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#193455 - 02/03/16 05:27 PM Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify
Horia Offline

Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 2
I'm looking for a softshell MEN pant with these properties:

- Main fabric similar to Arcteryx Gamma LT Pants (Breathable Light Uninsulated Sofshell)

- Gore-tex (or other waterproof fabric) doubled on posterior, knees and around ankles (ankles not so important)

- Leg length side zippers

- Relaxed fit so I can wear it as a layer over 2-3 other layers

I can sew!!! So, in case a pant with all those proprieties does not exist I can take the closest thing and modify it.

* In case there is no side Zippers, I can add that for as long as there is no side cargo pockets. I would have to remove them and that will leave wholes in fabric, or cut through which will leave me with 2 side pocket on each side too slender to use.

* In case they are not doubled (posterior knees ankles) I can add Gore-tex

I would prefer the case where there is no side zippers as adding goretex fabric might get a little too over budget. Also, gore-tex fabric is hard to find in Canada.

The closest I found is La sportiva Halo Pant but I don't really like them.

Please someone advise me on the closest thing as I'm going crazy looking at pictures and reading incomplete descriptions.

#193490 - 02/05/16 09:22 AM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: Horia]
CamperMom Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
What are you trying to accomplish with these features? I bought a softshell jacket and while I was impressed with its ability to shed water or snow, it is heavy for the warmth that it provides. Unless you use waterproof zippers and seal the stitching holes, the pants will leak around the zippers. Also, air can leak around unprotected zippers. I have some fleece pants that surprised me at how cold I felt around the full-leg zippers. Please consider thoroughly these features/drawbacks.

Is the double fabric for reinforcement against wear? You may be happier with adding an outer layer of some nylon fabric, from Cordura to a lighter one. The ankle area is not a fabric wear concern for me, but I am not hiking (or skiing/snowshoeing) in the same conditions as you are. For my purposes, I would want to reinforce the anterior (front)knee and the seat. Most solid, wind and water-resistant nylon materials would help with wear and repel wet should I find the need to sit or kneel (intentional or otherwise). Another fabric is unlikely to stretch the same way a softshell does, so account for some ease as you match up those items. I am ABLE to sew, but often find that it is cheaper and more practical to but ready-made on-sale, perhaps modifying as you indicate. Separating zippers are quite expensive, so you if you still intend to insert a full-length separating zipper in each outer leg, you might look for a used pants in a thrift shop planning to "harvest" those zippers. It is unlikely that you would find waterproof ones from this source, so plan on adding a strip of material with its own side closures to keep wind, snow, and rain out of the zippers. It sounds to me like more work that I want to do. I'd go with water a and wind proof light shell pants. HYOH, etc., of course. Good Luck!

#193505 - 02/05/16 04:48 PM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: CamperMom]
Horia Offline

Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 2
Hi CamperMom,
Thanks for your post.
- Waterproof zippers can be bought from you can glue them with silicone before sewing then spray silicone on the stitching. I don't want to use separating zippers.
- Double fabric IS for reinforcement against wear but also for kneel and sit in wet conditions. In the knees anything waterproof and tough would do. The problem is the but because it will sweat.

I rather find something with pads already on and just add the zippers.

In fact I found these pants:

Keb Eco-Shell Trousers $449.99

They are exactly what I want but did you see the price??

If anyone knows of a good quality unlined softshell with protective waterproof reinforcement please post!!!

#193508 - 02/05/16 06:40 PM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: Horia]
CamperMom Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
$450 for a pair of pants? Not in this lifetime! Even if I won some huge lottery, I would pay off my sons' houses first.

Look at these sale pages from some USA retailers:

A sponsor here:

Or this Canadian one:

I don't know the international shipping policies for the American companies, and I didn't look up the details for any of these, just sources for softshell pants. There are others, of course, but I have purchased from all of the above over the course of many years and think well of them.

If you are willing and able to make alterations to meet your specs, go for it. IMHO, you needn't be overly concerned about sweat build up if you add nylon over the knees and seat while the rest of the garment breathes. Sweat should still be able to wick to where it can escape, for the most part. There are some WPB fabrics that should be lighter and more abrasion-resistant than the main softshell fabric, it you are determined that the entire garment be breathable, but they may be less durable than, say, cordura.

#193531 - 02/08/16 10:25 AM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: Horia]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I would skip the gortex for the extra material on the knees and posterior. Just look for heavy weight waterproof cordura. It will be more tear resistant and waterproof than gortex, and cheaper. If the rest of the pants use a breathable fabric, then you don't need a breathable fabric for the high wear areas.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#193914 - 02/26/16 11:52 PM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: Horia]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
Have you looked at ski wear? I have some Mamut soft shell pants (very old) that have the ankle protectors (for crampon use). I got them at Sierra Trading Post. But that was years ago. I used to sew a seat patch on all my pants to make them wear longer and stay dry when I sat down on the ground. The patch is sort of heart-shaped.

Perhaps the first step is to get some cheap men's pants from the thrift shop and experiment with them. No sense in buying expensive pants and then ruin them by practicing on them. Make yourself a prototype using a long stitch so you can easily undo the seams and use the pieces for a pattern.

#193923 - 02/27/16 11:35 AM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
When trying out new stuff in sewing, including patterns, which never fit without adjustments, since none of us fit manufacturers' "standards," here's a quote from my favorite dressmaker's guide that says it all. It applies to any kind of sewing, not just 19th century women's wear, and these days the fabric is more like $30/yard.

If you do not make a muslin [or other very cheap fabric] version of a new pattern, it is quite likely that an entire civilization will be wiped out by meteors. Plague and pestilence will cover the land. Sheep will begin to shrink in the rain. Butter will go rancid.

Right, so things won't be quite that desperate. But, the possibility of enormous stress and tension when your project doesn't look well and you just ruined your $20/yard silk--that's a very real possibility if you skip the 20 minute, $2 step of making a test version of the bodice and one sleeve, and basting them together to test the fit and functionality.

--Elizabeth Stewart Clark, The Dressmaker's Guide: 1840-1865, Second Edition. Heide Press, Inc., 2009, p. 207.

Edited by OregonMouse (02/27/16 11:38 AM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#193968 - 02/29/16 10:37 AM Re: Any Suggestions on Softshell Pants To Modify [Re: OregonMouse]
4evrplan Offline

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 744
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Ha! That made me smile. Was that quote in the original version? It definitely has the tone of late 20th & 21st century humor.


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