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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > MontBell Versalite Pants > Test Report by Brett Haydin

MontBell Versalite Pants
Test Series by Brett Haydin
Initial Report - December 12, 2013
Field Report - coming soon
Long Term Report - coming soon


NAME: Brett Haydin
EMAIL: bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
AGE: 40
LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
CHEST: 42 in (107 cm)
WAIST: 36 in (91 cm)

I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips in a variety of terrain each year - from mountains to grasslands. I take one or two longer trips each year, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.

Initial Report

Versalite Pants
Image courtesy of manufacturer

Product Information & Specifications

Manufacturer: MontBell Co, Ltd.
Year of Manufacture: 
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: $99.00 US
Listed Weight: 3.6 oz (102 g)
Measured Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g)
Color Tested:  Black (only color available)
Size Tested:  Large ( available in S, M, L, XL)
Fabric: 15-denier "Ballistic Airtight" rip-stop nylon
Waterproof: 2.5-layer Super Hydro Breeze proprietary technology
Warranty: Covers all defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.

Product Description

The MontBell Versalite pants, which I will refer to as just the Pants or Versalite, are intended as rain gear for multi-day backpacking in the summertime, according to the manufacturer. The Versalite is very simple in design, which clearly contributes to its obscenely low weight - 3.9 oz (111 g)!  It does come with a stuff sack as well.

The pants have an elastic waist band with a draw cord that I can simply tie.  There is a fabric tag sewn into the inside of the pants (in the front) with instructions on care, and that mention the product was manufactured in Vietnam.  In the back on the pants there is a small loop sewn into the waistband that may come in handy for hanging the pants once they become wet.  There is also a MontBell logo welded into the back of the pants on the inside with the size listed.  The pants also have a MontBell logo imprinted on the front.  

The pants lack any zippers, but the cuffs are wide enough to slip my feet through easily.  The cuffs also have an elastic band sewn into the hem.  There are a couple of "holes" in the pants that are sewn into the top of the pants, more-or-less on the sides, but slightly rear.  I'm not sure what they are for, but they are clearly intentional and I have included an image below.  The seams are taped for extra protection from the elements.  

The fabric is 15-denier rip-stop nylon.  It is called "Ballistic Airtight."  MontBell heats and stretches the nylon fibers which help to contribute to its light weight and durability.   The waterproof technology is a "non-porous polyurethane treated 3-layer laminated fabric."  It has a waterproof rating of 20,000 mm and the breathability rating is 15,000g/m2/24 hour.

These holes have a purpose.  I aim to find out!

Initial Impressions

The first thing I noticed about the Versalite Pants is that they are in fact quite light!  I love that they stuff into a small stuff sack for easy storage.  They are much more compact and are lighter than my current rain pants.

I was a little concerned about the fit, but they fit well.  I can put an insulating base layer and regular hiking pants on underneath and still feel like I can move unrestricted.  The lack of any zippers means just a few adjustments in how I use the pants.  I won't be able to pull them on over some of my footwear, for example.  

The quality is everything I have come to expect from MontBell.  The workmanship is superb and there are no visible blemishes or other defects.  

It happened to be raining in the days following their arrival, so I took a moment to put them on while I walked my dogs.  I was pleased with the performance during the brief 30 minute stroll and I am looking forward to putting on a backpack and getting out in the woods with them!
The stuffed Versalite Pants are compact!

Reading the Instructions

The pants come with a pair of hang tags attached to them.  One is simply a retail label with the color, size and product name.  The other is a cautionary statement that while they are advertised as durable, contact with rocks and trees could result in abrasions or tears.  This is certainly consistent with the description as a rain paint, and not a full on shell for mountaineering.  

The website was easy to navigate and clear to understand.  The sizing chart was easy to find and accurate based on the fit that I received.  


Overall I am impressed with these pants. The image at right shows just how compact they get, when compared to a soda can (in an insulated coosie).  

Pros: Waterproof, sizing is accurate and light.

Cons: No major concerns at this time.

This concludes my Initial Report.  I would like to express my sincere gratitude to MontBell for their generosity as well as the folks at for allowing me to be a part of this test series.  Please check back in approximately two months to see how the pants have held up on my backpacking trips.  

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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > MontBell Versalite Pants > Test Report by Brett Haydin

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