Red Ledge FZ Pants LTR (Cora)
- Hi Colleen,
Thank you in advance for your editing help.
I hope you had a good holiday.
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Red Ledge Thunderlight Full Zip Pants
Long Term Report
Name: Cora Shea Background: I began backpacking in 1997.
I love backpacking in spring and winter snow more than
anything, especially on skis. My pack weight ranges from 15
to 90 lbs (7 to 40 kg), and I vary sleeping in a tarp,
tent, quinzhee, snowcave, bolt-hole, bivy, people-pile, or
straight under the stars. I spend a lot of my time
outdoors, and I prioritize gear durability and
functionality above weight.
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 150 lb (70 kg)
Email address: cahhmc at yahoo dot com
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Date: December 30, 2004
Basic Product Information
Manufacturer: Red Ledge, $50 Year of Manufacture: 2004
Listed weight: Unknown
Size: Unisex Medium Weight as delivered:
11.2 oz / 318 g (pants)
0.6 oz / 17 g (stuff sack)
11.8 oz / 335 g (total) My Body Fit Dimensions:
[Waist Range] x [Inseam]
30-31 x 32 in (76-79 x 81 cm)
The Thunderlight Pants are advertised as waterproof
breathable rain pants with taped seams and full side zips.
This report covers long term use, care, and maintenance
from April 2004 through December 2004. For field testing
performed during April to June, 2004, please see my Field
Report. For more general product information, more visual
details, more reporting on appearance, structure, and items
that can be tested and commented on without field testing,
please see my Initial Report.
Field Use Summary
I continued to use the Red Ledge Pants extensively over the
summer and into the winter. I have stopped using them as
the snow really began to fall because of their lack of
internal gaiters, and their inability to fit over my ski
boots. They have been used or carried on about fourteen
trips since my Field Report.
They traveled all over Southern California, Arizona, and
the southern Sierra. The terrain was mostly mountainous,
and I wore the pants in average mountainous three-season
temperatures (25 to 75 F / -4 to 24 C). They shed rain and
kept me dry in weather, as advertised.
During the summer months, I especially liked to carry them
around. They are light and fit over all of my boots and
layers that I wore during that time. They served as a great
wind layer to carry just-in-case and also provided another
layer of warmth at night when I underpacked a little too
much. They are very compact, and also lightweight, so I
would pack them in every pack I carried to be forgotten
about until I needed them.
I also have a tendency to go 'sunset watching', which often
involves bushwhacking up the nearest tall hill to watch the
sunset. I was consciously quite careful with the pants on
these excursions, but they came out of every trip
unscathed. After a while, scratches appeared on the outside
but only visually and not structurally. This was the worst
abrasion the pants faced, and they performed well.
When snow began to fall again but the daytime weather
stayed relatively warm (about 70 F / 20 C), I discovered
that wearing the pants to keep my long underwear dry was
hardly worth it. The warm weather cut down on the
breathability enough that my long underwear was soaked
inside of the pants anyway. But, this temperature
differential is needed for any waterproof-breathable
coating to work. Instead, I wore softshell pants and kept
the Red Ledge pants in my pack for windy or non-aerobic and
The pants have been excellent overall. Other than being
less breathable in warm weather and not doing so well in
snow over ski boots, I hardly have anything bad to say at
all. And those uses are pushing the pants out of their
intended use, I think. For three-season use, I will
certainly continue to use these pants for as long as they
Long Term Opinions
Care and Maintenance:
These pants have required very little care and maintenance.
I got them especially dirty on a few trips, and simply
washed them in the sink with a few squirts of non-detergent
soap. They dry very quickly (I never did get the elastic as
wet as in my Field Report and so never repeated the
super-long elastic drying time). Generally, the pants just
get stuffed in and out of my pack and onto my legs without
The pants are a bit scuffed, and have faded and greyed a
bit with the dirt they have encountered, but their
functionality is the same. The zippers have seemed to be
immune to snags or grime, and the seam tape and
waterproofing is still going strong. The inside
waterproof-breathable coating has begun to grey out and
wear a bit around the knee caps and butt, but with the use
I've gotten out of the pants, I consider this to be just
fine and more durable than I expected, if anything. And the
durable water resistance treatment (DWR) is still repelling
water nearly as well as the day they came out of the box!
Overall, these pants have been fantastic. They have a great
fit, especially with the articulated knees, and are very
easy to get on and off. Their waterproof lining requires a
large temperature differential (warm inside, very cool
outside) to work well. They have survived a great deal of
bushwhacking and abuse, and are still going strong. These
pants have found a permanent spot in my three-season pack.
Great fit Waterproof coating has begun to rub off a little
Compact and light weight Do not fit over ski boots
thanks for an easy edit job and for doing such an obviously thorough
job using the pants in the field. only a couple of suggestions &
> wind layer to carry just-in-case and also provided anothersuggestion: instead of hyphenating, i would put "just in case" in
> layer of warmth at night when I underpacked a little too
parentheses. i truly do not know the hard and fast rules for
hyphenation, and this isn't something that screams "WRONG" at me,
more something that niggled at me. just my take.
> unscathed. After a while, scratches appeared on the outsideEDIT: please clarify what you mean by "visually and not
> but only visually and not structurally.
structurally." do you mean that the scratches were only surface
damage and didn't go through to the wp/b layer? just needs a bit
honestly, i think that's it. my spellchecker had some quibbles with
a few words, but i think "snowcave" is just as good as "snow cave,"
don't you? ;)