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Waterproof pants

What would you recommend for a waterproof pant to wear over other clothes?  I will be in colder climate (possibly near -10C) and traveling by boat in the water (expecting ocean spray) and need something that is functional but comfortable.  Pant is needed for both for women and men....

1 Reply

@jake2546 Great question and sounds like a grand (albeit chilly) adventure!

The solution for your question is going to depend greatly on the conditions and nature of your adventure. If you're heading out on a Zodiac type boat or a fishing boat in rough seas that will require a whole different set of features than a glacier touring vessel.

For the latter, where you are looking for something lightweight that can keep you dry periodically while out on the water, I recommend any of our waterproof rain pants. Be sure to think about features like a full-zip leg that can make it significantly easier to put them on and take them off when you are wearing shoes or boots. Given the temperatures you are expecting, you'll want to make sure you size them appropriately to fit over all of your layers. That may mean sizing up. Additionally, you'll want to make sure you rinse your pants off if they are exposed to a lot of salt water. Salt water is corrosive and keeping your pants clean will be critical to their durability and performance.

The former presents a few more challenges. We have lots of customers come through our store (Fairbanks, AK) looking for a similar product to use while fishing in the frigid waters of Alaska. It is a challenging category because most of the waterproof/breathable pants we sell are designed to not only be waterproof and breathable, but also lightweight and packable. They are tested and rated in freshwater conditions (raining) not necessarily in corrosive seawater. When you are out in the ocean in very cold temperatures that exposes your gear to elements that are often above and beyond what most of our products are designed for. More often than not the customers we see in our store end up with the heavy duty Helly Hansen style waterproof pants that are almost like a lightweight rubber pant (they're lightweight for rubber pants, not necessarily lightweight though!). Those are the pants you see on shows like the deadliest catch, for example. That being said, if those are the conditions you're facing then I would recommend looking at paddling specific waterproof pants that are designed with harsher conditions in mind and are not necessarily designed with weight being the most important factor. These waterproof pants will be a little more challenging to get on over clothes though as they will have cuffs and a waist that are designed to keep water out in the event of submersion.

I hope this helps, have a great time on your adventure!

John

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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