche2) - F
Rolling Pants on 04/08/2010 00:21:51 MDT Print View

Just throwing this out there, but if versatility is an issue, you could rig some sort of shock cord, cord lock system that would allow you to roll pants up and still have the option to roll them down and avoid bringing gaiters.

The way I look at it is pants can be considered shorts if you just roll them up. Very versatile in that regard.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: knickers/manpris on 04/08/2010 00:30:09 MDT Print View

I'm still waiting for Paramo to make some WPB pants that zip off below the knee. Maybe I'll get Cioch to alter my cascadas.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 00:49:02 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies. I want to avoid zip off pants / rolling up pant legs because my golite reed's are already only 5.5 oz. I'm just trying to figure out if I can go any lighter, and still have functionality. Right now the pants in question, in their intact form weight 7.9oz, so keeping them unaltered would be pointless, as they weigh more than my current setup.

Though it would be nice to have them end below the knee for more coverage, the pair of pants in question do not have a gusseted crotch or darting at the knees, so they restrict mobility a tad. I'm thinking that so long as I wear running shorts with a short inseam, then these will layer completely over them, while still ending above knee for mobility. I guess it would be nice for a ultralight skin-out summer setup. ULA rain skirt for the girlfriend, and rain shorts for myself...get my protection while still looking good...not bad eh? :)

Edited by Konrad1013 on 04/08/2010 00:50:53 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Rain shorts on 04/08/2010 00:51:19 MDT Print View

Wind shorts thread here

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=24658

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 01:00:21 MDT Print View

I'm thinking that anywhere warm enough for you to hike in shorts, you prolly don't need rainproof shorts...

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 01:11:33 MDT Print View

good point! that's the criticism/advice i need before i go off and do something stupid. It would just be a comfort issue...in the sense that if it were warm enough for me to hike in running shorts, then presumably those hiking shorts will dry soon after the rain stops...but its just for that 1hr of 'damp crotch' that I don't really like dealing with. Might be worth the 3 oz or so weight penality to carry the waterproof shorts, so to avoid that situation. Which brings me to my next idea...full on hiking in only waterproof shorts??? Nix the 3oz running shorts, and replace with 3 oz waterproof shorts? I wonder how breathability/comfort would if I was wearing them all day, rain or shine.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 04/08/2010 01:12:27 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 01:16:50 MDT Print View

Not that I really know, but...

Maybe a damp and uncomfortable crotch will help keep your mind away from the water dripping down your legs uncomfortably and soaking your socks. :)

I guess what I'm really saying is that if the weather is warm enough that hypothermia isn't a real danger -- covering your lower self by half isn't really going to hurt or help by much.

Edited by ben2world on 04/08/2010 01:19:30 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 01:22:55 MDT Print View

I wouldn't fancy wearing waterproof shorts only. Apart from anything else, think of the friction burns if you slip on a steep grass slope and take a slide on your @55!

Stinky too...

A lot of loose fit swimming shorts have a light polycotton mesh liner. Maybe you could soak them in some TX Direct Nikwax to waterproof them.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/08/2010 01:41:06 MDT.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 08:00:30 MDT Print View

I'm with DaveC. My Reeds are hacked just below the knee to be knickers/manpris. No zipper and I can pull them on without taking shoes off.

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: rain shorts? ...possible or just plain stupid? on 04/08/2010 09:51:33 MDT Print View

I had the same idea a few years back and I eventually went for a waterproof skirt, not shorts: much easier to make (it was a MYOG thing), no need to be breathable and very functional: you can carry it in any pocket and put it on or take off on the go, I could do it even while walking :)

It works very well for a little over an ounce but not when it's cold. Waterproof shorts will be a bit better than the skirt in the cold. As some have pointed out, there may be little reason to waterproof below the waist when it's warm enough to wear shorts but I still think it's nice to keep dry shorts for such a little weight penalty. I'd say try and see if you like it.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 10:03:59 MDT Print View

I'm thinking that anywhere warm enough for you to hike in shorts, you prolly don't need rainproof shorts...

That does not necessarily follow. One can wear shorts in some pretty cool weather, as long as one is active. For example, I have sometimes been known to hike in shorts in conditions where rime was forming on the hairs of my legs.

--MV

Edited by blean on 04/08/2010 10:05:48 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 10:40:50 MDT Print View

Bob:

In the scenario you described -- where you've got frost on the hair of your legs... if it were to start raining -- and I mean raining -- would waterproof shorts help you all that much?

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Re: Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 10:47:18 MDT Print View

In the scenario you described -- where you've got frost on the hair of your legs... if it were to start raining -- and I mean raining -- would waterproof shorts help you all that much?

My point was just that assuming that wearing shorts implies warm out is not always accurate.

Freezing rain, or rain just above freezing? The rain shorts would be a lot better than nothing (you can lose a lot of heat through your thighs), but you'd really want real rain gear and/or a way to get out of the weather.

-- MV

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: waterproof shorts on 04/08/2010 11:04:06 MDT Print View

"you'd really want real rain gear and/or a way to get out of the weather."

That's the point, Bob.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Placebo on 04/08/2010 12:38:41 MDT Print View

Placebo effect FTW! If it makes you feel better and more comfortable do it. But let's be honest here waterproof shorts are not very useful and that's why they aren't manufactured for mass consumption. However if the thought of sitting on a wet rock and keeping your butt dry makes you feel better wear some waterproof shorts damnit!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: rain shorts? ...possible or just plain stupid? on 04/08/2010 15:45:40 MDT Print View

Both possible (think a pair of scissors) and plain stupid imho.

Chers

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
rain shorts. on 04/08/2010 16:02:18 MDT Print View

I actually can see the value in LONG rain shorts (past the knee). Sometimes that fairly cold rain, over longer periods of time, can start getting me cold, yet I hate wearing pants. Long rain shorts would be light and breathe, but help to keep you warmer. It's all personal opinion vs. conditions vs. whatever.

Also, the concept may not be for everyone, but I don't think I'd call anything that Plesko and Chenault actually use a "stupid" idea. Those guys are serious hikers, bikers, and/or adventurers, it seems like.