Cold Weather Pants

11:45 p.m. on December 27, 2007 (EST)

Ok so I've read all the reviews here and on several other sites but I'm still having a hard time deciding what specific pants will work for me. What I'm needing is pants for cold weather camping and hiking, something that I can also wear long underwear underneath and not be too tight. I'm hoping for something waterproof and versatile enough that I could snowboard in them as well (although this is not as important since I only go once a year or so). Any suggestions? Not really looking to pay top-dollar but I'm not cheap either. Thanks for the help!

10:14 a.m. on December 28, 2007 (EST)
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171 forum posts

My favorite pants for winter hiking and camping are wool, the M-1953 army surplus model. I have three pairs, none of which cost more than $15.95 online. The pants are almost as old as I am, but are extremely well-made. However, after so many years, sizes are limited. Another favorite pair is a pair of NATO or German army surplus wool pants with huge cargo pockets on each leg. They were also less than $20.00 at Cabela's Bargain Barn. Both have plenty of room for layering underneath, and I have worn two pairs of long underwear, one silk and one wool, at times.

None of those pants are waterproof, but I have little need for waterproof pants for my winter hiking and camping. In deep snow, I wear OR gaiters; in subzero cold or high wind I may wear 60-40 BDU pants over the wool.

I can't help you with the snowboarding; if you show up at a resort wearing what I wear in the winter, you probably won't look all that cool.

5:15 p.m. on December 28, 2007 (EST)

Thanks Rexim, I'll look into those. The water proof aspect is pretty important to me - anyone else have some pants they swear by?

5:13 p.m. on December 29, 2007 (EST)
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if you are looking for a waterproof pant try a pant made from the WB 400 Schoeller Material. It is more expensive but is waterproof and slightly fleece lined to offer better insulation for cold weather hikes. WB 400 fabic is waterproof and breathable and acts alot like a second skin (although it is not tight). it is stretchy and moves well while hiking. most of the pants that i saw made of this stuff run +$120, and are not seam sealed so they are not truely waterproof but for snow, ice and light rain they are great. Check WB 400 Ascent pant.

8:14 p.m. on December 30, 2007 (EST)
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141 forum posts

Lots of people swear by "softshell" fabrics including some made by Schoeller.

I like summer-weight (very light) conventional (non-soft-shell) nylon pants over long-johns of various weights. This is certainly versatile, and potentially economical. For backup, pile pants, extra long-johns, and/or shell pants for sleeping or whatever.

My experience is mainly in less-than- truly severe cold weather. People seem to vary in these matters.

10:46 p.m. on January 5, 2008 (EST)
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Here's what I've found to be adapatable and very comfortable for winter hiking/snowshoeing/camping. Outer pants- water proof/breathable, they have a mesh liner that makes them more comfortable than plain nylon shell and full-length zippers. Insulation layer- loose-fitting fleece pants. Wicking layer- close fitting thermal tights, they're more comfortable than most long-johns to me. I wear all three, or any combination thereof, depending on conditions. If you're interested, the outer pants are branded Sportif and use Burlington's XALT fabric.

December 10, 2019
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