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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Gear Talk › Modern clothing options

Modern clothing options

A former member
Post #: 5
Hi All,
For the last several decades of hiking and backpacking I have worn the same three pairs of army surplus wool pants I bought in '72 at Andy & Bax. If needed I wear micro-fleece long johns under them, and water-wicking outer pants to protect the wool, with very lightweight rain pants when needed.
I have hiked and packed in all types of weather and all around the calendar and stayed warm and dry.
However, these trusted and well loved pants are ready for retirement, and I can't find anything like them now days. I'm looking for recommendations for durable outer pants that won't break my bank.
Also, where can I find lightweight thermal pants that are warm when wet and also durable, while saving my wallet a serious loss in weight? Lately I have added under armor pants as a base layer in place of micro-fleece or in addition to micro-fleece when needed.
user 6564426
Portland, OR
Post #: 147
I have struggled at times with pants too. Summer is easy: get some convertible nylon pants. $40 is plenty to spend on them.

Winter (and all of spring this year) can be more challenging. My favorite winter pants are some thick, stretchy, insulated pants that REI long since stopped selling. I need to replace them and I can't find a comparable product nowadays. Anyhow, some form of medium weight fleece pants under a nylon rain pant make a pretty good winter setup for me. It took me two years to find a good pair of rain pants.

Try Next Adventure, which is just one block south of Andy and Bax. They can have some good stuff cheap occasionally. Persistence will pay off.
Jessica B.
Yacolt, WA
Post #: 67
For winter/spring, you can always wear spandexy running tights type clothing or long johns under your nylon zip off pants. That gives you the ultimate in being able to take off and put back on clothes depending on the weather and how hard you are hiking.
Bernadette aka D.
user 12665052
Woodburn, OR
Post #: 1
Also check your local Goodwill stores. I just picked up a few decent hiking pants today at the Cedar Hills store in Beaverton. I found them in the "Active Wear" section. 4 pairs of pants, 2 hats & 1 shirt for $50. not bad.
Todd O
user 2364738
Portland, OR
Post #: 7
I second the thrift store option, but you must be patient to go that route. I have a great collection of Columbia, REI, Mountain Hardwear, North Face, etc., gear, almost all of it bought for about 10% of list price at thrift stores, but it has taken many seasons of patient browsing to come up with that stuff. (Some of it was in new condition, with tags still attached!)

If you are in something of a hurry, Craigslist, Ebay, and gear sales held by clubs or people in the outdoor industry are a good way to go. REI Outlet, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post, etc., are also options. Some people are always trading up to the latest and greatest, and they will let barely used stuff go for a good price.

Me, I never pay retail unless it is very reasonably priced to begin with (like the lightweight Bare Boxer bear canister I just bought directly from the manufacturer) or if I just can't stand going a season without a new, hot item (like the carbon fiber Z-Poles that I barely notice in my pack, now, or the cool, custom tent/tarp I am having made next month if I can talk the crafts person behind it into some modifications on a new design). By patiently scouting for great deals on common gear and clothing, it is possible to splurge on hot items and still stick to a relatively modest budget.

Back to the original question, I have some light weight Columbia Titanium pants made from a water and tear resistant nylon and cut like a pair of jeans with slightly articulated knees. With a treatment of Techwash they have been waterproof in light to medium rain storms. In all day soaker conditions, I wear light Patagonia long underwear underneath and remain comfortable down to about 40 degrees. They shed snow like a charm and fit easily under my REI Goretex rain pants. I have many other outdoor pants, but I end up wearing these about 70% of the time because they are so versatile and comfortable (and packable!). Got 'em at Salvation Army for $6!
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