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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 16:59:36 MDT Print View

So where are rain pants usually warranted? I have a pair of full zip Golite's and a pair of eVent REI Kimtah's but rarely ever wear them and wear my trash bag rain skirt more often. Is it snow and should I keep the Golite ones then because I can fit them better over my size 15s? Just curious. Thanks.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:03:23 MDT Print View

I go out in the rain a lot and never wear rain pants. Just a long jacket that's sort of like a rain skirt, and nylon pants that get wet if it rains enough but they dry out quickly.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:07:13 MDT Print View

I wear rain pants if I am expecting a lot of rain at temps close to freezing. They are invaluable then.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:11:39 MDT Print View

I wear them at work when I am in and out of a truck/stores. Only if it is really coming down will I wear them while hiking. More for lounging in camp when things are wet.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:24:25 MDT Print View

"I go out in the rain a lot and never wear rain pants. Just a long jacket that's sort of like a rain skirt, and nylon pants that get wet if it rains enough but they dry out quickly."

No offense, but this is usually how I know If someone really spends time out in wet weather, versus a few minutes to an hour or so.
If you have been out in the rain all day and may have to do it again, you will soon learn to protect yourself, including rain pants- quality ones.
If you experience the occasional shower but get go home and change/ dry then you are much more likely to be casual about it.

If you ever encounter a down pour or extended periods of heavy rain, and going inside is not an option either because you are backpacking or because you work outside, you will soon get the difference between misery and well, a lot less misery.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Wet and cold on 06/05/2013 17:26:54 MDT Print View

Wet and cold weather is the only time you need them.

Anton Solovyev
(solovam) - M

Locale: Colorado, Utah
Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:41:51 MDT Print View

Rain pants (Marmot Precip full zip) are the only pants I carry on hikes (in addition to shorts).

So, (rain) pants come out every time when it's cold, windy, rainy or I am bushwacking. Or glissading in the mountains :) That means that usually I put them on every morning, getting out of the bag.

This spring I had these rain pants and merino longjones, it was more than sufficient down to temps in the 20-ies.

The beauty of full zips is that I can dump a lot of heat quickly by unzipping sides. Also, take them off/on w/o taking off shoes.

***

These Marmot Precips are something like 7 year old. Some holes patched, some delamination.

The new (current) version is a bit heavier, so I did not want to get it.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 17:51:33 MDT Print View

"I wear rain pants if I am expecting a lot of rain at temps close to freezing. They are invaluable then."

Same with me

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
VBL on 06/05/2013 18:43:31 MDT Print View

Not to risk the wrath of Kat P, but I hike very hot and my legs never seem to get cold ... so even in a wet Scottish winter I hike in shorts or 3/4 pants at most. If it is a windy wet cold, I might wrap my lower body with my groundsheet during breaks. I put rain pants on in camp and as a VBL sleeping layer and let my hiking clothes dry out overnight. I just make certain to select shorts that will dry with minimal encouragement.

Edited by cfrey.0 on 06/05/2013 18:54:59 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: So what is the deal with rain pants? on 06/05/2013 19:01:06 MDT Print View

I don't hike much in extended rain, but I do winter creek bushwhacking/canyon trips where I am constantly wading through water while the air temperature 30-50 degrees. I love my golite running tights. They don't absorb much water and because tights hug your body, they warm up very well when wet. If I did these trips in shorts my legs would stay painfully cold after exiting the water.

You don't always need waterproof pants. If you have pants that are windproof and water resistant, they will cut the wind and slow the penetration of water significantly allowing you to warm up the water without fresh rain water stealing the heat from you.
If rain pants are too warm then wind pants with a dwr and letting them get wet might work. And it's a lighter option.

I can't see myself wearing rain pants unless it's near freezing and very windy.
But I am very warm while hiking. I have had people on the trail wearing gloves and beanies express concern about my lack of clothing. When I stop moving I get really cold and it's hard for me to warm up.

matt n
(basebalplyr88)
Re: VBL on 06/05/2013 19:25:58 MDT Print View

"Not to risk the wrath of Kat P, but I hike very hot and my legs never seem to get cold ... so even in a wet Scottish winter I hike in shorts or 3/4 pants at most. If it is a windy wet cold, I might wrap my lower body with my groundsheet during breaks. I put rain pants on in camp and as a VBL sleeping layer and let my hiking clothes dry out overnight. I just make certain to select shorts that will dry with minimal encouragement."

You're wrong and I know you don't have enough experience to really know what you're saying. But hey, NO OFFENSE! Rawr! Haha.

On a serious note...I'm with Davey on this one.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
which to get rid of? on 06/05/2013 19:59:42 MDT Print View

Here is the deal, I can probably still return the Kimtah since it has been less than a year that I have bought them and really haven't used them. I can kinda get my size 15s into them but it is not easy. I should probably keep the full-zip Tumalos I have since I can't return them and they are easier to get off and on. The don't breath as well but they don't have to for my legs as I can unzip them some. They also don't seem as durable but how often will I use them?

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: where and when on 06/05/2013 20:30:41 MDT Print View

I was in Denali and it rained for 4 days non-stop, no exaggeration. We all had rain pants, it got into the high 30's-40's, our baselayers stayed mostly dry. One out if three of us got hypothermic the last night due to his 40F sleeping bag. I couldn't imagine not having rain pants, it would have been life threatening (even more so than it already was).

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Wet on 06/05/2013 20:36:22 MDT Print View

Sorry for the wrath, but my point is that extended hours with wet clothing, without being able to change is very different than being ok with getting wet for a while. I have worked with a number of people that refuse to wear proper rain gear saying that they are really ok.....but after hours of it, even at 55 degrees, they felt differently.
I am ok with getting wet clothes if there is time to dry them out.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
rain pants on 06/05/2013 20:38:15 MDT Print View

David's experience sounds logical, but mine has been the same as the OP's, no matter how cold and how long the rain lasts. The rainpants just don't get used.

When I was younger, it was a long WPB jacket, patagonia baggies and short WPB gaitors to keep water form running down into the footwear. This worked fine for extended cold treks in the rain as often occurs in the NE US. If I got cold, some fleece under the rain jacket and cap worked better than pants, and I was more comfortable because heat and water vapor could quickly dissipate.

Now I generate much less heat, so find it helplful to wear a light softshell pant in extended cold rain while hiking, and in many other situations as well. Now it is the baggies that stay in the pack. The DWR on the softshell erodes a bit after a while, but can't believe how fast the softshell dries out from the body heat while hiking, and never gets sopping wet. And it is extremely comfortable.

Haven't ever found a use for rain pants, so out they went. But I understand the Pacific NW gives a new definition to wet, so maybe they are useful there.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: rain pants on 06/05/2013 20:41:29 MDT Print View

Then my question is:
Do you all bring a change of clothes? Do you carry the wet set in the pack the next day? The third day? Two extra pants?


Edited. My first post on this was not usually how I like to come off, but it's both too late to change it and it does reflect my experience. I certainly could have made my point without offending anyone.

Edited by Kat_P on 06/05/2013 21:00:39 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: rain pants on 06/05/2013 21:25:37 MDT Print View

Yes, I change out of my hiking pants into some long underwear and then change back into my wet pants in the morning. I do the same thing with my socks. I usually wear shorts in the rain (if it's not too cold) so I don't have to deal with wet pants.

I don't think wet is always a problem. You just need to add more synthetic or wool clothing to stay warm while wet. If you are warm with a rain jacket and a base layer, you might need to add a fleece or wool sweater if you are wearing a windshirt. If you are wearing non-waterproof pants you might need to add some long underwear.
Rain gear is lighter and more practical than being warm while wet.

John Hillyer
(TrNameLucky) - MLife
Re: Re: rain pants on 06/05/2013 22:00:04 MDT Print View

I wear running short tights. I wear them in the rain all day and then to sleep at night. I carry Under Armour coldgear compression long pants that I put on over the shorts once I'm out of the rain if it is cold.

http://www.adidas.com/us/product/mens-training-techfit-dig-short-tights/QY871?cid=X48138

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/mens-ua-evo-coldgear-compression-legging/pid1221714-001

Edited by TrNameLucky on 06/05/2013 22:04:21 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Rain Pants vs. Long Underwear on 06/05/2013 22:18:41 MDT Print View

I almost never carry or us long underwear even when other people think they are mandatory. But I carry rain pants.

I feel like my legs stay plenty warm when I'm hiking. I only have issues if they are wet or there is a cold wind blowing. I'm sure long johns would work but I like the rain pants because they keep my legs dray and they are more then enough insulation to keep my legs warm.

Tom D.
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
Re: Rain Pants vs. Long Underwear on 06/05/2013 22:43:21 MDT Print View

I only bring the zip-offs I'm wearing, and my Dri-Ducks rain pants are my back ups to wear when I do laundry, etc. I have yet to wear them in the rain, but they are the lightest pair of pants that I have, so they make perfect back ups. And someday I may actually wear them in the rain.