Saturday, March 3, 2018

Some clothing options for your lower half

Continuing up the the body, let's talk about pants. Or I guess trousers if you're English? I mean, I'm not English. I'm just very inclusive.

I gave up wearing shorts to hike in a long time ago. They just expose too much area to ticks, mosquitoes, thorns, sun, and poison ivy. Instead I wear thin synthetic fabric pants which are tough and dry quickly. They are a little warmer than shorts, but not as much as you'd think.

My favorite hiking pants ever were White Sierra Teton convertible pants. I could have done without the convertible legs - I basically never unzipped them. But they had everything else I needed in pants. They were thin and dried fast, they had side zips up the calves so I could put them on over shoes, they had pockets at the waist and thigh. They were roomy in the leg and had elastic in the waist, so they actually fit me really nicely. I bought enough to wear them daily, even off the trail. Sadly, White Sierra eventually stopped making them. The replacement, the Sierra Point convertible pant, has an entirely different fit AND no roomy thigh pockets. They're a waste of fabric in my book.

These days I have two options for pants. The LL Bean Vista Trekking Pants are made of a stretch fabric, which is not my favorite but I can live with it. They have two thigh pockets with zip tops. They are less roomy pockets than I like, and the zippers catch my skin in cold weather. But the pants are reasonably comfortable to wear. The other pair, which I ended up finishing last year's thruhike in, are REI's house brand Kornati Roll Up Pants. They also are made of stretch material, and they only have one (zippered) thigh pocket. BUT! They have an internal adjustable elastic waist band, so you can adjust the size as you lose weight. This means that I don't need to wear an additional belt. My experience with belts is they tend to snag on things and also come unfastened unless you have them on pretty tight.

So the Kornatis are my current go-to. They, like all these pants, also have pockets over the butt which I find annoying. My backpack always covers them. They end up being just useless fabric and in my way. Although I admit to plundering them for fabric when I damaged my pants and had to patch them.

I was excited to try out Rail Riders Weatherpants. They've been low-key famous for men's clothing for years because they reinforce the seat and knees with semi indestructible fabric. I regularly destroy the seat of my pants by sitting and sliding down sketchy rocks, so this would be a huge boon to my butt. Unfortunately the larger size was balloonlike on me. I still wore them, but eventually they got uncomfortably loose and allowed my thighs to rub. The next size down was wildly smaller. Despite further weight loss on the trail, my legs never got so small that the seam across the thigh didn't drag at my leg as I stepped up. I gave up on them after a few hundred miles and returned to using less bulletproof pants which were easier to walk in. If you have smaller quadriceps than me (most people do!) you might very well love these pants. They're also factory treated with permethrin, which is nice.

Toward the end of the trail this year I found Terramar Cloud Nine tights at Bluff Mountain Outfitters in Hot Springs. I got them to sleep in or in extreme weather to layer with my other tights. I'm so in love with these tights! They're thick enough to wear alone without showing your undies. They're incredibly comfortable and non-restrictive. No special washing requirements, they've worn like iron so far, and they're thin enough that I could comfortably layer them with my other tights under my pants and still feel like I wasn't being squeezed to death. I use them when I teach yoga in chilly weather, and I wear them around the house. I heart these tights so bad.

I wish I could tell you what my other tights were, but they are low on identifying marks.

I was going to tell you about Ex Officio Lacy underwear, but I see they've changed it. It used to have a stretchy lace panel which made the waist never cut in. I don't know what to tell you. Try going to commando - it's what a lot of people do, much of the time.

1 comment:

  1. I read your latest TrailJournal avidly and rather missed your voice once you finished up. Happy to have found you here, and I confess, I love gear reviews. I'm another hobbity middle-aged woman who likes lightweight travel. Thank you!