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Montane Featherlite Pants - owner review

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  • Mara Factor
    Montane Featherlite Pants - bought December 2001 Web site: http://montane.co.uk/ Tester: Mara Factor Gender: Female Height: 6’1 Weight: 185 Inseam: 38 Age:
    Message 1 of 6 , May 30, 2002
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      Montane Featherlite Pants - bought December 2001

      Web site: http://montane.co.uk/

      Tester: Mara Factor
      Gender: Female
      Height: 6�1"
      Weight: 185
      Inseam: 38"
      Age: 36
      Test Locales: Middlesex Fells (north of Boston, MA), Long Trail, VT, and
      White Mountains, NH
      Date: May 30, 2002
      Email: m_factor@...

      Web: http://friends.backcountry.net/m_factor


      Background:

      I have been hiking and backpacking extensively since 1989. Weekends
      frequently find me in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Longer trips
      I've taken include (but are not limited to) such diverse locations as Copper
      Canyon, Mexico; Annapurnas, Nepal; Olympic Mountains, Washington; Austrian
      Alps; Paria Canyon, UT and AZ; and a 1999 thruhike of the Appalachian Trail.


      Pants: Montane Featherlite Pants, size XL

      Reputation:

      I knew very little of Montane Pertex clothing. At the time I purchased these
      pants, there had been a few mentions of Montane Featherlite clothing on the
      various hiking and gear related email lists I read but there were perhaps
      more requests for information than there were experiences to share.

      Purchasing experience:

      While I was certainly in the market for a pair of water resistant wind pants
      like the Featherlite pants, I was not looking for them when I bought them. I
      had been killing time in Lincoln, NH when I walked into MacKenzie Gear, an
      outfitter. I have made a bit of a habit of stopping at that store when I'm
      in the neighborhood because they do tend to carry a small selection of
      lightweight gear not usually found on the shelves of other area retailers.

      Nevertheless, I was surprised to see a few pairs of the Montane Featherlite
      Pants on the rack and pulled one out to take a look at them. They seemed
      extremely light and rather fragile as windpants go.

      I was ready, as usual, to hold them up to my hip and immediately put them
      back on the rack when they were as short as capris. I was very surprised
      therefore to find that they seemed long as I held them up. Not wanting to
      turn down an opportunity, I pulled them on and was pleasantly surprised to
      find them nearly long enough for my long legs. The rise was also long enough
      and the pants accommodated my hips quite well.

      Given the difficulty I have in finding any sort of pants that are long
      enough, I didn't hesitate too long before I purchased them.


      Description:

      The pants are made out of lightweight Pertex material. The fibers in this
      fabric have a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) making the fabric DWR without
      needing to periodically reactivate the repellency with spray on coating. The
      store carried only black as an option though the Montane web site shows
      other options.

      They have an ankle zipper which enables me to pull on the pants over trail
      shoes though not over boots. The ankle zipper has a reflective strip along
      its length.

      There is a one handed drawcord at the waist. There are no pockets.

      The pants stuff into a tiny stuff sack about 3" by 3". It's about the size
      of my fist once stuffed.


      Weight:

      About 3.5 ounces plus 1 ounce for the tiny stuff sack with cordlock.


      Fit:

      While these pants were designed to fit men, the soft fabric allows a waist
      large enough to fit a woman's hips to be draw in and drape comfortably
      without excessive folds feeling bulky. The inseam length according to the
      web site should be 33" however by my measure, they are 36". The legs come
      down to my ankles but are not long enough to drape across the top of my
      shoes.

      Field use:

      I have used the Featherlite pants in a great variety of trail conditions.
      I've worn them in everything from 20 degree to 60 degree sun, to light rain,
      to snow, sleet, and heavy rain in a variety of temperatures.

      They are light and breathable enough to wear in temperatures that normally
      have me wearing just shorts. In sun, the dark color can, however, make them
      feel needlessly hot when the temperatures are in the moderate 60 degree
      range. One slightly strange aspect is that they are so "slippery" that there
      is less friction if your legs rub together with these pants than without.
      It's possible they might prevent chafing should someone otherwise be prone
      to chafing.

      They work wonderfully to keep light rain at bay and to keep you dry from the
      occasional splash. They are not, however, waterproof. Extended use in heavy
      rain and wet snow will allow the moisture to enter the pants. The seams are
      not taped and easily provide and entry point for water. Because the fabric
      is so thin and light, it drapes extremely well. This feels fine in moderate
      temperatures but in colder temperatures, that means the pants provide no
      insulation. Unless you have furry legs or wear an insulating layer under the
      pants, the thin fabric against your skin almost feels like it's not there.
      There were times in cold weather when wearing the pants on top of shorts,
      that if my metal hiking poles came in contact with my legs below the leg of
      my shorts, I thought the poles were against my skin and I must have torn a
      hole in the pants. A quick look assured me that the pants were whole; they
      just provided no insulation.

      My first few times out, I stuck to three season trail conditions. The fabric
      seemed like it would snag on anything that looked sharply at it. But, when I
      just slipped past a few thorny bushes without so much as the tiniest of
      snags, I got a bit bolder. One of my most demanding hikes with these pants
      was a winter hike of North and South Hancock Mountains in the White
      Mountains. We had a full complement of winter equipment (plastic boots,
      snowshoes, crampons, etc.) but the weather promised to be sunny so I wore
      the Montane pants.

      As we approached the summits, the trees were heavily laden with snow. The
      trail had so much snow it had, in typical winter fashion, raised the level
      of the trail into the spruce canopy. We found ourselves pushing through
      stiff spruce boughs. These boughs would grab at everything we were wearing
      and our packs often got snagged as we pressed through the branches. The
      Montane pants performed flawlessly and I was happy to notice that not one
      snag had been made in the seemingly fragile material by the end of the day.

      A Spring trip found me on the Long Trail in Vermont. A late season snow
      storm had left up to 2" of new snow on the ground at upper elevations and
      more was coming down as we hiked. The temperature and elevation fluctuated
      as did the state of the precipitation. We hiked in everything from plain
      snow, to a mix, to cold rain. It was just too sloppy for body heat to keep
      up with the moisture that did get inside the pants and I was eventually
      soaked and cold. True waterproof pants would have been appropriate for that
      situation.


      Likes:

      Extremely lightweight
      Packs tiny
      Long enough for my legs
      Breathes well. I don't feel like I have to peel them off as soon as it stops
      raining because I would otherwise sweat too much.
      One handed drawcord


      Possible improvements (or more ideas for related products):

      I wonder if taped seems would extend the range of the pants - or just add
      too much weight and bulk.
      Longer ankle zips or full side zips as an option would be nice.


      Summary:

      These pants perform as advertised... They are water resistant and in light
      showers, dry from body heat almost as fast as the rain falls. They breathe
      extremely well and are comfortable in a wide range of temperatures. They can
      easily be layered over insulating clothing. They are much more durable than
      appearances would indicate.

      I am planning on using these pants for the majority of my PCT 2003 thruhike
      though I may plan to switch out for more waterproof pants in Washington
      State where I anticipate a great deal of rain.

      Lightweight hikers would do well to consider Montane Featherlite Pants for
      hikes where heavy rain and sloppy snowy conditions are unlikely.




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    • Jerry Goller
      Good job! One of these days...... The only things I saw follow: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest : the most comprehensive interactive gear
      Message 2 of 6 , May 30, 2002
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        Good job! One of these days...... The only things I saw follow:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest : the most comprehensive
        interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.


        The seams are
        not taped and easily provide AND entry point for water. Because the
        fabric
        is so thin and light, it drapes extremely well.

        There were times in cold weather (,) when wearing the pants on top of
        shorts,
        that if my metal hiking poles came in contact with my legs below the leg
        of
        my shorts, I thought the poles were against my skin and I must have torn
        a
        hole in the pants.


        These pants perform as advertised... They are water resistant and in
        light
        showers, dry from body heat almost as fast as the rain falls.
        (Auto-capitalize in Word does that same thing to me..... Really annoying
        (lol).
      • Andrew Priest
        Hi Mara Not sure if this was planned or not, but the html copy of your report has about five paragraphs in the Field Use section either in bold or a larger
        Message 3 of 6 , May 31, 2002
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          Hi Mara

          Not sure if this was planned or not, but the html copy of your report has
          about five paragraphs in the "Field Use" section either in bold or a larger
          font. You might want to check it out at
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest/files/Rain%20Gear/Montane%20Featherlite%20pants/MontaneFeatherlitePants.html

          Regards
          Andrew


          At 02:06 AM 31/05/2002, you wrote:
          >Montane Featherlite Pants - bought December 2001

          --
          Aushiker - Hiking in Western Australia - http://aushiker.cjb.net
        • Mara Factor
          Andrew, Huh? Looks OK on my end... The html code seems to be in order as well. But then, I m using IE... I checked the code from Yahoo! edit and there were
          Message 4 of 6 , May 31, 2002
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            Andrew,

            Huh? Looks OK on my end... The html code "seems" to be in order as well.

            But then, I'm using IE...

            I checked the code from Yahoo! edit and there were some split (ie wrapped)
            FONT tags. But if the Field use one was a problem, then other sections
            would have had the same problem.

            Anyway, can you check and see if perhaps that solved the problem? Please
            don't forget to hit Refresh while viewing the updated file.

            Thanks,
            Mara




            >From: Andrew Priest <apriest@...>
            >Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 22:13:17 +0800
            >
            >Hi Mara
            >
            >Not sure if this was planned or not, but the html copy of your report has
            >about five paragraphs in the "Field Use" section either in bold or a larger
            >font. You might want to check it out at
            >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackGearTest/files/Rain%20Gear/Montane%20Featherlite%20pants/MontaneFeatherlitePants.html
            >
            >Regards
            >Andrew
            >

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          • David Anderson
            Mara, The problem is with this piece of the file Field use: I have used the Featherlite pants
            Message 5 of 6 , May 31, 2002
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              Mara,

              The problem is with this piece of the file

              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=4><P>Field use:</FONT>
              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2> I have used the Featherlite pants in a great
              variety of trail conditions. I've worn them in everything from 20 degree to
              60 degree sun, to light rain, to snow, sleet, and heavy rain in a variety of
              temperatures.</P>

              or to break it down even more

              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=4>
              <P>
              </FONT>
              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2>
              </P>

              this needs to ba changed so that it is more like this (indenting added for
              clarity of the nesting)

              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2>
              <P>
              <FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=4>
              Field use:
              </FONT>
              I have used the Featherlite pants in a great variety of trail
              conditions. I've worn them in everything from 20 degree to 60 degree
              sun, to light rain, to snow, sleet, and heavy rain in a variety of
              temperatures.
              </P>
              <P>
              ....
              </P>
              </FONT>

              you are currently opening and closing fonts around the different paragraph
              opens and closes and this is upsetting the HTML parsers. I hope this helps,
              if not I'll try explaining it a bit more.

              Dave


              Mara Factor writes:

              > Andrew,
              >
              > Huh? Looks OK on my end... The html code "seems" to be in order as well.
            • Andrew Priest
              Hi Mara I have just rechecked it and it looks good now. Might have been one or more of those split FONT tags. Andrew ... -- Aushiker - Hiking in Western
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 1, 2002
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                Hi Mara

                I have just rechecked it and it looks good now. Might have been one or more
                of those split FONT tags.

                Andrew

                At 12:07 AM 01/06/2002, you wrote:

                >I checked the code from Yahoo! edit and there were some split (ie wrapped)
                >FONT tags. But if the Field use one was a problem, then other sections
                >would have had the same problem.

                --
                Aushiker - Hiking in Western Australia - http://aushiker.cjb.net



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