/ Hardshell pants as light as possible?

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EveningWind - on 06 Jun 2013
So i wanna buy a new Harshell pants.
i just want to verify my theorem:
if all i am doing (at the moment) is beginner level (PD + D) level summer climbs . and i like to move as fast and light as possible.
do i really need heavy harshell pants?
i see people buy bibs or heavy GORE PROSHELL 3L pants. and i dont get it.
what am i loosing in the tradeoff when i buy lightweight more breathable no bib goretex paclite pants.

p.s
i guess durability but it is granted.

thanks.
Richiehill - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind: Have a look at the RAB Neo Stretch pants. Waterproof, lightweight and easily the most breathable-waterproof material going.

Durability is not a guarantee, that's the main reason why people go for Gore Proshell 3l.
robthered - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

People will be along with different opinions (and I'm certainly not experienced) but for Alpine climbs in the same conditions as you, all I took with me were a pair of Inov8 'Racepants'. They're waterproof, weigh 150g, and stayed in the bag most of the time as I find Schoeller trousers to be exceptional for everything up to full rain - and if it's raining you need to get higher, or question what it is you're up to being out.

I can't remember what/where the article was now, but there was a review of Alpine kit list and as the author says, no one's ever died from soggy legs.

So, I don't reckon you're losing much other than weight...
GridNorth - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind: No. Softshell is the way to go. It keeps out snow and light rain and when it does get wet dries very quickly.
AlanLittle - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Richiehill:
> RAB Neo Stretch pants. Waterproof, lightweight and easily the most breathable-waterproof material going.
>

(1) and (3), certainly, but definitely not "as light as possible" at double the weight of Inov8, OMM or Montane.

Depends if you want something you expect to be wearing most of the time, e.g. in Scotland, or something you want to have in your pack in case you get caught out in a thunderstorm. For the latter I'd personally go for one of the really light options, probably the Montane Atomic for practicality - leg zips, cut to go over trousers rather than over running tights etc.
AlanLittle - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to EveningWind) No. Softshell is the way to go. It keeps out snow and light rain and when it does get wet dries very quickly.

True, but while it's wet it's really heavy, cold and uncomfortable. At least that's been my experience with Patagonia Guide Pants. I bought into the whole softshell trousers thing, and they turned out to be one of my least useful mountain purchases ever. For summer alpine rock routes they're far too hot, in winter I prefer hardshells over long underwear, or powerstretch leggings if it's really cold. Maybe I just don't do the right kind of route. Maybe other brands are better.

martinph78 on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to AlanLittle: That's my experience with softshells as well, plus I find them heavier and less packable.

Personally I use a cheap/heavier trouser as I tend to trash them more than jackets (crampons, rock, woodland, etc). Wear them over my ronhills in winter :p Would like a bib, or at least braces for the future though.
EveningWind - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
I have several pairs of softshell pants which i will be bringing along. bit i was asking about Hardshell pants in particular because i will be literally rolling in the snow sometimes and i want that extra protection.

another thing- Gridnorth, i think you miss out the point of softshell pants if you use them in wet conditions. they were never design for that. softhsell excels in cold and dry conditions. for example for winter alpine.
why would anyone want to be doing summertime mountaineering in a hot and usually no leg zips softshell pants . or why would anyone want to be walking around in the rain with a gear that is not design to withstand prolonged downpour?


so again-
for summertime european alps temps mountaineering and beginner+ level climbing. is it ok to buy some lightweight hardshell pants to wear over a baselayer for those crevasse training days or snowfields.
i was thinking about those (i kinda love Mammut)
http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/102004400_v_0001_S/Convey-Pants-Men.html

400 grams
full length zips
great quality
3 layer goretex
packs very small
martinph78 on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

I have these (got them loads cheaper than the RRP though):

http://www.montane.co.uk/range/men/shell/superfly-pants

I reckon they'd be more than up to the job, and they are 350g. I've found them to be pretty tough so far, just a few small nicks from careless crampon use, but they've been through all sorts of bracken, scrambling, etc.

More than up to your needs. Saying that, when I head out for winter training I take my old craghopper shell, doesn't matter if they get torn to bits practicing fall arrests etc.

Martin Bennett - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

Some of those look very expensive. I'd go with your original idea of Goretex Paclite. Me and my wife both have Berghaus Paclite pants. I'm not a big user of Berghaus stuff but we went for these after trying many on as they seem better tailored and fit best. Less than 200g so you don't know you're carrying them but when needed they do the job of keeping the wet out and remain comfortable. My local shop/mail order store has them even cheaper than when we got 'em a coupla years ago - reduced from 100 to 60 here: http://www.outdooraction.co.uk/outdoor-clothing-mens-clothing-waterproof-trousers/berghaus/berghaus-...
robthered - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

Well, I get that you want people to confirm your choice of the Mammut trousers (if that's what you want, they seem great), but there probably needs to be some clarity/distinction of different types of 'softshell' in the context of this conversation?

I've worn an old pair of Mountain Hardwear Schoeller trousers for exactly what you're talking about. They're not insulated in the way that, say, Vapour Rise is. I run very hot - as in it takes alot for me to even bother putting a jacket on - but haven't overheated in the trousers. I've worn them in the Alps in good and shitty weather and in Snowdonia in January. This has included (due to the really shitty weather in the Alps this year), after 5 hours or so on a ridge, spending half an hour practicing self-arrest and then walking back down to Cham in the rain. Not once did I think about needing waterproofs.

Each to thier own. But if you want to go 'fast and light' as you said, I'd seriously think about some of the truly light options or just not bothering and spending the money on a single pair of trousers that can hack it?
GridNorth - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind: You are mis-representing what I actually said and by the way you never mentioned rolling about in snow in your original post.
Carolyn - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

> i guess durability

Yup, mainly durability I'd say. Lightweight doesn't tend to last as long - although if it's mainly carried and rarely worn, well, it might.

Personally I'd try and pick up an old, cheap second hand pair to trash on crevasse rescue practice days and similar (I've had a couple of very good pairs for under a tenner off eBay), and spend my money on something light that's ideal for the rest of the time.

andyco13 - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

nothing wrong with the Berghaus Deluge.

Cheap, waterproof, light, breathable, cheap, full zips (almost - the wasit band doesn't zip open) fairly durable (my first pair lasted 4 years before they started to wet out, second pair lasted 2 years before being slashed by crampons, third pair going strong).

You can go cheaper or lighter. If you go any cheaper, they're likely to not be as breathable or as well made, any lighter and they'll probably not be as waterproof.
Jasonic - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind: For alpinism most people benefit from : a pair of softshell trousers or similar with a good fit- not too baggy so you can see your feet- plus a light pair of overtrousers that live in the sac. 30 ones probably work as well as 300 ones, as you usually only wear them walking to or from a hut in bad weather, or escaping a route in a storm.
Nath93 - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind: Softshell trousers for everything unless its pissing it down. Get mid weight ones which you can layer over thermal long johns in winter and on their own for summertime stuff in the mountains and at the crag. I live in my Rab Treklite trousers and they are great for everything.

If there is a chance of rain, carrying lightweight waterproof trousers can be good, but generally i don't bother. I'd be more worried about the wet and cold on the top half of my body.
Timmd on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Jasonic:
> (In reply to EveningWind) For alpinism most people benefit from : a pair of softshell trousers or similar with a good fit- not too baggy so you can see your feet- plus a light pair of overtrousers that live in the sac. 30 ones probably work as well as 300 ones, as you usually only wear them walking to or from a hut in bad weather, or escaping a route in a storm.

I don't suppose breathability matters so much over softshells as the damp from sweat won't get back through to the skin anyway. I've read breathability matters less for trousers than the top half on a shop website somewhere too, come to that.

In a way that's not all connected to this thread, I was surprised a few weeks ago to feel comfortable while out in the rain all day in a 'plastic bag' waterproof with a fluffy woollen jumper over my merino base layer. The inside of my waterproof and the outside of my jumper were both damp/wet, but I was warm and comfortable all day while fencing. Anyways...
Mr Fuller on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to Timmd: Yeah, breathability is definitely less important for the bottom half of your body, as not only do your legs sweat less than your torso, they also notice less when they are getting hot and clammy. That means it doesn't really affect your mood in the same way as if you're broiling away in a PVC jacket. The effect of the underlayer, whether that be thermals or another pair of trousers, is to keep the moisture off the skin, which is where comfort actually counts. In most conditions doesn't really matter if the inside of your shell is soaked with sweat as long as it doesn't affect your skin too much.

In reply to the original question... I've always worn softshell trousers in the Alps (Schoeller or stretchwoven nylon), or a a pair of running shorts for non-glaciated walk-ins. I carry a pair of ME Drilite overtrousers with full length side-zips (about 250 g) on most snowy routes. I'd definitely recommend a pair - mine have never leaked and I've had them for about 5 years. http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/clothing/waterproof/rainfall_pant---222/
The New NickB - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to robthered:

I like softshell for trousers in winter and see hardshell as only for extreme emergency, so want them as light as possible and don't worry about breath ability or durability. I have a pair of Innov8 waterproof trousers for fell running, they fit the bill for mountain use except I would have to take my boots off to put them on, which I really wouldn't fancy doing when in the grips of a storm.
robthered - on 07 Jun 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

If I was caught in an Alpine storm I wouldn't be stopping to put on w/proof trousers anyway...
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Timmd on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Mr Fuller:
> In most conditions doesn't really matter if the inside of your shell is soaked with sweat as long as it doesn't affect your skin too much.

Unless you're somewhere very cold presumably, where holding onto moisture within your clothing could cause a lot of problems. Can remember an article written by Dick Turnbull stressing the importance of clothing which helps you to stay dry when you're going somewhere up high and very cold.
Gearfreak - on 21 Jun 2013
In reply to EveningWind:

I think Mr Ueli Steck is also in the same mind set as yourself. He only uses a lightweight shell pant on his fast ascents.


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