I recently climbed Mt Rainier via the Disappointment Cleaver with a pair of REI Taku softshell pants and I have to say they absolutely rocked. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about only taking softshell pants on Rainier. The mountain is known for strong winds and fierce weather after all and this was my first trip with this particular pair of softshell pants.
[singlepic=41,320,240,,left]The first day on Rainier is a long slog up to Camp Muir. If you look at some of the pictures in my trip report the weather was absolutely miserable. It was a combination of rain, sleet and mist with a steady wind that was less than pleasant. I was seriously impressed with the performance of the Taku pants. I stayed dry and comfortable and best of all the wind didn’t penetrate the pants.
My climbing partner that day was wearing a pair of Outdoor Research Furio pants over a pair of Patagonia Mixmasters and he was soaked from the outside in and the inside out. The hardshell soaked through as did his ‘Pata-gucci’ pants while my basic REI pants rocked my world.
The clutch aspect of these pants is that they are a combination of hardshell and softshell. The front of the thighs and the back of the calves are softshell which is great for breathing but the seat and the shins/knees are a hardshell material. This combination works out perfectly because the hardshell is only where you need it and the rest of the pant can breath. They also have a thigh vent which is a feature I haven’t seen on any other softshell.
I have to say that these pants are among my all time best buys and I would highly recommend them.
For full disclosure I was wearing a capiline baselayer underneath the REI Taku pants which definately helped these pants rock out. Also, check out my full Rainier gear list if you want to see everything I brought.