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Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review

Great fitting, lightweight, exceptionally versatile eVENT pant.

Hightly Recommended

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended

These eVENT pants have a lot more utility than just rainwear. They fit great, and perform exceptionally well as outerwear for cool/cold weather active pursuits. They weigh half as much as typical snow sports pants and can be worn with thin long johns under them when extra warmth is needed, or with insulated pants under them for winter camping. As summer rainwear, their breathable eVENT fabric and side zips give an extra measure of comfort.

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by Will Rietveld |

Overview

The Rab Bergen Pant is made of three-layer eVENT, with a minimal feature set to minimize weight to 10.8 ounces (men's large). Rab calls them "overtrousers," but I found them to be a lot more versatile than that, as I explain in this review.

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE REVIEW Review - 1
The Rab Bergen eVENT Pant doesn't have any pockets or fly, but it does have three-quarter-length side zips, articulated knees, and a simple elastic waistband - perfect for lightweight cool weather outerwear.

Although my torso requires frequent adjustment of insulating layers for comfort, my legs don't easily get cold during active cold weather pursuits - like backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. Although the Rab Bergen Pant is intended as a rain pant, I decided to try them for winter outerwear. To my pleasure, they worked perfectly! After testing them on a number of local snow travel day trips and a few overnight igloo camping trips, I was confident in their performance. I next took them on an eleven-day winter camping trip in Yellowstone National Park, where I wore them daily with only lightweight wool long johns under them. I was totally satisfied with their performance and versatility on an extended winter camping trip where they were subjected to demanding and variable conditions.

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE REVIEW Review - 2
The Bergen Pant has a fairly trim fit, but there is still enough room to wear them over insulating layers. Photo by Bill Webbe.

For me, the Rab Bergen Pant in size large is an excellent fit. Their elastic waist in relaxed mode fit my thirty-four-inch waist perfectly and expands to fit a larger girth. I especially liked their thirty-three-inch inseam for my long legs, and opening their side zips allowed them to be easily donned without taking my boots off.

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE REVIEW Review - 3
The Bergen's articulated knees (sewn to provide extra room in the knee area) allow more freedom of movement. Wearing tall gaiters holds the pants in the right position. Photo by Bill Webbe.

Worn with a shell jacket and tall gaiters, I found the Bergen to be an excellent pant for snow sports and other cold/cool weather pursuits. On warmer winter days (above about 15 °F), I found the Bergen to be comfortable by itself, without any underlayers. In cold weather, for example, backcountry skiing on a 0 °F day, I wore thin wool long johns (Ibex Woolies) under them. For winter igloo camping, I added a synthetic insulated pant (Montbell Thermawrap) under them.

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE REVIEW Review - 4
For comfort on warmer days, the Bergen's side zips can be opened for extra ventilation. Double sliders allow more adjustment.

So far I have focused on snow sports; how does the Bergen Pant perform for hiking? I found them very comfortable for cold/cool weather hiking, wearing them in the same way as a hiking pant. However, as you would expect, they simply get too hot as a hiking pant in warmer temperatures. When worn as a typical rain pant over shorts or hiking pants, their eVENT fabric and side zips give them an extra measure of comfort.

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE REVIEW Review - 5
The Bergen Pant worn over a hiking pant provides excellent rain protection and an extra measure of comfort, due to the breathability of its eVENT fabric.

Weight-wise, the Rab Bergen Pant shares the distinction of lightest eVENT pant with the Integral Designs eVENT Rain Pant (10.5 ounces, men's medium). The main difference between the two is the Bergen Pant has three-quarter-length side zips and the ID Rain Pant has ankle zips, plus a zippered opening at the hips. The inseam of the Bergen is thirty-three inches (men's large), while the ID Rain Pant is listed at thirty-one inches. The Bergen is also a good value compared to the ID eVENT Rain Pant, $180 compared to $250.

Note that there are lighter rain pants to be found; for example, the GoLite Reed Pant weighs only six ounces. Their polyurethane laminate waterproof/breathable fabric is not nearly as breathable as eVENT, but fabric breathability is not as important a factor in legwear as it is in torsowear.

Overall, I am very pleased with the fit, performance, and versatility of the Rab Bergen Pant when used as outerwear for cold/cool weather active pursuits. The Bergen is also an excellent choice when the extra breathability of eVENT is desired for rainwear.

Specifications and Features

  • Manufacturer: Rab (http:rab.uk.com/)
  • Year/Model: 2008 Bergen Pant
  • Materials:: 3-layer eVENT
  • Features: Elastic waistband with drawcord, three-quarter-length waterproof side zippers with two pulls, articulated knees, drawcord cuff
  • Weight: measured weight men's L 10.8 oz ( g), manufacturer specification 10 oz (290 g)
  • MSRP: $180 US

Citation

"Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/rab_bergen_pant_spotlite.html, 2008-07-23 00:00:00-06.

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Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review on 07/23/2008 00:07:15 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review

Jim Muller
(muller_jim) - F

Locale: Upstate NY
Pant length comment on 07/24/2008 05:27:14 MDT Print View

I liked your review but I do not believe 33" inseam qualifies as long legged or a tall size. Long or tall sizes are usually reserved for inseams of 35" or greater.

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
Scotland on 07/24/2008 06:29:39 MDT Print View

In Scotland the 33" is probably extra tall.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline)

Locale: Southern California
Problem on 07/24/2008 08:54:29 MDT Print View

Nice review, problem is you can't buy these pants anywhere. Ive been looking to get a pair of these for quite awhile and there's none to be found here in the US, unless you can fit into a small, in which case Prolitegear has only smalls left. Jackson Sports in the UK would ship to the US, but they list the pants as "Discontinued". It's a shame it takes BPL 6 or 7 months from actual field testing to printing an online reveiw, especially given how fast the market changes. How long does it take to write up a thin 800 word review?

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
TowerRidge.co.uk on 07/24/2008 08:59:07 MDT Print View

Try Tower Ridge in the UK. I have ordered their stuff before and usually have it in about a week. They are also decent on responding to emails.

You get the price minus the 17% VAT. I have ordered from them twice and never had to pay any customs fees.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: TowerRidge.co.uk on 07/24/2008 09:50:25 MDT Print View

I ordered the Rab Bergen eVENT pants several months ago from TowerRidge.co.uk. Their service was good despite the fact that I live in Virginia (USA). At 6'6" with a typical 36" inseam, I didn't have a problem with the length.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline)

Locale: Southern California
Thanks on 07/24/2008 10:55:38 MDT Print View

Thanks guys, I'll check out Tower Ridge. I really like the length of these pants since I'm 6'6" with a 36" inseam too.

James, any idea about the shipping costs?

Edited by mjkline on 07/24/2008 10:56:32 MDT.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: TowerRidge.co.uk on 07/24/2008 12:26:49 MDT Print View

Actually, I found the receipt so I can be exact. I had purchased a Rab Super Dru and the Bergen Pants. Shipipng ran $20, which I believe was in pounds, so somewhere in the neighborhood of $39.70 in ole American bills. Keep in mind though, I had purchased two items, so your cost will be less. In case you were interested, I like the Rab Bergen pants, although I wish they had pockets and the nearly full length zipper seems a little unnecessary. When I purchased them, I didn't look too hard for other options but other vendors are now stepping up. I really liked the Rab Super Dru jacket too, but I ended up returning it because it was too snug on me and wouldn't allow me to layer anything underneath. European manufacturers seem to allow very little space under the arms as I tried at least 5 different eVENT jackets from European manufacturers and they were all uncomfortably tight under the arms even without layers.

I also had some luck with another European website in case you wanted to look around: www.outdoorgb.com

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
New Item Lust! on 08/03/2008 11:41:06 MDT Print View

I really "need" these pants to go with the Integral Designs Thruhiker eVent rain parka that I also "lust after in my heart". (sigh!)

But since I already have a set of GTX PacLite parka and pants I'll stick with them. (Anyonw wanna buy them at a reduced price?

Eric

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Re: Rab Bergen Pant SPOTLITE Review on 08/18/2008 22:01:28 MDT Print View

I like the long zipper length with double sliders, my old goretex pants have them. That much vent makes them usable for high exertion such as uphill snowshoeing, whereas my Reeds are horrible (!) unless very cold or strolling. I don't use gaiters ever so the longer length is welcome, and I'd consider attaching a stirrup cord to the hem for postholing.
Around here, you often see soft-shell pants paired with a slightly large parka - we get showers not rain.