View Full Version : Rain pants- yes or no?

02-12-2007, 17:42
I'm packing a rain jacket, but thinking about not bringing the pants. My boots wil never stay dry if it's rainy, whether or not I'm wearing anything on my legs, so why carry the extra weight?

Is there any reason to pack along my waterproof rain pants?

02-12-2007, 17:44
A reason for rain pants is wind. I've found that rain is less a problem if you can avoid getting chilled legs. I'd go for lightweight rain pants, and focus more on wind proofness than rain proofness.

02-12-2007, 17:47
Well it depends when you're leaving. I hike mostly in shorts but if its a cold all day rain then pants are nice. No need in warm weather but priceless to me if it's 45 degree rain. I also wear them if it's cold and windy. I'm pretty weak about the cold though. Arizona can do that to ya. I like some kind of pants for bug protection too. If I'm getting eaten alive then they're worth it to me.

That being said, you could hike without them for sure. I don't mind the weight for those time when I do use them.

02-12-2007, 18:09
A really nice pair of pants is the "Athletic Works" brand from Walmart. They are nylon with a mesh liner. They've worked great for me in cold weather and will help with some rain. Price is hard to beat.

02-12-2007, 18:15
These seem like the best alternative


a little expensive though

02-12-2007, 20:56
If you're starting in early March when you may encounter snow (and you know you'll have some cold temps), then rain pants are worth it and you can them ship them home from Damascus. I recently completed some day-hiking in the Adirondacks in 10 degree weather with snow wearing rain pants over spandex. I was quite comfortable especially when sitting (sometimes involuntarily) in the snow or on snowy rocks.

02-12-2007, 21:00
Rainpants are good for warmth, rain, snow, and laundry day. :)

02-12-2007, 22:15
Yes, nuff said

02-12-2007, 22:19
Is there any reason to pack along my waterproof rain pants?

I'd say, yes. I've been back and forth on this item, but on balance, IMO, they're worth the 6 or 7 oz. Aside from rain, they're useful as a wind barrier, and as an extra layer for warmth. I skipped 'em on my last section and got lucky -- I didn't have to do any serious walking in heavy rain.

02-12-2007, 22:53
I used Marmot Rainpants that had the full zip all the way up each leg.. good for venitilation.. Also on a really cold wet day It helps to keep dryer longer with rainpants... I liked them...

02-12-2007, 23:48

if its a weight issue then these solve that problem, the $67 may be an issue, depends on you, but at that weight including ankle zips how can you go wrong?

02-12-2007, 23:58
I had a pair of Patagonia zip-off pants....No Rain jacket, pants, or pack cover. Just a poncho to cover me and my pack. Best gear switch I made on the trail.

02-13-2007, 07:13
I know I am of the minority responders but for three season I stopped taking them long ago. The reason was because I began to notice that they were more likely to make me wet from within rather than to keep me dry from without. So, I began to see no use for them at all, outside of the winter season where the object would be to keep the exerted body heat more inside than outside..

The trunk is where one generates one's body heat and not the legs. I think those who walk in rain pants just might be more predisposed to become one of those who walk in sweat. Rain pants keep so much of the built up body heat inside that wearing them seems like being in a sauna. So, instead of lowering one's body heat, which lowers one's sweat output, they raise one's heat, and corresponding sweat output.

So, keep the trunk nice and dry and air through the legs.

02-13-2007, 09:41
I only wished I wore them once (and I realy should have put them on). I like wind pants/convertibles so the wind is not much of an issue for me. I started with them, but sent them home. However, in 02 there wasn't much rain and cold, so if your year is rainy/snowy and cold they may be worth thier weight in gold.
The other big reason to pack them is laundry day as your rain gear may be your only set of clothes that do not need to be cleaned. I heard of another trick that I ended up using of using my rain jacket and my sleeping bag. It may look a little weird, but the locals seem to be use to it.
I would start with them and decide to keep then once on the trail. They won't get used much, however (unless its real cold and laundry day).

02-13-2007, 09:48
Frogg Togg rain pants are the only long pants that I carry and use in the warm weather/summer

02-13-2007, 10:06
I hike in shorts, so often the only long pants I bring are my rain pants. I only wear them hiking if the weather is particularly bad -- cold, windy, rain, sleet, that sort of thing -- but I find them useful on breaks and in camp in winter and spring hikes. I use the Golite Reed pants, which weigh <5 ounces in size Large, so they don't add a lot of weight for their functionality.

My wife made me a pair of <3 oz wind pants, from the 1.1oz breathable ripstop nylon available at thru-hiker.com. I take these in warmer weather as my only pants. They are somewhat rain resistant, and again, are useful around camp when it gets chilly.

02-13-2007, 10:08
I never wished I had rain pants on my thru in 2003 ...you know, the "wet" year. I carried a pair of lightweight nylon pants that were quick-dry.

I hiked darn near the entire trail in shorts (almost knee length) and then wore gaiters. The combination of shorts and high gaiters was plenty.


hammock engineer
02-13-2007, 10:12
I'm starting with some. I like them for the above cold weather options. Too me it is easier to start with something a ditch it later, than need it and have to go without or pick one up.

02-13-2007, 11:02
Rainpants are good for warmth, rain, snow, and laundry day. :)

i have a pair of rain pants from dancing light gear i really like:cool: neo

02-13-2007, 12:13
[quote=BirchBark;320921]I'm packing a rain jacket, but thinking about not bringing the pants. My boots wil never stay dry if it's rainy, whether or not I'm wearing anything on my legs, so why carry the extra weight?[quote]
I hate getting my boots wet because my day goes downhill from there. Try using short gaiters during rain and that should solve your problem. They weigh only about 5 oz. As to rain paints, I use quick drying running pants instead.

02-13-2007, 12:17
for summer and fall and spring i only bring a pair of convertables to hike in (usually just as shorts) and a pair of polypro's to sleep in (except in real summer where i just bring an extra pair of shorts

i've never used rain pants b/c from how sweaty my rain jacket makes me i can only imagine having my legs in sauna pants however they would be really nice on misearable days to put on when your stopped b/c you will get really cold once you've stopped

02-13-2007, 13:18
I noticed that some of the options others have posted costs a great deal of money.

I earlier put a thread about Frogg Toggs on sale at Seirra Trading Post for 29.95 (36 with shipping). I have already received mine and they are very light. Can't wait to try them.

check out the thread. I don't know how to post/attach a link to another thread so just do a search for frogg toggs and click the coopdog one.

02-13-2007, 18:45
Thanks a bunch for the input, everyone. Very good points about the benefit of heat retention, as well as the perils of moisture retention, to be had donning rain pants.

After mulling over the thoughts expressed here at WB, the rain pant I was about to take will probably stay in the closet when I hop on the Amtrak in early March. I will take a pair of convertibles in its place, however (http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=39199912&memberId=12500226).

My thinking is that if it should become so brutally cold that I find myself needing waterproof pants, I'd be better off sheltered-up somewhere in survival mode. Incidentally, I'm packing more than enough warm-n-toasty sleepwear and fleece underlayers for most conceivable weather conditions.

Once the Zip Stove arrives and the weather gets back to normal, I'm outta here.

02-13-2007, 19:21
without rainpants you cant do laundry in town. and you also cant stay alive .dryly

02-13-2007, 20:10
Rain pants make a good outer layer in wind, snow, very cold, and even rainey conditions. The idea is to stay warm, not dry.

02-13-2007, 20:15
without rainpants you cant do laundry in town. and you also cant stay alive .dryly

The laundromats where Matthewski lives are incredibly violent.

02-13-2007, 23:51
The laundromats where Matthewski lives are incredibly violent.
Ask Jester, real men wear skirts in town.

02-14-2007, 00:03
You will have the problem of getting caught in rain and wind. Freezing rain can be vicious, even if you have good headgear, jacket and fleece. If you are walking along exposed ridgeline, or along a long section of side hill trail without campsites, you may find yourself in risk of hypothermia.

Toss the rain pants after Damascus, but consider carrying something to protect yourself.