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Montane Minimus Rain Pants Review

Montane Minimus Rain Pants Review

Besides the fact that they’re very lightweight, the most important thing you have to know about Montane’s Minimus Rain Pants is that they’re not baggy. They have extra velcro tabs along the base of the legs that you can cinch down to make the legs form-fitting so they don’t flop when you’re hiking or running.

I’ve been hiking with this pair of Minimus Rain pants for six years now and except for a small hole on the bum (patched with Tenacious Tape), they’ve held up remarkably well, even on bushwhacks. I surmise this is a because they are more formfitting than many of the so-called waterproof/breathable rain pants I’ve worn in the past, which have been annoyingly baggy and tear when they catch on rocks and branches

Made with Pertex, the Montane Minimus Pant is remarkable lightweight weighing only 5.7 ounces in a size XL men’s, which gets a big vote in my book because I always carry a pair in my pack, day hikes and backpacking trips included. However, while many in ultralight backpacking circles hail Pertex Shield Lite as some wonder waterproof/breathable fabric, the reality is that I sweat when I wear these pants in the rain, and so does everyone else (and all rain pants).

The fact is, I mainly wear them for warmth retention in rain (see When do you put on your ran pants) rather than to keep me dry, since rain gear has never kept me dry when I’ve hiked in the pouring rain. As far as I’m concerned, the value of Pertex shells is that they’re very lightweight, which I believe is important since they’re a fixed weight in my pack that never varies between hikes.

The cut of Montane's Minimus Pants is slim, especially in the legs.
The cut of Montane’s Minimus Pants is slim, especially in the legs. And yes, I have lost a bit of weight this year. Lots of hiking I guess.

Fitwise, be aware that Montane clothing runs very small and you’ll need to size up a full size when you buy it. For example, if you normally wear a large anything, you’ll want to bump up to an extra-large in Montane. That’s a head scratcher, I know, and Montane claims they’re trying to fix their sizing issues.

A few technical details about these pants:

  • Elastic waist with draw strong waist adjustment (good when the draw string pulls out)
  • Pertex Shield Lite has a MVTR of 7000g/m(squared)/24hrs and 10,000mm hydrostatic head
  • Velcro calf tabs (shown above)
  • Taped seams (interior)
  • Elastic leg hems
  • Articulated knees
  • YKK Calf zippers – very convenient for on/off when wearing trail runners
  • Reflective print on legs – good for nighttime running

Everyone I’ve run into wearing Montane’s Minimus Pants adores them, and that includes me. Good kit.

Disclosure: Montane provided Philip Werner with a sample pair of Minimus Pants for this review. 

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7 comments

  1. I have these, and love them. Finally a pair of hiking pants that don’t look like baggy clown pants. I agree about the water-resistance–if it’s raining, you are gonna get wet no matter what. These guys are so light and dry out super fast which is awesome. They are really comfortable to not only lounge around in camp, but also to hike in due to their athletic cut. Good stuff!

  2. Ditto to what Phillip and MNCritic said above. I’ve tried lots of brands and styles, and quit searching when I bought these a few years ago. I have also been known to wear them over my hiking pants in my tent on backpacking trips to keep my sleeping system clean and keep me a bit warmer.

  3. Sounds great, but I really like my full length zippers on the legs of my Precips…

  4. Thanks for the great review! Just back from Offa’s Dyke Path hike across Wales – need new rain pants and interested in Montane. A few questions since no stores in the area carry this UK brand, and I need to order sight unseen.:
    1) Will I likely be able to get these on/off over my Merrell Moab 2 Mid Hiking sneakers (size 10.5) or would I be better off with the Atomic for that?
    2)You mentioned that you size up to a XL, but not sure your size. I’m typically size 33″ or 34″ waist. Montane lists that as a L. Would you recommend XL for that waist size?
    3)Do you have a preference b/w Minimus and Atomic? If so, why?
    Really appreciate your insights!

    • 1) Yes. Doesn’t matter. Both have the same leg zippers and sizing.
      2) I have a 37″ waist. A large will probably fit you.
      3) Depends really if you like side zips, what you wear underneath, and how hot you run. I don’t actually have a preference.

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