WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-10-2006
    Location
    So-California
    Age
    56
    Posts
    55

    Default Rain pants: full zip or not?

    Trying to decide between full zip and ankle zip Marmot Precip Eco rain pants.
    I ordered the ankle zip pants. They fit well and weigh 8.5 ounces. Even with the ankle zips I donít think I would be able to get them on or off wearing hiking shoes.
    Iím considering trading for the full zip model both for ease of donning and ventilation. The full zip model is 3 ounces heavier.

    Any experienced opinions on which is more useful? These will be for rain when itís too cold to hike just wearing shorts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm surprised that there's that much difference in weight. Full zip is a godsend when dealing with boots that are a pain to take on and off (mountaineering boots or heavy hiking boots, for example). I don't feel nearly as strongly about it with hiking shoes though. If I can lean on a tree and slide off a shoe, slide my leg into the pants, and back into the shoe, it's just not much of a problem.

    What environment are you heading into with these? An alternative can be something along the lines of a rain kilt that can keep your shorts dry while allowing significantly higher ventilation and is easier to put on and take off.

  3. #3

    Default

    I must admit, I sectioned the entire AT and never used my rain pants. I buy my raingear oversized and long so it covers my butt. If i am hiking in the rain I never needed to cover my legs.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-10-2006
    Location
    So-California
    Age
    56
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    What environment are you heading into with these? An alternative can be something along the lines of a rain kilt that can keep your shorts dry while allowing significantly higher ventilation and is easier to put on and take off.
    We're planning a late-October backpack in New Hampshire where heavy rain and 40F is common. I have a silnylon rain kilt for summer. California snowshoeing and winter hiking is another potential use if I switch to the full-zip. That would let me use lightweight tights or softshell (Marmot Scree) and have these if it gets windy and colder.

  5. #5

    Default

    That does sound like a strong argument for full zip to me. Definitely the route I'd go under the circumstances.

    For what it's worth... the last pair of Precips I bought has an elastic waistband rather than a drawstring or other mechanical way to adjust the waist tension. They were -constantly- trying to slide down on me while wearing a pack. If that hasn't changed, I won't be buying them again next time around.

  6. #6
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-25-2016
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Age
    71
    Posts
    714

    Default

    Never use rain pants now. Problem with any rain gear is it doesn't breath well and you get a lot of condensation/sweat when wearing it and hiking, so you are wet anyway. Thought about a poncho for better ventilation but then a couple of people who use them said they tend to blow up when there is any kind of wind.

    I got rained and hailed on at high elevations last year on the Colorado Trail. I wore a rain jacket and I was so wet inside the jacket it was very uncomfortable. I just wore regular pants and my legs were not an issue. Yeah, they were wet but not uncomfortable like my torso.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-25-2010
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Age
    60
    Posts
    81
    Images
    20

    Default

    Like peakbagger, I also sectioned the entire AT with no rain pants. Even wore shorts in some 40 deg rains. But since then, I got a pair of Outdoor Research Helium Rainpants (~6 oz., ankle zip). I can put them on and take them off over my boots using the ankle zips. Just returned from a very cold rainy trip on the Quehanna Trail and wore them every day. They kept me warm and dry in 35 deg rain/snow wearing only boxers underneath.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-01-2014
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Age
    59
    Posts
    2,477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    . . . Thought about a poncho for better ventilation but then a couple of people who use them said they tend to blow up when there is any kind of wind. . .
    Why is it not common knowledge that when wearing a poncho in windy conditions, tying a string around your waist holds the poncho down quite nicely making it a most effective and versatile piece of gear?

    As for full zip vs. ankle zip:
    1) Zippers fail. When your zipper fails, it's nice to have less zipper to fail.
    2) Full zip is the ONLY way to go for mountaineering for ease of entry and exit with big boots, crampons, harnesses, etc.
    3) Zippers also leak unless they are so overbuilt for being waterproof that they aren't light, flexible, or affordable. So, more zipper means less waterproof.
    4) Full zip pants tend to be bulkier as well as heavier. They just don't move as nicely or pack down as small.
    5) Full zip rocks for access to pockets in pants under the rain gear.
    6) My strong preference for backpacking rain pants (which I haven't used for years) is wide enough legs and light enough shoes I don't need zippers to get in and out of them, and material that is light enough I don't mind the little extra volume of material. It helps that I started making my own rain pants (very easy to do by the way) in high school, in the 70's.
    7) For winter use, I use full zip for better ventilation control and easier on and off with boots, snowshoes, skis, crampons or whatnot.
    8) When using a poncho as your raingear (or a long enough coat to cover your butt), you can get by fine with just rain chaps (no butt) which are lighter, breath better, cheaper to make, etc.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  9. #9

    Default

    I've used both types. For Spring-Fall if you can get the rain pants over your hiking footwear easily, get the ankle zips. I don't know the durability of this particular brand but for winter I personally prefer stronger material to handle boots, crampons, ice, slipping and falling more frequently etc. A rip or tear is more of problem then. I have used my rainpaints on many sections on the AT particularly in the fall and on the northern end of the trail and of course in the winter. I've worn them late September in NH so late Oct certainly appropriate. Full zip is nice in the winter to ventilate when you need to because snow can be brushed off and it doesn't come through an unzipped opening as much as rain running down.

    It's simpler to assume that whatever you are hiking in underneath the rain pants is going to get wet anyway. I mostly hike in shorts outside of winter so when it's cold and rainy I put on the rainpants or if it's particularly windy. Create some flexibility in your upper body temperature regulation so that when you need to put the rain pants on you have leeway to adjust in the upper torso if it is overly warm. Personally I also recognize that I may need to slow up a little bit due to the weather anyway.

    My philosophy on winter gear is that it usually costs more so I'd rather wear it out doing winter trips rather than non-winter trips. I like my winter gear to remain in it's best condition as possible as failure has greater consequences as well. Winter gear is often heavier too. As an example, I don't want to wear my winter tent out with summer use nor do I want to carry my winter tent in the summer. I certainly understand not having the option though to purchase multiple gear items.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  10. #10

    Default

    FWIW - I have two types of rain pants, full zip for non-winter use and ankle zip for winter. I have used ponchos before and found them inadequate as rain gear or ground cloth for that matter, beyond day hiking emergency use.

    I prefer full zip rain pants since I can use the upper zipper to various degrees of open to vent out internal moisture, act as chaps when moving through wet brush that will soak gear faster than casual rain, and they are much easier to get into with any type of foot gear I am wearing that day than ankle zip access which frequently requires removal of foot gear to get into. I prefer the ankle zips in winter since I typically put them on before lacing up boots and rarely needed to remove them. As an aside, I have upper leg vents to help vent out moisture, though they are not used that often.

    Following a miserable experience one year trying to use a poncho in some fairly serious wind driven rain storms and early stage hypothermia finding that it refused to keep rain and wind from me (even when tying a rope around the waist ala Jethro Bodean pants) and opted to acquire more serious rain gear some years ago. Though I agree the few ounces rain jacket and pants add to a pack is annoying sometimes, it's quickly ignored once weather breaks.

  11. #11
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    54
    Posts
    4,678
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Full zip pants tend to be pretty heavy so I just don't buy them anymore. Besides, as Idailor points out, I usually don't like wearing them in the rain. I'm usually most likely to wear them early in the morning if the weather is really cold. Then I wear them until it warms up. If my boots are not too muddy, I'll try to slip them off and try to keep them clean, but otherwise, just deal with needed to that the boots off since I'm not usually needing to put them on and take them off repeatedly during a day.

  12. #12

    Default

    The key words here are " hiking in NH in late October". When it's too cold to hike in shorts? Like all the time.

    What you may actually need the rain pants for is for wind. If you need them, you need them all day. How easy to put them on and off isn't a big factor since your not doing it frequently. Ponchos do not do well in the Whites, rope or no rope.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-10-2006
    Location
    So-California
    Age
    56
    Posts
    55

    Default

    I now have the Marmot Precip (ankle zip) and Outdoor Research Foray (3/4 zip to high on the thigh). I like the Foray since it lets one vent from mid-thigh but doesn't have the issues with separating zips at the waist. It's easy to put on over shoes- of course not while wearing snowshoes, crampons, or too much mud. Although 2.5 oz heavier at 10.8 oz I think the Foray will be better choice. I'll send the Marmots back.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,092

    Default

    56,000+ g/m^2/24hr is pretty high breathability for rain pants. Zpacks Vertices.

    https://zpacks.com/products/vertice-rain-pants

    Vapor Transfer (JIS L 1099 Method B1):
    56,000+ g/m^2/24hr

    Water Resistance: >20,000 mmH₂O

    I wear these during shoulder and winter seasons on maintained ST. I like them a lot. In summer I switch to a rain skirt.

    I also have Montbell Versalite Gore Windstopper Infinium.
    https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=1128594


    2-layer GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPERģ
    10-denier Ballistic Airlight nylon ripstop
    Water resistance: 30,000 mm, Breathability: 43,000 g/m≤/24hrs (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)


    I cant get either to fit over size 14 EEE trail runners with my very high volume instep.

    These both are far more breathable than Marmot Precip Eco rain pants. I also will mime the Precip Eco rain pants constantly falling down no matter how tightly cinched the waist.

    I went with these not just for the wt savings but overall rain pant attributes. YMMV.
    2-layer GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPERģ
    10-denier Ballistic Airlight nylon ripstop
    Water resistance: 30,000 mm, Breathability: 43,000 g/m≤/24hrs (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,092

    Default

    The only way I'd want full zips is in mixed conditions with the rain starting and stopping often. It makes no sense having full zips wearing rain pants when it's not raining IMO or else umm ahem you get wet.

  16. #16

    Default

    I use a poncho that covers my head and my backpack, which ensures there is sufficient airflow to not get wet from the inside out. I keep telling myself I need to make/get a pair of chaps to keep the bottom of my legs dry but I've never gotten around to doing it.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,092

    Default

    It makes no sense wearing full zip rain pants with the zips open when it's raining or else umm ahem you get wet.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    It makes no sense wearing full zip rain pants with the zips open when it's raining or else umm ahem you get wet.
    Sure it does, I draw the zipper down a bit from the waist a few inches and keep the balance of the legs closed up. I don't have much if any precipitation entry and warm, moist air can vent out the top. This is especially useful in "nuisance" rain where full gear protection is not needed all the time, but can be needed at any time. Of course one needs a top and bottom zipper pulls for this to allow adjustable coverage. Rain pants only having one pull from the bottom can't do this easily.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •