Apr 25, 2007 at 2:33 pm #1222985
I spent a lot of time researching wind shirts and decided upon the Patagonia Houdini (3.88 oz). I'm now trying to find some wind pants to go with the Houdini. I find durability and water resistance are less of a concern for me in a wind shirt, but in a wind pant they are very important to me. I find, things you wear on top are a little easier to baby than things on the bottom, among the brush and rocks. I'm assuming less breathability is okay on the legs, please tell me if I'm wrong. What I currently wear are TNF Paramount Convertible Pants (1.3 lbs). I think I can do better wearing some light shorts and donning the wind pants when necessary. I think being able to put them on and take them off with shoes on, in the rain, is important to me. These will also be used for bug protection. I currently use my Houdini all year long and would hope to do the same with the wind pants. This means they would need to deal with snow, sun and everything in between. I've included my short list below but feel free to add to the list if you think I'm missing something. I'm currently leaning toward the Wild Things Epic Windpants. Any experience you can relate would be much appreciated! I've scoured BackpackGearTest and what I could find here. It surprised me that there aren't a lot of reviews on wind and rain pants here. You all have saved me a lot of money and room in my closet with the advice I've received here. Thanks in advance!Apr 25, 2007 at 2:52 pm #1387308
The nice thing about epic windpants is that they don't rely on DWR to be highly water resistant. It's hydrophobic qualities are for the life of the garment ( although you do have to periodically clean the pants of dirt, grime and the like to keep those qualities up. The fact that pack straps are not pumping water through seams and the material itself , which can be the case w/ an epic jacket, makes it a practical material for consideration in a windpant. Wild Things uses a fairly abrasion resistant form of Epic although it's not a ripstop material and tears should they happen, could be a problem.
I personally use the Montane Featherweight pant for their superior breathibility, lighter weight and very good DWR (although this will need to be re-done in time). Also because the material used by Montane seems surprisingly tough off the trail. My SUL clothing set up in the Summer is generally running pants w/ the Featherweights slipped over.
Everyone seems to like the Reed Pant but it will not breathe as well as the former 2 selections. Some individuals would say that breathability of pants is not the issue it is with a jacket. My crotch says otherwise when using for a long period of time, especially cranking uphill in bad weather.
I have no experience w/ the stretch Montbell pants. Check their sizing charts carefully.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:12 pm #1387311
Kevin, thanks for your thoughts, I was hoping you would reply! I read your review of the Wild Things Epic Wind Shirt and noticed that the Featherlite was on your Sierra Fall 06 Gearlist. How would you compare the DWR on the Featherlites with the Wild Things Epic fabric? I'm hoping to get away with wearing these as rain pants. I'm impressed that the Featherlites are as durable as you say. I know you spend some time off trail. I imagine if I choose the Montbell pants I'll be a guinea pig, as they are so new.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:27 pm #1387315
In the context of clothing, silicon encapsulated Epic will keep water out longer than the DWR treatments on the market that I'm familiar with, and as I said, this is for the life of a properly maintained Epic garment. DWR treatments are noticably more breathable than Epic, but require retreatment, eventually. DWR, as someone on this site has stated, will wear off in the face of repeated abrasion.
As far as I know, DWR treatments are not applied to ( and probably would get in the way of) Epic.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:31 pm #1387317
I use these as well for my rain pants and I have been very happy with them. While nothing like my old Pata Houdini pants, they are more breathable than my old Marmot precip pants and dry very fast. In sustained rain they will soak through in a short period of time though. I personally do not consider this a problem for fact that I would be soaked in sweat with a regular rain pant.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:37 pm #1387318
Of course, in pervasive precip, no unsealed garment is going to keep you dry for long. Seam sealing a DWR garment or an Epic jacket or pants will considerably keep one drier for longer.
Note: Epic cannot be seam-taped. You need to use a silicone sealant. 100%Silicone caulk diluted a little w/ paint thinner and applied w/ a small brush works well. This would work with (at least some) DWR treated fabics, as well.
Downside? Your Pants and Jackets will look like slugs have been travelling over them.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:43 pm #1387319
There are also the Integral Designs Pertex Wind Pants (4.1 oz Large) you might want to consider. I don't have any experience with them.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:53 pm #1387320
Jonathan, I'm not sure why Patagonia stop selling the Houdini pants. They would definitely be on my short list. I know it is hard to quantify, but what do you mean by a short period of time? I would like to stay dry for about 3 hours, ideally all day but I know that's a lot to hope for. Epic tents seem to go 3 hours and often well beyond. I'm hoping the pants would do better than a tent because the fabric is not taut and not generally perpendicular to the rain. Contact with skin may undo those advantages, however.Apr 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm #1387323
Great point on the seam sealing! I wonder if an irrigation syringe would do a neater job and be just as thorough. In the end, function matters more than looks. It would be nice to be able to blame it on the slugs but if it's that wet then I'm expecting too much of the garments on my short list :).Apr 25, 2007 at 4:06 pm #1387325
>> "I'm hoping the pants would do better than a tent because the fabric is not taut and not generally perpendicular to the rain. Contact with skin may undo those advantages, however."
This is something to consider. I would propose you wear something like Patagonia silkweight (Cap 1) bottoms underneath the Epic pants in rain. Not only will direct skin contact eventually lead to moisture wicking through ( but definitely not right away) but Epic when thoroughly wet feels cold to the touch—-probably a source of convective heat loss.Apr 25, 2007 at 4:19 pm #1387329
I own a set of Epic Wind pants, they are not Wild Things but MacPac (from NZ) I purchased these 4 years ago and they are great! They have not been seam sealed but for me they are my wind and rain pants. It takes a long time 4+ hours for the rain to "wet through".
I wash them after a trip if needed with NikWax TechWash and they are as good as new. In fact when we had a lot of rain in NY (2 weeks ago) I was out walking wearing these pants the layer underneath stayed completely dry in 2 hours of torrential rain. As a consequence of the pants performance I now use exclusively Wild Things Epic Wind shirts as my rain gear.Apr 25, 2007 at 4:30 pm #1387331
Roger, have you been in heavy rain wearing a backpack with the WT Epic windshirts? Or have you just switched to them recently?Apr 25, 2007 at 5:19 pm #1387336
I have had the Wild Things "half zip" for a while but have managed to avoid really heavy rain. My experience with the Epic pants would suggest that apart from long periods (4+ hours) an epic top will keep you mostly dry. Besides which after 4 hours of wearing an epic top, I will be damp from perspiration anyway. In other words Epic is not as breathable as Quantum, but Epic (in my experience) is more water resistant.
As Kevin, and many before, have said, Epic material does not lose its water resistance with use, unlike a DWR treated fabric.Apr 25, 2007 at 5:53 pm #1387337
shortly after posting about the pants I went for a run in the rain and my legs started getting wet after 40 minutes. While the pants were not soaking through, the knees wetted out.
I agree the houdini pants are great. I take very good care of them :)Apr 25, 2007 at 6:08 pm #1387340
I would think the knees would be the first place to wet out.
I'm curious, Jonathan—-were you wearing anything underneath the pants or was skin in direct contact w/ the knees? Secondly, had you cleaned the windpants recently?Apr 25, 2007 at 6:15 pm #1387342
I was wearing a pair of Sahalie tights underneath so I am pretty sure it was not sweat I was feeling. I also wash them after every run b/c the material stinks when mixed with sweat (does not make the little lady happy having them lay around that way). It makes sense that the knees would wet out as they are in constant contact with the material when running. By no means was I soaking wet though, I could just feel cold water starting to come through. I should also mention that it was by no means drizzling. We had some good driving rain up here in New England this afternoon.Apr 25, 2007 at 6:41 pm #1387345
Interesting. Thanks J.
Wetting out by mechanical action. One gets this w/ DWR pants as well.Apr 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm #1387348
I have used the Montbell UL wind pants maybe 30 times in the past year, mainly for bicyling in the rain. They wet through in the seat area due to pressure, but otherwise are 95% waterproof at the low pressures encountered in rainfall.
They are light enough to toss in my pack even when I DONT expect rain; and are thus a good backup.
I re-did the DWR spray to try and get the proofness up from 95% back to maybe 99%.
However, if I was to buy again, I would only buy two shell pants, ID eVENT for wind AND rain, and a full zip shell pant for mountaineering (RedLedge full zips).
eVENT is that much better.$$$$Apr 26, 2007 at 3:26 am #1387367
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Note: Epic cannot be seam-taped. You need to use a silicone sealant.
Yes, you need to use a silicone adhesive, but siloxane-based tapes do exist. They are just hard to find and 'not cheap'. I taped the seams on an EPIC ski jacket I made – works fine. I regularly tape the seams on my silnylon tents.
If you can't find a siloxane tape, try cutting strips of EPIC about 12 mm wide and gluing them to the inside of the seam with silicone sealant. Tricky as the stuff has no 'tack', but can be done too.
> You need to use a silicone sealant. 100%Silicone caulk diluted a little w/ paint thinner and applied w/ a small brush works well. This would work with (at least some) DWR treated fabics, as well.
Not a good idea in my experience if the DWR is a fluorocarbon, as most are. Silicone sealant adheres very poorly to fluorocarbons. A PU sealent usually works a bit better, but for some DWR treatments I find little works very well. Unfortunate.
CheersApr 26, 2007 at 6:58 am #1387370
Steve, thanks for suggesting the Integral Designs pants, I hadn't considered them. The weight and the price are good but I don't know rather I can get these on and off over shoes. I suspect I can't because they don't have zippers in the legs, but the cut of the legs may allow it. The quality of the DRW is an unknown but probably very good given Integral Designs reputation. I looked for some reviews but didn't find any. Don Wilson did a spotlite review of the jacket and commented on it's breathability but not on it's water resistance.Apr 26, 2007 at 7:09 am #1387373
Thanks, Roger. That is indeed good news. I think I'll experiment with it.
I guess I was lucky w/ the one DWR windshirt I sealed the seams on (a Marmot Ion).Apr 26, 2007 at 7:12 am #1387374
Oh, the water resistance of eVENT would not be in question. But eVENT is quite air permeable ( it's reason for breathibility success is also a potential weakness)—wind can cut through. Some users have commented on this on this site. I don't know how much of a factor this is compared to some of the more permeable and lightest of the wind shells and pants.Apr 26, 2007 at 7:37 am #1387375
Roger, I think I found the MacPac pants you have. Are they the Essence pants? I'm not sure if they are still made. The specs look great, 4.5 oz with leg zippers. Your experience with Epic fabric is very encouraging!Apr 26, 2007 at 7:54 am #1387376
Jonathan, I forgot to ask in my last post to you, how have to found the performance of the leg zippers? Are they water resistant? Any problems getting the pants on and off? It is amazing how little information Wild Things has on their site about these pants.Apr 26, 2007 at 8:19 am #1387378
>>shortly after posting about the pants I went for a run in the rain and my legs started getting wet after 40 minutes. While the pants were not soaking through, the knees wetted out.
Jonathan, thanks for doing this test! This concerns me, but just a little. The worse I'll probably be doing in these is walking fast. I think running was a kind of worst case for the fabric. It's great to know it's limitations, of course. If this became an ongoing problem I would be tempted to coat the knees in some diluted silicon. With a roller or a squeegee and a suitable surface a decent job could probably be done. If this added too much weight it wouldn't be worth it. An Event pant would be better.
As an aside, do you typically wear your Houdini pants and if so how have they performed? I can always hope that Patagonia will make more or I'll get lucky and find a pair. According to Richard Nissley the Deluge DWR is very Epic like. My Houdini jacket is over 2 years old now and the DWR is still going strong.
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