MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

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MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 5:01 pm

I am pondering getting some of the Mountain Laurel Designs rain chaps - which are 60 grams in sil nylon, or 38 grams in cuban fibre.

I need to get some type of rain pants anyway. Currently I have an Outdoor Research Helium traveller jacket, so it's a little bit marginal on whether the jacket will be just long enough to work with jacket. I could potentially switch to a UL poncho.

Does anyone have something similar in terms of rain chaps? Do you like them? Do they work for you?
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby north-north-west » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 5:31 pm

*Debates whether to run with the "ultralight rain" thing.
*Takes pity on forum.

Unless your rain jacket covers your backside when not wearing a pack, there will tend to be a gap when you put the pack on or when you bend over, even with normal rain pants. Depends on how much walking you expect to do in wet weather.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 5:55 pm

Correct - rain jacket I have is a long-length jacket which covers bottom. (Outdoor Research Helium Traveller model) But the bending-over thing could be relevant. I shall try tonight at home, and see. Thanks for input.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Lamont » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 6:50 pm

Yep, I am with NNW, depends on how much rain walking and the scrub conditions and the cold (for me).
If it is not complete scrub, not freezing, little or a lot of rain - and you are walking in shorts- it's kilt time.
Wouldn't those chaps be for open country, no chance of scrub at all? Must be good ventilation tho' and I suppose if you were wearing waterproof shoes you might stop the water filling them up.
I would love to see someone in chaps tho'.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Tortoise » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 7:17 pm

emma_melbourne wrote:. I could potentially switch to a UL poncho.

Would that be for your OLT trip? I have bad memories of a friend with a poncho on the Lakes walk near Kosci. Winds meant that it was inside out and vertical above the lowest point we could put a tie - around his waist, which was better than the 'parachute' attached only under his chin. Given the fact that I have been blown off my feet many times in Tassie (on Pine Forest Moor, around Cradle cirque etc), I wouldn't be going the poncho option for Tassie or exposed alpine places. But I am conservative on the safety front, since my experience of hypothermia on the above Kosci trip.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 8:03 pm

All great advice. It's sounding like I should opt with the conservative rain trousers, and pay the extra weight penalty of 120 grams.

Outdoor Research do make matching Helium pants - but they're not cheap.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 23 Jul, 2018 8:32 pm

Outdoor Research often have drops on Massdrop.
At the moment their Helium jacket is listed and the pants have been on previously.
Note that you need to check whether they’re actually cheaper than other sources but they are usually very good for us Aussies.


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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby emma_melbourne » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 8:03 pm

Yes absolutely - thank you @ChrisJHC - I have just today added the Helium pants on Massdrop to send me a notification if they come up. Otherwise I'll also keep an eye out on the Black Friday sales, or see if a pair come up somewhere on sale.

Thank you!
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Zapruda » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 8:43 pm

https://www.macpac.com.au/womens/trouse ... omens.html

I own a pair of these in the men’s version. A size small comes in at 121 grams for me. I like them. Pretty fragile in the scrub but just fine for the occasional shower on the plains. I imagine these are pretty similar to the OR pants.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Aidan » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 12:59 am

Zapruda wrote:https://www.macpac.com.au/womens/trousers-shorts-pants/trousers-pants/hightail-rain-pants-womens.html

I own a pair of these in the men’s version. A size small comes in at 121 grams for me. I like them. Pretty fragile in the scrub but just fine for the occasional shower on the plains. I imagine these are pretty similar to the OR pants.


I seem to be getting a fair run from the Hightail Jacket though Macpac warn that neither item will cope with abrasion well.

The mens pants don't suit me size wise, being a rotund build, as their large is too tight, whilst their extra-large is way too long in the leg, otherwise I'd buy some in a heartbeat.

I like the low weight, of the jacket, and the very small bulk for my cycle touring.

Given the abrasion warning, I wonder how the jacket would stand up long term to hauling a pack.

Macpac says "Note: The lightweight nature of this fabric means it's not suitable for high abrasion use." (on the mens version webpage)

Just spotted that they no longer list the jacket, which doesn't bode well for any hope of longevity.

They still list the pants for both men and women.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Zapruda » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 7:58 am

Aidan wrote:
Zapruda wrote:https://www.macpac.com.au/womens/trousers-shorts-pants/trousers-pants/hightail-rain-pants-womens.html

I own a pair of these in the men’s version. A size small comes in at 121 grams for me. I like them. Pretty fragile in the scrub but just fine for the occasional shower on the plains. I imagine these are pretty similar to the OR pants.


I seem to be getting a fair run from the Hightail Jacket though Macpac warn that neither item will cope with abrasion well.

The mens pants don't suit me size wise, being a rotund build, as their large is too tight, whilst their extra-large is way too long in the leg, otherwise I'd buy some in a heartbeat.

I like the low weight, of the jacket, and the very small bulk for my cycle touring.

Given the abrasion warning, I wonder how the jacket would stand up long term to hauling a pack.

Macpac says "Note: The lightweight nature of this fabric means it's not suitable for high abrasion use." (on the mens version webpage)

Just spotted that they no longer list the jacket, which doesn't bode well for any hope of longevity.

They still list the pants for both men and women.



The Outdoor Research Helium II jacket is made of Pertex Shield just like the hightail anorak and people on the PCT and the AT get whole through hikes out of them. I don't think abrasion from straps will be an issue. Its rock scrambling on granite and limestone that's going to destroy that kind of fabric.

My Helium looked brand new after about 2 years of continuous use. I was mindful in the scrub though.

Abrasion is generally the downfall of most ultralight fabrics, unfortunately.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby north-north-west » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 8:33 am

Zapruda wrote:Abrasion is generally the downfall of most ultralight fabrics, unfortunately.


It destroys even the heavy stuff. Dolerite, granite, quartzite and scrub - you can wreck a pair of rainpants in one extended offtrack walk down here.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Penguin » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 12:40 pm

Tried the Zpacks chaps a few years back on the Western Arthurs. Not much chop (almost a pun).

As pointed out above - too may gaps for water and icy cold winds. Can cope with wet knees much more than a wet bottom.

Like most have gone for a collection of over trousers - sometimes cheap light disposable ones.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby north-north-west » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 12:53 pm

Penguin wrote:Like most have gone for a collection of over trousers - sometimes cheap light disposable ones.

Polyawfulised nylon such as Rainbird is cheap, not too heavy and more than good enough for the OT. Actually, my first pair, while not the most breathable things around, did a pile of stuff including a full WArthurs traverse and the Anne Cct in pretty lousy weather. They're tougher than they look. Pretty colours, to:
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby Neo » Wed 25 Jul, 2018 8:45 pm

I can vouch for Patagonia Torrentshell rain pants at $129. Haven't been required a lot but are easy to poke in a backpack, also great for March flies and mozzies too.
I started out with an orange garbage bag kilt (and may go there again :) )
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby emma_melbourne » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 11:26 am

Update: The Outdoor Research Helium pants just came on Massdrop - Yay - at US $69.99 + US $7.75 shipping to Australia. So roughly $105 Australian dollars. It weighs about 156 grams depending on size / gender.

I'm happy enough with that price and weight.
Link: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/outdoor-re ... rer=9QZ846

They do also have the Helium II jacket also on Massdrop right now - at US $99.99 which is roughly AUD $135 in case anyone's after UL rain gear. I don't need one of these as I already have the Helium traveller jacket for some time now, which is the longer-length jacket. The only negative of the Helium jackets from my perspective is they don't have pit zips. Outdoor research do make other jackets which are heavier and do have pit zips, but I just mention that in case anyone's looking at getting this jacket. Apart from that I think they're great jackets, and pretty light and well-reviewed:
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/outdoor-re ... rer=9QZ846

Excited to have my rain gear sorted now! Other than gloves / mitts.
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Re: MLD Ultralight rain chaps?

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 05 Aug, 2018 1:59 pm

emma_melbourne wrote:Update: The Outdoor Research Helium pants just came on Massdrop


Just check the delivery time as they usually take 4-6 weeks.
By the time my Massdrop items arrive I’ve usually forgotten I’ve ordered them so it’s a pleasant surprise!
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