8 Dec 2012

Rain Shorts

I have never been one for rain paints.

I hate hiking with fabric over my knees and around my legs. I can never understand why Americans hike in long trousers. We do a lot more bush bashing in NZ and I hardly ever see a Kiwi in longs. Besides, longs in rain are a real hassle. I wear an older version of Macpac Cross Terrain shorts - thicker fabric and find they don't "sag" when wet, they also dry fast.

However, as I only have one pair of undies (wearing) I don't like to get them too wet whilst hiking (chafe and uncomfort around the family jewels). My underwear are Icebreaker Merinos and work well in that department - no stink, but they take longer to dry.

So if I am starting out the day in rain, I revert to my cuben rain shorts over my undies. Or if it turn nasty during the day I can slip them over my shorts - usually only if driving rain on the tops.

I asked Joe Valesko at Zpacks to customise their cuben longs for me into shorts. Here are a couple of pictures. I also took a shot to show the drawstring close and the use of cuben tape to waterproof seam.



  1. These are so cool! This is one American that wouldn't be caught dead hiking in pants if I can help it. My main hiking shorts are a pair of Brooks quick dry running shorts myself. I never thought about trying rain shorts though!

  2. I'd really try this method if you have trouble drying shorts and undies at the end of a wet day, not to mention getting the "family jewels" damp. Talk to Joe at Zpacks.
    I have tried cutting down normal rain trousers but overall weight saving is not significant. Cuben fiber technology makes this option a reality

  3. It’s a very interesting concept Robin. I’m not sure i would like to do a UK winter in a pair of shorts though. You have given me some ideas for waterproof shorts for spring and summer use all the same. Thanks

  4. I'm looking at waterproof shorts for a soon trip over tops in June in new Zealand. I've been pondering on cutting down some full length, then I got to thinking whether just a lightweight wrap (as its above knee only) with Velcro down one side might not do the job just as well

  5. I cut down some marmot precips for something similar - but kinda regreted in galeforce rain and sleet on the tararua tops - but thats kind of extreme weather :>

    1. I no longer use these - I now use an extra long Zpacks Challenger raincoat with double zip. Zpack seem to have gone back to shorter length model but I am sure they could custom.


Hey, thanks for you contribution - I monitor my blog weekly. I will reply with comments, ideas and suggestions ASAP - In the meantime, remember, hiking is an outdoors experience to enjoy, not an army boot camp training exercise!!