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mister jarvey
Rain pants on 12/09/2012 19:05:12 MST Print View

I'd like to sew my own rain pants but have a few questions that I hope the most experienced can answer.

1) I see M50 (Thru Hiker) mentioned as an adored material in several past threads regarding rain pants. I'm assuming hte M50 is very durable. Would the 70D or 50D breathable nylon coated with DWR at Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics be an acceptable fabric for rain pants? (The OWF fabrics are cheaper, which is why I ask.) How do OWF 70D and 50D compare to M50 in terms of being durable, water resistant, and breathable?

2) Once the rain pants have been sewed together, is it necessary to seal the seams with a solution? I didn't find any mention of seam sealing in the M50 jackets people made or M50 sleeping bags/quilts created.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Rain pants on 12/09/2012 19:11:38 MST Print View

"I'm assuming hte M50 is very durable."

I'm not sure how you make such an assumption. The M50 fabric is awfully thin. I sewed it with the Thru-Hiker pattern. The pants are very lightweight, but I sure would not expect them to be durable. For example, bushwhacking would likely rip them to shreds. However, for a normal summer rainstorm, it seems fine.


mister jarvey
rain pants on 12/09/2012 19:37:53 MST Print View

I was just assuming the M50 were durable because the fabric was such a popular choice.

I'm trying to put together water proof rain pants for use in the winter for snow camping or hiking in the rain. I likely will be sitting on the ground on rocks or on ice. A fabric that is too thin would prob not be fit for my purpose.

Can you suggest an alternative fabric for my project?

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: rain pants on 12/09/2012 20:20:44 MST Print View

Keep in mind none of the fabrics you've mentioned are waterproof or worth seam sealing. Some options:

1. M50/M90/30d/70d ripstop- will be fine in snow and light rain, but not waterproof and will wet out in sustained rain.

2. Use the above for the back and 30d silnylon for the front. Works great in rain for a while but after a while you'll get wet. Silnylon is surprisingly durable because it's so slippery and doesn't snag.

3. All Sil. Not breathable, but waterproof, and breathability on the legs usually matters less than torso.

4. Find some WPB fabric. Probably a bit heavier and more expensive.

#2 is a good compromise for me for 3 season use if I'm expecting rain, although I don't usually use them in winter.

If you plan on sitting in them a lot, just reinforce the seat with some 70d sil or something lightweight/PU coated.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: rain pants on 12/09/2012 20:52:51 MST Print View

"winter for snow camping or hiking in the rain. I likely will be sitting on the ground on rocks or on ice."

I don't think that you will be happy with the super-thin fabrics. I snow camp and cross country ski, and for durability I wear Army-issue wool trousers until the rain hits. Then over the wool I pull on full three-layer Goretex.