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Topic: winter soft shell pants - what would you buy?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 17 2012, 7:11 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my current layering system on the bottom: base layer, loose synthetic layer over that, alternatively a heavier synthetic layer, shell pants on top of some combination of those.  i have two pair of shell pants; one is straight nylon, very breathable, reasonably windproof; the other is eVent, heavier-gauge fabric, suspender loops, reinforced inside cuffs.  usually use the eVent shells for winter, might take the others for windy/cold but hardworking hikes up to a tent site or shelter.

i have a pair of insulated pants, can't recall using them for anything except standing/sitting around.

i understand the advantages of soft shell pants - good range of movement, good breathability, enough wind/snow resistance for many purposes.  in your view, why choose them over a hard shell? if you were going to get a pair of soft shell pants today, what would you get?

i don't own a pair of soft shell pants.  i'm not sure i need them.  on one trip a few years back, a friend had to limit his time on the mountain because high winds were getting through his soft shell pants and basically freezing his quads and lowering his core temperature.

i should add that i have never encountered a problem with the eVent pants.  they stop wind dead, moisture management has been a non-issue, and they have plenty of room to layer underneath.  but, i'm always willing to hear arguments and try something different.

thanks for your points of view.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 17 2012, 7:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I were to purchase softshell pants, they would be in place of one of my fleece mid-layers. I would still be using a hardshell over them. I want dry. Dry = Warm. Their primary use would be for around camp or goofing around from basecamp after I got there. I wear a base layer and hardshell while snowshoeing. Most of the time, I regret wearing my thicker mid-weight thermals under my hardshell.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 4:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have Patagonia Rockcraft pants and like them, I have taken it on 2 day snowshoe hike and an overnighter snowcamping trip, so far it has held good.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 5:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sadly REI stopped making the soft shell pants I like the most

REI Acme pants . The Schoeller® Dryskin fabric  is great. If you can find another pair using this fabric I'd go with them


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 9:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(eggs @ Dec. 18 2012, 5:31 am)
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REI Acme pants . The Schoeller® Dryskin fabric  is great. If you can find another pair using this fabric I'd go with them

+1

I have a pair I picked up on sale on a whim and love them.  I wear them a lot in winter -- from walking the dog to X-country skiing.  I didn't know they'd stopped making them... too bad.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(eggs @ Dec. 18 2012, 5:31 am)
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Sadly REI stopped making the soft shell pants I like the most

REI Acme pants . The Schoeller® Dryskin fabric  is great. If you can find another pair using this fabric I'd go with them

+2

Picked mine up on the clearance rack and I love 'em.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 12:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the advice!

at least according to REI's website, which includes a "search whether it's in the store" feature, they still sell Acme pants made of Schoeller Dryskin.  maybe they temporarily ran out or took them off the site because they were re-working the design? i know that occurred when they revamped some of their lightweight backpacks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 1:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sadly it has been saying this for a few years now

" This item is currently sold out or unavailable online.

Or, may we suggest shopping for similar items:"

"This page is provided for reference to historical product information."

I think they discontinued them. I have a spare pair thank goodness

The MH Navigator pants are also nice but not as nice as the Acme. I do kind of like the built in gaiter on the MH, though.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

they still sell them in some sizes, but i guess these must be the leftovers.   

REI Acme
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good to know 30" inseam is too short for me or I'd buy another pair

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 3:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 17 2012, 7:41 pm)
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I wear a base layer and hardshell while snowshoeing. Most of the time, I regret wearing my thicker mid-weight thermals under my hardshell.

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a question..If, while you snowshoe you wear a base layer and a hard shell over it, what do you do when you stop for breaks? Do you get cold if you were sweating? Or is it that you only take short breaks and continue on? I only ask because you always hear that while hiking in cold weather you use layers and when you stop for breaks that you can always throw on a down jacket or some sort of warm outter shell to keep you from freezing the sweat, and then remove it when you start moving again.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 6:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

it really depends on the length of the break & the conditions where you take the break, in my experience.  Sweat isn't generally a huge issue for me in the lower half - between baselayers that do a good job handling moisture (synthetics or wool both are very good) and hard shells that allow moisture to escape (eVent shell pants, but i have had good experience w/gtx too).  i figure a soft shell would be similar, if not better, than a membrane hard shell, in terms of handling sweat.    

as you observe, it's the longer stop in really cold weather that is most likely to create a problem.  in almost every circumstance i can remember, throwing a big parka on over my outer layer (with big insulated hood, an absolute essential) does enough to keep my core warm that i don't worry about my legs for a stop, eg for lunch.  same for someone who has to stop for a while to belay during ice-climbing; when i was doing that, i never put on insulated pants but often broke out the parka while i was standing still & freezing.  

i can think of maybe once or twice where i had an unexpectedly long stop in cold, windy conditions (broken crampons & broken snowshoe bindings that absolutely had to get fixed immediately) where i pulled a pair of insulated pants on over the shell layer.  that's why it is so important to have insulated pants with full side zips.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 18 2012, 7:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Dec. 18 2012, 12:08 pm)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Dec. 17 2012, 7:41 pm)
QUOTE
I wear a base layer and hardshell while snowshoeing. Most of the time, I regret wearing my thicker mid-weight thermals under my hardshell.

Not to hijack this thread, but I have a question..If, while you snowshoe you wear a base layer and a hard shell over it, what do you do when you stop for breaks? Do you get cold if you were sweating? Or is it that you only take short breaks and continue on? I only ask because you always hear that while hiking in cold weather you use layers and when you stop for breaks that you can always throw on a down jacket or some sort of warm outter shell to keep you from freezing the sweat, and then remove it when you start moving again.

It's about sweat management. If I just wear a lightweight wicking base layer under my hardshell, I stay dry. In fact, sometimes, I have to open the pockets to let out the excess heat to ensure I don't start sweating. The gaiters keep the pants from getting drafts. When I stop, I button up the pockets, zip up the pitzips, and if I am wearing a zippered top, zip it up (Often I wear just a base layer on top) and I am fine without adding anything else in temps down into the teens. Single digits, I will add a light upper layer. I can stay comfortable without adding anything for about 10 -15 minutes before I will consider adding a layer. I keep a spare upper layer in my camelbak backpack for food breaks.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 19 2012, 12:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

gotcha, thanks..

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2012, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I picked up a pair of Marmot Scree pants (long) a few weeks ago & have been pretty impressed with them. Fairly lightweight, very breathable & extremely comfortable in cool conditions. Excellent for cold, windy conditions. And they look decent enough for kicking around town without looking like goof. I'm actually thinking about picking up another pair if I can find em on sale.
I can't speak to their water resistance, but the reviews I've read from folks who have used them in drizzle & snow suggest they're great in inclement weather. Paired with a synthetic/merino baselayer, they should get you down into the teens, depending upon your activity level.
For the price, hard to beat.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 21 2012, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love soft shell pants for the winter .. and summer, for that matter.

Which ones depend on conditions, etc.

For the most part, I hike/ski/snowshoe in winter in my Patagonia Backcountry Guide pants. Or their Alpine Guide pants.

For an shell layer, if needed, I like my Mtn Hdwr Bokta pants.

But "winter" can mean so many different conditions there's no way to really offer useful advice without more context.

Cheers

Carl


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 9:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

what i derive from this is that a pair of softshell pants for winter might be a good addition, so long as i also have a hard shell handy to wear over them when the wind really blows (winter, for my purposes, is the white mountains, adirondacks, and maybe Maine in the winter - temperatures ranging from 20 to -40f, winds from breezy to near-hurricane).  

thanks for all the great feedback/thoughts.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 23 2012, 10:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey leadbelly

Yes, for those kind of conditions, I'd probably be looking for some kind of hard shell pants as well - though if you look around you may well find some soft shell that combine a wind proof layer as well .. kind of like the Mtn Hwdr Tech Jacket that is so popular (because it rocks). I'm pretty happy with my Arcteryx Gamma MX jacket, and I imagine the pants are equally weather proof. The Patagonia BC Guide pants I mentioned are pretty robust.

Cheers

Carl


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 25 2012, 2:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just picked up a pair of REI Endeavor softshells
on the sale rack. Nice fit, good feel, supposed to
be windproof, sun blocker protection. We'll
see how they work out..
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 3:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I ended up with a pair of Patagonia's alpine guide pants.  i liked their backcountry guide pants too but felt i didn't need some of the features.  spent a fair bit of last week hiking around in the snow and cold with them.  yesterday in particular, we had a lot of snow and wind, so i was pretty well coated with windblown powder - they seem to be what i was looking for.

thanks again for all the feedback.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 6:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm a huge fan of the Kuhl Renegade stretch pants . I just wore them with some MEC Gaiters and my Merrell Chameleons in -10C snowshoeing during the snowstorms that just hit Southern Ontario.

They shed cold dry snow like a champ. Them and some tier 2 or  3 Baselayers and I'm good to go all day in the winter.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 6:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

TBK, I clicked the link you posted and got the funniest 404 error I've ever seen.

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Lol!

Direct link

http://www.kuhl.com/products/5020/


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22 replies since Dec. 17 2012, 7:11 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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