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The Best Waterproof Pants

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Buyer's Guide

Waterproof Pants

Waterproof pants are the most important piece of outdoor gear that every hiker must have. It's not that other protective clothing isn't important, but it's just not necessary to go into the back country wearing a damp shirt and shorts. And don't even think about not bringing water! You don't need an open canoe in the woods to swim with cold water coming down around your ankles.

Waterproof pants for hiking need to offer good breathability to allow the moisture (sweat) in the inside to pass freely to the exterior. Otherwise, you may still be soaked from head to toe but then have the perspiration soaking through your shirts. So, today's waterproof hiking pants are often made of breathable, ultra-light materials (like Gore-Tex and Pertex), which help keep the perspiration out while keeping your gear dry. But the latest models also include a lining in order to add an element of comfort to your overall outfit.

Many manufacturers are now using DWR (Dry Weather Wear) in the material they make their outdoor gear out of. Dwr is a water-resistant coating that can be applied to almost any type of fabric, not just waterproof. This tough, protective coating is great for all kinds of outdoor use. For hiking, it will coat the legs and feet, keeping them from getting wet through repeated hikes on moist grounds. For those who hike regularly in wet environments, DWR might be a wise investment.

However, some types of waterproof pants do require Dwr to be applied, especially if they're used frequently in wet environments. Fortunately, many manufacturers are turning to other fabrics in order to meet consumer demand. Surpassing the performance of traditional DWR is commonplace these days. Some of these fabrics include nylon polyester blends. Another popular choice is vinyl, which combines excellent abrasion resistance (and waterproofing as a bonus) with breathability.

Other types of waterproof pants incorporate Gore-Tex (or other fabrics like Cordura) and Dura-Tred. Gore-Tex is the most commonly used waterproofing material today. It works great for both wet and dry applications, due to its advanced vapor barrier. By using Gore-Tex, the fabric traps air bubbles on contact and rapidly wicks away moisture from your body. In fact, many hikers, mountaineers, and camping professionals prefer using Gore-Tex as their main fabric since it's the closest thing they'll get to having an insole.

Other lightweight gear use Dura-Tred technology. This fabric also wicks moisture away from your body but incorporates a secondary barrier that helps prevent vapor absorption through contact with the ground. One of the best waterproof pants on the market uses this technology. It's called the Montbell Hiking Cap. Made with patented technology, it's an incredibly breathable, lightweight fit with an expandable pocket and elasticated waistband to keep your items secure. The neckline and shoulder straps adjust to your individual shape.

Waterproof long johns or tactical pants are not just for mountaineers and hikers; for the do-it-yourselfer, there are also water-resistant tactical pants. There are a number of styles and colors to choose from, so you can match your pants to your existing attire. In addition to being waterproof, these pants feature a plethora of other benefits. If you need a heavy duty pair of long johns to keep you warm on a cold day, you can get a breathable pair by selecting styles that are also breathable.

Other styles include nylon and high-density polyethylene, which are much more durable than pure cotton. Waterproof pants with double-faced seams are popular because they provide superior seam construction that will repel moisture while allowing air to flow through; this is referred to as " taped seams". Additionally, these pants are most often made from a polypropylene/durable vinyl blend that is manufactured to be both waterproof and highly breathable. With this combination you're sure to have optimum protection and maximum comfort.

Additional Information

Waterproof Pants FAQs

Common questions about waterproof pants come from those who are not aware of the many benefits these pants have to offer. Many people simply do not consider buying a pair of waterproof pants as a necessity. As they see no reason to invest in such attire, their thinking remains that way. This is a big mistake. If you were to consider these pants for the first time, or perhaps just to see if they would be a good purchase for your situation, you may find some of these common questions about waterproof pants useful.

One of the first questions you may be interested in is what type of material is used to make waterproof pants. Your choice of fabric should depend upon where you will be wearing them. An obvious choice is some type of waterproof fabric. These fabrics include denier polyester, spandex, and other synthetic fibers. They are commonly used in sports apparel and work clothing, but some designers have begun to incorporate more natural fibers into their designs.

A synthetic fiber has many benefits. Natural fibers such as nylon are often warmer than synthetics. This can mean that you can wear them around the house more often. It can also mean that you do not need to put a lot of thought into your choice of underwear, as your choice of fabric will make the underwear itself much warmer. Nylon underwear is even more popular for men, as they feel much cooler on the man's body than synthetic fibers.

The main concern when looking at waterproofing pants is making sure that the fabric is completely waterproof. Fabrics that are not waterproof will often have a shiny nylon look. Waterproof fabrics are often reflective, which means that they are bright and can easily be spotted in water.

The fabrics used in the construction of the pants will often make a difference as well. Chemically treated nylon is stronger than most other types of fabric, which can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your pants waterproof. Nylon is a better fabric than cotton, which means that the waterproofing properties of the pants are usually more extreme. Cotton is often blended with other fibers to create more lightweight, breathable pants that work well for the outdoors.

Another way that the fabric can affect the waterproofing of the pants is by adding elasticated waistbands. Elasticated waistbands can hold in moisture and are stretchy. This creates a tight seal between your skin and the fabric of the waterproof pants. Elasticated waistbands can be expensive to make, so the more closely they match the fabric used in the pant, the more expensive the pair will be.

When buying a pair of waterproof pants, you should always make sure that they offer a warranty. Warranties will ensure that the pants will last for a long time without needing to be replaced. A good manufacturer will have their own warranty, or at least one that is close to it. It is better to pay a little more up front and purchase a durable pair of waterproof pants, rather than purchase a cheap, not very good product that might break down soon after using it. If you can find a manufacturer that offers both a warranty and customer service, that will be the best price possible.

If you have several questions about waterproof pants, then you should probably start by looking at your own needs. For mild to moderate use in damp or wet conditions, there are many options on the market. For activities where extreme weather and conditions are part of the routine, you might want to consider some of the more expensive models that offer extra materials used in their construction. Waterproof pants are readily available and come in many different fabrics and styles. Because they are so popular, there are many companies who make them, but it is a good idea to check out the warranty information and return policies before making your purchase.

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