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WP/B pant recommendations
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Diana L
(mysticmoose) - F

Locale: Great Lakes region
WP/B pant recommendations on 10/07/2006 11:57:07 MDT Print View

I am looking for some WP/B pants to wear in cool, rainy fall weather as well as for cold, snowy winter conditions. These will probably be my hiking pants as well, so breathability is important. The only rain pants I've ever owned is a pair of SD Backpackers, whuch are PU coated on the inside and don't breathe at all. Since I'll be wearing these and not carrying them, weight isn't a huge priority, but I'd like something under 10 oz... I can wear either a women's medium or men's small. Any suggestions??

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Rain Pants on 10/07/2006 12:49:30 MDT Print View

If cost is not an issue, look at these:

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Rain Pants on 10/07/2006 14:59:04 MDT Print View

Or the Golite Reed pants at half the weight.


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Rain Pants on 10/07/2006 15:03:01 MDT Print View

"Or the Golite Reed pants at half the weight."

...and at least half the breathability ;).

Diana L
(mysticmoose) - F

Locale: Great Lakes region
GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 09:33:41 MDT Print View

The Epic pants look nice, and the gearhead in me would love to have them, but they are just too expensive for me to justify...

I read the review on the Reed pants, and they are supposedly "adequately" breathable. Does anyone have any experience using these?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 10:14:23 MDT Print View

In its spotlight review of the GoLite Virga jacket, BPL stated that the breathability rating of GoLite's Alchemy 2 wp/b fabric is 10,000 grams per sq meter per day. If so, then this would rank Alchemy 2 somewhere in the middle range of breathability.

I have no direct experience with Alchemy 2, but I don't think I would be happy with this material for a jacket. However, I believe its middle range breathability is fine for rain pants.

Edited by ben2world on 10/08/2006 10:20:36 MDT.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 11:05:44 MDT Print View

I've got some reed pants and really like them. As for breathability, they've been fine for me. Legs are a bit more tolerant than your torso I think when it comes to breathability.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 16:33:39 MDT Print View

What is also interesting is the arctic 1000 guys didn't want alchemy 2 for pants but did want it for their rain jacket, or at least Ryan did.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re:: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 19:22:29 MDT Print View

True, Ryan did not select GoLite's rain pants, but it would be more useful to go deeper and look at what he took instead. Ryan's rain gear for his Arctic 1000 venture were:

o GoLite Virga (pre-production) - 6.2 oz
o MontBell rain-resistant wind pants - 2.5 oz

It appeared that Ryan chose his pants not based so much on rainproofness or even breathability, but simply on whatever was the lightest out there that would give "some" protection against rain! His rationale and circumstances would probably not be all that applicable to OP's case.

Similarly, his choice of rain jacket was also very much based on light weight. Aside from ultra-fragile non-woven jackets like DriDucks, etc. -- the pre-production Golite Virga was one of the very lightest wp/b jackets out there at the time.

Edited by ben2world on 10/08/2006 19:32:02 MDT.

Charles Maguire
(hikelite) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/08/2006 19:25:20 MDT Print View

I hike in SE, 4 seasons, and really like my Reed. I primarily use them when there is cold plus rain/sleet/snow as overpant.

I have used them in heavy summer rains and never felt breathability was a problem.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/09/2006 08:10:20 MDT Print View


In a later post, Ryan said they all used Montane Featherlite pants (pertex microlite) and not the Montbells....on second look I might have that backwards.

Edited by jshann on 10/09/2006 08:22:23 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/09/2006 10:15:13 MDT Print View

Interesting... the first link/article (which is the one I read) mentions MB wind pants, while the second mentions Montane.

I think only Ryan can clear up this inconsistency. However, it appears that the thought process is consistent: Ryan chooses a fully wp/b top, while a pair of UL water resistant pants is sufficient for the bottom.

Diana L
(mysticmoose) - F

Locale: Great Lakes region
Re: Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/09/2006 10:33:22 MDT Print View

My legs don't tend to sweat much, so it sounds like the Reed might strike a good balance between breathability and cost. In the summer I don't worry about my legs getting wet, so wind pants are fine, but it's a different situation in cooler temperatures... Thanks again for all the input.

Edited by mysticmoose on 10/09/2006 10:50:16 MDT.


Locale: South West US
GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/09/2006 11:23:55 MDT Print View

Diana, In your original post you mentioned you wanted to use these as hiking pants as well rain pants. I'm not sure any one pair will do a spectacular job at both. A separtate pair of hiking pants (schoeller may be a good choice) and rain pains will be more functional. The Reed's are good for using just when you need them, but for continuously hiking in them?? I personally would be uncomfortable with that, especially in fall temperatures.

When I mention breathability, I really should say the ability to pass moisture. The Reed's pass moisture adequately, but don't breath at all (they have a PU membrane on the inside). Try blowing through the fabric... you can't do it. Most WP/B fabrics are like that. You can however push air through a fabic like eVent. There is some question on the waterproofness of eVent, however.

If you MUST HAVE pair of WP/B hiking pants, look for something that has plenty of venting options and is durable enough to take some trail abuse. I have no specific recommendation, but maybe someone else can chime in. -Roy-

P.S. btw, my rain pant of choice are the Reeds but that's because they are lightweight and stay at the bottom of my pack till they are needed, which usually isn't very often. They are more of an emergency piece, or camp wear when my hiking pants are wet.

Edited by oiboyroi on 10/09/2006 13:41:10 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: GoLite Reed rainpants? on 10/09/2006 11:46:30 MDT Print View


If the pants are "for emergency use" but will otherwise sit inside your pack, the Sierra Designs Isotope pants weigh and cost the same as the GoLite, but come with ankle zippers -- a very handy feature.

While wp/b, I see these lightweight pants as good for occasional showers -- and not for continuous, full-on deluge.

Edited by ben2world on 10/09/2006 11:48:17 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: WP/B pant recommendations on 10/09/2006 13:43:42 MDT Print View

Heheh-- might as well discuss religious politics in a bar :)

This is the quandry that brought about soft shell development. Some soft shell garments are nice, but everything I have seen has been heavy and expensive. Great for skiing or a day hike, but they won't fit into an UL wardrobe very well. There are hard shell pants of Gore-Tex and the competion, and varying degrees of PU coating and a whole gamut of DWR fabrics. It's a tough call for breathability, durability, weight, and cost. Features like full zippers allow you to vary ventilation when it isn't pouring. If you are using a poncho or cape, then chaps are another option.

I have a pair of tough nylon pants made for REI that I use for colder/wetter weather and I carry a pair of Marmot PreCip pants. I can vary these option with a pair of silkweight polyester long johns and cover most bases. The wicking bottoms will help manage moisture and keep the cold clammy rain shell off your legs. You can vary the weight of the long johns to suit the conditions you expect.

I have a pair of Campmor expedition weight poly long johns that are near identical to Polartec Power Stretch microfleece. I have been kicking options for insulated bottoms around and this is what I have come to. The next step up would be BMW Cocoon pants or something like the Patagonia Micro Puff pants.

Joseph Rothstein
(joe_r) - F
Isotope pants and other options on 10/09/2006 13:54:45 MDT Print View

The breathability of the Isotope pants is worse than any other wp/b fabric I've used, but I agree with Benjamin that they're good emergency-use pants. I don't have any experience with the Reeds, so I can't compare them.

Prolite Gear has a good price on the Montbell Torrent Flier pants. I don't know anything about them, but GTX Paclite pants for under $100 is a pretty good deal. The Outdoor Research Celestial pants are another good option.

Edited by joe_r on 10/09/2006 13:56:21 MDT.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Wild Things Epic Pants on 10/09/2006 14:48:42 MDT Print View

Check out Wild Things Epic Pants. Have used them for two summers in rockies, olympics, sierras and find them terrific. Breathable, extremely fast drying, water resistant for a good while. I have a theory that once they wet out they still limit the amount of water coming in, so you're damp but not soaked. And did I mention body heat and wind dries them in a flash?

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wild Things Epic Pants on 10/09/2006 18:35:44 MDT Print View

I've had my eyes on the ID eVent pants for awhile, now that I live in the PNW. One thing to keep in mind is that, since they include cord on the bottom, they double as gaitors. So remove the weight of your current set of gaitors and that is the true weight of the ID pants. For me, that makes the pants 8.5oz, which is slightly more palatable. I might give these a try for wintry day hikes in the valleys, where it is easier to simply stay in one pair of pants than worry about changing shoes in the mud and rain. Since several reviewers here report that they leave their wind shirt home when using an eVent jacket, I'm hoping this means the eVent pants might be breathable enough as a stand-alone pair of pants. They are also supposed to have a soft texture next to skin. But at their price, they'll have to be a Christmas present for me! I know this doesn't answer your question, just that I'm in the same boat.

In BPL's most recent newsletter, Carol Crooker states that in the next few weeks "Alan Dixon and Ryan Jordan [will] go into depth on gear and techniques to survive REALLY wet weather." I've decided I'm holding off on any more Fall weather gear purchases until this article is published.

Dan Schmidt
( - F
wild things epic pants on 10/09/2006 19:35:10 MDT Print View

Great range of usability. Quick dry, very breathable, comfortable to skin, and very water resistant.