There is a sick logic to this
My single most hated piece of luggage is the pair of rain pants. Not only does the necessity to pull them out of the panniers mean that you’re about ride into less than favorable weather, but they’re bulky, heavy and always end up sagging like a gangsta when they’re wet. So, as I was unable to deduce any obvious benefits for carrying rain pants, other than not getting wet and slowly succumbing to hypothermia and eventually death, I got to thinking about options. Rain shorts!
I do realise that rain shorts as a word is a bit of paradox, but if you ride in a modular setup like me, hear me out. My Sidi Crossfire 2 MX boots go high, up to the knee and are somewhat waterproof. To be honest, after a couple hundred hours of use they do tend to spring a leak on the inside and outside of the ball of the foot, but at that location the rain pants offer no protection anyway. Furthermore, the boots tend to be wet due to profuse sweating, water crossings and rain anyway, so IMHO it’s somewhat pointless trying to protect yourself from the knee down from rain anyhow. So I might as well lose the trouser legs from the knee down.
Cutting the trouser leg offers minimal weight and volume loss to the luggage, but it has other advantages. First of all shorts are much easier to put on while wearing MX boots. Secondly, shorts do not sag when wet as they do not catch on to all the buckles and hardware on the boots which continuously drag the rain pants down, aided with the increasing mass due to being soaked in water. And finally, with shorts your won’t look like a little boy that mummy reluctantly let out to play in the puddles, but only in rain pants, with only the tips of the boots peaking out under the awful trouser legs. At least with the shorts you can portray an image of questionable sanity and a mild threat of violence, as opposed to a moping toddler.
As no reputable manufacturer of riding gear sports the rain shorts in their portfolio, I had no other options, but to make them myself. The process was extremely complex, but with great foresight I documented it extensively. So without further ado, I present to you the Detailed Instructions for manufacturing your very own pair of the Ultralight Hobo Rain Shorts. You’re welcome!
Going all in
Since the idea of butchering my Klim Forecast pants, on a whim seemed rather hasty, I decided to get a pair of Quechua hiking rain pants from Decathlon. It was a whopping investment of 12,99€ and in my excitement I accidentally had bought a pair of women’s pants. To be completely honest, it was my much better half who sourced the pants for me, so it could be that she was just careless. Another option is that it was an intentional attempt to mess with my head, which pretty much fits the pattern of her never failing to bring up Brokeback Mountain when I leave on an expedition with a mate.
Anyhow, after butchering the ladies pants, I added an elastic loop into the waist band to hold the rolled up pants nice and tidy for storage. They tipped the scales at 135 g (4.8 oz), resulting in a whopping 447 g (1 lb) weight reduction from the Klim Forecast pants. The size is also incredibly compact and the rolled up package fits neatly into the palm of my hand.
I’m about to leave for an expedition for a month and a half in the Caucasus Mountains next week, and the rain shorts will get their first proper test run there. I’m going all in of course, and not taking the Forecast pants. We’ll see how it goes.
Anyhow, let me know what you think. Am I alone with this?