Hiking in the rain is no fun unless you have appropriate equipment such as a waterproof jacket, waterproof boots and also waterproof pants. Waterproof equipment should not only keep you dry but also offer great freedom of movement and breathability. For the last five months I have been on my “Hiking Iceland” tour. Now in the fall the weather has gotten really bad – it has been raining almost every day. Therefore I decided that it was time to buy a pair of high-quality rain pants. I was particularly looking for a lightweight product that I can also wear over a pair of jeans or put in a laptop bag when I go to work. I was of course also expecting superb rain protection on my hiking trips. After a thorough research I decided to buy the Montane Atomic pants. They fascinated me with their simplicity, adjustment options and by being extremely light.
The product is suitable for:
- Everyday use
The Montane Atomic pants are made of the Pertex Shield fabric which is known for being light, waterproof and at the same time very breathable. The fabric has a hydrostatic head of 10.000 mm. The hydrostatic head is measured by putting a fabric over the bottom end of the universal tube and pouring the water in the tube – 10.000 mm means that the column of water was 10 meters tall before the fabric leaked. 10.000 mm hydrostatic head offers superb protection – as a comparison I can mention that for example high-quality tents “just” have a hydrostatic head of 3000 to 6000 mm – and yet they offer a great protection in heavy rain.
The breathability of the fabric is rated at 7000g/m2/24h. The breathability is measured by the MVTR (moisture vapor transmission rate). It tells us how many grams of water vapor can permeate through the fabric (from the inside layer to the outside layer) in grams per square meter per day. 7000 g per square meter per day is indeed a good result for waterproof clothing.
The fabric is otherwise extremely pleasant to the touch. The outer layer is reinforced with interwoven threads at regular intervals, thus making it resistant to tearing and ripping. The inner layer is very smooth to prevent any abrasion of clothing worn under the waterproof pants. All seams are glued thus assuring that the pants are completely waterproof.
Comfort, fit and functionality
These waterproof over pants are actually so light that you don’t even notice that you are wearing them. They fit perfectly over casual hiking pants and even over a pair of jeans. The great fit is ensured with an elastic waist which is additionally equipped with a convenient drawcord. The drawcord has a locking mechanism on the cord adjuster as there is a button which can be locked, so the drawcord can’t be loosened, but only tightened further – until you unlock the adjuster again. This mechanism is very simple, but it comes in handy while on the move. Around the calves area there are Velcro adjustment straps which allow you to reduce the volume of the pants for minimizing wind resistance and abrasion. The pants can also be easily adjusted to fit tight against your footwear as they are equipped with snap fasteners. With them you can set three different sizes of the leg opening. Additionally the pants have ¼ side zips which allow you to easily put them on without taking off the footwear first. The high-quality YKK zips are used for the durability.
Washing and drying
The pants are machine washable at 40 °C. As they don’t absorb much water, they dry extremely fast.
I’m regularly using the Montane Atomic pants for hiking as well as for everyday activities. The pants offer superb weather protection and comfort. What I like most about these pants is that they are extremely light, completely waterproof and that they don’t take too much space in a backpack or laptop bag. The only thing that bothers me is that they don’t have any pockets. The best thing would in fact be if the pants were equipped with side zips in the hand pockets area. This would allow you to reach the side pockets of the pants that you are wearing under. However, I think that the Montane Atomic pants are one of the best waterproof pants currently available and therefore I would recommend them to everybody who is looking for comfortable and reliable waterproof pants for hiking as well as for everyday activities.
I field tested this product. The rating shows its overall performance.About Rating
- Rain protection
- Wind protection
- No pockets
Where to buy?
Also available at:
Loved the review on the Atomic pants as i have just ordered some after receiving a pair of Minimus pants in M regular too tight and far too short.I ordered the Atomic L regular as long does not seem to be an option and hope they will at least sit on the top of my favourite Meindl Kapstat boots.
They are good pants. I still wear them and it’s been 5 years since I purchased them. A bit less breathable than the Minimus but more durable.