In Andrew Skurka’s recent excellent review of core clothing systems, he looked over insulated (puffy) jackets and pants.
One of the items he mentioned is the M65 field liner pants as an excellent bargain.
I’ve been using these pants for years and been suggesting them for a while too. At less than $20 shipped from such places as Amazon or on eBay they are indeed quite the bargain.
I thought I’d add a little more info about one of my favorite pieces of budget gear.
First, I’ll say right away that they are not quite as good as similar synthetic pants and not as good or light as higher-end down pants. But the price to performance ratio is incredible.
I’ve had my pair for about seven or eight years now, and they are just starting to show some wear and tear. Ball it up, stuff it, get a stray spark from a campfire…for about $20 a pair, why not?
You’ll want to get the long size if these pants are purchased. These pants are sized for combat boots, and the regular length version only goes down to the shin. The long version is sized better for traditional backcountry footwear.
With a little sewing, the cuffs can be given shock cords so they aren’t loose, and something similar can be done for the waist.
As for the weight? About 10 to 11 oz. for a men’s medium long. Note that different manufacturers make these pants so there may be variation in the shell material and some even have such features as buttons on the sides of the legs. In other words, a one to two-ounce difference may be encountered between pants. As a comparison, these medium-sized downWestern Mountaineering pants are about 7 oz; the synthetic Montbell Thermwrap pants are about 9oz. Both of these pants have correspondingly higher prices, too.
I wear these pants for winter trips, shoulder-season backpacking, and any trips where I have more social/camp time.
Inexpensive, practical, durable, and not all that heavy. Excellent!
How small would they pack down?
Never measured tbh. But stuff in both our winter ULA Circuit packs well enough.