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Reviews > Rain Gear > Jackets and Pants > Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Pant > Test Report by Chuck Carnes

Sierra Designs
Cyclone Eco Pant
Initial Report: October 3, 2008
Field Report: January 14, 2009
Long Term Report: March 10, 2009

Full Pant


Name: Chuck Carnes

Age: 38
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft. 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 180 lb (79 kg)
Waist: 34
E-mail address: ctcarnes1(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Greenville, South Carolina USA

I love the outdoors – I’ve spent time camping in the outdoors since I was born, and have been actively hiking and backpacking since then. I consider myself a lightweight hiker, usually carrying 20 – 30 pounds (11-13 kg) for hikes up to a week in length. I hike at an easy pace, averaging 2 mph (3 kph). I am a one-man tent camper for now. I like to carry a single trekking pole when I hike to help relieve stress to my legs and knees. I like to get out on the trail as often as I can.

Sierra Designs

Model: Cyclone Eco (Green Effect)
Year of manufacture: 2008
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Actual Weight: 9 oz (255 g)
SizeTested: Large (sizes available: S-XXL)
Color Tested: Black (no other colors available in this model)
MSRP: $99.95 USD 


The Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Pant is a hardshell pant that is made with Drizone 2.5 Waterproof/Breathable material. From the web site on this material: 

"This 2.5 Layer, Drizone™ Green fabric is comprised of solvent-free laminate, textured double ripstop nylon face with a dry touch back. Fiber Content: Recycled Polyester/Textured Double Ripstop Weight: 3.01 oz/yd (86 g/m). All garments made from Drizone™ Green 2.5L fabric also feature PVC-free seam tape. 5,000 mm waterproofness, 8,000 g/m/24 hrs breathability."

The PVC-free seam taping makes this pant wind up in the manufacturer's 'green category' which is part of their 'Green Effect Program'. The pant has full side zips for easy on and off and hook and loop fasteners at the top for extra tightening of the waist and extra protection over the zipper. The full zip is covered full length with a storm flap that is held tight with strips of hook and loop fasteners the entire length of the leg. The waist is a draw string closure for the front with elastic band in the back.

Other Features
YKK Aquaguard zip thigh pocket
PU Reinforcement at heel hem opening
PU Reinforcement around drawcord openings at waist
Articulated knees

I N I T I A L    R E P O R T
October 3, 2008

Front Pant  Rear Pant
 Front of pant
                                              Rear of pant

The Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Pant showed up in a box with the pant in a clear plastic bag. When I retrieved the pants from the bag they just felt like a quality product. The material just really seemed like quality fabric and felt waterproof. I tried the pants on and they were a little snug around the lower abdominal area but the waist was fine. As seen in the picture above of the front of the pant, there are no pleats and this makes this area smooth and slick. As for the back, they are a little baggy but I guess this is to give room for bending and stooping down. The elastic band is very comfortable and does not feel constricting.

Bottom HemSide Opening

                                          Hem at bottom                                                           Side opening at waist                                
The hem at the bottom of the leg can be opened by unsnapping the snap and unzipping the leg zip as far as needed. The grey area at the very bottom hem has a rubbery feel to it. This will come in contact with the top of a boot or shoe so it must be for durability purposes. Seeing the openings at the top and bottom, one can see the Drizone fabric and its construction.

Side PocketSide View

Side pocket
                                                                       Side view

The Cyclone pants have one side pocket that is closed shut by a waterproof zipper. The pocket has a good depth, not too deep and not too shallow, just right for things not to fall out if left open. Both zippers down the entire length of the leg on the outside are covered with a storm flap. The inner seams are fully taped and the construction of this process is top notch, very well done.

I am actually looking forward to getting out in the rain with the Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco pants. The material and construction seem like very good quality and the feel of the material when wearing the pants seem very breathable but still have the waterproof feel.

F I E L D    R E P O R T
January 14, 2009

The Cyclone pants have been very good to me on a couple of occasions. One instance was a Paris Mountain hiking trip that was a 3.8 mile (6.1 km) loop at elevations ranging from 1,200 ft (366 m) to 1,500 ft (457 m). The weather was very cloudy and the temperatures stayed at around 70 F (21 C). I took with me on this trip, both the Cyclone jacket and pants. I was able to use the complete outfit during one quick but heavy rain storm during our hike. The storm lasted about 15 minutes but it was a downpour. I would say at least .25 in (.64 cm) of rain fell in the 15 minute time period. The rain came very fast and very heavy. I had the jacket and the pants in my day pack that I had (the jacket is reviewed in another report). The pants compressed very well in the front pocket of my pack along with the jacket. I sat on a rock and proceeded to put the pants on. As I slipped my feet into the legs I realized there was dirt on the bottom and sides of my boots so I quickly opened the bottom hem. Most of this dirt ended up at the inside bottom of the pants leg. I didn't have the opening at the bottom of the pants leg open fully to prevent dirt from being scraped off to the inside of the pants. I shook the pant leg a little bit and most of the dirt fell off. After I got the pants on I cinched the waist draw cord tight. I do like the size of these pants. They are slim around the waist area but big enough to move around in and they don’t restrict me from doing any high stepping.

I wore them for probably 20 minutes or so and as my body temperature started to rise I could feel the sweat coming on inside the jacket but not the pants. I did not have on any other active layer under the pants so that could have been most of the reason my legs stayed cool. I also like the feel of the inside pant leg when my leg rubs against it. It's a nice cool feel. Maybe not good during the cold days but when it's a little warm outside, it's a nice feeling.

The second time in the field was to Shinning Rock Wilderness area. It was a two-night trip where the elevation was around 5,000 ft (1,524 km) and the temperatures ranged from 30's F (-1 C to +4 C) at night to 60 F to 70 F (17 C to 21 C) during the day. The pants came in handy as they kept out the wind and kept my legs very warm. I didn't experience any rain during the trip but I did find the pants very useful over my nylon hiking pants to help keep my legs very warm. The Cyclone pants kept me from having to carry fleece pants or extra layers for the warmth. The side pocket came in handy as I stowed a flashlight and cooking utensils in it while around camp. I stooped down quite a bit while I pitched the tent and made dinner and the pants never seemed restrictive. I got them a little dirty from dinner and carrying fire wood and they came relatively clean by brushing them of with a rag. I hiked with them on for a couple of miles the next morning until I warmed up and then pulled them off and stuffed them into the top of my pack.  

Overall I am very happy with the Sierra Designs Cyclone pants. They have not been used as much as the jacket but when I did use them, they were great to protect my lower body from the elements. The draw cord stays tight even when bending over. The waist area is a slim fit for me but it feels great and it works well with the jacket, no bulky material under a hip belt. Next time I will open the bottom hem much more when I put the pants on over my boots, hopefully to keep out any dirt that might be on my boots. I look forward to more rainy days and inclement weather.

L O N G   T E R M    R E P O R T
March 10, 2009

Since my Field Report, I have had to use the Cyclone Pant once in a rain storm. I had them rolled up nicely in my 540 cu. in. (8.8 L) day pack. I was out on a day hike about 2 miles (3 km) from my car and the bottom dropped out of the clouds with a lot of rain. I was at Paris Mountain where the elevation ranged between 1,000 ft. to 1,500 ft. (305 m to 457 m). The temperature was actually pretty warm at 78 F (25 C) which is why I took the trip.

I immediately pulled my Cyclone Jacket and Pants from my pack and put them on. I got everything on before it really started coming down. Having everything zipped and cinched up tight I continued down the trail at a fast pace to get to my car. Being in this much of a hurry I didn't pay a lot of attention to details as far as how the pants performed. After arriving at the car and getting in, I removed the jacket and pants and was completely dry. My socks right at the top of my shoes were a little wet but that was mainly from the splash up when going through puddles and also the hem of the pant to reaching completely over my ankles. Normally I would wear gaiters in this situation. This was the first time that I had to move fast in these pants and they actually worked well with my movements. They are somewhat like an athletic fit on the front and on the legs but I had no trouble moving about in them. Removing them was easy also after I got in the car. I simply unzipped the side legs and pulled the side tabs and off they came.

I just can't say enough good things about these pants. They seem bomb proof and very protective in harsh elements. My favorite thing about the pants is the fit. I really like the way they are a little loose in the rear for bending and stooping but snug in the front so that it is easy to maneuver around when going up the trail in a hurry. These pants will certainly go in my pack every time I go out.   

This concludes this test series
Thank you Sierra Designs and for this opportunity.

Read more reviews of Sierra Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Chuck Carnes

Reviews > Rain Gear > Jackets and Pants > Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco Pant > Test Report by Chuck Carnes

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