Jun 5, 2009 at 12:33 pm #1236838
Hey everyone! I'm trying to figure out the best option for pants on a UL trip through the Wind Rivers in August. So far I've come up with the following options:
1) Shorts + Waterproof Pants
-i.e. Golite Ridge Runner + Golite Reed (8.5 oz total)
2) Shorts + Wind Pants
-i.e. Golite Ridge Runner + Golite Whim (7 oz total)
3) Wind Pants only
– 4 oz
4) Trekking Pants only
-i.e. BPL Thorofare (4 oz)
5) Light Softshell Pants
-i.e. OR Vert (10 oz)
What do you think would be the lightest, most versital and most comfortable? Thanks in advance for the help!Jun 5, 2009 at 12:42 pm #1506191
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
What kind of weather are you expecting? Do you sunburn easily?
If high temperatures are around 60F, then I wear REI Mistral Pants (Scholler meterial).
A little warmer, Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pants.
80F and warmer with a lot of sun exposure, Rail Riders EcoMesh.
Really hot weather, lows above 70F, no nasty brush, then just a pair of shorts.Jun 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm #1506220
@rinconLocale: Desert Southwest
I use a pair of the GoLite running shorts (4 oz) with built in brief. Over those, if the weather warrants, I will wear a light pair of nylon cargo pants (12 oz). The shorts serve both as underwear and hiking shorts, the pants serve well as wind pants but also have pockets, so do the shorts. The pants I have will go on over my hiking shoes so there is no hassle there. Probably a bit heavier than shorts and wind pants but this setup suits my hiking style.Jun 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm #1506229
I usually were a pair of running shorts (GoLite Ridge Runner) and if its colder then I put on some thermal long underwear too (which i use to sleep in). In blistering rain/cold, I throw on my rain-proof nylon sahara zip-offs from REI (although these arn't too waterproof.Jun 5, 2009 at 4:07 pm #1506233
Thanks for the ideas! I'm expecting highs to be around 60-80 and lows around 45. It should be mostly alpine travel so beating up my legs on brush shouldn't be an issue. Shorts seem like a good option with some sort of WP or WR pant for back-up. However, if I was to go with soft shell pants only, would it be too warm for these conditions? I've never hiked in them before.Jun 5, 2009 at 4:09 pm #1506234
I hiked in REI Sahara Convertable pants the past two weeks on PCT and other trails near Echo Summit, Lake Tahoe. I loved them. I got lost my first day and spent way too much time bushwacking. I was glad I had the pants. They felt light and very comfortable. They handled my trampling through various bushes very well. Very useful pockets and zippers where you want them.Jun 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm #1506266
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I can hike in shorts down to freezing. As long as you are moving you stay warm. I don't have any soft shell pants, but I would think they would be too hot for 80*, but then again, I don't know what 80* feels like without 80% humidity.Jun 5, 2009 at 9:12 pm #1506277
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
I would go with the Golite Ridge Runner shorts and the Whim pants for the wind. The night time lows that you are expecting are so mild and 60-80 F in the day is very warm once your body is moving and you have the sun on you. That setup is light, versatile, and simple. I assume you'll have some lightweight baselayer for sleeping or added insulation. Are you expecting any Class 3-4 scrambles or more intensive off trail navigating or summit bids? Something to consider as you may need some more durability and protection.Jun 6, 2009 at 7:19 am #1506320
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've gone through this over the years and come down to these options:
1. The easiest most versatile option has been zip off pants. Ex Officio and REI are my favorites.
2. Running shorts and wind pants. This is the lightest combo that I've found. Most running shorts have a light (and non-chafing) brief built in too. In fact, good running shorts don't weigh much more than a lot of briefs. The caveat is the durability of the wind pants. I have a have a pair of Montane's that are certainly ultralight, but they need a lot of caution to stay in one piece.
3. If weather is going to be more variable, then running shorts and rain pants make a good combo. I think it is a waste of space and weight resources to carry both wind pants and rain pants. For Summer hiking in my climate, if it is cold enough to warrant long pants, then it is raining too. Even in the height of Summer, hiking early in the morning with wet brush can get me as wet as any rain. Wearing rain pants until the dew evaporates saves a cold soaking.
4. Operating in cold wet climates like the Pacific Northwest Fall/Winter/Spring, I find it easier to forget "normal" pants and use rain pants with varying weights of polyester long johns. I like Marmot Precips with anything from silk weight Capilene to Power Stretch bottoms. You get all the wicking properties of the polyester and they are great to sleep in. The outer layer is going to get wet with brush and muddy too, so you wouldn't want to wear them in your shelter anyway. Full zip pants weigh a bit more, but allow good venting options.
Short gaiters help with any long pants, keeping them out of the mud and rocks or catching the cuff as well as keeping the crud off your laces.
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