Why the no wind trousers?

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Enzo, May 13, 2018.

  1. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    The US hikers seem keen on 'windpants' but looking in the UK the selection is extremely limited or 0.
    I get that generally in the UK wp trousers are a better bet, mine are 190g and for example montbell windpants are ~70g and about £56 from Japan.
    Is it that we have such unreliable summers or that our trails are generally covered in nettles and brambles? At least at low level.
    Marco likes this.
  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I've considered getting some but then I'd be carrying two pairs of overtrousers which seems a bit daft, if it's blowy and cold I'll put my waterproofs on, in the areas I hike I've always got the waterproofs packed, unless it's a warm dry spell I might take a gamble and leave them at home.

    If I was hiking in shorts and tights in the drier states of the US I can see the appeal, it must get pretty chilly on the top of the those 10,000ft + tops, or for cold morning starts in the desert.
    Ken T. and Munro277 like this.
  3. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I think it's because a lot of US hikers wear shorts or they just don't have the changeable and wet weather we have.

    I was amused when listening to "thru hiking will break your heart" that carrot first experienced overnight rain on her tent after 1600 miles of hiking on the PCT. Imagine that in the UK.

    I used to carry a montane pair but they are rubbish in the rain so now I concentrate on a reasonably protective pair of normal trousers and lightweight WP trousers that only go on in foul weather.
    Ken T. likes this.
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    For short trips down south with early starts/late pitching in the summer I'd find them really useful. Seems odd to have to order from Japan,/USA
  5. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

  6. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

    West coast US hikers seem a lot keener on wind trous than East coast ones, probably because of the lack of rain.
  7. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Often, 'Windpants' should be my trail name. :angelic:

    I don't have a single pair of hiking trews that aren't highly wind resistant or windproof already, the need for extras just isn't there. If it's that windy, a finely woven 'windproof' will be approaching it's limits and moving to a coated and waterproof fabric will offer much better windblocking for it's weight.
    Chiseller, Shewie and WilliamC like this.
  8. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Marco and tom like this.
  9. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I use a pair, but only at night over my leggings if my trousers are wet. Worth the 60g or so to me.

    My legs don't really get cold during the day unless the rain is really cold, in which case I'll usually be wearing my rain skirt. Wind doesn't bother them when I'm moving.
    Chiseller, gixer, edh and 1 other person like this.
  10. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    What he says
  11. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    For all the superfluous stuff I have accumulated, I have no windpants because I never hike in shorts and my hiking trousers are either windproof enough or windproof and water resistant.
  12. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I've been dithering about the usefulness of wind trousers for ages …….. this thread has confirmed - I definitely don't need a pair :angelic::thumbsup:. Thanks :biggrin:
  13. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Agree that their window of use is pretty narrow in typical UK weather, and if your wearing trousers or packing wp over trousers then there is no point. I wear lined running shorts in the type of weather we have had over the last couple of weeks down south, and first and last thing it can be nice to take the chill off, I use wp trousers, especially if there are lots of nettles, or sleeping Ronan ultra long johns but a pair of really breathable 12d windpants would work. But of course I'd want to know that any rain would be just spit. So think id only consider them for weekenders. Sensibly too narrow a use to bother with I guess.
    Marco likes this.
  14. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I don't use shorts at all. Cover up from the sun AMAP. Almost always have rain pants ……...
  15. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    I have 2 pairs - As Tucas Millaris(55g) for summer use and inov8 (95g) to protect down trousers in colder periods. They used to slso substitute for pointless wp trousers before I switched to rainskirts. But windpants are an alpine (big altitude changes) thing for me but quite indispensable there - try alpine climbing in wp trousers - a sauna would be more comfortable... And I almost always hike in shorts during 3 seasons for comfort....
    Max and Marco like this.
  16. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    Nope. And shorts go over my leggings unless its very hot and I'm nowhere near prickly undergrowth or biting insects ( or people :sorry:).
  17. Marco

    Marco Ultralighter

    In contrast to wind jackets, wind trousers are a very specialized garment. However, they are invaluable under certain circumstances. As @tom points out, alpine routes during warm weather are the playground for them. In these routes there are great elevation changes, so you work hard going up.If you wear shorts, wind pants provide a good balance between protection and breathability. Also they are a great complement to short when moving on exposed ridges (high winds) or more technical areas (you move more slowly, so you cool down prety fast).

    Besides that, I don't use wind trousers. When I wear hiking trousers I use them alone (warm weather) or combined with a WPB layer.
  18. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Tried them, but just like windproof jackets i just don't see the point, for hiking (good for cycling though)
    Clammy, sweaty and i find a bit of wind cutting through my warm layer is kinda nice, helps get rid of some sweat.

    If the wind gets to the point where it's not comfortable, then a waterproof layer does it's job

    Plus, the windproof trousers i used (Montane i think) tore up like soggy toilet paper when used as well.
    Baldy likes this.
  19. MyHatGandhi

    MyHatGandhi Summit Camper

    Since trying it out, I'm a fan of having a wind and rain jacket, especially since I want to reduce the wear of my rain jacket.
    I experience more wind and light drizzle most of the time and my cheaper wind jacket is easier to pack in my hipbelt pocket for quick access, and I worry less about its durability.

    Always hated waterproof trousers since they're a faf, recently switched to rain skirt and love it. Wind has never bothered my legs so, and I've never really needed to go slow so it's not the type of purchase I'd make ;)
    tom, edh and Marco like this.
  20. Jim_Parkin

    Jim_Parkin Trail Blazer

    tom, Marco, MyHatGandhi and 1 other person like this.

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