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Montane eVent Spectra Pant

Montane event spectra pant

I ordered a new pair of Montane eVent Spectra hard shell pants this week for winter hiking and mountaineering. They looked really great online, with full waterproof side zips and removable suspenders. Plus I got them at a 30% discount.

When they arrived, I was in love. They fit really well and were made with highly breathable eVent, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Breathability is especially important in winter when you want to keep your base layers as dry as possible to avoid getting chilled.

Legs of Montane event Spectra Pant

The list of features went on: reinforced panels on the knees and seat, an elastic draw cord waist, a waterproof zippered fly, a high crotch for ease of climbing, reinforced calf panels to prevent crampon punctures, and adjustable volume zip sleeves at the ankles to fit mountaineering or ski boots.

Montane event Spectra Waistband

Unfortunately, they have one acute design flaw which I only uncovered climbing Mt Tom this weekend. The side waistband snaps above the full length zips don’t stay snapped when the zips are pulled down. Without a proper waistband circuit, the front of the pants flop open.

It’s hard to believe that this snap mechanism got through Montane’s design and testing process. If they’d only used a velcro fastener above the zipper or made the zip 7/8 long and kept the waist band intact, these would be awesome pants. I thought about making this alteration myself, but I’m too disappointed to go ahead with it. I’m sending these back for a refund and I’ll be sticking with my existing Marmot Full Zip Precip pants for another winter. They cost 1/4 the price, but Marmot got the waistband design right.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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4 comments

  1. Hi,

    Jake from Montane here.

    We are really sorry about this problem.

    We think you may have been very unlucky with a defective press-stud. Fixing in this way is quite standard, and we have had no returns because of this before.

    The item can be easily repaired.

    In future we are moving to metal press-studs which may help eliminate this possibility.

    Please let me know if I can help further at [email protected]

    Regards

    Jake

  2. Jake – I appreciate the fast response. I was very surprised by this issue because I have so many friends in the UK and Europe who rave about Montane gear. I'm going to return these for now, since it's easier – me being in the US and you in the UK, but I'll be interested in trying them out again when the metal press-stud version comes out. They are rockin pants in all other respects.

  3. I see very very little Montane stuff here, but I ordered a Featherlite Windshirt after hearing lots of good reviews at backpackinglight.com. It's now one of my most frequently used pieces of hiking clothing. Great stuff! I haven't used it in the winter yet, but I barely ever took it off for the entire month on the New England Trail.

    How was the breathability compared to your Precip pants? Noticeable?

  4. I'm not going to hold this experience against Montane. I also have heard awesome things about the Featherlite and plan on buying it for my hike across Scotland in May. As for the breathability of the pants – it was really hard to tell. I had them half zipped down most of the time, when the press-snaps were working.

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