Medalist Silvermax Packable Rain Pants
By Ed Turner
I purchased my Medalist Silvermax Rain Panst for my 2010 trip to Alaska for a spring bear hunt. I'd heard more times than I care to mention that good rain gear is a must for this time of year in Alaska. I'd already purchased a pair of Redhead water resistant BDU pants for the trip, when I saw these pants at a huge discount at Cabelas.
I hemmed and hawed for perhaps a day before deciding the quoted price for my size (LG/Reg), being about $80 off typical retail price, was worth taking a chance. I did some research and found that, indeed, they normally sold for a much higher price and ordered them on the spot. Turned out to be an excellent choice.
These pants are waterproof, quiet and have Silvermax scent protection built in. (Not an overly important feature for me.) They are not what I'd call lightweight pants, but were touted as non-insulated, packable, waterproof pants. They fit fine, with room available for Ed to grow, or to be layered over some lighter wear or heavy fleece underwear. They have a double snap waist, which is also partially elastic and actually were so good fitting a belt (plenty of loops supplied) would be optional.
Leg zippers are nearly to the knee for putting on over any type of footwear and all the pockets and storm flaps had a very cool feature, rather than noisy velcro or inconvenient button closures. All closures were done with magnets! Very efficient, quiet and practical for hunting wear. The pant legs were not overly baggy, so stuffing them inside of my LaCrosse boot uppers worked just fine and kept me extra dry from the knees down.
I had originally left these pants back at the lodge when we repositioned to a spike camp for three nights. However, when I decided to spend five additional nights at the remote spike camp, I decided I might end up needing them, and is that ever an understatement. The assistant guide who came out to the spike camp, so I wouldn't be alone when my partner departed after five days, was nice enough to bring a few items out for me, these pants among them.
Hunting in the rain on a day trip around home or from a camp with modern conveniences might be inconvenient or uncomfortable for a few hours, but hunting in three days of constant rain, drizzle and fog in the Alaskan bush with temperatures ranging from the low 40's to the high 50's could be absolutely disastrous, as you have no way to dry or replace what clothing you have. These Medalist pants were just the ticket for such miserable weather and by wearing them for three straight days, allowed me to remain right where I desired to be, at the spike camp rather than the lodge, which was two hours away by ATV.
These pants, worn in conjunction with my LaCrosse Alpha Light 5mm boots, kept my bottom half both warm and dry in constantly wet conditions. For the record, my Bushnell rain jacket, previously reviewed in these pages, kept my upper half warm and dry. All walking, sitting, eating, glassing, etc. (everything but sleeping) was done in these pants. Come to think of it, I believe I even rolled into my sleeping bag one cold evening with them still on and slept both warm and well!
I won't kid you and say I normally make a point of buying top of the line $150. pants for hunting, but the hugely discounted price of $70 did allow them to move to my house and then travel with me to Alaska. You best not try to pry them away from me, either! I already have plans for them in any type of wet weather, cool fall and winter mornings (yes, they are that quiet and comfy) and on really cold mornings they may well find their way into my pack as a last warm layer put on after arriving at a stand site (remember those large leg openings).
Excellent choice for waterproof pants here and if I ever go on a cold weather hunt that includes a spike camp, the waterproof and insulated model might just get purchased at full price, now that I know the fine quality of these things! Visit https://www.medalist.com/store/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/201
Copyright 2010 by Ed Turner. All rights reserved.