I often carry them and never used them.
I did use sky/winter pants twice though (once when it was very cold, at least -20C and once at 6000m).
I do have merino long johns and blouse for cold though (again almost never wear them either).
Used some Mont hydronaut pants on my first trip to NZ, and didn’t really like them (too long ago, cant remember why exactly) . Saw guides on the same track on the passes in shorts and gaiters in terrible weather. Gave it a go and have never packed rain pants since..
I find that rain gear is great for keeping the wind out (moreso than the rain) and some heat in, so they are great for staying warm if you suffer in cold windy conditions. I’m from a warm climate and, I find that gaiters are sufficent for my legs (however I only tramp in NZ in Summer)
This post has been edited by the author on 29 September 2018 at 17:12.
That's a lot how I feel moh. I only wear my rain jackets as a wind breaker. Rain is rain. I get wet.
I've camped on top of the tararua tops in the middle of winter woken to a howling gale and hail and just chucked on some long johns under my rugby shorts and been sweet. I've battled along tops in winter gales in rugby shorts and been fine. My thighs are red raw but that's part of the fun.
But I have had two merino undershirts a fleece long sleeve and rain jacket on. A wool beanie, polypropylene gloves and waterproof over mitts.
Long story short my legs are fine if the rest is covered.
This stuff is subjective. If your venturing into unchartered dangerous territory without knowing this stuff and what you can handle you shouldn't be going there. You don't learn how to tramp, hunt or climb mountains on the Internet. You learn by getting out there and doing it from the bottom up.
I'm not a fan of these types of questions. No offense to the original poster.
I buy cheap extra-large overtrousers and they are wide enough to slip on and off even over my plastic boots but not with my crampons on. I have overtrousers with side zips etc. but can't bear the thought of their being ripped so unless the trip has no scrub, the expensive overtrousers stay home. In fact because the expensive ones are a bit heavier I leave them home even for trips where there is no scrub.
I repair the rips in my cheap overtrousers and they last for years and years. I have a pair of goretex full side-zip overtrousers and I have used them once in 13 years on the expedition I was told to buy them for. I would only wear overtrousers this good if I was building a snow-cave. Majorly overengineered! I carry overtrousers on all trips and that means I can go lighter on my thermal second layer of leggings in the shoulder seasons if I am camping out. I probably need extra warmth on my legs because I never wear shorts - since my legs were shredded by icy prickly shield fern on the Dusky.
Outdoor research helium pants if it might rain. Arc’tyrex beta SL if it definitely will rain, they kept me completely dry over the Routeburn in the remnants of the cyclone end of Jan 18 that closed the track the next day.
I had never given this subject much thought. I have always just used shorts and gaiters where necessary and carried thermals to wear if needed. At best I wear the thermals more at the hut in the evenings, but occasionally in inclement weather whilst tramping. The merino ones today are great and still provide warmth and protection when wet. Up until reading this I had never given any thought to over trousers. Getting older, maybe I should think a bit more on this?
It's never too late to change your mind on this. I always just went shorts and gaiters and had Icebreaker leggins in the pack if needed.
However, I thought on it too and now, if I'm going to elevations where snow and/or cold winds are possible rain pants go in the pack.
If it's in cross season or winter then I'll consider putting in my 3-Layer ski pants, despite weighing 520g.
If conditions are borderline I wear polypro leggings under my shorts and if I warm I just roll them up. Otherwise they stay down. For an extra top layer to keep off wind and rain, full-zip breathable rain pants are essential to keep that option open and make for a quick & easy changeover.
I bought a pair of Macapc Hightail pants and not only are they not very waterproof (extremely lightweight) the zip comes nowhere near high enough to get these over boots. So that was a fairly pointless buy.