OT-- Gortex pants for hiking

I'm looking to buy light-weight Gortex pants for hiking in the rain.
There's a lot to choose from out there but much of it is very expensive.
If you have a pair of Gortex pants that you have been happy with and didn't cost you 300.00 where did you buy them? (I'd like the Gortex brand, not a knock-off that claims to work as well as Gortex)


L L Bean ?


– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 9:40 AM EST –

While Gore-tex just might beat out many proprietary brands of waterproof-breathable treatments for durability . . .I would say that the majority of hikers these days don't even own or feel the need for Goretex as the only choice. Much lighter, much less expensive, and definitely WB, many backpackers and hikers use Marmot Precip pants with full-zips. Normally $99 but on sale all over for about $60. No reason you muct have Gore-tex. Note that all of these WB pants are the choice for actual rain, but not as breathable as wind pants when there is light sprinkles and the DWR is sufficent.

gore paclite
I love the PacLite fabric from Gore for backpacking. Many manufacturers utilize it. It’s lighter and more breathable than goretex performance shell or proshell fabrics. ’

Outdoor Research has a great style called the Foray Pant that is super reasonably priced at $150.

Several manufacturers use gore tex
I do a lot of hiking and outdoor work and I’ve had good luck with North Face rain gear. Their lifetime warranty covers the gore tex, and they will repair or replace any product. Depending on the issue, there might be a small fee for repair. There are goretex rain pants in the 100 - 150 dollar range. Keep in mind that you will get a lot more durability and use out of a quality product in this area, and along with the warranty, the gear becomes an investment that pays for itself over the long run. My North Face rain pants are nine years old and with a yearly Revivex treatment and powdered detergent only washing, still bead water and keep me dry.

You might want to try Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) www.ems.com. There is probably something similar in Cali, but I’ve been shopping there for years. They have an excellent return policy on anything they sell. Check for specials and sales before you leap. Every late march/early april EMS does an “upgrade your gear sale” and most items are thirty percent off. They also provide “gear bucks” cards worth 25 bucks for every hundred you spend.

$45. - Cabelas

– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 11:58 AM EST –

I tried to post the super long link and it wouldn't translate.

Go to:

cabelas.com and search for Gortex pants

they have lots of them down to $45.

Give a thought to breathable chaps.
Should be some around. Much of the sweating below the belt is confined to the hip and groin area. Chaps waterproof the legs but leave the sweaty areas open to breathe. You can slip on chaps easily, and they pack well.

I once made some rain chaps that did NOT breathe, but it was not a problem because little sweating was occuring under them.

So, see if some breathable chaps are offered, and think about how they might go with your hiking routine.

Long hikes or
protection from occasional cloudbursts? You could save some $ and have convenience with this option:


I bought one to stick in the pocket of my Gore-tex soft shell and have pulled it on a couple of times when the sky opened. No complaints for short term use and it has far better air circulation than Gore-tex.

I have a pair of Gore-tex rain pants sold under the Cabela’s name. They save money by making them very simple: no pockets, no zippers, no highly-designed fittings, just an elastic waistband and a snap at the leg bottoms to snug up the fit. They have a nice, slippery taffeta nylon lining so the Gore-tex layer is protected. I use suspenders with them.

Currently using LL’s

– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 11:42 PM EST –

We got a lot of rain on our late October river trip. I wore my gore-tex rain pants from LL Bean, and I'd say I was the only member of our little gang that stayed dry and warm. I previously used a pair from Performance Bike. Bushwacking through too much shiggy was their undoing. They worked well but ultimately got torn up by underbrush and other hazards.

I have a Marmot rain jacket that is not gore-tex, but their 2008 breathable fabric. I don't like it as well as the EMS gore-tex jacket I previously used for ten years until I lost it. I'm getting an attitude about Marmot products. They are generally good, but for some reason I find the zippers balky to operate. Maybe it's me. I'm probably going to switch back to gore-tex for the jacket.

Hope this helps.


GoreTex may not be the only choice

– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 7:04 PM EST –

But for my money, it's still the best choice. The OP is talking about hiking in the rain, and not all waterproof choices are equal. I spent four straight days in the Pemigawassett wilderness (White Mtns of New Hampshire) hiking in non-stop rain and temps below freezing with the wind chill. 27 of us started that trip together, and only 9 made it to the end. These are the type of conditions where goretex proves its worth. It was late July and brutal, and I will say without exaggeration that the goretex boots/jacket/rain pants could mean the difference between life and death.

I have an EMS system 3 jacket that is fine for day hiking, but I would never head into the woods for an overnighter or multi day hike without goretex. Breatheability is fine for nearly all but the warmest and muggiest days of the summer. Spending a few extra bucks for a jacket and pants with ventilation takes care of that issue.

Before I started backpacking, I spent ten years working outdoors in winter and summer, sometimes stuck in the weather all day with no cover. There's a reason everybody on our crew had goretex outerwear and footwear. When I retired from the outdoor work, I re-purposed all of my gear for use in backpacking, hiking, and now paddling. I've had four excellent experiences with North Face returning gear for repair, and twice they sent me brand new replacement items at no cost. One was a 400 dollar Summit Series jacket to replace a ten year old 3-layer goretex jacket that had been discontinued. In general I subscribe to the "buy cheap, buy twice" mindset. When it comes to outdoors, if you're doing any kind of serious hiking where you could end up having to hunker down for a while, you might not have the opportunity to buy a second time. Think carefully about what kind of hiking you plan to do and make your purchase based on safety and need, not just the dollar. You'll never regret it when you're in the soup.

Lots of information to sort through

Thanks for all the suggestions!


Gore-tex breathes better than comparable
materials and will also last longer. Non-GTX pants can be affected by your sweat (ammonia) and bug repellents containing DEET. Eventually the material, be it Conduit, H2NO, Marmot Membrane, etc. will de-laminate and you will have a very leaky product. Gore-tex is an inert material and sweat and DEET does not affect it. You can get a great pair of Paclite Gore-tex pant from Arc’teryx, Alpha SL, for $199.99 and it is money well spent.

new fabric
There’s a new fabric, eVent?, that is supposed to be superior to Gortex. I’ve only read about it, not tried it.

Bill H.

eVent makes a lot of claims…
…and seems to have potential, but it hasn’t been on the market long and the parent company, GE, has apparently gotten desperate to gain market share, which is not a good sign (see the the thread in the Paddler’s Place forum). If it’s as good as they claim, it could be revolutionary, but until it’s been out for a while, I wouldn’t touch it. If you wan to see or try it, REI is selling eVent jackets. When I was at my local store a couple of weeks ago, they had marked them down to a pretty attractive price.

Third for Cabelas
Look for the Cabela’s branded gore tex pants made with pac lite material. They are lightweight, breathable, water and windproof. I have a set I use for fishing from a bass boat, kayaking, fishing along streams for trout in brush, and hiking. They have held up very well through all of this, and are super affordable. Best part is that they are cheap enough if you rip them on some brush you won’t cry and can afford to replace them.


GORTEX Paten Expried
The GORTEX paten expired years ago, so maybe the newer stuff like SIMTEX is exactly the same. Or maybe not.

Or maybe GORTEX is more careful about not putting their name on anything not well made, because the brand is so important to maintaining the higher prices.

Beathable is not so important to me because a lot of time I am just standing out in the rain watching the ocean without really being active.

My biggest problem is in the design. I just bought a pair of bib overalls, but they don’t have any pockets.

I think you have it backwards
In Gore’s case, the higher price is indicative of the quality of the product, the cost of conforming to Gore’s mandated manufacturing standards (“Guaranteed to Keep You Dry”) and the warranty that backs it. It seems to me that with Gore-Tex garments, you get what you pay for.

Maintaining that quality and a high level of service is what’s critical to maintaining the integrity and reputation of the brand.

T.J. Max/Marshall
I bought a $300.00 pair for only $99.00 at T.J. Max! You just have to keep your eyes open for sales.

Sierra Trading Post
always has oodles of WB gear at great prices. Lots & lots of outdoor gear, period.