Cold weather pants

Old Sep 18th, 2010, 05:03 AM
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Cold weather pants

I need some pants to wear in cold weather, say from 25 degrees to 40 degrees. I am under the impression that cotton is bad for warmth and wool is good, so that negates jeans (which I don't like to wear anyway.) But I suppose that also negates corduroys. Where can I find wool pants that are a bit durable? All the wool pants I have seen are full-on dress pants. Or, do you Fodorites have any other suggestions?

Thank you.


PS - I should specify...Ladies' pants!
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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I live in southern California now, but I grew up in the Midwest. One of the best ways to fight the cold is to wear thermal underwear (I prefer the smooth kind, not ribbed). They're very lightweight, and make a big difference when you are fighting the elements. You can wear them under any kind of pants, including jeans, and you will be much warmer.

I have only bought the cotton ones, so can't comment on the effectiveness of other fabrics such as silk or wool (I'm allergic to wool unless it's lined--can't be directly against my skin).

Lots of places sell them, including JC Penney, Target, REI, Lands End, just to name a few. You can also get them on Amazon.

Here's an example from Jockey, with 14 user reviews:

If thermals aren't your thing, you might try fleece pants. Most look like jogging pants, but one of the dark-colored ones may work. See below for examples:

For pants with durability, you might check out a company that sells clothing for outdoor sports like REI or The North Face:
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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silk long underwear is amazing. It is very thin, quite warm -- and you can wear it under any of the pants you already own.
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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(25 to 45F = -3 to +7C)

What type of temperatures are you used to? I'm from Canada and anything above -5C is jeans weather for me but different people have different tolerances.

Silk is great but there's also cheaper synthetic fabrics and there's also wool available. I have a pair of light weight Merino wool long underwear that work fabulously. The issue with cotton is that it loses its heat retention capability if it gets wet. It also takes a long time to dry. Wool will keep you warm even if wet. Silk and synthetics will keep you warmer than cotton when wet, but their great advantage is how quickly they dry and they wick the moisture away from your skin.

Note that the "wet" normally comes from prespiration, but you might fall in a creek or get rained on. So, the type of activities you are planning becomes a consideration. If you're not going to be moving strenuously enough to break a sweat, cotton/jeans may be fine with or without another layer underneath.

Best place IMO to find these types of items is outdoor outfitter type stores.
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for everyone's advice. I just don't feel comfortable in jeans--they're rough, take forever to dry, blah blah.

I... clearing throat...LIVE on the east coast where winter weather is cold. I have a very lovely and very long wool winter coat. It's length keeps my legs warm, but it's not easy to maneuver in if I am running around town. Plus, it's 15 years old an needs to be replaced and I can't find a similar style. Also, many times my chest is TOO warm in the coat.

In short, it is time for me to replace my winter casual wardrobe and I was looking for an alternative to cotton-based pants.
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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I can't wear wool (allergic) and don't consider those temperatures quite low enough to need long underwear. I also don't like jeans and normally wear a soft fabric pants in winter like a heavy cotton knit or velour fabric.

That said for wool pants, have you checked online resources like Land's End, LL Bean, and the Vermont Country Store websites?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Look for long underwear called Cuddl Duds (Walmart and Target have their version, all the department stores have a version). They come in different weights, are smooth and thin so can be worn under anything. I have some that I call "office weight". They're great for a drafty office where I'm chilly in slacks. Layer these under your clothes and that will help a lot. They don't add bulk like traditional thermals tend to.

You said that you don't like jeans, and the no cotton thing negates courduroy. If you're comfy in cords, wear cords! I wear jeans all winter long in the stupid-cold Iowa winter (often 0 might be the high temp) and they're fine so I'm not really sure where the no cotton thing comes from. If you play in snow and get wet, then they're cold but don't get really wet and cotton is fine.

For 25-40's, I simply layer Cuddl Duds under slacks (for work and looking nice), or layer tights under slacks (or both when we work in offices with no/bad heaters). When not working, I just wear jeans and add tights or Cuddl Duds if I'm going to be outside for many hours.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 04:21 PM
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The trouble with long underwear, silk or otherwise, is - what do you do when you start to melt in heated places?

I have found a better solution - the wool-lined “Fire Hose” work pants from Not overly sticky warm, not skin-clinging, indestructible. Currently on special for $29.99 - a steal! Men's Wool-lined Fire Hose Work Pants Item 26503 ($59.50) $29.99

The many pockets on the Fire Hose pants are great, too, for travelling, including a hidden inside pocket that takes a passport for when you don't expect to have to show it.

If you like jeans but find them too thin / too cold, get the fleece-lined ones, warm and cozy. "No need for long undies with Fleece-lined Jeans" item#86127

This company also make a good fleece-lined product, warm but not cloyingly so: = Original 874 Flannel Lined Work Pants $34.99 item#2874

When out with any of the above, I carry a thin pair of ski (over-)pants rolled up with me for when I really need arctic or wet protection - they slip/zip on over the fleece-lined pants and come off easily, but I rarely need them in Europe.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 04:24 PM
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Oops - sorry E-M - only just saw your afterthought P.S - I'm talking men's pants. Try those websites, though, who knows?
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Old Oct 11th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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When you say pants, I assume you mean trousers? (Pants are underwear in the UK.)

I just pack regular trousers and wear silk long johns or tights underneath of it's supercold. But I'm Canadian, and I don't get cold that often.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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You might check out some of the high-tech sports pants, like those made by SportHill.
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