GoLite Shadow Pants
GoLite is no longer in business, and the Shadow Pants has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof pants for 2023.
this is a pair of lightweight gore tex pants. Very lightweight - to the point where i would be concerned about durability. However, the pants have worn well, and i like the light weight and performance so much that i'm taking them up the white mountains this winter. it will be interesting to see if the lack of reinforced seat and knees will really affect durability. at the price i paid, these were an outstanding value, a fraction of the price of any gore tex pro shell pants.
comfort is very good. the legs are sized loose and could easily fit over all but the thickest winter insulated pants, yet they don't feel too baggy due to slightly articulated knees. My only complaint about fit is that the waist, which is elastic, feels a little loose, no matter how tightly i pull the elastic drawstring. so far, i have not had issues with the pants riding down while hiking or wearing a backpack. this may be a personal preference issue, and i have gotten used to it.
they breathe extremely well - gore tex has improved over the past few years. on a strenuous recent hike on a thirty degree day, the only moisture that accumulated on the inside was along the seam seal tape. The wind does not get through - at all. neither does the rain, as these have kept me dry on long hikes in hard rain.
this pair of rain/wind pants has a very minimal design, typical of many golite products. it has ankle zippers and snaps, but no full-leg zippers or pockets. if you want pants that do the job well without the bells and whistles, it's the best pair of waterproof breathable shell pants i have owned.
i would be interested in comparing to a pair of eVent pants.
Update: February 26, 2009
a quick follow-up after wearing these in harsh conditions. i have now worn the pants in temperatures well below zero, in high winds (80-100 mph), and in conditions that could have shredded them - ice-covered brush above treeline, and on a steep downhill snowshoe traverse where i landed on my butt and my knees hard on more than one occasion. i also wore them humping a large pack up a steep slope for a few hours, and they breathed extremely well. i love the light weight of these.
my main concerns had been fit on the waist and durability of the lightweight fabric, particularly true after some hard falls on an icy, rocky slope. but...no damage whatsoever. i had wondered whether they would ride down, but the fit turned out to be better than i thought.
i would still think about pants with a full side-zip for mountaineering, but the 12-inch zipper at the cuff was fine for me with plastic mountaineering boots and gaiters. if you don't need the full zip, or other bells & whistles like pockets, these pants are thoroughly impressive.
Fabric: gore tex xcr
Price Paid: $85
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