Which rain pants can survive the rugged West?
I'm headed to the Bob Marshall Wilderness this July. We'll be riding horses in and out of the Bob, and from cp to cp. Any ideas on rain pants that could stand at least some time in the saddle without breaking down? Jeff arillo, Texas
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Well, thats an interesting question. But really, how much will you need rain pants in July? Granted, afternoon thunderstorms are a probability, if not a certainty, but the odds that you and your horse will spend days on end trudging through a downpour are remote. One inference from all this is that youre not going to want to ride in thunderstorms, anyway. Youll see it coming, hop off the horse, don any appropriate rain gear, and ride it out under a tree for the 30 minutes or so it takes to pass.
Mountain Hardwear Backcountry Recon PantsBackcountry Recon Pants
Still, I do see your point about at least some time in the saddle.” Patagonias Guide Pants ($140; patagonia.com) are nice pants, but theyre not really a rain pant. Theyre water-resistant, but are aimed more at repelling a little blowing snow or mist than a real drenching.
One option would be to simply buy a pair of fairly inexpensive rain pants with the expectation that this one trip might be their last. If the seat wears a little during the trip, so what? Marmots Full-Zip Precip Pants ($90; marmot) would fit that bill nicely. Mountain Hardwears Backcountry Recon Pants ($195; mountainhardwear), on the other hand, are three-ply and reinforced for durability. So they would keep you dry AND probably survive time in the saddle.
Another solution is to buy rain chaps. Filsons Tin Chaps ($60; cabelas.com) are rainproof and very tough. Plus theyre quite stylin. Like other true rain wear, theyre not going to be the most comfortable thing if the weather is wet AND warm, but chaps are cooler (temp-wise) than full pants.
Have a great trip!
The Gear Guy reports from 2007 Winter Outdoor Retailer, the bi-annual gearapalooza in Salt Lake City. Check out his top picks for gear to watch in 2007.