|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2008
Don't let a crappy forecast keep you home for the weekend. Just pack this deluge-tested system.
All weights are for men's large (unless otherwise noted), on BACKPACKER scales.For more in-depth apparel reviews, check out our exclusive online Apparel Guide supplement.
Lightweight, packed with features, and priced to sell, these pants easily handled our soggiest days on the trail. EMS's proprietary two-layer waterproof/breathable fabric kept testers dry during multiday downpours. Full-length two-way zippers provide plenty of extra ventilation (breathability is adequate, not outstanding) and make the pants easy to yank on and off over muddy boots. Elastic cuffs with a snap closure sealed out puddle splashes, eliminating the need for gaiters in mild to moderate rain. (Add gaiters in heavy storms.) Testers liked the loose, high-mobility fit for scrambling over boulders, as well as the adjustable elastic belt and the easy-access thigh pocket. The 40-denier ripstop nylon held up to slickrock and thorny Russian thistle. And when the sun's out, the Thunderheads–despite all the features–scrunch down to grapefruit size. $79 ($70 women's); men's S-XL, women's XS-XL; 11 oz.; ems.com. Reader service #114