I’ve been hiking and backpacking in RailRider’s pants and shirts since 2008 because they’re comfortable, synthetic so they dry quickly, and they’re treated with Insect Shield which helps protects me from Lyme Disease. Insect Shield is a commercial treatment that uses Permethrin, an insecticide that kills ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects that have the misfortune of landing on my RailRider’s clothing. I hardly every put DEET on myself anymore; I simply wear long sleeve shorts and pants whenever I hike and just change from thinner to heavier weight pants and shirts in autumn or lighter weight ones in the spring.
When the weather gets cooler I switch from the RailRider’s Eco-mesh hiking pants I normally wear in spring and summer to RailRiders Weatherpants or Winter Weatherpants, which are considerably warmer and heavier weight. All of RailRider’s Weatherpants are reinforced in the knees and seat, so they can withstand serious abuse.
RailRiders retired their old Weatherpants design this year, removing the velcro cuffs at the ankles in favor of a boot cut, adding more pockets to the pants, and offering them with or without Insect Shield. I’ve been using the new version, renamed Bushwhacker Weatherpants, for shoulder season bushwhacking (off-trail hiking) during the past two months, an activity that normally shreds or holes most of the clothing I wear on my hikes.
Like their predecessor, the Bushwhacker Weatherpants are bomber tough with a double layer of fabric cover the knees, shins, back of the ankles and seat of the pants and gusseted crotch for comfort. The double layer of fabric helps block the wind on cold days, but also make the pants uncomfortably warm in anything above 40 degrees. Much warmer than that and you’ll start sweating if you’re on a vigorous hike.
I have never managed to rip or destroy a pair of RailRiders Weatherpants, which is nothing short of a miracle given my track record. If you’re looking for a pair of shoulder season hiking pants that will likely outlive you, give RailRiders Bushwhacker Weather pants a try.
Disclosure: Philip Werner received a sample pair of Bushwhacker Weatherpants for this review.
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