Are Rain Pants Necessary?
I have my top shell sorted but almost forgot about my pants, do I need rain pants or do you just let your regular pants get wet in the rain?
Rain pants are not really to keep you dry, but to protect from wind chill. They do make a big difference as windproofs, especially at this time of year on the tops. But it depends a bit on your top shell. If you have a full length top that comes down to around mid-thigh, full gaiters that come up to just below your knees, and the usual polyprop tights under your shorts, then this doesn't leave much exposed to the wind. You can reasonably get away without windproof trousers if the trip was primarily in the bush, or in warm summer conditions. Must have feature ... good strong full length zips and closures so you can get them on and off without removing your boots.
rain pants come into their own in cold wet conditions, especially if you become immobilised. you might not need them that often, but when you do, you really need them...
Must have feature … good strong full length zips and closures so you can get them on and off without removing your boots. Certainly must be able to get on without removing boots. Mine dont have full length zips but can be put on over boots. Zips can be a weakness unless very well designed
mine are three quarter length zip. can get those on over boots, but have to be a bit careful with muddy boots... wouldnt bother with anything with a shorter zip one advantage with not having full length zip is you dont have to faff around trying to connect the zip up, which can be difficult in high winds.
My system is water resistant wind pants, under a waterproof rain kilt, I find this far more useful than waterproof pants.
Likewise. Long coat and knee height gators plus polyprop leggings if its cold. Used to carry overtrou but so rarely used them... 3 or 4 occasions on exposed ridgelines in bitter freezing rain I've missed them ... but not enough to start carrying them. I generally treat waterproofs as a way of slowing the transfer of moisture/heat between the environment & myself - ie dress for 'warm when wet' not rely on anything to keep me dry ... it never has.
I buy a couple of sizes larger than I am so I can pull them on and off without having to muck around with zips. They have drawstrings for the waist so are no issue being much bigger than I am. I get the very cheap ones which are also very light. I have pricier brands but very seldom use them as I don't want to get them damaged. One pair of goretex would only be worn for building snow caves or self-arrest practice. I wear mine when stopping for lunch at this time of year.It makes a huge difference. I can reach them from the side of my pack without having to take my pack off or even stand up. And having front pockets means I can whip them off and pack them into a pocket without having to stop. Of course I am also wearing thermal long johns. My thin polarfleece trousers are also big enough to pull over my boots too. Just in case. They are also good for scrub bashing. Being cheap means I can go for it in bush lawyer and matagouri. Then the duct tape comes out when I get home. They've been singed and had spark damage from fires too.
They might be a passenger most of the time but when its wet,cold & windy,you can`t beat `em.I don`t like anything but shorts on a tramp so putting them on in the hut in the mornings stops the teeth chattering until we start legging it.Bear in mind too,if you become immobile,they could be a lifesaver in crap conditions.
Personally hate pants in general no matter what I'm doing. Rugby shorts, long rain coat that covers them. Knee high gaiters and long John's for the coldest weather. It's what works for you. Some people are skin and bone and need all that gear. Experience will teach you what you need to know.
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