Jun 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm #1303822
So where are rain pants usually warranted? I have a pair of full zip Golite's and a pair of eVent REI Kimtah's but rarely ever wear them and wear my trash bag rain skirt more often. Is it snow and should I keep the Golite ones then because I can fit them better over my size 15s? Just curious. Thanks.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm #1993662
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I go out in the rain a lot and never wear rain pants. Just a long jacket that's sort of like a rain skirt, and nylon pants that get wet if it rains enough but they dry out quickly.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm #1993664
I wear rain pants if I am expecting a lot of rain at temps close to freezing. They are invaluable then.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm #1993667
– -K.T.- –Participant
I wear them at work when I am in and out of a truck/stores. Only if it is really coming down will I wear them while hiking. More for lounging in camp when things are wet.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm #1993669
"I go out in the rain a lot and never wear rain pants. Just a long jacket that's sort of like a rain skirt, and nylon pants that get wet if it rains enough but they dry out quickly."
No offense, but this is usually how I know If someone really spends time out in wet weather, versus a few minutes to an hour or so.
If you have been out in the rain all day and may have to do it again, you will soon learn to protect yourself, including rain pants- quality ones.
If you experience the occasional shower but get go home and change/ dry then you are much more likely to be casual about it.
If you ever encounter a down pour or extended periods of heavy rain, and going inside is not an option either because you are backpacking or because you work outside, you will soon get the difference between misery and well, a lot less misery.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm #1993670
Wet and cold weather is the only time you need them.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm #1993674
@antonsolovyevLocale: Colorado, Utah
Rain pants (Marmot Precip full zip) are the only pants I carry on hikes (in addition to shorts).
So, (rain) pants come out every time when it's cold, windy, rainy or I am bushwacking. Or glissading in the mountains :) That means that usually I put them on every morning, getting out of the bag.
This spring I had these rain pants and merino longjones, it was more than sufficient down to temps in the 20-ies.
The beauty of full zips is that I can dump a lot of heat quickly by unzipping sides. Also, take them off/on w/o taking off shoes.
These Marmot Precips are something like 7 year old. Some holes patched, some delamination.
The new (current) version is a bit heavier, so I did not want to get it.Jun 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm #1993676
"I wear rain pants if I am expecting a lot of rain at temps close to freezing. They are invaluable then."
Same with meJun 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm #1993700
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
Not to risk the wrath of Kat P, but I hike very hot and my legs never seem to get cold … so even in a wet Scottish winter I hike in shorts or 3/4 pants at most. If it is a windy wet cold, I might wrap my lower body with my groundsheet during breaks. I put rain pants on in camp and as a VBL sleeping layer and let my hiking clothes dry out overnight. I just make certain to select shorts that will dry with minimal encouragement.Jun 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm #1993704
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I don't hike much in extended rain, but I do winter creek bushwhacking/canyon trips where I am constantly wading through water while the air temperature 30-50 degrees. I love my golite running tights. They don't absorb much water and because tights hug your body, they warm up very well when wet. If I did these trips in shorts my legs would stay painfully cold after exiting the water.
You don't always need waterproof pants. If you have pants that are windproof and water resistant, they will cut the wind and slow the penetration of water significantly allowing you to warm up the water without fresh rain water stealing the heat from you.
If rain pants are too warm then wind pants with a dwr and letting them get wet might work. And it's a lighter option.
I can't see myself wearing rain pants unless it's near freezing and very windy.
But I am very warm while hiking. I have had people on the trail wearing gloves and beanies express concern about my lack of clothing. When I stop moving I get really cold and it's hard for me to warm up.Jun 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm #1993713
"Not to risk the wrath of Kat P, but I hike very hot and my legs never seem to get cold … so even in a wet Scottish winter I hike in shorts or 3/4 pants at most. If it is a windy wet cold, I might wrap my lower body with my groundsheet during breaks. I put rain pants on in camp and as a VBL sleeping layer and let my hiking clothes dry out overnight. I just make certain to select shorts that will dry with minimal encouragement."
You're wrong and I know you don't have enough experience to really know what you're saying. But hey, NO OFFENSE! Rawr! Haha.
On a serious note…I'm with Davey on this one.Jun 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm #1993724
Here is the deal, I can probably still return the Kimtah since it has been less than a year that I have bought them and really haven't used them. I can kinda get my size 15s into them but it is not easy. I should probably keep the full-zip Tumalos I have since I can't return them and they are easier to get off and on. The don't breath as well but they don't have to for my legs as I can unzip them some. They also don't seem as durable but how often will I use them?Jun 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm #1993735
@kalebcLocale: South West
I was in Denali and it rained for 4 days non-stop, no exaggeration. We all had rain pants, it got into the high 30's-40's, our baselayers stayed mostly dry. One out if three of us got hypothermic the last night due to his 40F sleeping bag. I couldn't imagine not having rain pants, it would have been life threatening (even more so than it already was).Jun 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm #1993737
Sorry for the wrath, but my point is that extended hours with wet clothing, without being able to change is very different than being ok with getting wet for a while. I have worked with a number of people that refuse to wear proper rain gear saying that they are really ok…..but after hours of it, even at 55 degrees, they felt differently.
I am ok with getting wet clothes if there is time to dry them out.Jun 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm #1993739
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
David's experience sounds logical, but mine has been the same as the OP's, no matter how cold and how long the rain lasts. The rainpants just don't get used.
When I was younger, it was a long WPB jacket, patagonia baggies and short WPB gaitors to keep water form running down into the footwear. This worked fine for extended cold treks in the rain as often occurs in the NE US. If I got cold, some fleece under the rain jacket and cap worked better than pants, and I was more comfortable because heat and water vapor could quickly dissipate.
Now I generate much less heat, so find it helplful to wear a light softshell pant in extended cold rain while hiking, and in many other situations as well. Now it is the baggies that stay in the pack. The DWR on the softshell erodes a bit after a while, but can't believe how fast the softshell dries out from the body heat while hiking, and never gets sopping wet. And it is extremely comfortable.
Haven't ever found a use for rain pants, so out they went. But I understand the Pacific NW gives a new definition to wet, so maybe they are useful there.Jun 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm #1993741
Then my question is:
Do you all bring a change of clothes? Do you carry the wet set in the pack the next day? The third day? Two extra pants?
Edited. My first post on this was not usually how I like to come off, but it's both too late to change it and it does reflect my experience. I certainly could have made my point without offending anyone.Jun 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm #1993751
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Yes, I change out of my hiking pants into some long underwear and then change back into my wet pants in the morning. I do the same thing with my socks. I usually wear shorts in the rain (if it's not too cold) so I don't have to deal with wet pants.
I don't think wet is always a problem. You just need to add more synthetic or wool clothing to stay warm while wet. If you are warm with a rain jacket and a base layer, you might need to add a fleece or wool sweater if you are wearing a windshirt. If you are wearing non-waterproof pants you might need to add some long underwear.
Rain gear is lighter and more practical than being warm while wet.Jun 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm #1993757
I wear running short tights. I wear them in the rain all day and then to sleep at night. I carry Under Armour coldgear compression long pants that I put on over the shorts once I'm out of the rain if it is cold.Jun 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm #1993762
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I almost never carry or us long underwear even when other people think they are mandatory. But I carry rain pants.
I feel like my legs stay plenty warm when I'm hiking. I only have issues if they are wet or there is a cold wind blowing. I'm sure long johns would work but I like the rain pants because they keep my legs dray and they are more then enough insulation to keep my legs warm.Jun 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm #1993771
@dafiremedicLocale: Southern California
I only bring the zip-offs I'm wearing, and my Dri-Ducks rain pants are my back ups to wear when I do laundry, etc. I have yet to wear them in the rain, but they are the lightest pair of pants that I have, so they make perfect back ups. And someday I may actually wear them in the rain.Jun 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm #1993802
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I suspect there is a real difference in people's definition of REALLY wet weather.
I consider rain pants mandatory gear for me as it might rain non-stop for the entire trip. In non-stop (heavy) rain you don't get a chance to dry anything out, so staying dry is important especially if you are like me and don't carry extra cloths (that said, I consider my rain pants my extra clothes).
I really don't like hiding away in my tiny shelter when it's raining, I just sit out in the rain and am fine as long as I have my rain gear and can keep warm (and sitting on wet logs really sucks without rain pants!). If I'm hiking all day in wet brush I will also put on the rain pants but only if it's too cold and wet outside to expect my pants to dry out.Jun 6, 2013 at 1:20 am #1993816
I hike in shorts and I always carry wind pants that are highly water resistant. They work well in the rain and keep me warm and dry in even cold, sustained down pours. They double as a pair of long pants and I can wear them at night or to sleep as well because I don't bring long underwear bottoms. To me the rain/wind pants are more versatile.
My recent experience is the CT, JMT and PCT sections. If I routinely hiked in much colder climates i would probably also carry long underwear bottoms. But in any event, unless I'm in very dry climates in very dry months, I carry my wind pants to supplement the shorts I hike in.Jun 6, 2013 at 2:38 am #1993821
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
I always carry, and moderately often use, overtrousers in the UK. It isn't the rain so much as when you get the combination of persistent rain and high winds. That needs protecting against and overtrousers are essentially the only way to do it. They're very light nowadays.
I do normally let my trousers get wet first mind. They dry underneath the overtrousers.Jun 6, 2013 at 5:46 am #1993839
I can think of many days where it was raining and windy and cold where rain pants were essential. There have been days where it was so cold and wet that I had to keep walking to stay warm if I didn't want to just camp for the day. Those are the kind of days where, for me anyway, rain pants are one of the most important items of gear I carry. Like most of you, I pack light, and I also often wear them on dry days hiking in a cold wind, or for warmth sitting around camp, or even to wear while doing laundry on days off trail in town.
Mid-summer at low elevations I might not carry them. Most other situations I carry rain gear top and bottoms as standard items. Here's a photo of a day in Glacier where I really needed rain pants. Rain, sleet and snow all day long (and all night.) Not a good situation to get behind the curve on body heat.Jun 6, 2013 at 5:46 am #1993840
Interested to know what DWR treatments people are applying to their wind gear to get good water resistance as described by a few.
In my experience the factory applied DWR on wind jackets from montbell, arcteryx, westcomb, MH, salomon and some others have not been sufficient to keep me dry for more than a couple of minutes in a good rain and the following contact with wet brush and branches.
I've also used wash in and spray on DWR from Nikwax to rejuvenate the coating.
Usually I don't mind getting wet, but would love to get some additional water resistance from my clothing.
I haven't used a Houdini that everyone here seems to own, so maybe that's the secret. But in a test I just saw, the Squamish faired better in water resistance than the Houdini, and I was just out for a run in the rain in that jacket and was soaked pretty quickly.
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