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Topic: Hiking pant material question, Quick cotton question< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:38 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A) no flame wars intended. Just a simple honest question

I'm looking for a pair of hiking pants. Something with cargo pockets. Something designed to be comfortable when i'm running with a k9 team. I've looked at maybe half a dozen tactical pant manufacturers. Seems like all their pants are made of cotton.

Now growing up I always heard cotton kills and cotton has little place in the outdoor world. Do I have the wrong notions about cotton? If I'm right why all the cotton pants? Mind you i'm looking at tactical pants which tend to indicate not a lot of time spent in the woods or wet enviroments so maybe it's not an issue there
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you're going to be in cold wet environments, especially in snow, then cotton is bad. Very bad.
But normal conditions, you should be fine.
Rain, cool weather, etc. Just avoid bad weather and have rain gear and you'll make it out alive.
I backpacked in cotton for years before I actually picked up any synthetics.
However, cotton underwear are the devil. Fact. Chaffing...ewww...
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Take a pair of polyester pants and a pair of cotton pants.  Toss then in the washer for a cycle.  Now compare the weight.  Then hang them to try and check in 8 hours.    You'll learn first hand why cotton in wet weather is a poor choice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And if you sweat while hiking, again...you may not like cotton pants. They will stick to your legs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Im a polyester fan, or even polyester and nylon if its hot outside.  Cotton in anything wet is a disaster. Polyester all the way for me.

Check out Rivers west clothing.  waterproof windproof fleece. polyester.   They make some tactical camo pants with cargo pockets.  I dont have the viper pants but i have their hunting pants and a hoodie.  Great quality and made in the USA.  Tear resistent, and dont wear out.  I belive the viper pants are the lighter weights ones as well

http://riverswest.com/viper_pant_camo.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 11:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Note

they are heavier than hiking pants because they are fleece.  But if you are working with dogs you are going to want something more puncture resistent maybe.  Should be solid for cold weather and fall but too warm for summer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As part of my trail crew internship we were issued Carhartt double knees. My first thought was "cotton? for real!?" but as they broke in, I started to really enjoy em. They do take forever to dry out though. Get as much of the mud off as possible, even if it means soaking em further in a stream or something, theyll dry faster.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(gregpphoto @ Dec. 14 2012, 12:10 am)
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As part of my trail crew internship we were issued Carhartt double knees. My first thought was "cotton? for real!?" but as they broke in, I started to really enjoy em. They do take forever to dry out though. Get as much of the mud off as possible, even if it means soaking em further in a stream or something, theyll dry faster.

Military has used cotton and cotton blend pants for years in all sorts of climates.

I think synthetic pants have the advantage in cold wet conditions on maintained trail or open country but you give up the durabilty that you have with cotton Carhartts or the military type cotton or cotton blend pants if you are break brush or scrambling on rocks.

Snowy conditions, I'd want wool or fleece.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 8:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never hiking in fleece pants.
How is that?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Dec. 14 2012, 5:28 am)
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I've never hiking in fleece pants.
How is that?

From my experience, Hot...

I can barely stand it in winter even in strong winds at single digits.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 4:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Dec. 14 2012, 8:28 am)
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I've never hiking in fleece pants.
How is that?

I guess it depends how fast you walk really.  Yes you will get much warmer faster in fleece pants.  Comfortable though. I like them in the winter8 when it is especially cold outside.

To each their own.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 6:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I expect to be in brush I wear cotton to protect my legs.
If I expect to be in rain or snow I wear waterproof breathable synthetic.
If it is hot and I am not wearing shorts I prefer synthetic.
If it is cold and not wet I prefer cotton.
If it is wet and cold enough I prefer waterproof breathable synthetic with a merino wool base layer.
If there are multiples of the above conditions I compromise.....
Hmmm, what would I do on a hot, wet, day in heavy brush?  :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 9:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RidgeHiker @ Dec. 14 2012, 3:00 pm)
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If I expect to be in brush I wear cotton to protect my legs.
If I expect to be in rain or snow I wear waterproof breathable synthetic.
If it is hot and I am not wearing shorts I prefer synthetic.
If it is cold and not wet I prefer cotton.
If it is wet and cold enough I prefer waterproof breathable synthetic with a merino wool base layer.
If there are multiples of the above conditions I compromise.....
Hmmm, what would I do on a hot, wet, day in heavy brush?  :D

neked...

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 9:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 14 2012, 12:25 pm)
QUOTE

(treelinebackpacker @ Dec. 14 2012, 5:28 am)
QUOTE
I've never hiking in fleece pants.
How is that?

From my experience, Hot...

I can barely stand it in winter even in strong winds at single digits.

Same here, although I can tolerate them in single digits as long as I'm not working too hard.  For me, fleece pants are good mainly for sitting in camp.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Seems like a lot of options, opinions and seasonal choices. I might just have to pick up a few pairs of pants and put them all to the test. I appreciate all the advice/ thoughts
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 11:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 14 2012, 9:11 pm)
QUOTE

(RidgeHiker @ Dec. 14 2012, 3:00 pm)
QUOTE
If I expect to be in brush I wear cotton to protect my legs.
If I expect to be in rain or snow I wear waterproof breathable synthetic.
If it is hot and I am not wearing shorts I prefer synthetic.
If it is cold and not wet I prefer cotton.
If it is wet and cold enough I prefer waterproof breathable synthetic with a merino wool base layer.
If there are multiples of the above conditions I compromise.....
Hmmm, what would I do on a hot, wet, day in heavy brush?  :D

neked...

OUCH!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 16 2012, 8:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The military uses cotton because it does not burn and melt like synthetics do.  Yes there are better fabrics than cotton for that purpose, but not for the cost.

Military clothing has different requirements than recreational clothing, so in general one does not work well for the other.

I think something like Arborwear tech pants would meet your requirements. without the cotton.

http://www.arborwear.com/products/pants/tech-pants

They are built like a tank, but are designed for climbing trees and working outside all day in all conditions.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 17 2012, 5:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might look at these guys

I use these for around town or when I'm in the shop working. Not backpacking though. But they are roomy and comfortable


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 17 2012, 11:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While not nearly as durable as some of the other pants mentioned, these have become my favorite hiking/backpacking pants: REI Adventures Pants

I have two pair and wear them constantly. They are light enough to run in, the nylon in these is softer than many other synthetic pants I've tried, and they are pretty durable considering their light weight.  Dry very quickly.  Great sale price on them right now.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 17 2012, 6:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll have to check out those arborist pants. I wonder what REI's shipping to Canada is like
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2012, 9:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

REI's shipping to Canada isn't a great deal, but at least they send things through USPS instead of UPS so you only pay a $5 brokerage fee instead of $40.

If you're in Canada, you should definitely check out their REI counterpart:

www.mec.ca

I quite like their river pants for hiking:

http://www.mec.ca/AST....ens.jsp

Unfortunately they changed the fit this year and the new model doesn't work for me (inseam too long). But the pants themselves are very durable and reasonably breathable for nylon.

I'd stay away from cotton unless you're hiking in dry areas. Where are you planning on hiking?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BigRick @ Dec. 13 2012, 10:01 pm)
QUOTE
Note

they are heavier than hiking pants because they are fleece.  But if you are working with dogs you are going to want something more puncture resistent maybe.  Should be solid for cold weather and fall but too warm for summer.

If you need something tough, look into some nomex kevlar pants used for wildland firefighting. Not the most comfortable things in the world, but do dry faster than cotton and are tough as nails. Besides fire lines, I've worn them when doing forest survey plant surveys if I knew I was gonna be in some horrible brushy environments.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 24 2012, 4:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RidgeHiker @ Dec. 14 2012, 6:00 pm)
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If there are multiples of the above conditions I compromise.....
Hmmm, what would I do on a hot, wet, day in heavy brush?  :D

Think I'd stay at home!

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2012, 2:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cuester @ Dec. 14 2012, 9:26 pm)
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Seems like a lot of options, opinions and seasonal choices. I might just have to pick up a few pairs of pants and put them all to the test. I appreciate all the advice/ thoughts

Tactical pants aren't for backpacking and hiking.

As a SAR volunteer we were issued clothing per the sheriff department's regulations - meaning cotton blends. Now most of us have gone to the 5.11 store and replaced those heavy canvas pants with durable but nylon ripstop versions of the same. I bought a second pair in a nonregulation color for scooting around in granite and cross country through low elevation brush. They are not cotton, so not subject to the same problems as cotton, yet they are durable enough for wading through whitethorn and manzanita without shredding after the first half mile.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some good info here, on a subject I was also curious about.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 26 2012, 12:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some good info here, on a subject I was also curious about.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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