Nov 24, 2006 at 6:01 pm #1220385
Nathan MoodyBPL Member
@atomickLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
BPL has helped me so much in the past year, especially in the realm of packing, shelter, and sleep systems…and lots of guidance on torso clothing. Thanks to everyone for being so willing to share your knowledge!
I bring to you a new question/dilemma: what are the lightest, most breathable pants out there?
Context: I’m already planning some backpacking in California’s central coast next summer (Big Sur, Ventana Wilderness), which brings up two critical issues: avoiding ticks and avoiding poison oak. I hiked through a forest of poison oak last year for two solid hours (due to a wrong turn – a long and sad story!), and with rapid application of Tecnu, I only got some extremely minor symptoms. So I want to avoid a repeat of /that/. :-)
As I prepare for a trip to Thailand, I’ve learned that there are leeches in the bushes and trees of the jungles there. So long summer-weight pants are starting to be of interest.
So we’re talking about pants that:
1. Are lightweight. Duh.
2. Are breathable. These would be worn out of necessity in the summer.
3. Are either convertible or might layer well over shorts (for shoulder-season use). This rules out tights worn under shorts.
4. Are /moderately/ durable. I don’t bushwhack, but you know how trails get overgrown. As long as they can take the odd branch-scrape without getting big ol’ gashes, that’s fine.
Right now I use REI Sahara convertible pants, which are OK for breathability, but they weigh 12oz. Looser-fitting tights would fit the bill (as long as I don’t look like I’m just only wearing thermal underwear on the trail!), but I don’t have an outfitter nearby that has products like GoLite, for example.
Any thoughts?Nov 24, 2006 at 7:15 pm #1368299
@ken_bennettLocale: southeastern usa
My spouse made me a pair of pants from a very light, breathable ripstop nylon. Though they have elastic cuffs at the ankles, I can slide them on over my trail runners, and they fit well over a pair of trail shorts. The pants are of a very simple design, with one pocket/stuff sack, and an elastic waist with a draw cord. They are very wind resistant and warmer than they have any right to be, as they weigh 3 oz.
You can get a kit at thru-hiker.com, or find a sweatpants pattern and some .8oz material and make your own. I’m sure someone makes this sort of thing, too, maybe Montbell?Nov 24, 2006 at 8:48 pm #1368309
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
If you can’t find the pants you like among the usual commercial sources, you might consider this odd-ball source: I found a silver-colored pair of jogging pants at K-Mart or WalMart with a lining. After cutting away all of the lining, I was left with an uncoated, light, breathable pair of ripstop nylon long pants, which I liked so much I bought 3 pairs.Nov 25, 2006 at 10:49 am #1368329
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Ex Officio Amphi Pants are great for warm weather hiking. You can get them in full-length, convertible, or as shorts. Gramicci makes a Quick Dry version of their climbing pants. Neither will be a huge weight savings over the Sahara pants, but you may shave a few ounces.
Remember to make apples-and-apples comparisons. Most running shorts have built-in briefs so there is a couple ounce offset right away. Most of the hiking pants have belts that add a few ounces.
I’ve picked up several pairs of running pants in thrift stores by companies like Hind and New Balance, but most are black and so are not very suitable for hiking exposed sunny trails. They hover around the 6oz mark. They are great for cool-weather cover up and at $5 or so a pair they can be sacrificial– if I give them a beating, I’m not out much.
I’ve gone through the same problem myself and it seems to break down like this for me to get UL with pants:
Wear running shorts. You can find all kinds with briefs built in. I find them in thrift stores and garage sales for $2-$5 a pair for name brands like New Balance and Nike. Benefits: low cost, light weight, low chafe, quick dry. Caveats: no sun or bug protection. Wear sun screen and add a pair of UL wind pants like Mont-Bell, Montane, or GoLite– or rely on your rain pants to fill that niche. The running short and wind/rain pant combo seems to be the choice of most long-distance hikers. It does seem to provide the most adapability for the weight. Running shorts with briefs aren’t much more weight than briefs alone so the question is: can you tolerate the exposure to sun and bugs?
Wear convertibles and live with the extra weight offset by the multi-use factor. Most are more durable than running gear and wind pants. I don’t mind a little extra weight for pants as they take the real beating from brush, mud, rocks, sitting, etc. I’d love to have a pair of Mont-Bell wind pants (2.5oz), but the idea of sitting in mud/dirt/gravel/sticks in a $70 pair of paper thin pants doesn’t sound so hot.
I would like a pair of hiking pants that are light weight and light colored, fairly wind-resistant and water repellent (still breathable), with a minimum of pockets and other trappings, belt loops (but not a captive belt), available in several inseam lengths, and a button and loop arrangment so they can be rolled up to just below the knee. Add a waist with a light microfleece lining and conical build like Mountain Hardwear’s.Nov 25, 2006 at 11:11 am #1368332
@scottalanpLocale: Northern California
I hike in pants just about all the time, regardless of my location or time of year. For some reason I just find that in general, they offer more usability than shorts. I also have worn a carbon fiber knee brace (up until this year) and tried many combos of incorporating that thing into my clothing system.
I came across some Ex Officio pants on Sierra Trading post many years back and ordered them basically on price. I recently bought another similar pair and found that the material used is the same. Here is the run down on these pants and how they compare with what you are looking for:
They are incredibly durable: Far more so than lightweight ripstop. Which is great considering they are thin enough for my to place my knee brace over the top of, and I never had any rubbing issues when I did it that way.
They come with a DWR coating: For your first 4 or 5 days of crawling in the dirt, you will be hard pressed to get them to take on any stains. Water beads and rolls off.
They are breathable: They are khaki colored (optimal for high sun conditions)and seem at least as breathable as lightweight ripstop.
They are comfortable: The “peach-fuzz” treatment process leaves the material feeling extremely soft and supple. The kind of pants you want to spend time in.
The are relatively light: At 8.6 ounces (32 waist/32 inseam) they are by no means ultra light. But most of the weight centers with the nylon belt and plastic clip that come in the pants (which you could take out if you saw fit). There are zippered pockets for security. The first pair I purchased came with sew in mesh shorts, which at first I was negative on. But then after a couple of trips, I actually preferred over the non-underwear pants. When you put them on, they fit extremely well without falling down…but you don’t have that high crotch that a lot of “walking” pants have that kind of crowd the boys. And you can barely feel the material on your legs as you move.
I believe they are called “No Brainer” pants and would usually retail for $60 to $70, but I have been able to find them twice for under $30 over the last 4 years on discount sites.
I would avoid tights of any kind in a tropical location…and in general would avoid converts too. Especially on a major trip like that, do not buy pants that will offer some other functionality when you get back at the expense of having the best pants for your exotic location.
One last thing. I am not saying these are the be all or end all pants, but do not get hung up on weight with this purchase. You are going to be wearing them most of the time not hauling them on your back. How they feel and function will do more to keep you moving than how light they are.Nov 25, 2006 at 1:40 pm #1368342
I’ve been very happy with the Ex-Officio Amphi-Pants. My size medium are 11 oz, including the built-in underwear. I purchased a pair for as low as $22 at Sierra Trading Post. The cuffs can be closed with an attached rubber button and elastic loop. This might help keep out leaches, even while in the water. You can also use the cord to hold the cuffs above your calfs in a make-shift shorts position. The waistband has a nice felt lining.
The pants are heavier than my go-lite ripstop shell pants (6.2 oz) but they are comfy and look good off the trail.Nov 25, 2006 at 4:50 pm #1368353
Nathan MoodyBPL Member
@atomickLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Outstanding feedback so far, folks.
Durability issues aside for a moment, Motnbell’s 15d UL Wind Pants and their 50d Stretch Wind Pants look like they might do the trick. They’re all in dark nylon, which makes me a tad worried about heat and breathability, but it’s pretty slick at 2.4 and 6.2 oz. respectively.
My REI Sahara pants right now are 12 oz. and are a bit of a pain to zip on and off. Wearing my Sugoi shorts with a built-in mesh liner (4 oz.) and, say, the Montbell UL Wind Pants (2.4 oz.) would even allow for the addition of my GoLite Reed rain pant (5 oz.) for a total weight of around the REI convertible pants, and with full waterproofing! That’s not bad in terms of flexibility and layering (all three in camp would both be toasty and protect the UL wind pants, as per Dale’s previous concern with durability). I’m attracted by the pull-on/pull-off simplicity of such a combo.
The points about Ex-Officio’s pants being quick drying and lightweight, however, do mirror my experience with the REI Sahara pants: amazingly quick to dry, an OK hand/feel, and incredible flexibility. I guess losing all the pockets, and their respective weights, matters less to me being the owner of an Atmos 50 pack with gi-normous hip pockets.
I also love the idea of hacking at off-the-shelf el-cheapo workout pants. More of a scavenger hunt aspect to that I like…as well as saving a hundred smackers on a pair of UL leggin’s. ;-)
Lots to think about, thanks so much…if anyone has additional ideas, or /specific/ experience with either of those MontBell pants, I’d love to hear them.Nov 25, 2006 at 5:47 pm #1368356
Zack KarasBPL Member
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
Check out Rail Riders Eco Mesh pants. I’ve converted to pants to avoid the sun, bugs and plants (my girlfriend goes by the motto “all green things are bad” to keep her safe, I prefer pants…). I believe that they weigh a bit more than other pants (maybe 10 oz.), but they have full length mesh down the outside of both legs underneath a zippered opening. I’ve worn them in every type of weather and one pair held up to over 4000 miles of hiking. A little pricey, but the ventilation can’t be beat.Nov 25, 2006 at 6:59 pm #1368365
Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Rail Riders also makes a nylon 7oz pant. The durability and fexability of the Eco Mesh Pant are much better, with 30 SPF as well.Nov 26, 2006 at 2:22 am #1368389
John S.BPL Member
Nathan, do more research on the Montbells before you buy. From everything I have read, they are not very breathable as compared to Montane wind pants. Any non-wind hiking pants with mesh are going to be somewhat more breathable (railriders eco mesh, mountain hardware makes a mesh pant?). The fit of the rail riders pants turn some people off.Nov 29, 2006 at 7:34 am #1368697
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
You aren’t going to do much better than your supplex REI sahara convertibles. Supplex is actually reasonably breathability. What you perceive as “OK” breathability (vapor transmission) is a really a lack of wicking and only slight air permeability. Ultralight wind pants made from ripstop will be worse on both counts, so I would drop them as an option.
I agree that the ex officio pants are nice… I have a pair I have used for more than 10 years, but the performance different between the sahara is close to zero… they are made from approx the same weight supplex.
There are two improvements you might consider.
It sounds like you want full coverage most of the time. Switching to Rail Rider Eco Mesh Pants will be an improvement thanks to side ventilation. Keep in mind that your Saharas in shorts form will be cooler than the Eco Mesh.
The second option would be semi-fitted pants made out of coolmax which are targeted at runners because they will let more air through and wick better than your sahara pants.
To keep ticks away, soak your clothing in Permethrin.Nov 29, 2006 at 10:23 pm #1368791
@ckelleyLocale: Santa Barbara
How about Integral Designs Pertex Pants? Anyone know about the Pertex 565 fabric they’re made of? They looked interesting and were on sale so I ordered a pair of them from backcountrygear.com–should have them Friday.
The Montbell UL ones are probably poor in breathability since they’re made of the same 15d heavily-calendard ballistic nylon they use for the UL down jacket etc.
I used to have a pair of Montane Featherlite pants. Breathability was excellent but they were a little “clingy”; the fabric was so light it would get statically charged and then cling to my legs which was kind of annoying.
So far my favorite answer has been lightweight, unlined Nike nylon wind pants. Unfortunately mine are starting to wear out and Nike hasn’t sold them in years.
If you are inclined to make a pair, the Momentum90 fabric from thru-hiker seems impressive for breathability as well as wind and water resistance–due to a phenomenal DWR. After 6 washings of a sample I still can cup the fabric under the tap and it holds the water like a bowl! However I calculate the weight at 1.14 ounce/square yard which is pretty far off the .90 advertised.Nov 29, 2006 at 11:18 pm #1368796
@primaloft37Locale: Radio Free Pineland
Get yourself a pair of the older, ripstop, OD (olive drab) jungle fatigue pants the military used to issue. You can still buy them. They are 100% cotton, have huge cargo pockets on the side of each thigh and are EXTREMELY comfortable and excellent for jungle conditions. These were made for hot/wet environments. Since Thailand doesnt generally get cold and is very humid, the fact these are 100% cotton doesnt matter…in fact you will probably find it to your advantage.
The fact they are ripstop means they are light and tough. These are not camos BTW, they are olive drab and have little checkerboard patterns in the fabric…but one single color olive drab.
Only thing to think about perhaps is going into Thailand with clothing like that, they might accuse you of being a spy or you might have trouble getting thru customs or something. Check before you attempt to get these thru any third world country customs checkpoints. You dont want them thinking you are there to go to the golden triangle and get involved in smuggling opium or something.
Being a civilian wearing any sort of military issue clothing in many of these third world, tropical countries is a no no from a safety standpoint.
VladNov 29, 2006 at 11:26 pm #1368798
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I have a pair fo Montbell UL Wind Pants and I love them. Treated with reasonable care, they’ve lasted nicely. They even survived a couple of high-speed glissades!
They’re breathable but on the water-resistant side of windproof pants. In my book, this makes them great for pants where breathability is less of a concern. I use them to layer over shorts typically.
Like others have stated, they’re not the most breathable pant and I wouldn’t recommend wearing them all day in warm conditions. But I love them to slap over shorts on a ridgetop or when temps drop. They are also my warm weather rain pants (when soaking through is less of an issue). They resist sprinkles and dry quickly when wet.
Great pants- a winner in my book! I carry them very often.Nov 30, 2006 at 12:47 am #1368803
@oiboyroiLocale: South West US
just brain storming… the patagonia island hopper pants sound like they might be a good option, according to the specs. listed weight is 6.5 oz.Nov 30, 2006 at 2:04 am #1368805
Another vote for Saharas. I tried pants from Columbia, TNF, spent a few years in military ripstop, and I also decided on the Saharas. They are the right balance of light and durable at 11oz, have the cargo pockets out of the way on the side (unlike TNF), have two back pockets (unlike my Columbias), and because REI now has short/medium/long, they fit me perfectly.
My temperature/mosture combo is now:
Hot/dry: Saharas as shorts
Hot/wet: Sahara ahorts +Montbell windpants
Cold/dry: Saharas+Capilene base(waiting for a deal on wool)
Cold/wet: Saharas+Montbell (DWR)Thermawrap pants
I took the Saharas to sawanobori (waterfall climbing) where I was up to my chest in water, and they repeatedly drained and dried quickly except where they overlay my polyester boxers. Obvious lesson there..
By accident I discovered a feature not mentioned on the website, there is a small velcro-ed pocket on the right side just below the belt line. It is just visible in the photo online, and is perfect for coins. And speaking of pockets, the compartmentalized and zippered cargo pockets keep my stuff secure and not flopping around.
Next REI trip, the North Faces go back and I’m stocking up on Saharas.
I still like my old military BDUs for yard work, but I can’t believe my waist was ever that size?Nov 30, 2006 at 8:59 am #1368854
@primaloft37Locale: Radio Free Pineland
>I still like my old military BDUs for >yard work, but I can’t believe my waist >was ever that size?
Military BDUs are not the ripstop, 100% cotton jungle fatigues which are sooooooooo comfortable in hot, wet climates. Current issue military BDUs are a combo synthetic/cotton fabric which are NOTHING at all like eighties or nineties era ripstop, cotton jungle fatigue pants.
The ripstop jungle fatigue pants are COMFORTABLE and cheap too! They look kinda cool as well.
VladDec 3, 2006 at 8:03 pm #1369265
@ckelleyLocale: Santa Barbara
Just a follow-up on the Integral Designs Pertex Pants. I’m disappointed. The Pertex 565 is 1.6 ounce nylon that’s heavily calendared on the inside and treated with their Shield DWR. Because of this breathability is poor and the fabric is sticky on the inside–I wouldn’t recommend wearing them during any exertion or in even moderate humidity.
I’m sending the pants back. A vastly better choice would be to make the Thru-Hiker Liberty Ridge pants with their Momentum .90 ounce taffeta.Dec 4, 2006 at 1:03 am #1369305
Vlad, thanks for the clarification. Have you tried the newest issue uniforms with digital patterns, knee pad pockets, etc..? How do those compare?Dec 4, 2006 at 2:01 am #1369308
@oiboyroiLocale: South West US
I just got out in mid 2004 and got to try the new cammies on the tail end of my enlistment. The materials is a 100% cotton twill, so a little thicker than the ripstop cammies. The fit on the new cammies is much looser and more comfortable that the older uniforms.
To clarify, all of my issued uniforms were 100% cotton, either ripstop or twill. I know there are knock-offs that have a synthetic blend, but these are crap.Dec 4, 2006 at 8:47 am #1369353
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I got a pair of the Buzz-off version of the Ex Officio zip-off pants this weekend and they are really nice. They managed to leave off all the extraneous pockets and gizmos. They do have belt loops and no liner. These were a thrift store find, so you will want to check the current model for weight and features.Dec 4, 2006 at 10:36 pm #1369491
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
In the 1980s I use the standard cotton BDUs for camping. They were better than jeans… but I won’t wear them today. They took a long time to dry, and were heavy. When it was really hot I felt like I was going to melt., I would much rather use something made from supplex or coolmax in hot, wet climates.
–MarkDec 6, 2006 at 10:01 am #1369688
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
Avoid cotton in the humid conditions of the tropics where you will be going. It sticks to your skin and does not wick. It may be great for desert conditions but not the tropics. Look for synthetics as many have already commented. The Saharas you have and the Railrider’s Ecco mesh and the others all would be great because they wick, breathe to some extent and are very durable. Mold and mildrew will not be a problem. I own a pair of ecco mesh and love them for the full length mesh and the fact that I can wash them in about 2 minutes, hang them to dry and wear them in about 40 minutes to dinner and not look as if I just walked off the trail. (I might smell a bit ripe but I will look good!) As travel pants they are exceptional and versatile. But any of the synthetic suggestions would work well. Just avoid the cotton — unless of course you enjoy being sticky.Dec 6, 2006 at 10:49 am #1369693
Question to Ken B;
You posted that your wife made you some nylon pants. I’m intrigued and curious about their durability. right now, I wear older columbia shorts (love the pockets) and I slip on 1.1 oz breathable chaps when I need “legs”. I’m the guy who designed the chaps that are sold on this site, Gossamer site and Prolite’s site, so I can make myself a pair out of any material I think will work. I’ll be attempting a PCT thru hike next year and am considering making full nylon pants to replace the chaps, but worry about them wearing out between my legs.
Any thoughts on durability? Thanks.
Mike MaurerDec 6, 2006 at 9:14 pm #1369765
I make my own nylon pants and shorts of the 3 oz/sqyd supplex sold at http://www.therainshed.com. This is the lightest supplex I could find which has a soft finish. Instead of making zip-off pants, I made separate shorts and pants using the same pattern except with shorter legs for the short. Both shorts and pants have elastic waist and no pockets. I wear the shorts all day and sleep in them at night, and I pull on the long pants over the shorts as needed. Much simpler and more reliable than those zip-off pants. The shorts weigh 120 grams (4.2oz) and the long pants weight 180 grams (6.3oz). I’m 5’11’ tall, 165 lbs, 34″ waist, so my height is a natural men’s large, but my smaller waist means I sometimes drop to a men’s medium for pants.
I have been wearing the same short and long pants since about this time last year, and this past hiking season I walked in this same pair of shorts. Given that I walked for about 180 days and averaged at least 10 miles per walking day, and that I average at least 3 miles per day in town, I would estimate that I have put at least 2340 miles on the shorts. The long pants have seen less usage since I often wore just the shorts this past summer. I should note that I normally wash the pants and shorts in the sink every few days using shampoo or other liquid soap and then either let them air dry or just put them right back on in the summer, since everything except the elastic dries almost instantly. I do NOT wring my supplex clothing, since I think wringing is very damaging to clothing.
(BTW here’s a question. Does anyone have experience with the difference between the non-roll nylon elastic versus the polyester elastic sold at owfinc.com? I used 3/4″ non-roll nylon elastic in my pants and shorts and it works fine, except it tends to dry slowly and I was wondering if the polyester elastic would be an acceptable alternative. I am VERY concerned about durability since I don’t want to make repairs on the road.)
So far the pants and shorts are holding up with absolutely no problems, other than the hem seam coming undone because I neglected to double stitch there. I triple stitched the load bearing seams (crotch and inseams) and these have shown no problems. There is no other signs of wear between the legs of the shorts. In fact, I reached down just now as I am writing this and pulled on the crotch seams with all my strength–they are rock solid.
Bottom line, supplex nylon is very durable PROVIDED you can avoid direct sunlight. You see, I also made a supplex nylon shirt, of a heavier supplex from seattlefabrics.com and it shredded the day I returned from my 7 month trip and yanked on the shirt to see how strong it still was. (I anticipated the shirt would wear out and brought a spare.) The problem was all the high-altitude sun during the Pyrenees and Alps during June through August. Nylon is known to deteriorate rapidly when exposed to UV sunlight, unless protected with some sort of coating. This same shirt is essentially indestructible when brand new, at least for someone with my arm strength. The pants and shorts, naturally, were not exposed to nearly as much sunlight as the shirt, though I did bring a spare pair of shorts just in case.
I should note that I used Ray Jardine polyester thread for the pants and shorts. For the shirt, I used Gutermann polyester thread because Ray Jardine thread only comes in black and white and my shirt was medium grey.
A final note. My biggest problem while traveling is all the stinks that can accumulate in gear, since I seldom have access to a washing machine and often don’t even have access to a sink during the summer. Wearing clothes made of pure nylon is definitely the way to go if you want to keep stink down. I can wear my supplex short, pants and shirt for weeks at a time, without washing in soap, and the only smells are as follows:
(a) The shorts will pick up a small amount of urine smell after a week or so, from inevitable dribbles that occur after urinating, but I have to put my nose close to the shorts to detect this. The urine smell can be easily removed by rinsing the shorts in cold water, such as a mountain stream. By contrast, long ago I wore some polyester briefs that were specially designed for traveling and they stank so horribly after two days without washing that I felt like a homeless person. The urine smell in those polyester briefs could only be removed with detergent, hot water and a washing machine.
(b) I normally wash my rear after defecating (using water from my bottles–please, people, don’t wash up in streams!), but obviously if I didn’t do this, then the shorts would pick up sh*t smell. Again, that smell rinses away in cold water.
(b) I deliberately made the underarm area very loose on the shirt to avoid smells there. However, the pack straps cause the shirt to be pressed against my underarms and so the shirt will pick up smells there. It takes at least a week for the smell to become a problem, and this is only in the summer, since I don’t normally sweat when it is cool. These underarm smells require soap and either hot or cold water for full removal, though rinsing in a cold mountain stream certainly reduces the smell.
(c) the grease from the back of my neck will eventually soak into the shirt collar and smell rancid. Again, this smell can only be detected at close range. This smell can only be removed with soap and either cold or hot water (obviously, hot is better). It takes over a week for the grease smell to become a problem.
Bottom line, pure supplex is both extremely durable (other than where exposed to sunlight) and very easy to keep clean. My recommendation for long-term travelers who want a reliable, high-performance and low-mainteance clothing system, for temperatures mostly above freezing, is to use supplex nylon as the base layer (shorts, pants, shirt), with high-loft Polarguard insulated vest and/ pullover (Patagonia Micropuff series, or the Cocoon series on this website) as insulation on top of the supplex base-layer, with some sort of rain gear as an outermost layer. If you will be exposed to intense sunlight, then don’t expect the shirt to last a full year.
By the way, the technical reason for why nylon is stink resistant and polyester is not is that nylon absorbs about 5% water by weight while polyester absorbs only about 1%. Cotton absorbs about 10%, and wool and rayon about 15% by weight. Since cotton and wool are much weaker than nylon, garments made of those fabrics are much heavier than those made of nylon for comparable garments, and hence the amount of water absorbed is not just 2 or 3 times that of nylon but perhaps 4 or more times as much. Similar reasoning in the other direction applies to polyester–since nylon can be thinner than polyester for comparable garment strength, the nylon garment will only absorbs perhaps 3 times as much water as the polyester garment, rather than 5 times as much, as the pure absorbtion % by weight figure would indicate. All these percentages are from memory and might be wrong.
Fabrics that can absorb water, such as nylon, cotton, rayon or wool, are also known to be able to absorb stinks, though I’m not exactly sure of the chemical mechanism for this. I do know the mechanism by which such fabrics are easily cleaned. Namely, the soap and water can easily get into the fabric fibers and wash the dirt and stink away. With polyester and polypropylene, by contrast, the water and soap can’t easily get into the fibers. The only way to wash polyester and polypropylene effectively is therefore to use hot water and agitate the fabric very intensely as with a washing machine.
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