Scott Jones quickly realized the need for this type clothing while sewing custom-made fleece jackets out of his dorm room for his friends who were going on deployment which lead him to start his company, Beyond Clothing in 1999. Beyond Clothing is a company that specializes in manufacturing survival clothing systems engineered around the needs of the Military.
The M6 Rain Pant is the water-proof component of Beyonds’ ‘Standard Issue’ line and is described as a lightweight and highly packable GORE-TEX® pant with a minimalist design engineered to provide static protection against wind and rain.
- Snap Closure – These plastic button snaps are rust proof and a quieter option than velcro
- 7 Exterior Belt Loops – These belt loops are nice and wide, and will easily accommodate any 2.5” belts. The spacing of the belt loops also allow the use of belt-worn holsters and gear.
- Supspender Loops – There are 2 elastic suspender loops located at the front and rear flaps on the inside of the waist band.
- Zippered Fly – The zipper fly is tucked away neatly under a flap on either side for added protection from the elements.
- Articulated knees – The knees pre-shaped with a natural bend in them for freedom of movement and to minimize cuff lift.
- Fully seam sealed – All the seams are laminated making the pants almost entirely water proof. I say ‘almost’ because the zipper used in the fly is not water-proof and could potentially let moisture in should water or snow get past the zipper flap and trapped in the front crotch area.
- Lightweight 2.5-Layer GORE-TEX® Waterproof Laminate – This is not quietest pant out there and the Goretex Paclite is quite crinkly while moving.
- Gusseted Crotch – Beyond uses a small diamond gusset to provide maximum mobility, alleviate some stress in the area and minimize the risk of blown seams.
- Light Weight – weighing a mere 12.0 oz., the M6 is easily one of the lightest and most packable rain pants of this type.
Sizing and Fit
The M6 Pant is generously sized, allowing it to be worn over mid-layers, or combat pants. Beyond recommends sizing down from what you would normally wear.
I typically wear a size 31 waist with a 30 inseam which according to Beyond’s sizing guide, falls under their Small/Regular.
It is designed to be worn high at the waist instead of at the hips and has a relatively straighter leg compared to many PCU Level 6 pant designs which tend to have a more dramatic tapered design, usually ending with an elastic hem.
Insights and Conclusion
The M6 Rain Pant is extremely light and very comfortable especially when contrasted with the Rubberized Wet Weather Pants I was issued as an enlisted member. Although the Wet Weather Pants were 100% water proof they were also not breathable meaning that any sweat and condensation would have a tendency to get trapped inside making them quite stuffy during times of high exertion and unbearable in temperatures exceeding 50deg F .
The Beyond Clothing M6 Rain pant is classified as a PCU Level 6 Pant and is a lightweight waterproof, DWR coated Goretex, 3 season hard shell pant that can either be worn as a stand-alone pant in warm to temperate climates, or combined with other layers during colder weather. The Goretex material and construction of the M6 is rugged enough to withstand heavy use.
The M6 is available in Coyote Brown and standard PCU Alpha Green color shown here, which looks gray with a very a subtle, greenish tint.
Bearing in mind that the M6 rain paint is intentionally streamlined by design, the main drawback of this, in my opinion is that without side zip openings at the legs or elastic cuffs, they aren’t easily donned without having to first remove your boots. Also when worn over gear, there is no way to readily access the contents of your inner pant pockets or increase airflow. Although Gore-Tex is breathable and excels in conditions where there is heavy rain or wet snow, extended periods of high aerobic activity can cause moisture to accumulate in the space between your base layer and the inner face of the shell and having a way to ventilate this area would be quite beneficial.
The M6 Rain pant weighs a mere 12.5oz and packs down into a very small package. I will typically wear the M6 rain pant on day hikes over light compression leggings or the Cold WX base layer and will wear them for the duration of my hike or until I get to where I’m going. For extended hikes however, I prefer a pant that can be quickly thrown on over whatever pant I happen to be wearing without having to remove my boots and take them off easily when I find myself getting too warm.
All in all, the M6 is a great looking, very capable and affordably priced 3 season pant and is an ideal rain/snow pant in a pinch, or for those rainy commutes into work.
While Beyond still currently offers the M6 pant, they tell me that they plan to discontinue the entire ‘Standard Issue’ line and focus more on their ‘Axios’ line which offers more features.