I think rain pants are the least-used item in my pack. I still remember my first rain pants; a pair of rubber overalls that probably weighed in at a few pounds. I've had many pairs of rain pants since then. The last pair I purchased was a pair of o2 rainpants, weighing in at 126 grams (4.4 oz). That's pretty damn light, but I still don't feel good about carrying around an extra 1/4 pound of rain pants that I've only ever worn twice. So I recently ordered some cuben fiber and got to work.

The cuben fiber I'm working with is CT0.6K.08 and weighs 15g/sq. meter (0.5 oz). I initially bought it with the purpose of making stuff sacks, and had the idea for rain pants along the way. I dissected a pair of old EMS goretex rain pants that had long seen their glory days. I then laid the parts out on thick plastic and made a mock pair to try on. They fit well, so I was able to use the mock-up parts as a pattern.

I'm using cuben tape for all the seams, and some leftover elastic cord from my tent poles for the waist. The finished rain paints weigh in at a whopping 35.5 grams (1.25 oz)! I think I've achieved absolute minimum wieght on these. Here are some pictures:

Here's a close-up of the taped seams:

and they pack up small too...

I've been searching for the perfect fleece jacket for a number of years. Most of the ones I've seen are just too plain heavy and have so many unnecessary features that really detract from the basic function I want. That's why I designed my own. It has a full length zipper, no pockets, and an extra tall collar that zips not quite to the top, leaving a little breathing spot for the nose. I left the bottom of the jacket pretty long, and it comes down about 2cm below the zipper. This gives me a good overlap between my layers.

The material I chose to use is 6 oz microfleece from Malden Mills. It's incredibly warm for it's weight, which comes in at 145 grams/sq. meter. The total weight of the jacket is 206 grams (7.26 oz)

I like wearing vests, but when made out of fleece they can aren't as light as they could be. I had the idea to make a minimalist vest out of something lighter, and decided on primaloft sport synthetic insulation (60g/sq. meter) quilted to quantum ripstop nylon (32g/sq. meter). I took a vest that has been one of my favorites for years (an old softshell fleece from Ragged Mountain) and based my design off of it. One feature I really like is that it is longer in the back, covering the typical gap that lets in cold air between the pants and shirt. It has a number of "Features", such as:

-no Pockets
-no collar (I hate having 3 or 4 collars all stacked on top of each other, competing for neck space!)
-ultra-light elastic edging, to keep it snug around my body and not let wind in

I'm very satisfied with the result. The final vest is really warm, and weighs a total of 87 grams. A great addition to my lightweight kit for cold weather.

Here are a few pictures of the finished vest:

a view of the creative quilting on the back:

and one more of the front: