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Lower Half Gear

10:26 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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7 forum posts

So, I'm a newbie to backpacking and I've been reading quite a bit on gear.  I think I'm good on my top half (Gortex jacket with a wool baselayer).  But, on the bottom half I see almost no information...or I've not found it yet.


For a baselayer I'm thinking of wool again (Merino to be exact) and I've got some great convertable pants that I'm really liking a lot.  But, I'm a bit lost on the aspect of if it rains....again, the top half is covered. 

I've seen these cheap rain proof pants with zippers up both sides that look pretty good.  Thinking I don't need insulated pants (I'm not planning on being in the snow) like ski type pants but to be honest I'm not sure. 

Gortex pants would be the obvious choice but to be honest I don't want to shell out the cash for these types of pants.


So, looking for some suggestions on the bottom half. 

Thanks for the help!

4:51 a.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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Hey Seegrep,

If you decide that it's Gore-Tex pants that you want for your outer shell there is no reason it should cost you more than $30. Currently there are 2700+ pairs of Gore-Tex pants for sale currently on EBay. If you look at the completed listings starting with 'Sort: Price + Shipping: lowest first' paid you will find within a sampling of the first 200 pairs that they all went for a price of  $.99 - $30. Today’s exceptionally expensive pants will be on EBay next season for quite often under $30. It makes no sense to spend a ton of money on this years new gear when you can get last years new gear for pennies on the dollar.  Unless of course you want to send a ton of money on Gore-Tex pants.  I have a pair of Chinook Sport (I don't think there around any more) Gore-Tex pants that Zip up the side that I got for $12 a while back.

 

4:54 a.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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2,221 forum posts

Coated fabrics get tropical inside when you are under exertion.  Treated fabrics eventually succumb to the elements and you get water logged.  There are a class of fabrics with microscopic hairs on the surface, that use the surface tension properties of water to repel it and prevent penetration; Sounds like a good theory, but I have not used them.  In any case they are pricy too.

If you are in a warm rain you can always just accept your legs getting wet and hike in board shorts.  So what if you get wet!  Carry a change of socks for afterwards, that is how I summer hike, since I don't like the clammy feel of being locked up in a sweat box while hiking in the rain.  Otherwise - shell out the bucks...

apeman said:

..there are 2700+ pairs of Gore-Tex pants for sale currently on EBay... 

I don’t know about trusting ebay, regarding cheap Goretex.  There is a lot of Chinese counterfeit shell gear out there that is not and does not function like the real MacCoy.  I don’t think I would buy from a source that claims to have new Goretex items for cheap prices.  I would be more inclined to consider a used one-off item from its owner, but then there is the issue of wear and tear, and Goretex membranes can be compromised with hard use or sustained use.

Ed

12:01 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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270 forum posts

I have a pair of rain pants from MEC that are not Goretex, but a single layer of nylon coated inside with a polyurethane called Entrant-DT. They're 'waterproof breathable' because they have micropores, and I have found them much less swampy than other plastic-coated waterproof pants. The pockets and upper side seams can be unzipped for venting that is shielded by my coat. Goretex might be better, but these are inexpensive and pack very small and light. Eventually abrasion on the bum required treating with Nikwax, but I've never managed to wet them out otherwise, and they've seen hurricane weather.

I put my Goretex budget into the coat, because keeping warm dry insulation in the upper body is more difficult, and more important. I rarely wear more than wicking polypro tights and/or quick dry nylon pants under the rain pants, so there isn't a lot of insulation on the legs soaking up sweat. Nor is there a backpack reducing airflow. In any case, it has to be pretty warm for my legs to get sweaty, and if it's that warm, the quick-dry pants alone are fine. Only in cold rain/wet snow do the fully waterproof pants come out.

2:57 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

apeman said:

..there are 2700+ pairs of Gore-Tex pants for sale currently on EBay... 

I don’t know about trusting ebay, regarding cheap Goretex.  There is a lot of Chinese counterfeit shell gear out there that is not and does not function like the real MacCoy.  I don’t think I would buy from a source that claims to have new Goretex items for cheap prices.  I would be more inclined to consider a used one-off item from its owner, but then there is the issue of wear and tear, and Goretex membranes can be compromised with hard use or sustained use.

Ed

I would have to agree with Ed regarding watching out for Chinese counterfeit gear out there. With that being said I have only once bought a piece of counterfeit gear. That was a North Face Shell that I found at the Good Will Store and only paid $10.00. Considering that I have saved thousands of $'s on gear buy buying used I'm ok to call that one a wash. With the draw down of two wars there is a ton of military Gore-Tex coming out on the market for hardly any money (your tax $'s at work) that has had no use what so ever. Also much of the older Gore-Tex as well as other gear has never been used. So very often, much of the gear that is available on EBay is high priced gear people bought because they thought that they would venture into the out of doors only to get hung in the closet for a few years and never once or very seldom used or as Ed said above "consider a used one-off item from its owner".  I know that even if I were to burn thru 5+ pairs of Gore-Tex shells /pants that I could get of off EBay or Craigslist I will still have saved money over buying one set of this years gear. If you want to save a load of money I would advise you to go look at what EBay has to offer. That does not mean you have to buy anything, but it will give you a good idea of what is out there as well as what your gear will be worth in just a few short years. This is applicable with all the gear we use in the out of doors. Being that this is winter that is also an added bonus as this is the off season and things are yet again cheaper. One other nice thing about EBay is that if you do find that you have been sold counterfeit gear you can and will be refunded via Pay Pal if you used Pay Pal to pay for your item.

3:46 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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I have a pair of Marmot Precip pants (in my picture at left) with full zips. Bought them used. Can't remember what I paid. I like them. The zips handle any overheating issues and they are waterproof. You can find them online new for around $60. List price is $80.

4:42 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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7 forum posts

I always forget about Ebay.  Nice!!!!

Many thanks.

3:36 p.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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834 forum posts

try some convertible pants from rei, and marmot precips for rainy days.

4:12 a.m. on February 5, 2013 (EST)
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Depends...
...sorry, that joke is getting old.

7:01 p.m. on February 5, 2013 (EST)
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+1 for the mil surplus ecwcs goretex shell pants, the absolute best thing you can buy for 20-30$ IMO

11:54 p.m. on February 21, 2013 (EST)
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1,469 forum posts

Underwear briefs and boxers are the ticket and make sure they are extra breathable

April 19, 2014
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