LTR-MONTBELL VERSALITE PANTS-STEVE KIDD
Following is the LTR for the pants. The jacket (separate test) and the pants are amazing...like anything from MontBell. How they continue to shave grams and create a durable performing product baffles me...
Let me know what to correct, and thanks again for your edits.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
10 - 13 April, 2014: Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, near Tracy City, Tennessee. I made this the last trip as a 'local' to my old quick weekend stomping grounds, as I'm currently transitioning in my career from middle Tennessee to the Indianapolis, Indiana area. The weather and temperatures were ideal for a spring outing with high's around 70 F (21 C) and lows around 58 F (14.5 C), sunny and no precipitation, but it was the height of the blooming season and my allergies were in full swing making it a less than desirable trip! Although there was no rain on the trip, I made good use of the gear in a squirrely fun adventure. Elevations for the trip averaged around 1700 ft (518 m) +/- 400 ft (122 m) going in and out of the Gulf.
30 April, 2014: Nevis, West Indies. I also carried the pants on a rain forest hike climbing Mt. Nevis, in the West Indies. I did find the occasion to don the accompanying Versalite jacket, but didn't find a need for the pants. This trip took me from sea level to around 2000 ft (610 m). I would have loved to summit the peak as it literally sits in the clouds, but my hiking party simply didn't have it in them.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Versalite series, to include the jacket and pants have continued to amaze me. I hate that I didn't make it to the field as often as I normally do in the spring, but this career transition has limited my pleasure trips to the backcountry. Even with only the one backcountry outing during the final test phase I'm completely satisfied with MontBell's superior quality. I've never found a product they've made that I can't rave about.
The Versalite series is so lightweight, yet durable and holds out the moisture surprisingly well without making me a sweatbox. I haven't worn it in driving rains for a full day of hiking, but I've used it in a tumultuous downpour with tornado warning and stayed completely dry.
On the spring outing I did not encounter rain, but decided to work my way around to the waterfall at Foster Falls. The air temperatures were warm as I previously mentioned, but I'm sure the water was around 55 F (13 C). I rock hopped the perimeter of a fall pool at the base to get near the water fall. I couldn't make it to the main falls as there was no possible way to do so without a full out swim in, but I did get to a side fall that is often dry in the summer. Wearing the gear I stayed dry and I didn't break a sweat inside of it as stood under that falling water! I was wearing shorts under the rain pants and actually pulled the pants up toward my knees and used some cinch buckles to secure the elastic hem tightly around my legs just below my knees. My shorts never became wet from the water or perspiration. It was a fun experiment.
The day our group did the rain forest hike in Nevis was warm and not in the rainy season, but showers often pop up in the jungle. I carried a day pack with a handful of items and hydration that came in fairly handy for my non-backcountry pals that were with me! A shower broke out midway through the hike and I quickly found my rain jacket, but didn't feel it was necessary to put on the pants. I was the only member of the group that didn't become soaked for the remainder of the trip. Temperatures were near 80 F (27 C) and I can't say I broke too much of a sweat, but I may have if I had put the pants on. I was already perspiring some from the climbing activities, but I can assure the reader that after the 10 minute shower I was the only member of the crew that wasn't fairly drenched.
The weight to performance ratio has me completely sold on the Versalite pants. I can say for sure it will remain a mainstay in my gear stash!
I've come to love the Versalite pants. I find them durable, yet extremely lightweight. The only improvement I'd suggest is to add a few grams of weight with some cinch buckles on the elastic cord for the ankles. I rarely used any during the testing phase to ensure test integrity for positives and negatives, but I certainly will add a set going forward. The Versalite jacket and pants set will continue to be a mainstay in my gear stash.
I will certainly continue to carry these pants on backcountry outings and due to the minimal weight, and I'm even tossing them into the luggage for a trip to Puerto Vallarta this weekend. Who knows if the weather will go south?
I'd like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and MontBell Co. for allowing me to test the amazing Versalite Pants.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Thanks for posting your review to my email. Here are your edits in typical fashion. It was good to work with you on this series and I hope to see you again down the trail.
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> break a sweat inside of it as stood under that falling water!EDIT: "..as I stood under"