Forum Index » GEAR » Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why?


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Casey Balza
(equals) - F
Hiking pants on 08/01/2011 16:35:54 MDT Print View

I got a pair of these from REI not that long ago.

http://www.rei.com/product/787855/the-north-face-paramount-peak-convertible-pants-mens-30-inseam

They are awesome! They dry super fast and are bomb proof. I took a shortcut over a very steep slope of scoria (sharp volcanic rock) and took a nasty tumble/slide down the slope about 80 feet. I got up bleeding in a few different places but the pants didn't get a single hole in them :)

Nice deep pockets too.

Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Dead Bird Rampart Pants on 08/01/2011 16:48:21 MDT Print View

Arc'teryx Rampart pants - I wear these pants all summer and into the fall. Why?

Lightweight - 9.8oz/pair for my 34W 32L
Thin fabric - Thin means I can roll them up into shorts in hot weather or where otherwise appropriate (stream crossing, etc.), providing all the functionality of zip-offs but less the weight of the zips (and no sections to misplace).
Quickdrying
Khaki color - doesn't heat up much
Fit - they move well, the articulated knees are a plus
Tough - They are still look new after several days of bushwacking, the material has held up better than I would have guessed
Numerous well-placed pockets - 2 cargos, 2 back, 2 hand pockets

So with my Ramparts I have coverage from thorns/bugs when needed and rolled-up they provide plenty of ventilation. There aren't really any non-functional or undesirable features, they are pretty minimalist save for the numerous pockets (but I love the excess of pockets, very handy on the trail). And they were pretty cheap for dead bird gear - I have 2 pairs, both were on clearance @REI for $45.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Railriders on 08/01/2011 17:05:06 MDT Print View

I wear Railriders Bone Flat pants most of the time (7.4 oz and well ventilated) and Weatherpants (tough as the proverbial nails) in cold weather or when the trail is really rugged and overgrown. In Ohio, shorts are not advised, IMO, because of the greenbriar (nasty) and especially during tick season, which is most of the year around here.

Stargazer

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Kilts! on 08/01/2011 17:10:51 MDT Print View

"So yeah - kilt it is for me!"

In bug season? I'd love to be the fly on the wall for that trip. ;-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Hiking pants on 08/01/2011 17:34:54 MDT Print View

Depends on the trip.

Hot weather is usually Patagonia Baggies or the pair of running shorts at the top of my shorts drawer.

Warm weather or hot weather off trail is Rail Riders EcoMesh.

Cool weather is REI Schoeller Mistral Soft-Shell Pants. I really like these. Easy to move in and have articulated knees.

Cold Weather is REI Schoeller Acme Soft-Shell Pants. A little heavier than the Mistrals but just as comfortable.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Hiking pants on 08/01/2011 17:42:24 MDT Print View

3 season - RailRiders EcoMesh, but I'm going to get a pair of those Bone Flats and try them out. I like the ventilated panels, and I like the Bone Flats ventilation on both sides.

Cool/cold wet weather - Depending on how cold, either GoLite Reeds or RAB Bergens. GoLites are, well, light, and not too hot for cool/cold weather hiking. The Bergens are a bit heavy, but a very nice eVent rain pant. Only skivvies underneath either.

Cold (winter) weather - RAB vapor-rise. Breathe exceedingly well while keeping me warm enough on the move, and dry pretty quickly. Nice to sleep in.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why? on 08/01/2011 18:06:00 MDT Print View

"What are your favorites?"

Warm weather through cool weather: Montane Terras. 10.5 oz, very breathable with zippered mesh vents on the thighs, very durable with lightweight cordura panels on the seat and inner ankles(crampon protection), loose fitting with articulated knees.

Cold weather: Mountain Hardwear Transition Featherweight Tights. Lightweight at ~6.5 oz in a size small, windproof with Gore Windstopper, fairly breathable, water resistant, form fitting but very easy to move in, room for a base layer next to skin. I use them for any winter activity, especially snowshoeing, and just love them. Only minor complaint is they have no pockets or slot in the front for peeing. Also, I'm not sure they're made anymore, like so many good products.

Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
Re: Re: Kilts! on 08/01/2011 18:49:11 MDT Print View

A fly on that wall?

Aye - but me woolies are sprayed with permethrin!

I guess for me, the thermal concerns of an enclosed crotch far outweigh the specter of mossies. Now don't get me wrong, should the sky be moving ahead of me, I will don the softshells which are also treated, but in hot, summer conditions the Kilt wins out.

I have tried the Columbia shorts, pants, and convertibles - found them to be the best in all honesty. The REI Shara convertibles? For me they are like being wrapped up in saran wrap - no breathability, little in the way of a comfortable cut and really not that durable. The Ex-Officio Amphis are really nice too - maybe even better than the Columbia's, but the cut was all wrong for me. The belt was uncomfortable under a pack.

As for running shorts, they work in cooler conditions admirably, but lack the pockets sought by the OP. As do the running pants, as the OP pointed out.

But yes, I can see why one might balk at the idea of hiking through mossie infested lands with a kilt on.

Edited by climber72 on 08/01/2011 18:51:20 MDT.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why? on 08/01/2011 18:52:33 MDT Print View

REI Sahara convertible pants.

I usually wear as shorts during hiking. At night when the skeeters come for me I zip on the legs - no bug problems. With just the legs and no long johns, they are surprisingly warm late into the evening.

If I run out of sunscreen, the legs protect and are not too hot. A couple years ago I walked half the day in rain and snow. The pants were perfectly warm and absorbed practically no water.

I like the versatility.

One down-side is the cargo pocket is a little too small to hold a Tom Harrison map - the pocket flap can't cover the velcro tab and the front one catches on the mesh of the sleeve of my RailRiders shirt. I finally remembered to cut off that tab after this last trip. Now they're perfect.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Kilts! on 08/01/2011 19:05:49 MDT Print View

"But yes, I can see why one might balk at the idea of hiking through mossie infested lands with a kilt on."

Twas an unusually damp and dusky day
but I wore me ole kilt anyway
the breeze between my cheeks was grand
as I sauntered through the mossy land

then suddenly without a bit o' warning
the mossies and midges were really swarming
they swirled up past my knocking knees
and with me did just as they pleased

they bit and badgered and had me for lunch
and before I could cover they came back for brunch
I was swollen and red and itching like mad
sitting in poison ivy wouldn't have been this bad!

so now on damp and dusky days
I wear my pants to keep the bugs at bay
no more swinging in the breeze
the bugs aren't happy, but i'm quite pleased……

Edited by idester on 08/01/2011 19:39:10 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Doug! on 08/01/2011 19:17:26 MDT Print View

Now that was hilarious!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why? on 08/01/2011 19:21:11 MDT Print View

no pants................... for three season wear

I wear shorts (Mountain Hardwear Canmore)- lightweight, quick drying, plenty of pockets including two mid size cargo pockets

I carry Patagonia Cap 4 tights for needed warmth at camp or sleeping

my legs don't get cold on the move and I've never found rain pants to be that effective

for fall/winter I use a pair of Patagonia Rock Guides that are very nice- pretty light, but seem to be very abrasive resistant- they also have a very good DWR on them

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Kilts! on 08/01/2011 20:02:00 MDT Print View

"Twas an unusually damp and dusky day
but I wore me ole kilt anyway
the breeze between my cheeks was grand
as I sauntered through the mossy land......"

Ah Douglas, me lad, you're like a fine single malt. You get better and better as you age. Good thing I wasn't sitting here with my usual cup of tea in hand. ;)

Dan Briggs
(dbriggs9) - F

Locale: Southeast
hiking pants on 08/01/2011 20:29:49 MDT Print View

If we're talking warm weather, I say just bring the most comfortable running shorts you can find. They're always light, and you can barely tell you're wearing them; which means they're probably also comfortable enough to sleep in in, which I do.

Brand doesn't matter, just go to your closest sporting goods store and find what's comfortable and non-cotton that doesn't show your "stuff" when sitting down and you're good to go. Sometimes worry about the "best" is silly.

Christopher Heine
(heine19)

Locale: Colorado
Re: hiking pants on 08/01/2011 22:34:30 MDT Print View

Seems like every mfg only makes 32" inseam pants. What are you taller guys wearing?

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: hiking pants on 08/01/2011 22:44:35 MDT Print View

"If we're talking warm weather, I say just bring the most comfortable running shorts you can find."

What about bugs? Where I live the first half of the summer is a no-go for shorts because of the bugs. You could just slather your legs in Deet, but nice light pants don't seem significantly hotter than shorts anyways.

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Re: Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why? on 08/01/2011 23:19:49 MDT Print View

I've seen no mention of Bass Pro's brands of fishing clothing. XPS and Worldwide Sportsman. You don't need to fish to wear them! My husband wears the shorts for hiking and everyday in summer(they're old man short shorts). They've got good deep pockets and they're quick drying nylon. He also wears their brand of zip off pants (again nylon). For winter he just adds a base layer underneath. Cheap and durable. Lightweight, too. http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Hybrid-Angler-Pants-for-Men/product/10210017/-1756845

Personally, I wear Columbia cargo shorts in spring, summer, and fall. Gotta have pockets. In weather that's changing often I wear Columbia zip off pants, nylon supplex. In winter I wear powerstretch leggings. Just bought some softshell pants...I look forward to trying them when it gets really cold and with blowing snow.

Edited by gindavall on 08/01/2011 23:20:27 MDT.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Down With Pants...Up With Kilts! on 08/02/2011 02:16:57 MDT Print View

Doug's poem, V2
--------OR--------
Down With Pants, Up With Kilts!

Twas an unusually damp and dusky day
but I wore me ole kilt anyway
the breeze between my cheeks was grand
as I sauntered through the mossy land

then suddenly without a bit o' warning
the mossies and midges were really swarming
they swirled up past my knocking knees
and with me did just as they pleased

they bit and badgered and had me for lunch
and before I could cover they came back for brunch
I was swollen and red and itching like mad
sitting in poison ivy wouldn't have been this bad!

just when all hope was lost
and i was thinkin' my favorite kilt would get tossed
a group of ten lady hikers did appear
and proceeded to take pity on my poor rear
they applied Calamine lotion
in a most "friendly" motion

the lasses wore pants...all ten
they said "pants are for ladies...kilts for men"
a consensus they did state
that men in pants they did hate!

a sweet young thing did whisper in my ear
"men need room for all their bits-n-pieces and ladies pants have too many creases"
when i put her phone number in my sporran
i never felt more like a MAN


as i shouldered my pack to leave
i was grateful for this brief reprieve
from the nasty mosquito's bite
i somehow knew wearing my kilt just felt right

kilt

Edited by bigfoot2 on 08/02/2011 02:45:01 MDT.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: Hiking Pants: What do you Wear and why? on 08/02/2011 04:36:26 MDT Print View

Bone flats or Adventure from Rail Rider. I prefer the front pockets, fit weight and price. I have tried several different pants and these are it.

Dan Briggs
(dbriggs9) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: hiking pants on 08/02/2011 06:55:30 MDT Print View

"What about bugs? Where I live the first half of the summer is a no-go for shorts because of the bugs. You could just slather your legs in Deet, but nice light pants don't seem significantly hotter than shorts anyways."

I've never had that big of a bug issue, but what you wear certainly depends on your location/environment/season. I was just stating what works for me. I suppose if I was expecting a lot of mosquitos or something I would revert back to my first suggestion, Outdoor Research Equinox pants. Really light, not too hot, and there's this elastic draw cord around the ankles that can be tightened when you want to wear them as shorts or capris without ever having them slip down.

Edited by dbriggs9 on 08/02/2011 06:56:28 MDT.