U.S. Military M65 Trouser Liner

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Reviews

The M65 pant liner is a sub-$10 hidden gem for cold…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $6

Pros

  • Dirt cheap
  • Warm
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to find
  • Durable

Cons

  • Requires some mods

The M65 pant liner is a sub-$10 hidden gem for cold weather camping or backpacking. The key is using them as an overpant as they're sized large enough and easily unbutton to quickly don or doff without having to remove boots or existing layers.

Perfect for those static situations like sitting around at camp or belaying or glassing while hunting. Would be way too warm for active use unless well below 0° IMO while wearing a base layer and hiking pant/shell.  

The m65 pant liner was designed to be buttoned into the m65 pant so they don't exactly have a good waist closure system, just a button with 2 slots of adjustment.  I'm going to mod mine with some 550 cord.

Regardless, 10ozs, very warm, lots of room to layer under and I paid around $10 shipped for an unused pair.

Cool added bonus is that since the sides have 5" gaps between the buttons, you can access your pockets without having to remove or unbutton the pants.  Also the crotch is open for quick and easy access.  Even with the gaps, the pants still add a ton of warmth.

Be sure to order the long version as the pant liners are cut short to not interfere with tall combat boots. Even with the long they will be a bit short but still work.  

Pics below are me wearing a size large long (18 degrees F, very comfortable).  I'm 6'2" 190lbs with a 36" inseam for context.

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Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the tip on these, JtothaK.


2 years ago
G00SE

Nice! As I asked in your other review, where do I find these?


2 years ago
Phil Smith

The jacket liners, aka smoking jackets, are also warm and lightweight. They don't compact very well for their size, though.


2 years ago
DonP

I've got a pair of these that are almost 40 years old now. Mine were issued. And if you don't mind the weight of some of this gear, you'd be hard pressed to find warmer clothing. I've got a pair of the arctic mittens, the bunny boots, and muk-luks. Anyone who's ever worn a filed jacket with the liner can testify just how warm they can be when you're properly layered underneath. Love these pants for sittin' around the fire or just hangin' around camp. But JtothaK is right about needing sub-0 temps to be active wearing these.


2 years ago
JtothaK

Goose - purchased unused (NOS) from ebay. To Phil's point, I have an ultralight hooded Mont Bell synthetic mid layer (and a Montane) that packs much smaller than the m65 jacket liner (smoking jacket). Of course, the Mont Bell jacket was around $150. And this is the point of my reviews, there are some really good deals out there from the mil surplus side that actually perform quite well when compared to commercial offerings. We all know that the, for example, Patagonia Micropuff is great and we all know that Western Mountaineering bags are incredible (love my Summerlite) but there don't seem to be many reviews around the mil spec side within the context of outdoor, non-military, use.


2 years ago
300winmag

Have some military Thermolite Micro insulated synthetic liner pants and love them but the M65 pants ae a LOT less money. Thanks for the idea. I'll post it on WINTER TREKKING. Eric B.


2 years ago
Bill Hudson

They really work best as a liner as that is what they were designed to be. They button into the M51 field pants which are now made of ripstop synthetic. I use the liner and new M51 field pants every winter.


2 years ago
JtothaK

@Bill - The application of using the liner as an overpant is more in-line with the modern PCU/ECWCS level 7 design of wearing a really warm insulated pant OVER the other layers. The benefits are not overheating when under exertion, drying the other layers via body heat and the ability to quickly don and doff.


2 years ago
300winmag

Phil, synthetic fiber quilted jacket liners compress (stuff) far better than the same size and shape fleece liners. Only down liners would compress better. That's why I have a light down jacket and liner pants and a +30 F. and -20 F. down sleeping bags. Oh yeah,and down is lighter than synthetic too, R value being equal.


2 years ago

I used these in the late Cold War Army—wonderful…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $8

Summary

I used these in the late Cold War Army—wonderful when worn alone but sometimes not warm when buttoned in the cold-weather fatigue pants. It's the same construction as the wonderful poncho liners which thankfully the U.S. military still provides. In addition to Amazon, etc, you can get these at Army-Navy surplus stores, although Amazon etc tends to be cheaper.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Keeps you warm
  • Dries fast

Cons

  • Sweating in them can make them cold

Just concurring with other reviewers—it's a great piece of military surplus that is cheap, warm, and dries fast, although when buttoned into the Army cold-weather fatigue pants while on patrol in subfreezing weather on the Korean DMZ or in Germany, if you sweated in them, you got pretty cold. But those were always forced situations and not the same as much more leisurely backpacking or winter sports, or even search and rescue. They're a good bargain and work well as described.

The problem with buying any kind of military surplus online is you don't know what you'll get and it's such a hassle to send back. It's always best to go in person to a military surplus store so you can touch, examine, and pick out what you want. Most surplus stores carry the M65 liners.

If you have to go online, then still go to a military surplus store. One of the best is Old Grouch's. They have the liner for $3!  (oldgrouch dot com)

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the further recommendation of these, Mike.


2 years ago
Phil Smith

I got the best results by wearing these under my BDU or Gore-Tex pants, over the polypro longjohns. Of course, I was an artilleryman, not an infantryman, but the glow plug for the cab heater in my track always seemed to break when it got cold and it is COLD inside a metal box in the German winter. I tended to wear the field pants over the top of everything because they were tougher than the Gore-Tex pants.


2 years ago
G00SE

Thanks for the additional review, Mike.


2 years ago

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U.S. Military M65 Trouser Liner

reviewers paid:
$6.00 - $8.00

The U.S. Military M65 Trouser Liner is not available from the stores we monitor.

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