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No-frills, sub 10oz summer backpacking pants?
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Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
No-frills, sub 10oz summer backpacking pants? on 03/24/2014 01:49:53 MDT Print View

I'd generally consider myself a shorts guy, but I'd like to find pair of pants to supplement my hiking shorts for summer hiking. I want these pants to be lightweight (in the 10oz or less weight range), breathable, fast drying, loose fitting (I'll often wear my shorts under them), and also provide sun protection. I will most likely use these pants in the morning, at night, and when hiking in really exposed sunny weather for long periods of time (these will come with me on an upcoming PCT thru-hike). Otherwise, I'll hike in shorts.

I hate pants with lots of stuff on them (lots of pockets, too many zippers, etc...), and I absolutely loath convertible pants. Two front pockets is really all I want, and a little bit of elastic in the waist is welcome as well (I'd prefer pants that don't require a separate belt to stay tight enough).

So far, I'm considering the following pants:

Gramicci Rocket Dry Original G Pants
I'm not sure of the weight on these pants.

Railriders Bone Flats Pants (~9.5oz)

Patagonia Tropical Flats Pants (~7.5oz)

Patagonia Home Waters Pants (~9.5oz)
Pants 4

If any of you have experience with any of these pants I've listed, or have any other pants suggestions that meet my criteria, please share! Thanks!

Edited by dmusashe on 03/24/2014 02:05:34 MDT.

Christian Denniston
(cdenniston) - F
Pants on 03/24/2014 03:24:41 MDT Print View

I was on a similar search recently and I ended up with a pair of Outdoor Research Treadways. They aren't overly simple as they have the standard 5 jean pockets and belt loops but they are lightweight at around 6.5oz. I haven't used them in very hot weather yet but I think they will work well.

Edit: Weight of the OR pants is actually 6.5oz in size small.

Another option is running pants. I wear a pair of Under Armour Run Pants that have an elastic waist, 2 front pockets, and 1 rear zipper pocket. They only weight 5.6 oz. They also have small mesh panels down the sides of the leg which helps with ventilation in extreme heat.

Edited by cdenniston on 03/24/2014 04:43:43 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: No-frills, sub 10oz summer backpacking pants? on 03/24/2014 08:57:07 MDT Print View

WILD THINGS WIND PANT they come in khaki (coyote) and are very breathable, weigh 8oz and are made in the USA.

Edited by annapurna on 03/24/2014 09:01:16 MDT.

Chad B
(CenAZwalker) - F

Locale: Southwest
exofficio nomad pants on 03/24/2014 09:59:47 MDT Print View

I picked up a pair of these on sale and have been pretty happy with them. No frills, lightweight and comfy. I also despise zip off pants. I got size 32 regular and they weigh 8.5oz. The cut is a little more baggy than I prefer but not too bad.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Prana zion stretch on 03/24/2014 10:40:57 MDT Print View

Prana Zion shorts are my EDC, they are stretchy. I also have the pants, they weigh 13.3oz. Slightly heaivier weight from the stretch material.

I also have shorts version of the Pata gi III, but the pants are 9.9oz. Very nice. Both of these Prana and Pata shorts have a built in belt too.

Edited by M.L on 03/24/2014 10:46:15 MDT.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
No-frills, sub 10oz summer backpacking pants on 03/24/2014 12:06:41 MDT Print View

If you have even the least bit of sewing ability, or know someone who does, check out the Liberty Ridge over-pants kit at Thru-Hiker. I made a pair, they weigh about 3 oz and can be put on without having to remove your shoes. They work great over shorts. They are easy to sew as well.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Montbell Dynamo on 03/24/2014 12:09:41 MDT Print View

If you are just looking for pants to throw on over shorts when it is a little chilly, then the Montbell Dynamo pants are great. 2.6 ounces, no pockets, no belt-loops, just a simple drawstring. Zippers at the ankles so you can get them on over your shoes. Someone on this web-site (John Abela?) wore them as his primary hiking pants, so probably not too bad during the day for bug protection either. I've never tried them in that situation myself, but I like them for alpine conditions and in camp.

Velimir Kemec
(velimirkemec) - F
MEC Istrum 6.5 oz. pants on 03/24/2014 12:17:54 MDT Print View


have a look at these Istrum pants from MEC

Don't have them but according to email from MEC regarding their weight they sound very good. Here's the email I got today from MEC CS:

"Too good to be true? Not in this case! The fabric we used for the Istrums’ (61% recycled nylon, 33% nylon, 6% Spandex with a DWR finish) has a weight of 141 g/m^2. That equals 184 grams for the size 32-32" I belive 184g is around 6.5 oz.

I have MEC river shorts that are supplex nylon and were from the stable of Instrum predecesors River pants. The fabric is very light and dries in no time. With added spandex they've made them stretchy which is another bonus IMO and worth a look at..and they are 55 CAD before tax..with no ask warranty you get from MEC. Their River pants were huge succes for years!


I have no financial affiliation with MEC. Just a happy customer:)

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Arc'Teryx Ramparts on 03/24/2014 13:21:35 MDT Print View

The deadbird Ramparts are on the heavier side of your range at 8.6oz for 30x32s. But with that I've never gotten a snag or tear in them and they look near brand new after the last few years of bushwhacking through dense Arizona desert scrub.

They have a very minimal set of flat cargo pockets and that's it.

John Brzezniak
(brzez) - F
Marmot Grayson on 03/24/2014 13:35:54 MDT Print View

I have a few pairs of Marmot Grayson which come in at 8.6 oz (used them in Isle Royale last year). They are comfortable, light, durable, and can go from campsite to restaurant -- I've worn them to work and don't feel like I'm wearing workout/performance pants.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Don't believe manufacturer's specs on 03/24/2014 14:14:09 MDT Print View

> Prana Zion shorts are my EDC, they are stretchy.
> I also have the pants, they weigh 13.3oz.

Interestingly has their weight listed at 5.3 oz and had the pants on their lightweight gear list a few weeks ago. Backcountry has their weight listed at 5.3 oz/yd² (not total weight). The most review on said the they topped his scale at 17.125 oz (probably for an XL).

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Don't believe manufacturer's specs on 03/24/2014 14:16:21 MDT Print View

Yes my zion pants weigh 13.3oz, size small.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Breathability on 03/24/2014 14:24:18 MDT Print View

On a different note, the breathability of nylon or polyester fabrics can vary dramatically, depending on the weave. Say from 1 CFM to 100+ CFM. So if you are looking for summer hiking pants, I advise doing the breath test on them. There are nylon shirts in my closet that are basically impermeable to air.

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Golite Yunnan on 03/24/2014 14:29:29 MDT Print View

I picked up a pair at a Golite store last month and love them.The older model was great material but bad fit. The new mod fits great,looks OK, and feels fantastic!
I'm a 34w/ 33l and went with a medium.Good job Golite for the first redesigned product that is lighter than the original( 9oz )

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Breathability on 03/24/2014 14:31:04 MDT Print View

I think you are spot on with your comments. This is why I'm looking for people's first hand experiences with these different pants because it's nearly impossible to tell exactly how a given pair of pants will breath just by the manufacturers specs of the fabric.

I'm basically looking for a fabric that has a very soft hand, is quick drying, and is as breathable as possible while still being highly mosquito resistant. I suspect that the weave of the fabric is going to make a huge difference, as you mentioned above.

Edited by dmusashe on 03/24/2014 14:33:05 MDT.


Locale: South West US
Re: No-frills, sub 10oz summer backpacking pants? on 03/24/2014 19:12:57 MDT Print View

Funny, as I was reading your requirements I was thinking about the grammici's. I'd go with those. I had a convertible pair that I picked up cheap at REI the became my favorite pair of pants. They have two things going for them. One the fabric - its thin and feels like cotton - they dry in minutes and breath great. Two, the crotch gusset is the best design out there - freedom of movement is unparalleled. I've tried a lot of different pants over the years from all the major brands and grammicis are still my favorite. A second runner up, but not close are the patagonia gii. The old style ones with the Velcro pocket. The new ones with the zip pocket are cut too slim and the fabric is not as soft. The downside to the grammicis is the construction quality is just okay. It looks a little sloppy but it never caused a problem. I wore them a lot and they finally bit the dust when an ex-gf melted them in the dryer.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
+1 rampart pant on 03/24/2014 20:01:44 MDT Print View

The only arcteryx item I own, I love my Rampart pants, I would highly recommend them, I want to get a backup pair in case they stop making them

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F

Locale: SoCAL
Railriders get my vote. on 03/24/2014 20:59:21 MDT Print View

I own the Railriders Bone Flats pants. I bought them a few months ago to try out for a possible CDT thru-hike next year and have been trying them out in the deserts and lower elevations in Southern California since. They breath well and do a decent job keeping your legs cool with a little ventilation reaching your nethers. I have no comfort issues hiking in them all day on a backpacking trip.

I used the similar Railriders Eco-mesh pants on the PCT in 2009 and found them cool enough that I never felt the need to change them out for shorts. The Eco-mesh pants only have mesh on one side of the leg and have a zipper to seal up the mesh when its colder or in town. The Bone Flats pants always have the mesh exposed and the mesh mesh is on both sides of the leg so they should cool better. However, they both do need a belt to keep them up unless they are near a perfect fit. Using the belt never bothered me on the PCT. And if the pants were a perfect fit when you started, they likely would be loose long before you finish since you will loose weight hiking requiring use of the belt. I personally think this would be an issue even with pants with a stronger elastic band.

Edited by Miner on 03/24/2014 21:00:24 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Railriders get my vote. on 03/24/2014 21:03:00 MDT Print View

"Railriders Bone Flats pants"


Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Railriders get my vote. on 03/24/2014 22:04:31 MDT Print View

I'm a little torn with the Railriders Bone Flats pants and maybe you Bone Flats enthusiasts out there can settle it for me...

Mainly, I'm wondering if the Bone Flats pants might fall into a weird functional middle ground between shorts and pants where it doesn't not end up serving either function well (except for sun protection). In other words: still much hotter than shorts, but not nearly as insulating/bug resistant as solid pants, thereby being a bad compromise for either use?

Specifically, I'm worried that when it gets really hot (even in high sun), then I'm just going to switch into shorts and accept more UV exposure instead of sweating like a sauna in pants. So in this case, the main benefits of the Bone Flats pants (i.e. active ventilation) would be lost, because, let's face it: pants, even mesh ones, will never be as well-ventilated as shorts.

The perfect time for pants is of course in cooler weather, so I'd like to wear whatever pants I choose in the morning and evening (or whenever it cools down, really). But I'm worried that the Bone Flats, being so ventilated, would make poor pants for cooler weather versus solid fabric pants. So therein lies my conundrum.

In a nutshell, I'm having trouble seeing myself using pants in the hottest weather I'll encounter (sun be damned), preferring to just go with shorts during these hours of the day. If this is the case, do you all think the Bone Flats will be a poor choice for me due to their potentially less than ideal functionality in cooler weather (when I will definitely be wearing pants).

By the way, I fully realize that I'm asking a pair of pants to do everything for me here (i.e. be cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather). And yes, I know it's a little unreasonable. But hopefully you guys and gals will have some good input for me in making my decision!

Edited by dmusashe on 03/25/2014 00:16:15 MDT.