BWCA Favorite hard-wearing shell pant? Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 08:40AM  
Hello,

Looking for some recommendations on a new pair of hard-wearing Winter trousers that can stand up to the repetitive abuse involved with winter trekking and camping. I dont need them to be insulated but I do want some waterproofness and breathability. I'm not a fan of Gore Tex, I drown in my own sweat whenever I wear that stuff. I also need them to not fit like skinny jeans and hopefully have an adjustable waist, I usually have at least two additional layers underneath.

What are your favorites?

 
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12/03/2023 10:17AM  
Waterproof and breathable don't really go together despite what many clothing brands might tell you. IMO for a winter layer you don't need something to be waterproof.

I would recommend looking at a pair of soft shell pants from any reputable company. I really like mountain equipment, kuiu, and the North face personally for soft shell pants. Soft shells will be water resistant, breathable, and plenty durable which is why they're so good for climbing.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 10:46AM  
Breathability and toughness are more important to me than water”proof”ness. I have a pair of Norrona Falketind that I adore. I’ve actually summited two mountains with those and they held up great. It’s the kneeling really that I’m wondering about. Something with some reinforced knee patches would be awesome. But most I find are more like jeans than a shell.
 
chessie
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 10:56AM  
Wintergreen (out of Ely). Expensive, but hold up well/last forever.
 
12/03/2023 11:43AM  
My Nordic ski/winter biking pants are pearl izumi. They are at least 25 years old and have been used at least one thousand times. I love them. My son and daughter are fans of craft and arc teryx.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 01:34PM  
jwartman59: "My Nordic ski/winter biking pants are pearl izumi. They are at least 25 years old and have been used at least one thousand times. I love them. My son and daughter are fans of craft and arc teryx."


Didn’t think of those, I’ve got a pair of 45NRTH pants that I rarely use.
 
Finnboy
distinguished member (160)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 03:39PM  
chessie: "Wintergreen (out of Ely). Expensive, but hold up well/last forever. "


These. I’ve worn mine for many years. Double knees and seat. I’ve probably worn mine hundreds of days winter camping , ice fishing, and running dogs and they’re still going strong.
 
Kermit
distinguished member (124)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/03/2023 03:46PM  
+1 for Wintergreen Northern Wear out of Ely. Their guide pants seem pretty spot on.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/04/2023 05:32AM  
Kermit: "+1 for Wintergreen Northern Wear out of Ely. Their guide pants seem pretty spot on."


I was just in their store last week too. I should have checked them out. I will do so when I am up there next time.
 
12/04/2023 09:12AM  
I've had good luck with Prana Stretch Zion- a rugged stretch poly with an integrated cinch at the waist.
 
shouldertripper
senior member (79)senior membersenior member
  
12/04/2023 09:32AM  
I have a couple different pairs of Fjallraven trousers that are awesome. Their G1000 is rugged stuff, and reinforced in all the right places. Easy to wax them where needed too, although one of my pairs is left unwaxed and does great even without. Lots of great extra features too, internal pocket to add a knee pad, boot hooks, ventilation, even an axe loop. Spendy but worth it in my book.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/04/2023 01:06PM  
shouldertripper: "I have a couple different pairs of Fjallraven trousers that are awesome. Their G1000 is rugged stuff, and reinforced in all the right places. Easy to wax them where needed too, although one of my pairs is left unwaxed and does great even without. Lots of great extra features too, internal pocket to add a knee pad, boot hooks, ventilation, even an axe loop. Spendy but worth it in my book. "


I have a fair amount of Fjallraven stuff and I love it. The Vidda Pros are high on my list, and I hear they are widely regarded as the best bushcraft pant out there right now. Just waiting for a sale to go justify trying them on at least. They would be a great pant for just general daily use around the yard too I think.
 
LMS11327
member (16)member
  
01/13/2024 11:23AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "Hello,

Looking for some recommendations on a new pair of hard-wearing Winter trousers that can stand up to the repetitive abuse involved with winter trekking and camping. I dont need them to be insulated but I do want some waterproofness and breathability. I'm not a fan of Gore Tex, I drown in my own sweat whenever I wear that stuff. I also need them to not fit like skinny jeans and hopefully have an adjustable waist, I usually have at least two additional layers underneath.

What are your favorites?

"


I’m sure this won’t fit all of your requirements, but…searching for something like what you want, I found a pair of (likely WWII) German paratrooper pants on Craigslist locally. Bought them for $40. My wife let out the waist to 33”, which was nearly the limit. They’re 100% wool from what I can tell, crazy warm, fairly water-repellent, highly breathable, loaded with pockets, and I love them. Button fly (quiet!) no zippers to break. I’ve worn them winter camping, working outside on cool days, etc. You might look into something like this to add to your arsenal. <
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/16/2024 05:34PM  
LMS11327: "
AlexanderSupertramp: "Hello,


Looking for some recommendations on a new pair of hard-wearing Winter trousers that can stand up to the repetitive abuse involved with winter trekking and camping. I dont need them to be insulated but I do want some waterproofness and breathability. I'm not a fan of Gore Tex, I drown in my own sweat whenever I wear that stuff. I also need them to not fit like skinny jeans and hopefully have an adjustable waist, I usually have at least two additional layers underneath.

What are your favorites?

"


I’m sure this won’t fit all of your requirements, but…searching for something like what you want, I found a pair of (likely WWII) German paratrooper pants on Craigslist locally. Bought them for $40. My wife let out the waist to 33”, which was nearly the limit. They’re 100% wool from what I can tell, crazy warm, fairly water-repellent, highly breathable, loaded with pockets, and I love them. Button fly (quiet!) no zippers to break. I’ve worn them winter camping, working outside on cool days, etc. You might look into something like this to add to your arsenal. <"


I've been trolling FB marketplace and craigslist near me for something like this but no luck yet. A nice wool anorak and some heavy wool pants would be great but they might just be out of my budget right now and I'll have to try and make what I have work, even if it's somewhat insufficient for the task.

I did see that Tractor Supply has a sale on the green 24oz Big Bill pants right now for $99 but seems the heavy 28oz is what most people prefer.

 
LMS11327
member (16)member
  
01/17/2024 10:19AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "
LMS11327: "
AlexanderSupertramp: "Hello,



Looking for some recommendations on a new pair of hard-wearing Winter trousers that can stand up to the repetitive abuse involved with winter trekking and camping. I dont need them to be insulated but I do want some waterproofness and breathability. I'm not a fan of Gore Tex, I drown in my own sweat whenever I wear that stuff. I also need them to not fit like skinny jeans and hopefully have an adjustable waist, I usually have at least two additional layers underneath.


What are your favorites?


"



I’m sure this won’t fit all of your requirements, but…searching for something like what you want, I found a pair of (likely WWII) German paratrooper pants on Craigslist locally. Bought them for $40. My wife let out the waist to 33”, which was nearly the limit. They’re 100% wool from what I can tell, crazy warm, fairly water-repellent, highly breathable, loaded with pockets, and I love them. Button fly (quiet!) no zippers to break. I’ve worn them winter camping, working outside on cool days, etc. You might look into something like this to add to your arsenal. <"


I've been trolling FB marketplace and craigslist near me for something like this but no luck yet. A nice wool anorak and some heavy wool pants would be great but they might just be out of my budget right now and I'll have to try and make what I have work, even if it's somewhat insufficient for the task.

I did see that Tractor Supply has a sale on the green 24oz Big Bill pants right now for $99 but seems the heavy 28oz is what most people prefer.
"


Search eBay for Alois Heiss. Lots of them for sale.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/19/2024 09:19AM  
LMS11327: Search eBay for Alois Heiss. Lots of them for sale. "


I do see a lot of those, not a ton of info on the pant itself though. Any idea how thick these are in terms of OZ compared to modern pants?
 
LMS11327
member (16)member
  
01/19/2024 09:36AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "
LMS11327: Search eBay for Alois Heiss. Lots of them for sale. "


I do see a lot of those, not a ton of info on the pant itself though. Any idea how thick these are in terms of OZ compared to modern pants?"


Mine are Alois Heiss, same as what’s on eBay. I don’t know what the ounce measurement refers to, and unfortunately the pants are at my cabin, but I’m not. So I can’t measure anything on them right now.
But— I can tell you that they are heavier than normal pants; more akin to what Carhartt heavy duck pants would weigh. I’d guess roughly 1.5 lbs.
As far as thickness goes, the material is pretty thick, but it’s not rough. Mostly if not 100% wool, but soft to the touch. So it’s thicker material, fairly heavy, but soft and comfy against skin.

Hope this helps.
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (392)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/24/2024 03:03AM  
I'm not sure if they are still available, though I have a pair of pants from Filson which are a heavyweight oil cloth material which are my 'outer shell' pants when trekking in the BWCA (they are quite heavy, so suspenders are a good addition). When I went to look at kitting myself out for winter, I decided that these would also be a great option in the winter as well, with a pair of wool pants underneath.

Edit:
These pants here - Filson Bibs. These are bibs, I have the pants version with the same material. Two years of solid summer use & they are no worse for wear. I haven't used them this winter though I have no doubt they'd perform as expected. Filson offers a similar pair of pants with a 'level down' in material weight which are my 'camp jeans'. Camp Jeans
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
01/24/2024 11:09AM  
JohnGalt: "I'm not sure if they are still available, though I have a pair of pants from Filson which are a heavyweight oil cloth material which are my 'outer shell' pants when trekking in the BWCA (they are quite heavy, so suspenders are a good addition). When I went to look at kitting myself out for winter, I decided that these would also be a great option in the winter as well, with a pair of wool pants underneath.

Edit:
These pants here - Filson Bibs. These are bibs, I have the pants version with the same material. Two years of solid summer use & they are no worse for wear. I haven't used them this winter though I have no doubt they'd perform as expected. Filson offers a similar pair of pants with a 'level down' in material weight which are my 'camp jeans'. Camp Jeans "


I've decided that for this year I'm going to just use one of the shell pants I have already and then over the Summer, hell at the rate Winter is going so far, none of my trips are going to be cold enough to need them anyway.

I am going to sew my own pair from some wool blankets because even if they don't look great, it doesn't matter. I have an old pair of beat up snowpants I am going to cut apart at the seams and use as a template. They have one job to do and looking pretty isn't one of them. After not being able to find anything in my size locally I gave up, and I really want to be able to try them on with a layer before buying. Making my own gear is also something I really want to start getting into, so that's my plan I think. How hard can pants be?

I did look hard at the Filson but not sure I'm willing to pay Filson prices anymore (new or used). Plus I dont really support what that company has become these days if I'm being completely honest.
 
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