I don’t like soggy legs.
You may have already read my review of Ridgeline’s Monsoon II Jacket.
While I still plan on putting a waterproofing treatment on my Cactus WK Trade Supertrousers, and I already had a pair of Stalker Pants from Ridgeline, I thought it would also be a good idea to get some proper waterproof pants. I have signed up for the NZ Deerstalkers HUNTS course, so could be spending some time in the wet, before the NZ summer gets properly underway.
I really like the Moonsoon Jacket, it has a few issues, which I believe Ridgeline are already in the process of fixing, so I thought I would check out the matching pants. Ridgeline do a Roar Pant – but I was a little concerned that they would be a bit of a sweatbox, and it seems Ridgeline agree, as the Roar Pant is now being phased out, to be replaced by a couple of newer, lighter and more breathable pants. The Torrent Pant, I guess, can be considered the first of those.
The Basics – what is it made of?
The Ridgeline Torrent II Pant is a 100% Windproof Soft Touch Silent Shell that is highly breathable.
Yes. That’s straight from the promo material. Essentially, Ridgeline use a material called QuietTex. I have already mentioned my little issue with your industry standard GoreTex – it makes you sound like a packet of crisps. QuietTex is a combination of a Soft Shell style outer later, a waterproof but breathable mid layer, and a mesh liner. This produces a product that is waterproof, breathable, but still remains quiet enough for stalking, or even managing to walk without creating a constant ‘swish-swish-swish’ sound that normally accompanies people in hard-shells.
Brand new, and wearing them for the first time, they do make a bit of sound, but no more than any new pair of pants. One or two washes to soften up the material just a touch, and you won’t have any issues.
Their Monsoon Jacket was heavy enough – I can only imagine how hot the Roar Jacket would be – so I was a little relieved to find the Torrent was a bit lighter – material wise – than my existing jacket. More than likely, instead of shorts and gaiters, I will end up wearing just these pants – and I don’t want to end up getting wet from the inside.
Yes, it’s a bit more toasty than the Kiwi standard, a pair of shorts and some thermals. I am sure that after a good run, it’s going to be warm – about as much as wearing any other pair of trousers would be. However, what it won’t be, is the leg sauna that I got the last time I wore my existing, non-breathable over trousers. Peeling off a wet (internally) pair of plastic pants is not a nice thing.
The Ridgeline Torrent II Pant has an elasticated waist – at first I thought it would be too tight – however, it’s not constrictive, so I would be happy to wear it without a belt, just using the draw tightener on the front. However, if you want or need a belt (maybe to hang stuff on) – it does have belt loops to help keep things in place. It’s certainly not going to be a necessity. Overall, these are a comfortable pair of trousers. Non-binding, so nice and easy to crouch, prone and stretch in.
Storage – how much stuff can I carry in it?
These pants have 3 pockets – 2 outside pockets with waterproof zips, and one internal stash pocket.
I love pockets with zips when I’m out in the bush. I always have my E.D.C. of a small torch, knife and lighter on me, and when heading out, I will often also put a wound dressing in the other pocket, separate from my IFAK or party first aid kit. Having a zip on it means I know nothing is going to fall out of my pockets when I find myself bush bashing, lying down (prone), hanging upside down, or many of the other positions I have found myself in the bush.
The internal stash pocket is going to be ideal for carrying small, soft items mainly because it’s right against your pelvis – so you don’t really want anything with an edge on it.
I am thinking a beanie, or pair of gloves – next to the body will keep them warm, so you don’t have to waste any body-heat warming them up when you put them on.
Using it as an overpant – do I need to take my boots off?
Well, no. No you won’t. The Torrent Pant has a 1/3 length boot zip on both sides, as well as 3 dome snap ‘diameters’ so that you can get the trouser nice and snug around your boot. The legs have a zipper covered in a Velcro ‘baffle’ – so you aren’t going to be getting anything caught up in them. There is certainly enough space to get the pants over my Meindls, though, like anything with a mesh lining, you will likely get the mesh a little caught up on the boot at some point. No major, just do be in a hurry to pull these things off.
Talking of the mesh –
Am I going to sweat to death in it?
No, not really. Like I have already mentioned, these are no more sweaty than a pair of jeans. The breathable membrane does work, and, word has it that Ridgeline are already looking to upgrade the material to an even more breathable material shortly. You will sweat a bit if you find yourself running around after things in the bush. That’s to be expected. However, you won’t be standing in a pool of your own sweat afterwards.
But does it leak?
The material is said to be 100% waterproof. To me, that means it will stop the rain getting through for a long time, but like any other waterproof product, will eventually wet out, and need to be retreated. This is the same for a $600 Gore-Tex Pro Jacket, or any other breathable fabric.
Well. They certainly got tested.
I got myself a new motorbike recently and needed to ride it back up from Palmerston North. In the rain. Through the Desert Road. Gale force winds. Rain. Lots of it. No leakage. None. Happy man. I got a little rain down the back of them – but that was more the case of the jacket not covering the gap enough.
Kicking around the Waitakeres baiting possum traps over a drizzly weekend also left me dry. So yes. They work!