Series by Bob Sanders
Report: December 15, 2013
Background: I went on my first backpacking trip as a
Boy Scout at the age of 16. Over the years I have hiked the
Wonderland Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the
Florida Trail, Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail and 740 mi
(1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. I continue to backpack and
hike year round in the Colorado mountains. I have evolved from a
heavyweight backpacker to a lightweight backpacker and sometimes
reach ultralight weights. My three day winter/spring solo
adventures (using a tent) have me hovering around a 15 lb (6.8
kg) base weight.
ft 1 in (1.85 m)
lb (95 kg)
INFORMATION (Images from Website)
MontBell Co, Ltd.
of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: www.montbell.com
MSRP: $99.00 US
Listed Weight (Med size): 3.6 oz (102 g)
Measured Weight (XL Pants): 4.2 oz (119 g)
Measured Weight (Stuff Sack):
.3 oz (6.8 g)
(Only available in black)
Size Tested: X-Large (available in S, M, L, XL)
Fabric: 15-denier "Ballistic Airtight" rip-stop
Waterproof: 2.5-layer Super Hydro Breeze proprietary
Warranty: Covers all defects in materials and
workmanship for the lifetime of the product.
The pants are intended (per the manufacturer) for multi-day summer
backpacking. Since the testing period is during the winter/spring
seasons we will see if the seasons make much of a difference.
The pants come with an adjustable waist and cuffs. The waist band is
elastic with a draw cord (non-elastic) that you simply tie. The bottom
ankle cuffs are non-elastic but they have an elastic cord that runs
around the cuff and are clearly for adjustment but there is no way to
secure the elastic. It looks like something is missing, like a cord
lock to secure the elastic cord. So right now without something to
secure the elastic cord ankle cuff adjustment is impossible. I will
probably add a cord lock when the test is over. The ankles are large
enough to slide over running shoes but not larger boots as there are
no zippers to make the openings larger. The lack of this feature will
be a challenge during the winter and the use of larger, insulated
These pants are very simple in style and features. It is probably how
they got to their very light weight. The pants have no fly, no pockets
and no ankle zippers. During the testing I will be evaluating how well
the pants breath. For any waterproof garment, breathability is key to
the usability and success of that garment. The pant's fabric is listed
from the manufacturer as a "15-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop
nylon with a 2.5-layer Super Hydro Breeze (non-porous polyurethane
treated laminated fabric) with water resistance rated at (20,000 mm /
Breathability: 20,000 g/m²/ 24 hrs)".
All seams are taped and a very small stuff sack is included for
storage. The stuff sack is simple with a boxed bottom, a pull
strap with the Montbell logo on it and oddly two draw cords. One
with a cord lock and one without. Having two seems kind of
redundant. I have to say the pants are very compressible and pack
up really small.
These pants are very lightweight. At 4.2 oz (119 g) these are
lightest rain pants I currently own. The pant's fabric, although being
very lightweight, does seem to be somewhat robust. I gave it a yank in
all directions and there is very little stretch and initially it seems
The workmanship and quality is impeccable, which is what I have come
to expect from Montbell products. Seams are straight with no loose
threads. There are 4 holes (2 on each side, on the back, near the
waist band) that have stitching around each of them. They are there
for a reason but at this point in time they don't appear to have any
function that I can see. They remind me of drainage holes that you
sometimes see in the bottom of pockets on swim trunks or shorts.
The size (XL) is a good choice for me. The sizing chart listed on the
website was accurate based on my dimensions. It fits me well and there
is extra room underneath for additional layers which I will be wearing
as it is winter.
Not too sure how much rain we will receive. During the first 3 months
(December, January & February) of testing I expect freezing
temperatures and snow. During the last month (March) we will see
warmer temperatures and if it snows it will be the wet, heavy kind of
snow. This would be a much better test for the
waterproof/breathability aspects of these pants.
- Very lightweight
- Very compact
- Needs a cord lock to secure
ankle adjustment cord
I would like to thank
BackpackGearTest.org and MontBell for the opportunity to test these pants.
Check back in two months for my field report.
Read more reviews of MontBell gear
Read more gear reviews by Bob Sanders