Light-as-air fabric magically protects your legs from…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $69
Light-as-air fabric magically protects your legs from cold wind and light rain! Wonderful for hiking in the cold and damp when the wind kicks up. From now on, I won't hike without them.
- Extremely light and compact
- Velcro tabs at bottom of legs allow for customizable fit over boots/socks
- Fabric blocks wind admirably, and keeps one surprisingly warm
- Fabric, while water-resistant, is not waterproof
- DWR coating needs to be re-applied every so often
- While I didn't tear them yet, fabric is very, very thin
The Montane Featherlite Pants are my new favorite thing in the world. I went hiking in the Adirondacks this past weekend, and the weather was sloppy and damp, chilly (about 33 degrees), and windy. The first day, I wore my typical synthetic, warmish tights, and had a very cold posterior most of the day.
The second day, we decided to do a little mountain climbing. I pulled out these pants, which I normally keep buried in the pack for emergency use — well - they are no longer for emergency use only — they were fantastic! I wore them layered over my tights, and they magically blocked the wind. My legs and keester were nice and comfy.
Not only that, they breathed beautifully. I was not at all sweaty or clammy. Basically, at the summit, at about 20 degrees and windy, I was comfortable in my merino baselayer and Houdini on top, and tights and Featherlite pants on the bottom. How cool is that!
The fit deserves special mention. Upon first glance, they resemble the typical black plasticky rain pant type things, but upon further inspection, one notices the beautifully designed articulated knees. They did not bind or bunch when climbing. The waist is drawstring with a lock. The lower legs are very well designed - they unzip, which enables one to pull them on without removing boots. Once on and zipped, three sets of velcro tabs allow one to fit the lower legs exactly to the correct comfort and functionality.
The only drawbacks I could foresee is that I wasn't able to determine how long they would hold up to precipitation, not that that's their function, but it's handy info to know. That, and the website indicates that one needs to renew the DWR surface periodically, which seems like a pain, but is cheaper than buying a new pair of pants every three months. They are also apparently washable, which is nice.