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Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/04/2013 17:52:51 MDT Print View


I'm having trouble finding a niche item. I dig using insulated clothing inside a sleeping bag, because then I have insulated clothing to use during the rest of the time I'm not sleeping. I have a great synthetic insulated jacket, light weight and comfy.

Can anyone recommend a good synthetic pair of insulated pants that are as lightweight as possible? I'm trying to stay under 10oz. However, I don't want to break the bank. Ideally I'd spend $80-100 or less (unless that's just not possible).

Any suggestions?

Bonus points if you can also point me towards a pair of booties in the same vein.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/04/2013 19:15:35 MDT Print View


Integral designs PLQ pants would fit the bill if you can get them on sale :-)

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/04/2013 19:18:03 MDT Print View

Cheap, warm, and so easy to lighten / mod it's ridiculous!

Richard Fischel
or neoplume pants on 09/04/2013 21:00:35 MDT Print View

I have a pair and love them

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
myog on 09/04/2013 21:00:53 MDT Print View

Have you considered making one? I made some using a 45* sleeping bag I don't use. It was pretty easy. You could buy fabric and some light insulation and make a pair. Essentially, make two pants, one slightly larger than the other, then sandwich insulation inside. Mine came out to about 6.5oz (I'm 5'6").

Course, those military surplus ones are dirt cheap.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 09/04/2013 21:03:16 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: myog on 09/04/2013 21:39:45 MDT Print View

Sort of along the lines of what An-D wrote; if you buy two cheap, light weight nylon pants, one size a bit larger than another, cut some Climashield Apex to size, and just sew at pant cuff and waist, pretty easy and cheapish way to make synth insulated pants.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: myog on 09/04/2013 22:00:08 MDT Print View

Oh, if you do go that route, a lot of light weight nylon pants (most often the ubiquitous "athletic wind pant") have linings. Do cut these out in both pairs to save weight.

Sure, if you bought some lighweight nylon fabric, even the older 1 oz per square yd, nylon ripstop, you can make quite a light pair of insulated pants, but it takes some more serious sewing skills. Putting together two already make nylon pants, is quite easy and fast, and one could even do it by hand sewing.

Don't knock it till you try it Max. Once you start making or modifying things yourself, a whole new and exciting world of saving lots of money opens up.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Biting the Bullet on 09/04/2013 22:28:38 MDT Print View

I can't knock MYOG. Unfortunately, I also cannot carry a sewing machine on the back of a bike. Since I'm a writer, I work from a laptop, so I'm taking essentially the next year off, staying with family across the country and biking around till graduate school. This might be the last chance I have to travel the U.S. and be (almost) off the grid!

So, I don't really have any property that isn't in storage and I don't have a place to keep a sewing machine. That will have to wait till next year!

Those OR Neoplumes look like they fit the bill. I would love to find some on sale, though... I'm also digging the Arcteryx ones, but the price is killing me.

Is there a big rotation on 2012 stock coming that I can take advantage of, or are these pants the 2013 versions for the winter season? Any advice? Or should I just bite the bullet?

Edited by mdilthey on 09/04/2013 22:29:24 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Biting the Bullet on 09/04/2013 23:46:30 MDT Print View

As mentioned Max, if you go the two pant, one inside the other route, you could easily and quickly, even sew it by hand, because you would only be sewing the pant cuffs and the waist band area. Sure, if you're a complete hand sewing newbie, that could probably take up to an hour or so, but you would be potentially saving quite a bit of money. The weight of a needle and thread, ain't much at all.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/05/2013 14:11:58 MDT Print View

I don't know how how much insulation you want, but I feel something like the Melanzana Vapor Grid Tights under hiking pants or any shell would be plenty warm for me.

And they only weigh 6oz.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/05/2013 14:43:35 MDT Print View


A bit over your weight limiit but If you want cheap then the Military Patagonia Mixro puff pants on eBay can be had for 90$, my Xl pair comes in 460g, they are really warm as have the same amount of fill as your Atom Sv,

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/05/2013 14:55:25 MDT Print View

The reason I mention the light fleece pants is that I tend either wear light thermal or fleece pants when cold and layer as needed.

Usually only one layer when active and then throw another layer on for sleeping.

It would have to be very cold winter weather for me to want to wear puffy pants and that would mean ice and snow, and so skiing or snow shoe weather, which I do not do.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 09/05/2013 15:52:37 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/05/2013 15:22:00 MDT Print View

MontBell's synthetic UL Thermawrap pants are the warmest ones I own, after my down WM Flight pants. Problem is, the retail price is $145. I think I paid maybe $90 with free shipping somewhere a few years back.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Lightweight Synthetic Insulated Pants? on 09/05/2013 15:46:19 MDT Print View

As long as my upper body is warm, a combination of Cap 3 tights, midweight stretch fleece leggings and nylon windpants will see me to at least -15C sitting still, even with high winds. The windblocking seems to be the key ingredient, the fleece can then trap enough warmth to work.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Atom LT pants on 09/05/2013 17:01:02 MDT Print View

I have the Arcteryx Atom LT Pants, which, as you mentioned, is on the expensive side. I think they are well and truly worth it especially if you can get them at a discount but even then they are pretty fantastic. They are very light and comfortable to wear and the zipper system is awesome. They'll go on over any boots or shoes you may be wearing since the side zippers can unzip all the way and they really are quite warm and comfortable.

I do a lot of winter camping and these things are great for that. I used to suffer without insulated pants and now that I have insulated pants I am always happy to wear them when the weather grows cold.

I also have the REI Salix Pants, which are unfortunately a preproduction model, so I don't know what the actual production models are like, but they are quite nice and not too expensive. They are waterproof and lined with Primaloft Eco, geared a bit more towards snow sports than the Atom LT pants but not too sport-specific so they do just fine in a pack. I took them on a few trips over the course of testing them and they are not excessively heavy or bulky and were real nice to wear in camp! At $129 and the abundance of REI coupons, these are a pretty good deal that should be considered.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Atom LT pants on 09/05/2013 18:02:08 MDT Print View

The Atom Lt are definitely a nice trousers but found them a bit lacking at 25f while static so use Mico puff pants instead (the are 4oz heavier)

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Atom LT pants on 09/06/2013 18:21:44 MDT Print View

Along the the similar vein of what Steven McAllister and Bogs and Bergs wrote, it would have to be quite cold for me to be wearing puffy pants. I thought i remember you saying at one point you had crazy cold tolerance in your legs Max?

Even sitting or standing still, a pair of mid weight baselayer bottoms, plus more windproof pants are sufficient for me down to 15 degrees F and i don't have near the cold tolerance i had when i was younger, worked manual labor jobs, lived in MA, and ate lots of meat (i eat vegetarian the huge majority of time now).

Sure it won't be a bit overkill Max? What kind of low temps are you preparing to face? If you have even decent cold tolerance, i guarantee you that a pair of light merino-nylon tights, with mid weight polypro baselayer pants on top of that, and some nylon wind breaker pants on top of those, would keep you down to some pretty cold temps and be a lot more versatile in the sense you wouldn't have to worry about wetting them out with sweat and water vapor like you would with puffy pants. But no, it won't be as light as synthetic puffy pants, especially the higher quality kinds.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Good idea on 09/06/2013 19:17:55 MDT Print View

I have a set of Thermolite II insulated pants and jacket I use them for sleeping and day use, especially when hunting and sitting for hours on a stand.
Great clothing, even if it is in military olive drab color.