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Who wears fully waterproof pants?
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eric_k


Dec 18, 2012, 8:20 AM
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Who wears fully waterproof pants?
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I have been using softshells for Ice and alpine for years and have been pretty happy. Except on those really wet ice pitches or days when we need to fight through deep wet snow. Recently a friend and I had a day where we were wallowing through waist deep snow to get to the crag. When we finally made it my pants were a little damp which chilled my legs. I have seen all companies have a fair of super expensive Goretex pants that they market for "extreme conditions" I have always avoided these because I think hard shells don't breath or stretch which would make them very uncomfortable for climbing. Is this the case? Do any of you use fully waterproof pants for climbing, how do you like them?

Eric


granite_grrl


Dec 18, 2012, 8:43 AM
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Re: [eric_k] Who wears fully waterproof pants? [In reply to]
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When it comes to deep snow you're better off with snowshoes than anything.

I do have goretex pants, but rarely use them now that I have my softshell pants. If you know you're going to be dealing with a really wet route you'll be happy swapping out the soft shell to the hardshell stuff.

As for climbing in it: softshell pants are nicer to climb in, but hardshell pants aren't too bad. Breathability shouldn't be too much of an issue because most pairs have a lot of zipper options.


meanandugly


Dec 18, 2012, 9:26 AM
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I try to never wear pants, but when I do its soft-shells. Sometimes I will carry gortex shells, but almost never pull them out.


marc801


Dec 18, 2012, 9:44 AM
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Re: [eric_k] Who wears fully waterproof pants? [In reply to]
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eric_k wrote:
I have seen all companies have a fair of super expensive Goretex pants that they market for "extreme conditions" I have always avoided these because I think hard shells don't breath or stretch which would make them very uncomfortable for climbing.
There are softshells with a gortex (well, gortex-like) lining.


gunkiemike


Dec 18, 2012, 3:31 PM
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Re: [eric_k] Who wears fully waterproof pants? [In reply to]
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I'm wearing softshell pants 90% of the time. The Goretex -or equivalent w/b type fabric - goes on a) if it's raining (yes, I'll ice climb in the rain. Great plastic ice then usually.) or b) when we're climbing an actively running semi-waterfall.

Goretex, Lowe Alpine Triple Point, etc do indeed breathe enough. Someone gave me some winter overpants a couple years ago. Store brand from one of the major outdoor retailers with a 3-letter acronym. They fit great so I wore them climbing. Turned out they were plain old, urethane coated nylon. Didn't breathe a whit, and my legs were nearly soaked, with condensation literally running down the inner surface of the pants.


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Dec 18, 2012, 7:16 PM
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I've stuffed rain pants in the pack for unusually wet conditions. I only pulled them out once, but when I did I was glad to have them. As others have stated, save the goretex hard-shells for truly wet conditions. If you're experiencing wetness in your pants, don't worry... you're probably excited.

Otherwise, when was the last time you revived your water repellancy in your pants? Getting your soft shells nice and clean and reviving them using Nikwax or a similar product will allow the wet to sluff off your pants. Keeping dry is the key to staying warm. Walking and climbing in hard shells just for shits and giggles in order to stave off wetness may only keep you wetter as they don't tend to breathe.

Others have stated, too, that getting a good pair of snowshoes would possibly help too.


iknowfear


Dec 19, 2012, 2:54 AM
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Re: [eric_k] Who wears fully waterproof pants? [In reply to]
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eric_k wrote:
I have been using softshells for Ice and alpine for years and have been pretty happy. Except on those really wet ice pitches or days when we need to fight through deep wet snow. Recently a friend and I had a day where we were wallowing through waist deep snow to get to the crag. When we finally made it my pants were a little damp which chilled my legs. I have seen all companies have a fair of super expensive Goretex pants that they market for "extreme conditions" I have always avoided these because I think hard shells don't breath or stretch which would make them very uncomfortable for climbing. Is this the case? Do any of you use fully waterproof pants for climbing, how do you like them?

Eric
Me.

I do Ice and alpine stuff in gore-tex pants. if I get warm, I simply open the zip vents. these are the same pants I wear ski-touring. (Extreme pants from a swiss elephant-like brand). I have been on climbs where other people were constantly overheating in their gore-tex pants when I was fine, so YMMV.


Rudmin


Jan 23, 2013, 9:18 PM
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Yeah, full length side zips makes breathability a non-issue. Working hard, open them up, sitting in the snow, zip them closed.


kiwiprincess


Jan 30, 2013, 7:13 PM
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I prefer them however I live in a warm area( usually no colder than -10C) and wear waterproof pants as I get wet from snow ice as it's a bit damp at those temps. Lots of other people wear soft pants and swear by them, but I find they get damp and cold. You need a breathable Liner/ thermal so you don't get wet from sweat and to take the walk in at a reasonably comfortable pace.


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