Need some new rain shell pants

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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Need some new rain shell pants

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    Ryan C
    BPL Member


    Locale: United States

    The north country has been harsh on my rain pants to the point I am considering a replacement.

    My lightweight (7oz) ones are Montane (forget the model) with Entrant DT 2.5 layer stuff. My heavyweight (16oz) ones are REI Kimtah with eVent. I have treated both with DWRs but it just is not working as good as it used to. Both eventually wet through.

    Given the often hypothermic conditions we see up here I want something that will last more than a week. They are also used when mountain biking and general traveling so going on the slightly more durable side is preferred.

    Tried using the search function but it still does not work well or allow me to narrow down post from the past year.

    In order of importance are:

    1. Long term durability
    2. Lightweight (less than 11oz, the weight of my favorite shell)
    3. Breathability
    4. Value

    I am hesitant to get another thin 2.5 layer technology pant but don’t want another heavy pair either.



    James holden
    BPL Member


    doesnt exist … sorry

    your best bet is goretex pro … but that will cost you a pretty penny

    even the “best” WPB fabric will wet out with enough abrasive use or heavy/constant enough rain

    a better question might be to get the one with the best warranty


    Arne L.
    BPL Member


    Locale: Europe

    Athough I rarely use it for backpacking (… but then again, I don’t live in Alaska ;) ) i’m very happy with my 3L Gore-Tex Pro rainpants. They’re used for extensive cycling commuting and winterbackpacking.
    I own them for over two years now and they have seen heavy usage. They have never been washed or re-coated and (in my opinion) are still breathable and waterproof.

    My model is the Sprayway Moutain Rainpants, since they were relatively cheap for a Pro-shell; 172 USD.
    They’re quite heavy by BPL standards; 12oz on my scale, just an oz over your preferred weight.

    BPL Member


    Agree with both Eric and Arne, the only solution that addresses #s 1, 2 and 4 is GoreTex Pro Shell. I’ll let you decide if it meets #3. My Marmot Exum jacket is like a suit of armor.

    Call me an optimist, but I have great hope for the new Columbia OutDry Extreme line. It will include several different “levels” of both jackets and pants and is supposed to go on sale Spring 2016.

    Ryan C
    BPL Member


    Locale: United States

    “doesnt exist … sorry”

    That’s what I figured. Did not find much out there so that’s why I asked.

    Call me crazy but I have actually come to prefer Gore Tex shells over my old eVent. They just seem to hold up better for me. Sure, eVent breathes better but I also don’t sweat too bad either in general. I have an Arcteryx with Pro and a Marmot with Active and actually love the Active for mild weather and mountain biking (seems to vent as good as eVent). There are just not very many offerings in pants for Active.

    Guess I need to find some Gore Tex Pro shell pants on the cheap somewhere.

    I have never had any Paclite gear. How durable is it in comparison to the lightweight 2.5 layer stuff and Gore Tex Pro? From what I understand Paclite is their “2.5 layer” technology. The Marmot minimalist pants are often on sale and are light enough for me to consider.


    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    I have used GT Packlite extensively but have not used Pro.  I haven’t had any dr lamination issues at all like I have with eVent and the 2.5 layer “proprietary” stuff.

    Most people haven’t had a problem with eVent but I have had two seperate de lamination events with it.

    I wore Golite Reed rain pants in Brooks Range this summer for two weeks and they are pretty much toast after the brush so I understand your need for something burly.   I wore a GT Packlite jacket and it held up ok except the brush wore the dwr off the arms.

    The face fabric will give you the durability and I think GT pro is only used on 40 denier and above.  GT Packlite is usually mated with a lighter fabric but maybe not all of the time.

    Your other issue is DWR but I don’t think there is a solution to that one yet (maybe out dry)

    BPL Member


    +1 on  Goretex Pro. I have had my Arcteryx for almost five years now and have worn them at work as well. The zippers on the sides are great, the gusseted knees are nice, the built in “gaiters” have been a nuisance for me. Pricey pair of pants for sure, but worth it if you are going to be in the rain all day long.

    Arne L.
    BPL Member


    Locale: Europe

    Mountain Equipment has a GTX Active pants: Firefox Pants.

    Don’t know about the availibility in the US, though. It’s a very popular and decent brand in the UK.

    Alexander S
    BPL Member


    Consider divorcing yourself from pants altogether and getting some Equinox or SD chaps.

    They easily surpass 3 out of your 4 stipulations (durability is relative). I’ve worn a SD gagoule and chaps on the WA coast in driving rain and have never been drier or less steamy with more freedom of movement. I believe it’s also the lightest set up around for the set (11oz?)

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    I ave a pair of REI Kimtah eVent rain pants and have only used them a few times as I want to keep them for backcountry skiing. Instead I use my Cabela’s Rainy River PacLite GTX pants which seem to hold up fairly well but aren’t as breathable as the eVent.

    GTX Pro Shell seems to be the choice of Ski Patrollers and that’s a good endorsement IMHO, having been a patroller for 16 years and knowing what we put our clothing through in the course of a winter.

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Biking is a tough cookie for rain pants. You have a constant wind and lots of abrasion in the crotch, chain and pedal damge, plus whatever you run into. I’m for cheap 2.5 layer shells replaced as needed.

    Pick something from the Showers Pass lineup, wear ’em out and do it again

    That said my rain pants du jour are OR Revel full zip pants in Pertex Shield that weigh 11.6oz in size large.

    Lawrence Crowley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Victoria

    I’m a big fan of these Norrona pants and you wont have a problem with durability. The cut is almost as good as a pair of street pants too. Downside is weight (not UL) and price. Great quality gear.


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