Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Pant
Lightweight hard shell pants with excellent breathability…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99
Lightweight hard shell pants with excellent breathability in a variety of conditions.
- Highly breathable
- Excellent waterproofing
- A total bargain
- Only one length available
- A little baggy
In all the years I've been exploring in the outdoors, I've never owned a pair of real rain pants. I have some fine softshell pants and wind pants, but never really owned a hardshell. With a thru-hike of the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier on the horizon next summer, I knew it was time to start looking.
I'm a big fan of eVent waterproof-breathable fabrics, and my REI eVent jacket is fantastic. Mountain Hardwear makes these pants from their Dry-Q Vapor fabric. While the face fabric and construction is MHW, the w/b laminate film comes from the eVent folks.
Like eVent, this fabric breathes very well. I have tested them in a variety of conditions... a high exertion snowshoe hike in Lassen in snowy wet conditions... in rain on a hike out of the North Fork American River Canyon... and during the unexpected downpour on commute rides. Never felt like the fabric was heating me up, and kept super dry all all the time. When wearing them over just shorts on a hike, the fabric never felt soggy on the inside, but nice and dry to the touch.
They appear to be solidly made. They have a zippered fly with a snap at the top. The waistband is elasticized, and there is no provision for a belt. This might be a problem for some people who wear in-between sizes, but the waist fits me great. The bottom of the legs has a partial side zipper with a velcro closure for easy on and off.
My only quibble is that they only make it in one inseam length (32"). So if you have shorter legs like me, and usually wear a 30", they tend to bunch up at the bottom and feel a little baggy. I also wouldn't mind having a pocket somewhere on them.
All in all, I'm really happy with these. And for a hundred bucks, they function far better than I ever expected.