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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > GoLite Paradox Pants > Test Report by Andrew Buskov


Paradox Pants FrontGoLite Paradox Pants
GoLite's semi-fitted, waterproof, breathable pants.
Andrew Buskov

Initial Report - April 5, 2007
Field Report - June 23, 2007
Long Term Report - August 28, 2007

Tester Biographical Information

Name: Andrew Buskov
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 211.5 lbs (96 kg)
Waist: 37 in (94 cm)
Inseam: 31 in (79 cm)
Email: Rescue(at)Corridor9(dot)net
City, State Zip Madisonville, Kentucky  USA

Backpacking Background:

I started backpacking and quickly became hooked on the outdoors, hiking various environments from the green mountains of the Appalachians to the barren desert of Arizona. I enjoy the solitude of deep backcountry, and prefer colder weather but global warming is making that tougher all the time. I’m usually a moderate weight hiker, but as an Emergency Medical Technician I’m trained to be prepared, so my pack usually weighs between 30 to 40 lbs (13 and 18 kg) while soloing, to 60 lbs (27 kg) when leading. Additional information about the author can be found at http://www.corridor9.net.

Product Information:

GoLite Sewn Logo
Item: Paradox Pants
Manufacturer: GoLite
Website http://www.golite.com
Year of Manufacture: 2007
MSRP: $100.00
Size: XL
Sizes Available: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Actual Weight: XL / 12.6 oz (.36 kg)
Listed Weight: L / 12 oz (.34 kg)
Color: Grease

Product Overview:

{Paraphrased From Website}
Whether you’re high on an alpine ridge or setting up camp, now you don’t need a pant for every outing: just the Paradox Pant to keep you dry and comfortable no matter what the weather. Made with Trinity 3-layer stretch, waterproof, breathable fabric, these pants have articulated knees, side zips with snaps, a zippered side storage pocket, and a fitted stretch comfort waist. In addition, all seams are taped, the leg zippers run 3/4 of the way up the calf, and the leg bottoms fit over just about any boot made.

{From Packaging and Website}
Some of the additional features of the Paradox pants are:
  • Trinity 3-Layer fabric: stretch, waterproof, breathable
  • 1 side pocket
  • Articulated knees
  • 10 in (25 cm) bottom size zips with snaps

Initial Impression:

This item arrived in good condition, complete, and very neatly packaged within a plastic bag. Included in the packaging was the pants, and a hangtag. Also included in the box was a GoLite Paradigm Jacket which will be used in conjunction with these pants.

Pant ZipperUpon opening the package I went through my usual regimen of getting initial weights and measurements, checking for any damage or defects, and trying the item on. Nowhere on the pants did I find any sort of defect, but instead found a very well constructed garment. All of the seams were nice and tight as far as I could tell. None of them appeared to be separating.  One of the things that  I found very superior to other rain pants I've seen was the fact that GoLite uses seam tape over ever place where a needle has pierced the fabric. This includes all seams, zippered areas, and even the stitched in GoLite logo on the left pocket. The only place on the pants that doesn't' have seam tape is the area right beneath the waistband which would only be natural due to the constant stretching of the waistband. However, as hem of the Paradigm jacket rides below the waistband of the pants, I can't foresee a problem in this area. This is surely something that I will keep an eye out for during the testing period.

The entire garment is made of Trinity fabric which is said to be more comfortable and allows a greater range of motion due to its superior stretching characteristics. I was curious how breathable this material was so I tried exhaling through the fabric. Although I was only able to breathe out extremely slow, I was still able to breathe through the fabric. Being as hwo the entire pants are made of this fabric, I can't wait to test the breathability in real world conditions.

Pocket Zipper The pocket on the pants seem to be fairly large, appearing to be about the same size as a 1 qt (.95 L) Ziploc bag. The zipper for this pocket is sewn nice and tight between the surrounding Trinity fabric. Because the fabric is sewn so close to the actual teeth of the zipper, it is nearly impossible to see the teeth at all when the zipper is closed. Even when stretching the fabric I can barely make out where the zipper stops and the Trinity fabric begins. Just from looking at it, I cannot see any feasible way for water to enter the pocket while it is closed unless I fall into a stream or something, and then I foresee only a small amount of moisture permeating through the zipper teeth.

 I was puzzled about the number of pockets on the pants though. I did a double take more than once when referencing some information on the web page. The "Details" section clearly states that there are two zippered front hand pockets, but apparently this feature was taken out when this item went into production because there definitely isn't any front hand pockets. The only pocket on the pants is a side pocket around the right hip area. The only thing on the front of the pants where pockets should be is the stitched GoLite logo. I must say that I was very glad to see that GoLite decided to stitch on the logo versus screen printing it onto the fabric. I've owned a few other GoLite items that had the logo screen printed on. I say "had" because they are all in various stages of shedding the logo due to  normal use and wear.

Seam Tape The articulated knees allowed me the ability to bend and stretch without binding the material. While this works to some extent, I find the knees to be a bit tight because they are more elliptical as opposed to being round. In addition, the way the knees are sewn, it is nearly impossible for me to slip on these pants while wearing any size shoes. Even when unzipping the pant leg fully, I still don't have enough room to slide my shoe through the knee area. I'll have to document my experiences with donning and doffing these pants in the field throughout the test period.

The lower section of the pants has a 10 in (25 cm) zipper running up the side of the leg. While it appears that a zipper of this size is to ease donning and doffing these pants while wearing shoes, as per the paragraph above this isn't quite possible. In addition to the zipper there are two buttons that allow the pant to be cinched around any hiking or mountaineering boot. There is a great deal of fabric around the pant bottoms leading to, dare I say it, a bell bottom effect. However, I can see the need for such a large amount of fabric being as how these pants must be compatible with heavier, more high altitude boots than I'll ever wear with them.

So far, from what I can tell, I'm going to enjoy testing these pants. While I am not passing judgment just yet, I do wish that the knees had a bit more room in them. I'll have to use these for a period of time to further evaluate all the aspects of the Paradox pants.

I'd like to thank GoLite and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me the opportunity to test these pants.

Field Report - June 23, 2007

Field Locations:

While conditions around the area have been a bit dry over the past 2 months, I was able to use these pants three times during the Field Report Phase. The first two trips were around town while running errands in the blowing wind and rain. The elevation for the area around town is roughly 400 ft (122 m), and temperatures for that day were around 72 F (22 C). The third trip was a jaunt to Savage Gulf in the South Cumberland Recreational Area. The elevation range for this area is 980 ft (299 m) to 1800 ft (549 m). The weather for this area was a bit colder with lows dipping down to 43 F (6 C) and highs in the mid 70's F (24 C). The was only a trace amount of precipitation and while I did have the opportunity to throw on the GoLite Paradigm Jacket, the Paradox Pants never made it out of the pack.

Performance:

Even though these pants have only seen minimal use throughout the test period, I am very pleased with their performance. These pants have kept me clean and dry during a very hard thunderstorm. I was exceptionally pleased at how the pants legs were long enough that the rain wasn't hitting the ground then bouncing back up and soaking my legs from the bottom. Aside from looking like I was in the 70's, the bell bottom look does protect rather well.

These pants continue to fit well and feel relatively comfortable. However, I am still a bit upset at the way the knees are built. They are so tight that I feel like I'm wearing spandex. When I kneel down I have an excess of material bunch up on the backside of my knee. This can be uncomfortable at times, especially when I'm kneeling to dig things out of my pack for a period of time. In addition, as stated above, the knees are so tight that it is impossible to remove my pants while I have my shoes or boots on. This is a big drawback for me. They are easy on the skin and don't scratch or rub me raw while wearing them. They also slide easily against whatever pants or shorts I'm wearing beneath them. The elastic on the waist doesn't bind or roll, but is a bit think and I have been able to feel it cut into my hips while wearing a pack.

These pants protect me from the environments really well. During the test period I've been able to expose these to hard blowing rain without having the clothes underneath get soaked in the process. The sealed seams don't let any water in, and I haven't seen or felt any leakage from the zippers. However, these pants don't breathe very well. Even though I was well protected from the harsh environments outside, I could feel the sweat accumulating inside because these pants held in the heat. Even when I was able to vent these pants at the leg bottom it wasn't enough to cool me off and prevent future sweating. I kept sweating until I took these pants off.

As of yet, I haven't seen any ripping or tearing of the pant fabric. The seam sealant continues to remain in good condition, and the elastic is still pliable. I haven't experienced any zipper disease and the snaps are still working perfectly. The seams remain nice and tight and there doesn't appear to be any loose threads. I've not had the opportunity to test this fabric against stiff branches or thorns, but may get that opportunity over the next few months.

These pants are extremely packable. Because we were expecting a bad bout of inclement weather on our savage gulf trip, I decided to pack these pants just in case. I didn't think I would need them, but needing them and not having them would have been quite a shame. When rolled as tight as I could get them, these pants were smaller than a standard wide mouth, or Nalgene, bottle. I was able to stuff them into tight spaces within my pack without worrying about them ripping.

As far as cleaning, I haven't needed to clean them as of yet. Because they are rain gear, I was able to simply wash any mud off the pants that splashed up while walking through the puddles.

Long Term Report - August 28, 2007

Summary:

Unfortunately, the weather has not been cooperating here for the past few months. We've had nothing but hot, dry days and nights for quite a while now. The few showers we did get were light and fast, nothing like the downpours we received during the spring and early summer months. While I carried these pants in my pack when the clouds looked ripe with rain, I never had the opportunity to use them.

My only problem with these pants remains in the way the knee is constructed. Because the knee is sewn in such a way to allow articulation, it is virtually impossible to remove the pants without removing one's shoes. This becomes a problem when there is intermittent foul weather. When wearing the pants, I got repeatedly hot and sweaty because they didn't vent well. Because I didn't want to repeatedly remove my shoes I stuck with it. It wasn't fun by any means.

Although the pants have received limited use, I can easily say that I'm pleased with how they keep my dry. If the knee was sewn differently maybe they would better serve my hiking needs. I believe these pants would be more useful in colder weather where the need to vent due to heat is limited.

I'd like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and GoLite for allowing me to participate in this test.

Read more reviews of GoLite gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrew Buskov

Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > GoLite Paradox Pants > Test Report by Andrew Buskov



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