Montbell Convertible Rainpants

Shortly before my departure on my thru hike I decided I needed to cut some more weight from my pack. This is always a great idea in my mind. I had been using a pair of ill-fitting convertible pants as backpack filler when I decided enough was enough. I also lacked any lower body rainwear.

When it comes to sleeping or hiking I’m a nuclear reactor. I generate a ton of body heat so I typically end up hiking in a t shirt and a pair of running shorts almost year round. I also try to make sure everything in my pack has multiple uses. Enter the Montbell Convertible Rain Pants.

Circumstance of the review

These made it with me from Springer to Katahdin on my 2016 thru hike.  I’ve put several hundred miles on these as shorts. They help to keep the cold wind and rain off of me without making me overheat to the point of sweating.  I also wore them in town while doing my laundry.  During my thru hike I wore them at some point nearly every single day.  They seriously got a ton of use!  When not in use they added minimal weight to my pack.


opposed zippers convert pants to shorts

smart sewing technology for weight savings

fully taped seams

elasticized waist with draw cord

19.3″ knee length zippers

stuff sack included


This concept rain pant is lightweight, packable, versatile wet weather protection. The Convertible Rain Pants are designed with a semi-athletic cut and zip off legs to make personalized layering systems more easily achievable. With this item Montbell offers hikers, backpackers, fast packers, and trail runners unique flexibility when dealing with variable temperatures and precipitation. Simple and streamlined we have focused on a few essential features in an effort to maximize comfort and minimize garment weight.


6.1 oz.


3-layer DRY-TEC™ Technology
15-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon

Compressed size

2.6″ x 2.6″ x 4.9″


No pockets seem to be the only con I found.  This is to be expected with a minimalist approach to gear.


You don’t have to take your trail runners off to convert these pants to shorts.  This is a huge pro!  I was also able to remove the shorts after the rain stopped without removing my shoes.  Rain shorts will help to keep you from overheating while hiking in the rain.  Overheating lead to sweating and being a wet hiker anyway.  The zippers have been used hundreds of times without fail.


The price point of $100 makes these a great value for what you are actually getting.



They quickly became one of my most used items in my thru hike gear list.  If the point is to stay dry while hiking through the rain these convertable pants are the answer to the problem.  Shorts allow you to have protection and ventilation.  But with the added lower portion they also keep you dry while at camp and warm during colder windy days.  I can’t speak their praises enough.  They have earned themselves a permanent spot on my gear list.


Disclosure: this product was donated for the purpose of review.  Photos and description courtesy of

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?