Mountain Equipment Rainfall Pants are lightweight trousers with full-length side zips that are designed for any mountain activity, according to the manufacturers. The Rainfall Pant comes with a stuffsack so you can pack them away and hide them in a small rucksack pocket. Light, compact and with long side zips: sounds great!
The Rainfall Pant is made from Mountain Equipment’s own Drilite fabric. This is a two-layer fabric, so there is no lining inside to soak up condensation. The fabric itself is waterproof to 8000mm of hydrostatic head and is also very breathable. You can get more waterproof and breathable materials, but the real issue is that there is no lining here, so condensation will be noticeable. However the big advantage of these trousers is those long side zips. They just make it so easy to put these trousers on, no matter what boots you are wearing. There is a Velcro tab adjuster at the ankle cuff too, which allows a little more control of the fabric in this area to provide a neater fit around boots and prevent material flapping around. The waist is elasticated with two press studded adjustment tabs on each side.
On the hill
Having a stuffsack does make stashing overtrousers in your pack a no-brainer. The Mountain Equipment Rainfall Pants pack down to a big fist size so they are ideal for leaving in your pack on most trips. But what I like is that when you need them you can grab them and put them on in a storm and not get drenched in the process. They were very fast trousers to put on but equally the fit is pretty good too. They are slightly slimmer than some others and hence don’t suffer from too much flapping around. They did not appear to ride up as badly as some either. However as they don’t have a liner they are a bit clammy, I found – but once again you can whip them off as fast as they were put on, and so perhaps clamminess is less of an issue?
The Mountain Equipment Rainfall Pants’ side zips get an internal stormflap but nothing on the outside. In theory this should leak more easily than a double external stormflap. It worked fine in the daily drizzle I used them in, but I’d be cautious recommending these for driving rain because of that design of zip baffle.
Outer Drilite Plus
Fabric waterproofness waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); 8-16 (women’s)
Weight 290g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 70
Stockist details – tel. (0161) 366 5020; www.mountain-equipment.co.uk
The long side zip makes the Mountain Equipment Rainfall Pants fast to get on; good fit; good ankle adjustment; good waist adjustment; supplied with stuffsack for easy storage. However the 2-layer fabric is more clammy than others; long side zips are more likely to leak than shorter zips or those with double stormflaps. Overall, they’re ideal for stashing in a rucksack and putting on and taking off quickly, but a bit clammy
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2010