Whats my best bet for a light backpacking pant in rainy conditions?
I hiking the West Coast Trail this June, which is typically a rainy season for the trail. What would you recommend for a good set of backpacking pants that can fend off at least a couple days worth of rain? Reagen Calgary, Alberta
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Yeah, rainy is right. As in, air thats as much liquid as water. Are you sure you cant wait a few weeks and make the trek in July? Its much drier then. (For those of you not familiar with the West Coast Trail, its a lovelyalbeit ruggedtrail along the coast of Vancouver Island). But, June can have dry spells. And it is less crowded then, too.
Marmot’s Precip Full-Zip PantsPrecip Full-Zip Pants
Id probably wear pants made with Pac-Lite, Gores lightweight waterproof/breathable laminate. Theyre not the most rugged pants in the world, but theyre very light and packable, and theyll keep you adequately dry. Arcteryx makes a nice pair called the Alpha SL that sells for $199 (arcteryx.com). Mountain Hardwear makes something similar called the Typhoon Pant ($185; mountainhardwear.com). Both are pull-on style pants with short zippers at the ankle to help get them on and off over boots.
On the bargain” front, Marmots Precip Full-Zip Pants ($90; marmot.com) use a polyurethane-coated material for waterproofing and add full-length zippers for really easy on-off. Its not quite as breathable as the Gore material, but not bad. REI uses a similar material in its Ultralight Pants ($79; rei.com).
Be sure to take gaiters to keep rainwater or drips on vegetation from getting into your boots. Outdoor Research Rocky Gaiter ($30; outdoorresearch.com) would be fine.
Have a great trip!
The 2008 Winter Outside Buyers Guide is now online. From snow sports to trail-running to camping, get reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves.