Mon, Mar 27, 2017
Good quality rain gear is absolutely essential when hiking in higher elevations, as everyone knows. When picking these out, I was searching for the obvious: rugged, waterproof, breathable, yet lightweight rain pants that would stuff well into my pack. Being on a limited budget, I decided to visit our local EMS and sample their product. I was surprised by a number of things.
When I first donned the Rainbreaker® pants, I immediately liked the fit. They are roomy without being baggy (which would drain energy faster than NY during New Years) and adjustable in the right places. The waist-band is elastic with a drawstring and single handed springlock. The cuffs are not elastic, but have two snap locations for a looser or tighter fit. One feature I love about the Rainbreakers® is the zippered leg. EMS has obviously done their homework on this one because the zippers are a full 12" long and allow plenty of room to put on and take off with boots on. A mesh liner allows for decent moisture dissipation, and there are two zippered pockets on the left and right hips.
The Rainbreaker pants do an excellent job of being useful. Rain pants need to do a couple things, right? They need to shed water, allow for moisture to escape, and be comfortable. Well, they do all that. In our trip along the Pemigewasset River, the only water that got near my legs was sweat, and that disappeared quickly. They were easy to pun on and take off, and they were comfortable. But there are a couple things that I’d like to see improved.
First, the pockets; they are a blemish on EMS’ effort. Although they have thoughtfully added a flap to prevent rain from entering, this flap constantly gets caught in the zipper. I found myself swearing at the garment within a few minutes. Second, I’d like to see some elastic in the cuffs. Although it was never a problem, walking through deep woods might push these pants up your leg, exposing socks (not waterproof) and legs.
EMS’ Lip Service:
Waterproof, windproof, breathable comfort at a great price. Made of lightweight, packable 100% ripstop nylon. Treated with our unique System IIITM MicroPore coating for weatherproof performance and breathability on the trail. Taped seams. Snap closures at cuffs eliminate bagging.
My Lip Service:
Comfortable, lightweight, and truly waterproof, the EMS Rainbreaker® Pant is a quality product. With a little re-engineering, these could pose a serious threat to the more expensive manufacturers.
Stay tuned for a long term report on the EMS Rainbreaker pants . . .
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Chris Oberg & Robert Havasy