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Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Wind pants on 04/25/2007 15:33:40 MDT Print View

I spent a lot of time researching wind shirts and decided upon the Patagonia Houdini (3.88 oz). I'm now trying to find some wind pants to go with the Houdini. I find durability and water resistance are less of a concern for me in a wind shirt, but in a wind pant they are very important to me. I find, things you wear on top are a little easier to baby than things on the bottom, among the brush and rocks. I'm assuming less breathability is okay on the legs, please tell me if I'm wrong. What I currently wear are TNF Paramount Convertible Pants (1.3 lbs). I think I can do better wearing some light shorts and donning the wind pants when necessary. I think being able to put them on and take them off with shoes on, in the rain, is important to me. These will also be used for bug protection. I currently use my Houdini all year long and would hope to do the same with the wind pants. This means they would need to deal with snow, sun and everything in between. I've included my short list below but feel free to add to the list if you think I'm missing something. I'm currently leaning toward the Wild Things Epic Windpants. Any experience you can relate would be much appreciated! I've scoured BackpackGearTest and what I could find here. It surprised me that there aren't a lot of reviews on wind and rain pants here. You all have saved me a lot of money and room in my closet with the advice I've received here. Thanks in advance!

Wild Things Epic Windpants (6 oz)
Montane FeatherWeight Pants (4 oz)
GoLite Reed Pants (6 oz)
Montbell Stretch Wind Pants (4.8 oz)

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Wind pant faves on 04/25/2007 15:52:35 MDT Print View

The nice thing about epic windpants is that they don't rely on DWR to be highly water resistant. It's hydrophobic qualities are for the life of the garment ( although you do have to periodically clean the pants of dirt, grime and the like to keep those qualities up. The fact that pack straps are not pumping water through seams and the material itself , which can be the case w/ an epic jacket, makes it a practical material for consideration in a windpant. Wild Things uses a fairly abrasion resistant form of Epic although it's not a ripstop material and tears should they happen, could be a problem.

I personally use the Montane Featherweight pant for their superior breathibility, lighter weight and very good DWR (although this will need to be re-done in time). Also because the material used by Montane seems surprisingly tough off the trail. My SUL clothing set up in the Summer is generally running pants w/ the Featherweights slipped over.

Everyone seems to like the Reed Pant but it will not breathe as well as the former 2 selections. Some individuals would say that breathability of pants is not the issue it is with a jacket. My crotch says otherwise when using for a long period of time, especially cranking uphill in bad weather.

I have no experience w/ the stretch Montbell pants. Check their sizing charts carefully.

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 15:58:11 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Wind pant faves on 04/25/2007 16:12:55 MDT Print View

Kevin, thanks for your thoughts, I was hoping you would reply! I read your review of the Wild Things Epic Wind Shirt and noticed that the Featherlite was on your Sierra Fall 06 Gearlist. How would you compare the DWR on the Featherlites with the Wild Things Epic fabric? I'm hoping to get away with wearing these as rain pants. I'm impressed that the Featherlites are as durable as you say. I know you spend some time off trail. I imagine if I choose the Montbell pants I'll be a guinea pig, as they are so new.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Epic vs. DWR on 04/25/2007 16:27:33 MDT Print View

In the context of clothing, silicon encapsulated Epic will keep water out longer than the DWR treatments on the market that I'm familiar with, and as I said, this is for the life of a properly maintained Epic garment. DWR treatments are noticably more breathable than Epic, but require retreatment, eventually. DWR, as someone on this site has stated, will wear off in the face of repeated abrasion.

As far as I know, DWR treatments are not applied to ( and probably would get in the way of) Epic.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Wild Things Epic Windpants on 04/25/2007 16:31:46 MDT Print View

I use these as well for my rain pants and I have been very happy with them. While nothing like my old Pata Houdini pants, they are more breathable than my old Marmot precip pants and dry very fast. In sustained rain they will soak through in a short period of time though. I personally do not consider this a problem for fact that I would be soaked in sweat with a regular rain pant.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
seam sealing and performance on 04/25/2007 16:37:35 MDT Print View

Of course, in pervasive precip, no unsealed garment is going to keep you dry for long. Seam sealing a DWR garment or an Epic jacket or pants will considerably keep one drier for longer.

Note: Epic cannot be seam-taped. You need to use a silicone sealant. 100%Silicone caulk diluted a little w/ paint thinner and applied w/ a small brush works well. This would work with (at least some) DWR treated fabics, as well.

Downside? Your Pants and Jackets will look like slugs have been travelling over them.

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 16:46:57 MDT.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Wind pants on 04/25/2007 16:43:27 MDT Print View

There are also the Integral Designs Pertex Wind Pants (4.1 oz Large) you might want to consider. I don't have any experience with them.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Wild Things Epic Windpants on 04/25/2007 16:53:41 MDT Print View

Jonathan, I'm not sure why Patagonia stop selling the Houdini pants. They would definitely be on my short list. I know it is hard to quantify, but what do you mean by a short period of time? I would like to stay dry for about 3 hours, ideally all day but I know that's a lot to hope for. Epic tents seem to go 3 hours and often well beyond. I'm hoping the pants would do better than a tent because the fabric is not taut and not generally perpendicular to the rain. Contact with skin may undo those advantages, however.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: seam sealing and performance on 04/25/2007 16:59:06 MDT Print View

Great point on the seam sealing! I wonder if an irrigation syringe would do a neater job and be just as thorough. In the end, function matters more than looks. It would be nice to be able to blame it on the slugs but if it's that wet then I'm expecting too much of the garments on my short list :).

Edited by ericnoble on 04/25/2007 17:03:38 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Epic and skin contact on 04/25/2007 17:06:10 MDT Print View

>> "I'm hoping the pants would do better than a tent because the fabric is not taut and not generally perpendicular to the rain. Contact with skin may undo those advantages, however."

This is something to consider. I would propose you wear something like Patagonia silkweight (Cap 1) bottoms underneath the Epic pants in rain. Not only will direct skin contact eventually lead to moisture wicking through ( but definitely not right away) but Epic when thoroughly wet feels cold to the touch----probably a source of convective heat loss.

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 17:18:09 MDT.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Wind pants on 04/25/2007 17:19:37 MDT Print View

I own a set of Epic Wind pants, they are not Wild Things but MacPac (from NZ) I purchased these 4 years ago and they are great! They have not been seam sealed but for me they are my wind and rain pants. It takes a long time 4+ hours for the rain to "wet through".

I wash them after a trip if needed with NikWax TechWash and they are as good as new. In fact when we had a lot of rain in NY (2 weeks ago) I was out walking wearing these pants the layer underneath stayed completely dry in 2 hours of torrential rain. As a consequence of the pants performance I now use exclusively Wild Things Epic Wind shirts as my rain gear.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Re: Wind pants on 04/25/2007 17:30:45 MDT Print View

Roger, have you been in heavy rain wearing a backpack with the WT Epic windshirts? Or have you just switched to them recently?

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Re: Re: Wind pants on 04/25/2007 18:19:01 MDT Print View

I have had the Wild Things "half zip" for a while but have managed to avoid really heavy rain. My experience with the Epic pants would suggest that apart from long periods (4+ hours) an epic top will keep you mostly dry. Besides which after 4 hours of wearing an epic top, I will be damp from perspiration anyway. In other words Epic is not as breathable as Quantum, but Epic (in my experience) is more water resistant.

As Kevin, and many before, have said, Epic material does not lose its water resistance with use, unlike a DWR treated fabric.

Edited by rogerb on 04/25/2007 18:19:32 MDT.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Wild Things Epic Windpants on 04/25/2007 18:53:19 MDT Print View

Hey Eric,
shortly after posting about the pants I went for a run in the rain and my legs started getting wet after 40 minutes. While the pants were not soaking through, the knees wetted out.

I agree the houdini pants are great. I take very good care of them :)

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Epic windpants forensic data wanted. on 04/25/2007 19:08:20 MDT Print View

I would think the knees would be the first place to wet out.

I'm curious, Jonathan----were you wearing anything underneath the pants or was skin in direct contact w/ the knees? Secondly, had you cleaned the windpants recently?

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Epic windpants forensic data wanted. on 04/25/2007 19:15:47 MDT Print View

Hey Kevin,
I was wearing a pair of Sahalie tights underneath so I am pretty sure it was not sweat I was feeling. I also wash them after every run b/c the material stinks when mixed with sweat (does not make the little lady happy having them lay around that way). It makes sense that the knees would wet out as they are in constant contact with the material when running. By no means was I soaking wet though, I could just feel cold water starting to come through. I should also mention that it was by no means drizzling. We had some good driving rain up here in New England this afternoon.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Windpant forensics on 04/25/2007 19:41:55 MDT Print View

Interesting. Thanks J.

Wetting out by mechanical action. One gets this w/ DWR pants as well.

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 19:44:19 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Eric, I own the MB, but.. on 04/25/2007 20:51:28 MDT Print View

I have used the Montbell UL wind pants maybe 30 times in the past year, mainly for bicyling in the rain. They wet through in the seat area due to pressure, but otherwise are 95% waterproof at the low pressures encountered in rainfall.
They are light enough to toss in my pack even when I DONT expect rain; and are thus a good backup.
I re-did the DWR spray to try and get the proofness up from 95% back to maybe 99%.

However, if I was to buy again, I would only buy two shell pants, ID eVENT for wind AND rain, and a full zip shell pant for mountaineering (RedLedge full zips).
eVENT is that much better.$$$$

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: seam sealing and performance on 04/26/2007 04:26:04 MDT Print View

Hi Kevin

> Note: Epic cannot be seam-taped. You need to use a silicone sealant.
Yes, you need to use a silicone adhesive, but siloxane-based tapes do exist. They are just hard to find and 'not cheap'. I taped the seams on an EPIC ski jacket I made - works fine. I regularly tape the seams on my silnylon tents.

If you can't find a siloxane tape, try cutting strips of EPIC about 12 mm wide and gluing them to the inside of the seam with silicone sealant. Tricky as the stuff has no 'tack', but can be done too.

> You need to use a silicone sealant. 100%Silicone caulk diluted a little w/ paint thinner and applied w/ a small brush works well. This would work with (at least some) DWR treated fabics, as well.
Not a good idea in my experience if the DWR is a fluorocarbon, as most are. Silicone sealant adheres very poorly to fluorocarbons. A PU sealent usually works a bit better, but for some DWR treatments I find little works very well. Unfortunate.

Cheers

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Wind pants on 04/26/2007 07:58:04 MDT Print View

Steve, thanks for suggesting the Integral Designs pants, I hadn't considered them. The weight and the price are good but I don't know rather I can get these on and off over shoes. I suspect I can't because they don't have zippers in the legs, but the cut of the legs may allow it. The quality of the DRW is an unknown but probably very good given Integral Designs reputation. I looked for some reviews but didn't find any. Don Wilson did a spotlite review of the jacket and commented on it's breathability but not on it's water resistance.