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Do I really need pants for the JMT???

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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby tyler675108 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:54 pm

Thanks for all the insight guys! Looks like I'm gonna buy a pair of convertible pants just to be safe!



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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby paul » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:15 pm

I do shorts, long johns, and very light wind pants. The combination is lighter than most pants, much warmer when worn all together, and much more versatile. I very rarely wear more than the shorts on the trail. In camp the long johns are very comfy, and make nice jammies. The windpants are skeeter proof for the evenings, and of course for wind or just added warmth over the shorts or over the longs.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby longri » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:56 am

I do the same as Paul except that I carry waterproof pants instead of just wind pants. I don't know what zip-off convertible pants weigh but at 8.6oz my summertime setup is pretty light: shorts(3.1oz), longjohns(4.3oz), rainpants(1.2oz), although shorts does mean taking a little extra sunscreen and sometimes mosquito repellent.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:28 am

4 oz long johns and 1 oz rain pants?? What brand? Where do you get these? Cost?? My rain pants and long johns are each about 7 oz - older gear but I had not realized that new stuff has gotten so light. I am green with envy!
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby markskor » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:20 am

Also one of those who lives in shorts. However, also carry light X-Country ski pants, waterproof and mosquito-proof (even though have only put these on a hand-full of times all last season... Usually function mostly as my pillow?)
My thought is that even though long pants are seldom needed in the summer Sierra, when you do need them, glad to have them along.
BTW, personally, dislike all of those convertible (zip-off) pants...the zippers irk my knees.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:51 pm

4 oz long johns and 1 oz rain pants?? What brand?


ZPacks "Cuben Fiber Pants" at 3.6 oz is totted as being the lightest (3.6 oz for small), 1 oz waterproof/breathable pants by what company?
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby markskor » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:45 pm

1 oz rain pants?
Are those the clear plastic, 2ml. "put them on once, and tear them up immediately" model? Been there.
Sorry, (respectfully) doubt you could rely on for long/ do serious hiking wearing any rain pant that light weight. YMMV.

RE the Cuban Fiber rain pants...cost?...and do they continuously make that CF crinkle noise too?
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby longri » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:45 am

markskor wrote:1 oz rain pants?
Are those the clear plastic, 2ml. "put them on once, and tear them up immediately" model? Been there.
Sorry, (respectfully) doubt you could rely on for long/ do serious hiking wearing any rain pant that light weight. YMMV.

RE the Cuban Fiber rain pants...cost?...and do they continuously make that CF crinkle noise too?

Mine are homemade from 0.5oz Cuben. Very simple design, mostly taped (it took about an hour to make them), with 1/16" shock cord around the waist and a couple of tabs of velcro at the ankle in case I need to close them up for warmth. They are so light and silky that they have surprisingly nice feel to them, kind of like nylon running pants but lighter. I made them from leftover Cuben scraps but the cost of the materials was probably around $30.

The fabric doesn't breath but some air circulates from the ankle openings. Goretex would be better but in my experience it's only a marginal difference in many circumstances. I often end up wet from perspiration under my WPB rain gear after a certain point.

Anyway, although rainpants have at times been extremely useful for me I usually don't need them and got tired of carrying my 7oz WPB pair. The only problem with the Cuben ones is that my pillow has less loft now.

edit: I got the idea from a post on BPL. That guy used lighter weight Cuben but made his pants a little more complicated so his and mine ended up weighing the same.
Last edited by longri on Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby longri » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:53 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:4 oz long johns and 1 oz rain pants?? What brand? Where do you get these? Cost??

The longjohns are Helly Hansen. They were a gift from about ten years ago. I hated them and stuck them in the back of a drawer. Then a couple of years ago decided I liked them after all. I put them on the scale and found they were lighter (123g) than the bicycle tights (206g) I usually wear. They aren't as warm though so they are mid-summer leggings for me.

I've wondered about women's nylons as an alternative legging. Never tried it though. I'd probably have to shave first.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:06 pm

I am going to try a rain skirt this summer. I will make it out of cheaper and heavier coated nylon just to try the concept. If it works, I would buy some Cuben material. Do you think Cuben material will come down in price as it is used more? I found it on the internet for $40 a yard plus shipping. For me, a few ounces difference is not worth the cost.

One thing to consider on the JMT, or any long thru-hike, is that if you have to make lots of miles, you may be forced to walk in rain, rather than just hunker down. You really need to keep a set of dry clothes to change into when you stop. Although my core temperature may be warm because of all the walking in the rain, my legs are often really chilled. I really like to always have my long johns. Not that I absolutely need them, but they make evenings and mornings a lot more bearable when temperatures drop and allow me to warm up faster when I hop into the sleeping bag. Honestly, the 6-7 ounces I would save by not taking them can easily be made up by taking 1 oz. less food per day, or just carrying a cup or so less water while hiking.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby longri » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:34 pm

I believe the price has risen a little bit in the last few years. And Cuben was purchased by another company recently and goes by some other name now. I wouldn't count on it becoming inexpensive anytime soon. It would be nice if it did though. I would buy more if the price were half what it is.
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Re: Do I really need pants for the JMT???

Postby oldranger » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:09 pm

I believe the price has risen a little bit in the last few years. And Cuben was purchased by another company recently and goes by some other name now. I wouldn't count on it becoming inexpensive anytime soon. It would be nice if it did though.


Wonder if it was purchased by a drug company!
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