Environmentally Friendly Lightweight Waterproof Trousers

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 sabostar 08 May 2023

My goretex paclites are about to be donated to a family member. They aren't the most waterproof, but being super light and packable they are great for short walks or for travelling light with a little protection - they are also great value.

I'd like to replace with them a similar product but using a more environmentally friendly material. Can anyone recommend a product, or perhaps there is a thread already on here about this?

I've considered Paramo but they look bulky and will be too baggy for my stick like pins.

In reply to sabostar:

Paramo is too warm to be worn as overtrousers anyway.

I've got some alpkit parallax which are reasonably priced, lightweight, compact and very comfortable to wear. Only problem is that after a few years of use they're not that waterproof anymore. I've got no idea how they stack up in terms of green credentials - I'd imagine that the greenest option is probably the toughest, heaviest duty pair you can find since they'd last longest. Happy to be told I'm wrong.

 Andypeak 08 May 2023
In reply to sabostar:

In terms of environmentally friendly something heavier that will last is probably your best option. Anything light won't remain waterproof for that long in my experience.

If you were interested in Paramo you might want to know that they have changed the cut massively and they are no longer baggy. They were my go to winter trousers but I physically can't get my tree trunk legs in them anymore. 

 Qwertilot 08 May 2023
In reply to pancakeandchips:

I'd at least want to see the numbers to be sure of that last. Obviously (?) the really light ones for runners won't be ideal but beyond that I don't know. The heaviest/most feature rich ones will have a lot of material of all sorts in them, and might not be proportionally more durable.

Rab seem to do some in a recycled /recyclable membrane - I'm sure that other people do too.

I suspect your best option might often be taking as much wear as possible on your walking trousers - generally hugely durable!

In reply to sabostar:

I don't think anything polymer based is going to tick too many eco friendly boxes. Possibly a proofed or waxed cotton (maybe gaberdine?) but you will sacrifice breathability or waterproofing.

For what it's worth, my gore paclite trousers have outlasted most of my other kit of a similar age so in terms of lifespan, they are doing okay. As you've forwarded yours on, in terms of a life cycle assessment, they are probably pretty "green"

 Neil Morrison 09 May 2023
In reply to pancakeandchips:is it that they actually cease to be waterproof or that the dwr coating wears out/off and the fabric “wets” out? If the latter nixwax do a great cleaner and coating combo that will redo the dwr coating and extend the life.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

Alpkit are committed to trying to be sustainable as part of their B corp stuff. They will wash and reproof you trousers for you if you want to avoid the faff of the nikwax wash/reproof. DIY will be (a lot) cheaper though. 

In reply to Swig:

I've reproofed them several times. I think the issue is that they're a two-layer material - an outer shell with dwr and then some sort of teflon membrane backer glued to the inside. If you wear them a lot you wear holes in the membrane which isn't protected from rubbing on your trousers.

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