waterproof pants?

3:43 p.m. on September 16, 2013 (EDT)
60 reviewer rep
27 forum posts

I’m looking for some ideas, wondered if anyone had some insight. My older waterproof hardshell pants have shed their last water-droplet and I’m looking for a replacement. My goal is to have some waterproof pants and add as little pack weight as possible. I see three options:

  1. A new pair of waterproof outers
  2. A new pair of convertible pants, that are also waterproof
  3. A wash in solution for my NF paramount pants

Any opinions on this? My current (no-longer) waterproof pants are 305g so if new a dedicated shell was the solution, I’d want them to be lighter than this.

7:29 p.m. on September 16, 2013 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,249 forum posts

What brand are the old pants, you may be able to get them replaced under warranty by the company that made them? I had a pair of TNF pants I bought in 1978 for $80 replaced 18 years later under warranty with newer ones. Just an idea. I now have a full set top and bottom rain gear made for bicycling.

Otherwise check out www.golite.com They make very lightweight gear.

This pair are only $49.99 and weigh only 7 oz: 


And these weigh 9 oz and are $59.99:


9:53 p.m. on September 16, 2013 (EDT)
60 reviewer rep
27 forum posts


Thanks for the reply Gary. The old pants are a pair of Rab Neutrino pants. At your recommendation I've dropped them a line and see if they can do anything.

Otherwise I think a pair of those go-lites are just what I'm looking for.

Thanks again,


12:10 a.m. on September 17, 2013 (EDT)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

The best I can recommend are the mil surplus ecwcs goretex pants. I use them. They are cheap, tough as nails, fairy light, and keep you dry. They also have side zips and boot zippers as well as through pockets. Only thing not to like would be the camo if that's not your thing. Best thing out there IMO, especially for 30ish bucks.(woodland pattern only, other camo patterns cost much more usually) Other main brand shell pants I have used are lacking in their durability in my opinion. My pair of ecwcs pants is going on almost 12 or 13 years now I think. Been on 6 deployments, and thousands of miles of trail and other than being a little faded are still good as new.

8:19 a.m. on September 17, 2013 (EDT)
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well, there is a pretty wide range of options and dollars you can spend.  if you truly want waterproof, i would not spend much time on convertible waterproof pants or some kind of wash in treatment, because neither of the latter options is really waterproof.  both will end up letting water in if the weather is bad.

some suggestions, but it obviously depends on what fits

-frog toggs, a semi-disposable, not amazingly breathable and not durable option.  but they are very inexpensive.

-marmot minimalist pants, gore tex paclite.  fairly lightweight.  not terribly expensive.  or outdoor research foray pants, similar.  

-wild things alpinist pants or arcteryx pants (many kinds, i get dizzy trying to figure out their labeling system) - a heavier option, but very durable.

-Cabela's makes inexpensive gore tex pants.  probably not the lightest weight option, but functional.

10:44 a.m. on September 17, 2013 (EDT)
351 reviewer rep
287 forum posts

PrAna makes some great outdoor pants.  I have a couple pairs and really don't want to use anything else.  They are very comfortable, breath well and do not snag.  I don't think they are fully waterproof though.  However, they do shed light water very well and they also dry extremely fast.  

4:47 p.m. on September 17, 2013 (EDT)
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1,393 forum posts

LOL! The title of this thread makes me think of potty training toddlers.

7:42 a.m. on October 10, 2013 (EDT)
23 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

I sagest new company from Sweden , It's name is Houdini or 

Please see:


All the best


2:00 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
203 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

I'll second the ECWS pants.  Look up Propper gear - products - web specials.  I paid $19.99 for a pair of made in the USA, full side zip, Gore Tex pants.  Yes, they were in Air Force Tiger Camo, but, so what.  Depending on your size, thay may have a pair left.


9:46 p.m. on October 27, 2013 (EDT)
1,679 reviewer rep
712 forum posts

I have struggled for years with rain-pants…there is a lot to be desired…and no choice is perfect. The ECWS and most other Gore-tex and E-vent 3-layer WPBs being suggested are going to come in above the weight you desire…but depending on your needs that might not actually be a bad thing. Below I have outlined the pants I use and when I use them…it is far from the only way to go about protecting yourself…but it is the best combination I have found for my different needs.


Froggtoggs and O2 gear are cheap and quiet (hunting?). However…I find these things ridiculously delicate for backpacking rain-pants. I do own a set O2 rain-gear that I keep in the trunk of my car...at $20-$30 it is a great back-up option that has kept me dry walking (about a mile) to campus in Chicago where wind-blown rain has a way of just appearing…and as loaner-gear for friends. If it were cold enough…and I did a lot of backpacking where my legs were not constantly driving through stickers and brush (which I always seem to encounter)…I might opt for my O2 as a multi-day backpacking option…since it is wickedly light…and provides excellent protection.

2.5 WPB rain-pants are very lightweight + versatile + affordable. I personally use the Golite “Tumalo” pant because the Pertex outer fabric has a little stretch to it…but my cheaper Guide Series pant is nearly as good…and a lot cheaper. There are countless brands which produce lightweight 2.5 WPB pants…so shop around to get a good deal (they are easily identified by the white membrane with dot-matrix on the inside of the pants). I personally use my 2.5 WPB on all multi-day backpacking trips where the weather is between 50 and 20 degrees (any warmer and I do not bring rain-pants…colder and I go for my ECWS). In this temperature range (50-20 degree Fahrenheit) it is often too warm to hike in rain-pants unless it is actually raining…so the penalty for not wearing them is less than it would be with 3-layer rain-gear. When it is raining 2.5 is not as comfortable as 3-layer protection…but in that temperature range I trade out my boxer-briefs for a base-layer that covers more of my legs (MEC T1 Long Johns)…and I find that this small adjustment improves my comfort (warmer and dryer) significantly for about an ounce of additional weight.


If the temperature is going to be below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for most of my trip then I reach for my 3-layer Gore-tex ECWS pant…because in those temperatures I am likely to be wearing them the entire time I am walking…and the penalty of carrying their additional weight is not as difficult (I know I am still carrying the same weight…but it feels a lot more comfortable when not on my back and shoulders). You can spend a great deal of money on the latest and greatest Gore-tex or E-vent membrane …but I find the ECWS more durable and more affordable (Ebay!) than other options…while maintaining a perceptibly equal performance (I am sure there is a different in lab-tests…but in use there seems to be little difference). If I were going to spend more money on a rain-shell I would probably purchase a pair of Paramo pants…which keep you significantly dryer than pants which use micro-porous membranes like Gore-tex and E-vent…essentially Paramo is not water-proof…it is just really good at moving moisture away from the body…so it gets you dry and keeps you dry more effectively than is possible with micro-porous membranes.

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