Jul 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm #1305044
I hate hiking in pants–I perspire heavily and really struggle with having my legs constricted by damp, inflexible pants, especially when climbing up steeper steps. And yet, on some overgrown trails in Yellowstone and here in New England I've scraped up my legs quite a bit and my shins tend to shine with numerous old scars! And I'm beginning to dislike having my legs stick together at night from leftover sunscreen/DEET when it is too hot to wear thermals to bed. I'm hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine and for the first time am re-considering my no pants policy.
What are the options to allow ventilation but protect from brush/rocks?
Pants (zipoff zippers irritate my skin and I invariably end up kneeling on a zipper!)
Lightweight, tall gaiters
Durable rain pants for bushwacking (no more DriDucks!)
What solutions have you found?Jul 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm #2003148
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Shorts and tall socks works for me.Jul 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm #2003149
Definitely use ankle gaiters in Maine.
My solution has been those slippery Under Armour heatgear tights and some running shorts. Not too hot, sun and brush protection, and dries fast.
Cheers!Jul 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm #2003151
Fairly baggy, lightweight nylon pants work for me, I sweat regardless of wearing pants or shorts. I prefer to stay cleaner and not so scraped up. Articulated knees are a welcomed feature. I'm hairy also. So I don't want to deal with sunscreen and the like either.
I also moved West to get away from that awful East Coast weather. Like going around with a hot, wet towel on. You could be naked and still be a sweaty mess.Jul 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm #2003152
Tights are an option I'd not considered. I don't mind wearing tights, but I have resisted out of consideration for those around me. I'm not nearly as svelte as I was about 60 lbs ago! Maybe by February I'll be ready to show off my new bod! :-)
<q>I also moved West to get away from that awful East Coast weather. Like going around with a hot, wet towel on. You could be naked and still be a sweaty mess.</q>
Isn't that the truth! Hiking is very different there vs. here.
I might just have to break down and find some lightweight pants. I've been reading up on people's recommendations in other posts.Jul 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm #2003190
FWIW, I also love my Mountain Hardwear Mesa pants.
But yeah, I hear you on the tights. Part of me puts them on and thinks "Look at all the cycling I've been doing, ladies…" They're definitely showy.Jul 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm #2003216
@karenkLocale: NE NSW - Australian subtropics
Not so keen on bush bashing myself, but I deal with the sweaty nighttime thing by washing before bed, or having a "bird bath" i.e. a wipe with a PackTowl or a wet wipe or similar if water is short. Then my night attire if washing has been less than thorough is a pair of Skins capri tights – very breathable and comfortable fabric to wear. In our mild climate they double as my extra longs, spare undies, wash day pants, and post walk/ride/paddle attire.
Very light silk long johns (e.g. Terramar) are also very nice for sleeping.Jul 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm #2003218
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Tights for brush protection? Are you being serious here? Summer weight tights will rip instantly. No protection at all.
I do hike in running tights often though. Thin tights are borderline obscene. Thicker winter weight "running" tights just look like tight pants and don't show off your every muscle.
I too have been looking for a better option for hot weather buswacking stuff. On some trips I will carry a pair of pants in my pack. It's a heavy option but on these trips pants are totally necessary and I only use them for a short time. There is no point in wearing pants if they don't serve a purpose, go ahead and throw them in your pack.
In some places gaiters are fine because the brush grows exclusively low to the ground. If you wear really long shorts they could have your entire legs protected.
What about chaps?Jul 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm #2003224
Kilt and logger socks for the win.Jul 7, 2013 at 6:14 am #2003257
If you need pants, you need pants.
Nothing else provides the level of protection for bushwacking.
You dont need zipoff pants however
You can get long pants much lighter than zip offsJul 7, 2013 at 7:31 am #2003273
I'm a fan of Railriders Bone Flats pants. And I also sweat profusely. At least the side mesh panels allow a bit of ventilation that other pants don't.Jul 7, 2013 at 8:21 am #2003284
I get by with the Under Armour tights while bushwhacking. They're so smooth and tightly knit, they don't catch too much, and they're like $20 bucks on sale so I don't have to baby them like I have to baby my wool.
YMMV, but anything short of briars has been fine with the Under Armour.Jul 7, 2013 at 9:03 am #2003298
I did a hike in South Carolina in April. It was low 80s with high humidity and I am a sweaty mess. My arc'teryx ramparts did fantastic to the point that I didn't notice that I was wearing them. My patagonia 2 half zip long sleeve on the other hand wasn't great except when there was a breeze at which point it rocked. Overall, I would go light weight pants. Zip offs drive me nuts because the zipper is usually in a spot that is sliding around a bit.Jul 7, 2013 at 11:43 am #2003361
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I go back and forth on this exact issue. For pants: ArcTeryx Rampart (uses the same fabric as Mesa pants) are the coolest pants I have worn. I have heard good things about Rail Rider Eco Mesh pants but not used them myself.
Recently my choice has been to wear trail running shorts, and to carry a pair of BPL Thorofare pants I layer over the shorts when I need some extra protection. When the 2 pairs of Thorofare pants I own wear out I will likely switch to some reasonably durable wind pants.Jul 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm #2003377
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I hike a lot in the desert. IMO, there is no worse environment than hiking in canyons choked with Cholla and Catclaw. Catclaw will shred your pants. Sturdy knee high gaiters are too hot. So you just suck it up and deal with it or hike somewhere else or stay home.
Shorts work best in hot weather for keeping you cooler. Can't argue that point.
Rail Riders Eco-Mesh pants ventilate well, but the mesh panels catch on brush easier than conventional pants. Except for winter, when I wear pants it is usually the Rail Riders. I have several pairs and have been using them for about 5 years. I had a pair of Thoroughfare pants — hot, hot, hot. Sold them.Jul 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm #2003390
@jcholmesLocale: SouthEastern US
+1 for super-light wicking long pants. No zip-off legs…what an abomination!
Long pants keep me from getting scratched up by brush, briars, logs, sticks, etc., or burned from too much sun (I am a pale dude). Plus I really hate all the dust and dirt collecting on my lower legs and ankles when hiking in shorts.
I have 2 pair of TNF Meridian pants that I think are 100% perfect. Just wish they were still made and am not looking forward to having to replace them. Best features are an elastic waist (perfect for expanding over extra insulation on the cold months) and a drawstring adjustment. No belts/buckles please, I don't care how low profile. Elastic/drawstrings keep it nice an smooth under the pack belt.
Have a look at ExOfficio Amphi or NeoAmphi pants. Super light, breathable, high UPF, great DWR. The have a built-in mesh brief but you can just cut them out so you can wear your Give'nGo Boxer Briefs :) Only negative is they are not Insect Shield, but you can have that added later: http://www.insectshield.com/PDF/IS%20Your%20Own%20Clothes%20-%20U.S.%20form.pdf
I also have a pair of NeoAmphi shorts I use for kayaking and LOVE the built in brief. Light and airy.Jul 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm #2005991
For some reason I'm not getting email updates for these conversations. I thought this convo had died and yet there's much more great advice here! Any thoughts as to why I'm not receiving subscribed thread notifications?
In all the threads I've read on this topic, the Arc'Teryx Rampart pants seem to be consistently recommended (perhaps by the same person?! :-) I hate paying dead bird retail prices. Anyone seen any on sale? I've heard that recently they are running undersized. Any experience with this?
Nick-great comment on the eco-mesh pants snagging. Given this limitation, do you still wear the eco-mesh or some other Rail Riders?
John-I was actually looking at the ExOfficio Amphi pants. They don't mention a 4-way stretch, like their Kukura or Trail Roam'r pants. Do they stretch much? I had no idea that you could have Insect Shield applied to your own stuff. That is way cool!
I need light, quick drying, stretch fabric, with at least one cargo pocket. So far that seems to be the Arc'Teryx Rampart, ExOfficio Kukura or Roam'r pants. Any others?
Are the eco-mesh or the amphi pants stretchy at all? I hate having wet pants stick to me and threaten to tear out when I take a knee-busting step.
To the best of my understanding, the Patagonia Tropical Flats or sol patrol, RailRiders Eco-Mesh, ExOfficio Amphi, Montane Terra are not stretch fabric.Jul 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm #2005992
I'm also considering a pair of eVent or PacLite gaiters similar to what MLD makes. My wife has a very simple pair of PacLite gaiters that have velcro closure and a hook loop for the toe of the boot. I wear shorts that come nearly to my knee and the gaiters might weight less than an extra pair of pants.
What are your thoughts on this option?Jul 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm #2005993
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Yes, the EcoMesh are my go to pants, but I wear shorts most of the time. I highly recommend the EcoMesh.
As to the subscription… Only Ken Thompson cares that this kind of stuff doesn't work on BPL, but he can't fix it. :(Jul 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm #2005994
I don't get thread updates unless I don't have a browser window open to BPL when a post is made. I think it knows when you are here and doesn't bother you then.
Thanks Nick.Jul 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm #2005998
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
Ill second the arcteryx rampart pants. Love em…but they are super hard to find the women's version. The men's seem to be more available and occasionally on sale.
I am a hike-in-shorts kinda gal tho. But I love the ramparts.Jul 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm #2006003
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
The mesh on the RailRiders runs along the inside of the legs. Nick must have Extreme Bowleggedness :) Love my Bone Flats.Jul 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm #2006006
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Nick must have Extreme Bowleggedness"
Don't say that. Say that he is saddle-ready.
–B.G.–Jul 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm #2006007
Eco mesh pants have the mesh on the outside. Bone Flats have on both inner and outer sides.Jul 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm #2006008
"Nick must have Extreme Bowleggedness"
"Don't say that. Say that he is saddle-ready."
That's one of the funniest things I've ever read!
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