FR - SD Cyclone Pants - Ray
- Hello Richard,
Here is the FR for the Cyclone pants. The HTML may be found here;
The text is below.
The Cyclone pants have been used, or along, on the following trips.
Dave and I went up to the peak of San Gorgonio via the Dollar lake
trail as Dave has never been that way. It had rained the day before
and they were calling for below-freezing temps so we figured we may
see snow or ice. It was 35 F (1.7 C) when we started at an altitude of
6880 ft (2097 m). At the summit it was 31 F (-0.6 C) and the wind
chill was registering at 17 F (-8 C). We went 23.2 miles (37 km).
Jenn and I went to the Ortega Candy Store trailhead and did the Bear
Canyon/Bear Ridge loop in the San Mateo Wilderness. 6.8 miles (11 km)
in temps to about 80 F (27 C) on up and down trails that were either
sandy or rocky. We had 1100 ft (335 m) of elevation gain and loss.
Dave and I went 27 miles (43 km) on the PCT from Green Valley to
Vasquez Rocks This hike saw 5000 ft (1524 m) of gain as we went over
three passes in temperatures started at 43 F and climbed to 70 F (6 to
21 C). The terrain was dirt, scree or rock.
Dave and I spent two days in the Tehachapi Mountains just south of
Sequoia National Forest. The temps were between 35 and 66 F (2 to 19
C). We went 42 miles (68 km). We had to carry all our water so my pack
weight was 35 lb (15.9 kg) starting out.
Jenn and I celebrated New Years Eve by spending the night in Round
Valley in Mount San Jacinto State Park. We snow shoed 6 miles (10 km)
and stayed at an elevation of 9100 ft (2775 m) on 5 ft (1.5 m) of snow
pack. The temps ran from 40 to 22 F (4 to -6 C). Thankfully there was
no wind to speak of. The picture below is from that trip.
The most enjoyable use was as rain pants (a little) in Hawaii on the
big island. Jenn and I spent six days hiking to snorkeling or scenic
spots that are hard to get to without a boat. The hikes were anything
from 0.5 to 3 miles (1 to 5 km) each way. Temps were between 76 and 82
F (24 to 28 C) and terrain was dirt, (lots of) lava, and sand. We also
walked 2 to 3 miles (3 to 5 km) into town for dinner each day. We saw
rain just about every afternoon or early evening.
But they have seen much more use in Minnesota where I have used them
as rain pants in rain, freezing rain, winter mix and snow. With lots
and lots of wind!
As is often the case when testing rain gear in southern California I
can go a long time without actually needing a rain pants. We tried
going to Mount San Gorgonio the day after a storm hoping (yes we are
strange) to see a little weather. Alas while it was very cold the
precipitation was past by the time we got there.
In Hawaii I just did not need to wear the pants. It is so warm that I
was fine with letting the jacket protect the top of my shorts. Not
much of the leg was exposed to the warm rain. I put them on one time
for a walk around our condo in a slight drizzle. They were fine in
this limited use.
The place that the Cyclone pants have got a workout though has been in
Minnesota (MN) where they were subject to all kinds of weather
including the worst blizzard I have seen since moving to the
Fargo/Moorhead area. It was -12 F (-24 C) with a wind chill of -39 F
(-39 C). I did not have any zippers open for this one.
I wore them over jeans or over heavy expedition-weight fleece pants.
They kept the wind out which allowed the fleece to keep me very warm.
But as they are not really made for snow use (and I did not bring
gaiters as I never expected the amount of snow they ended up with) the
lack of a snow skirt at the bottom of the legs let snow inside the
pants where it then went down the mid-height Teva Ossagon boots I am
testing. I had to dry the boots out almost every day I was there.
On the New Years Eve trip I wore them with gaiters over Ice Breaker
Bodyfit 200 ¾-leg base layers. And while this worked to keep snow out
of my boots this trip is where I really started disliking the Cyclone
I hate the fact that there is not a fly on these pants. To study the
trees (urinate) I have to pull the hook-and-loop free at one side and
unzip the leg, pulling the front of the pants down at an angle to
expose um, my fly. In rain this will leave my base layer or hiking
pants getting wet.
And I really do not like the tabs of hook-and-loop running down the
side of the legs holding the weather flap closed. It interferes too
much with using the zippers for me. Speed can be of the essence when I
put on my rain gear. These slow the process down.
I have carried the Cyclone pants, along with the matching coat and a
pack-cover, in a sil-nylon stuff sack when overnight backpacking. On
day hikes I just shove them into my pack for most trips or in the
front shove-it pocket when I think I will need it quickly. To date
there are no signs of wear.
At this point I am only going to use the Cyclone pants as rain gear
(which is fair as that is what they are). I will not take them on any
more snow backpacking trips. Come back in a couple months to see what
use they have been put to, wont you? My thanks to Sierra Designs and
BackpackGearTest.org for letting me put the Cyclone pants to the test.