My quest - softshell pants!

2:34 p.m. on January 28, 2012 (EST)
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Hello,
I have been looking for a while for a pair of softshell trousers for summer Alps and higher levels of Kilimanjaro. The perfect choice seemed to be Arc'teryx Gamma LT/MX but they did not have anything in my size :(.

Having done a bit of research on this and other fora I have come across the following models often mentioned:
---Patagonia Alpine Guide
---Patagonia Simple Guide
---Montane Terra Alpine Pants
---Montane Terra Pants
---Mammut Glacier
---Mammut Fiamma

Does any of you happen to have any experience with the aforementioned? What are your general go-to pants when hardshell is not necessary? Also, how does Alpine Guide compare to Simple Guide and which would you recommend?

Thank you for help! Any comments appreciated!

Best,
Theriel

6:17 p.m. on February 4, 2012 (EST)
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Hmmm anyone any thoughts? Surely, you must use some trousers!

6:51 p.m. on February 4, 2012 (EST)
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Frankly, for summer in the Alps and Kilimanjaro, those are overkill. I have a couple pairs of the Alpine Guide and my spouse has the Simple Guide. I use the Alpine Guide for skiing, ice climbing, occasional rock climbing, and high altitude mountaineering, often with a pair of long johns of appropriate weight underneath. It worked fine in Antarctica and in the Andes, as well as skiing in Utah last month. But for summer in the Alps and Kilimanjaro, we both used some basic microfiber pants from various sources with the addition of long johns when it was cold and a goretex or eVent shell when it was precipitating. The basic microfiber pants were all less than half (less than a quarter in some cases) of the Patagucci, Montane, and Mammut that you list. The Alpine Guide lists for $150 and the Simple Guide for $100, though you can get them at the Pata Outlet stores for 30% off or cheaper (Pata themselves puts them on super sale at this time of year). You can find the microfiber as store brands in REI (if you want the "outdoor" imprimatur) or in places like Target, WalMart, or Penneys, and they wear just as well for your purposes.

One other advantage of the regular store microfiber is that they don't look so much like a "rich Yankee Adventure Traveler with lots of currency in his pocket" as the Pata or Mammut.

12:38 p.m. on February 5, 2012 (EST)
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Good point, learned OGBO, there is little point in advertising one's "alien" status in any country and possibly meeting with the less pleasant denizens of the place.

 We have a some serious issues here in BC with camp-vehicle arsons, threats-blockades and extremist professional welfare recipients who damage vehicles at trailheads and those they surmise belong to hunters and anglers.

So, I always drive a nondescript vehicle, never display costly gear or clothing or flyrods, rifles, optics and wear cheap duds until I can change into my highend clothes and am away from where such creatures are willing to get to.

It works for me and I believe in "prevention", before trying to watch over stuff and thus lessen my enjoyment of an excursion.

4:29 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
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Schoeller "DrySkins".

Tell you just how good they are:

I am "old school"; have some of the finest vintage gear and clothing extant ... AND, it continues to provide yeoman service, in every category.   "Takes a lickin' ... and, keeps on tickin' ", etc., etc.  VERY seldom buy 'new stuff', unless one of these reliable standards wears out or fails to deliver.

HOWEVER ! ....

I stumbled upon the Schoeller "DrySkins" trousers ("pants", to some) in an outdoor store.   On sale, thankfully.   The MSRP was eye-popping.   Sale price was reasonable.

Gave 'em a go, on a week-end mountain hike / climb, with some major elevation changes, and rough, bushwackin' terrain.

Loved the stretchy-ness ... and, the abrasion resistance, moisture resistance.    Also, looked good in the "urban jungle" aftermath (taverns, coffee houses,  pubs, restaurants, etc) WITHOUT laundering (!).  Cleaned-up nicely with a dampened (water) rag.

Loved these sooooo much, I went back to the outdoor store, and bought three more pairs -- another in my (normal) waist-size, and two in the next larger waist-size ... to wear over heavier underlayers in cold climes.

Former "yf" even requested a pair during divorce property settlement.

LOL !!

                           pax vobiscum

                                ~ r2 ~

4:42 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
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I have a pair of REI's Ultralight Pants that I use regularly. For around $90 I am very happy with them.

They breathe very well, keep me dry, and block wind(rated at 60mph.) 

I have actually worn these pants on the ridge when the wind was howling in January and the sun was out. Not once was I uncomfortable. 

Oh and when I am not wearing them they pack into a storage sack the size of a soda can.

When the temps drop I combine them with a base layer and a pair of fleece pants. 

I have used this combo down to 0F and I was fine. 

From the time I initially purchased them up until now they are no worse for wear than when I bought them. 

I have used them extensively and they have done well against the sandstone here in Rocksylvania. 

They also have deep zippered pockets.

Only downside is they have a zipper that only goes up to the top the calf. This can be a pain in the tail when trying to get them off dependent on what footwear you are wearing. 

I know they will not come off when wearing my Scarpas unless I remove my boots. 

A comparable model with a full on zipper is the Marmot Precips. 

Simply put they work well, take a hammering, and are cheap. 

5:40 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
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The terra alpine is great. I never used it but a friend of mine has one and they are great for almost any situations. I persnally don't spend to much money on softshell pants. For me most of them are good. I use a millet track which is one of the cheapest and I'm almost totally satisfied with it. I used it in the alps in the summer and it was perfect, breathable, totally windblock and more waterproof that I need. My only complaints are its weight and the lack of ventilation when it's really warm (i used it at 70F and was ok though).

If you really want a high tech expensive pants, I tried a couple of other softshell pants and was really impressed by the shoeller fabrics. The granite stretch fabric seems good too.

December 20, 2014
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