Apr 25, 2012 at 8:51 am #1289153
I have a pair of rain pants but usually find myself always using a trash bag rain skirt. What do people actually use rain pants for? Snow? A second pair of pants?Apr 25, 2012 at 8:58 am #1870997
camp, since I hike in shorts mostly – and I'm usually too lazy to put on rain pants on the move unless it's continuous downpour. And if I'm really moving fast I don't even bother, just stick with the shorts unless it's uncomfortably cold.Apr 25, 2012 at 9:16 am #1871003
Here's when the guys I hike with don their rain pants:
– When it's raining and looks like it will continue for some time
– If it's recently rained and the trail is overgrown and we find ourselves walking through a lot of wet, low brush
– In camp if it's buggy and they were hiking in shorts
– As a wind blocker if it's cold and/or damp
I have a pair of the MLD Cuben Rain Chaps that I've never actually worn on the trail (even though I've hiked in the rain a bunch). I always carry them if we have rain in the forecast just in case, but I've found that my nylon hiking pants either repell enough water or dry quickly enough that I've simply not needed the chaps. At 43 grams (about 1.5 ounces) I don't mind carrying them and I'm sure I'll probably need them one of these days.Apr 25, 2012 at 9:40 am #1871011
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
+1 on Kevin's list, although it is usually too hot if there are bugs. I've walked brushy trails with heavy morning dew that was as soaking as any rain shower, like a waist high car wash :)
If it looks like it is going to be an all-day cold drizzle affair, then wearing rain pants with silk weight long johns makes a great combo, keeping the cold fabric off my legs and making them slippery inside for easier movement. The all-day drizzle is a Pacific NW state of being, rather than the big thunder showers you might get in the Midwest and East Coast. It can rain all day and not add up to 0.25" precip! It is more like hiking in a cold sauna and everything you brush against is dripping.
For mid-summer stuff, a poncho and tall gaiters makes a good combo, managing the mud and leaving just a small gap, if any, between the poncho and gaiter tops.Apr 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm #1871215
I have a pair of lightweight rain/wind proof pants. I've worn them only once and that was in 10 degrees + snow. I regretted it. My pants underneath were soaked through by the end of the hike. I find them WAY too hot.
I use them now only for sitting around the campsite in rain or snow.
I plan to get a cuben fiber rain skirt instead. I considered the rain chaps, but again, I was worried they'd be way too hot.
Recently, I hiked all day in the rain and I wore shorts, a rain jacket and gaiters + goretex shoes. My feet were perfectly dry, my legs got wet, but dried off. Predictably, my thighs got soaked (shorts) which dried fairly quickly, but was a bit uncomfortable as the brush kept soaking them. I think the rain skirt is the key.Apr 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm #1871240
@parkinson1157Locale: Ontario Canada
I use rain pants when it is cool/cold and raining.
I rather be warm and wet than cold and wet.Apr 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm #1871246
For a couple of more ounces you can get rain pants with full length zips – excellent venting in the rain. So I am warm and dry in the rain – not warm and wet.Apr 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm #1871345
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I always carry rain pants, they are a great multi-use item.
The obvious is that they keep me dry in the pouring rain and when walking through wet brush on over-grown trails.
They are a good wind shell and insulation layer when in camp (I carry the rain pants and leave the long underwear behind).
They are my change of clothes when needed (when washing out my hiking pants, I wear my rain pants) — I don't carry anything else to change into.
I wear them over wet pants to speed up the drying cycle.
I slip them on to sit on the wet camp furniture (ie. wet logs and rocks :)) or when I'm sitting in wet sand.
Very good bug protection.Apr 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm #1871350
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I agree with Mike's comments. I carry my PacLite GTX rain pants in the Sierra Nevada and especially the Rockies for protection from heavy downpours and all day rains. YEah, 15 oz. but when needed really worth it.
Nice in the rare late summer snows and I can vent them a quite bit by unzipping the lower leg zips in snow conditions or drizzle and non-windy rain.
And I ALWAYS carry my light REI Kimtah eVent parka in the mountains. It's basic survival clothing.
BTW, if this "NEVER WET" DWR treatment ever becomes commercially available wind pants would serve as excellent rain pants when treated. That stuff is truly amazing. GOOGLE it and check it out. Chocolate syrup runs right off white sneakers!Apr 25, 2012 at 11:51 pm #1871352
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
My rain pants weigh 2.45 ounces, so there is little reason to leave them behind.
I think I use them for wind/warmth more than anything else.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 7:05 am #1871429
@zalmen_mlotekLocale: Northwest CT
I skip the rain pants in 3 season hiking. I pack a pair of Montbell Dynamo wind pants which have a DWR treatment. They will wet through but I stay warm in them on the move and when I get to camp I change out of them.
I love these pants.Apr 26, 2012 at 7:43 am #1871442
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I always carry them if its cold. I know you sweet some under them but trust me that is way better than having 50 degree water running down your legs all day long in the rain. If your legs are too cold the muscles will tighten up and you'll fatigue faster. Also I rarely carr long underwear bottoms or insulated pants. If an evening is a bit colder than normal my rain pants add a lot of warmth.Apr 26, 2012 at 9:50 am #1871490
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
"My rain pants weigh 2.45 ounces, so there is little reason to leave them behind."
So, I'll ask the obvious… What kind of pants do you have?
I think I tend to use my Golite Reeds more for extra warmth and when I'm walking through wet brush, than during actual downpours.
I'll always bring mine in a wet climate.Apr 26, 2012 at 11:24 am #1871534
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
Oh to hike in a climate where leaving them behind was a choice! :)Apr 26, 2012 at 11:41 am #1871537
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"What kind of pants do you have?"
It came out of the Liberty Ridge wind pants kit from Thru-Hiker. The fabric is about half waterproof and about half breathable. For my legs, that is about right.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 11:43 am #1871539
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
I hear you Mike,
I was out for 5 days in Ireland last week and used mine for about 5 hours and was glad to have them :-)Apr 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm #1871552
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Cold rain, snow, wet brush/tall grass when cold, wind with above, a combo of all. At high altitudes (Cascades, Rockies) this often happens, although the soggy brush/tall grass to waist height or higher is more characteristic of the Cascades. Even overnight dew in fair weather is enough to make them soggy!
If it's warm, I just get wet–nylon supplex and its relatives dry really fast.
I've met enough cold, wet, windy conditions in the past that I never go without my rain pants. In warmer climates, I might feel differently.Apr 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm #1871598
@mikmikLocale: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
I reeeeeally don't like getting wet while camping, it kind of puts a big minus through the experience for me. Water rolls off your jacket top straight onto your bottom half. No thanks :(. Plus we generally go in the cooler months so wet and cold and my trip is ruined.
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