ZPacks Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber Rain Pants
These pants are great! I don't usually carry rain…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
These pants are great! I don't usually carry rain pants for summer hikes in dry climates, but for a few ounces these pants saved my bacon in the abnormally stormy weather we experienced on the JMT this past August. I wore them for hiking in rain at high elevation and also around camp and at night in the tent for extra warmth.
- Only 3 oz and pack very small
- Waterproof, breathable and comfortable
- Wide legs pull on over most hiking footwear
- Waist is very adjustable with drawstring
- Smallest size available is men's medium
- Fabric may be vulnerable to abrasion
These pants are worth every penny of the $160 I paid for them. They are so light and small that I don't hesitate to throw them in my pack "just in case". The three layer laminate includes Dyneema fibers for strength and eVent for the waterproof breathable membrane. I found them to be less clammy than my Gore-tex pants and I never got wet from precipitation or from my own sweat. They are actually quite comfortable for rain pants. They also make great wind pants.
Hopefully these will be made in a smaller size next year. The medium (approx. 31-34" waist) is the smallest size ZPacks currently makes. I'm more like a 27" inch waist so they were quite baggy even though I was able to cinch up the waist OK.
One small nitpick--when I cinched the ankle draw cords tight they flapped around and were a trip hazard. It would be good to have a way to secure the extra cord.
I don't expect these pants to be as durable as heavier pants, although mine have survived just fine through light brush and sitting on rocks, logs etc. The other cuben fiber stuff I have patches easily with duct tape or Tenacious Tape so I think any holes would be easy to repair in the field.
These are by far the best rain pants I've ever used, and I'd buy them again. I'll buy the jacket too when a smaller size is available.