If you recreate outdoors, whether it's winter or summer, you need to keep your legs as dry as possible. Once the wind hits your wet jeans (or shorts), you're going to feel like an icicle — and if not wearing a raincoat, you might as well be a human ice cube. The only thing colder than snow is light rain and heavy wind.
If you're looking for a pair of hiking pants that are water-resistant or waterproof, be sure to check the specifications on the product before buying it. For example, if it says "water repellent" instead of "water-resistant," then it's not really going to keep the rain out.
As a general rule, the best way to stay dry in any weather is to purchase a pair of waterproof pants that you can pull on over your jeans or shorts.
Some hiking pants have a detachable part that allows you to transform them into shorts whenever you want. This is especially helpful during summer hikes when you're more concerned about overheating than getting wet.
If you're looking for pants that are waterproof but breathable, you might want to consider buying hardshell rain pants instead. Hard shells are available in both rain and snow varieties; they'll protect your legs from the rain while allowing moisture (from sweat) to escape through tiny vents on the inside.
The Outdoor Research Helium Pants are remarkably lightweight (5 ounces) and packable pair of waterproof pants. Not only do they keep the wearer's lower half dry without weighing them down, but they also come with an ample stretch for comfort.
They're made out of durable and breathable Diamond Fuse material that is both water and wind-resistant as well as 2.5-layer coated with a tearproof face fabric, making it great for those who prefer hiking light!
These lightweight 5 ounces Outdoor Research pants will protect you from the elements while responding to your movements thanks to its free-range waistband built tough enough to handle anything you throw at it. Don't let weight or bulkiness stop you from fitting these into your backpack; you won't even notice them!
Nagging rain and clouds, but you’re determined to fast-track your way up this mountain? Keep on trekking with Arc’teryx Zeta SL Pant: built for the most demanding conditions and one of our modern favorites.
Gore-tex PackLite Plus fabrics pack in breathability and comfort combined with a fully articulated design for unparalleled freedom of movement. These pants live up to their name as they strike a perfect balance between weather protection, terrain versatility, weightiness, and durability.
If you’re looking for truly reliable waterproof pants, look no further than one of the best on the market: Arc’teryx Zeta SL Pants. These pants are built to last and with Gore-tex, they offer unbeatable protection against wetness. In addition, they’re lightweight, which is a great bonus for hikers and backpackers who want to avoid heavy gear.
The Rebel Roamer Pant is a comfortable and sturdy option for active individuals. Made of nylon and elastane, the combination provides just the right amount of stretch. Columbia's seam-sealed waterproof construction provides added protection from wind and water, so you won't have to worry about unexpected weather interrupting your adventures!
These pants will be perfect for all your wear: whether you're hiking through rough terrain or backpacking across countries, your legs will remain warm and dry.
These pants are constructed using Columbia's Omni-Tech technology, keeping the elements out while allowing your body to breathe. Inside this tech-savvy style is also reflective trim, making you visible when things get dark. For stretches of high activity output, there are zippered vents on the calves that allow you to adjust airflow accordingly.
As a plus, these pants come in an array of bright colors that add a bit of style to your wardrobe. Best of all, they are very reasonably priced!
Why settle for just pants when you could get the full suit? This is, without a doubt, the best deal out there on the market. The FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 Rain Suit is made to keep you dry, no matter what the weather throws at you.
With an adjustable front zipper, cord locks on the hood strings for customization, elastic cuffs to help seal out moisture—and 50% more breathability than most rain suits—the FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite2 can tackle any challenge.
Designed with 100% Other Fibers and imported materials for durability and long-lasting toughness, this waterproof material is lightweight and economical. The protective rain suit has every feature a traveler needs.
FROGG TOGGS' Ultra-Lite2 rain suit also comes with the added benefit of being highly packable and collapsible, meaning it can be folded up to a compact size of only 13" tall x 9" wide for convenient storage when not in use or while traveling. A mesh carrying bag is also included to protect the suit from dirt and other contaminants.
While heavily used by hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts, the FROGG TOGGS Ultra-Lite 2 rain suit is perfect for emergencies at the ballpark, golf course, or out on the water.
Do you want versatility? Do you want to style? Do you want to look good around every turn in the trail, up at campfire night, and down by the water's edge?
Take these hiking pants. Built with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) technology that repels moisture instantly; strategically placed Cargo pockets for convenient storage; Windproof, Breathable fabric that’s ultra-lightweight for easy packing.
It goes on easily and it keeps you going all day long. The GORE-TEX® Paclite® fabric is lightweight and packable for rugged adventures. These pants are durable and waterproof, with one hundred percent sealed seams to keep water out.
The Marmot Minimalist rain pants are designed for people in motion; they feature an elastic waist with snap closure and zip fly, ankle zippers with a snap closure so you can finally stay comfortable when the wind threatens to throw you off. If you are active and adventurous, this product will keep up!
It is not your average pair of pants. But, from its waterproofing to its lightweight fabric, the Outdoor Research Foray Pants are comfortable in literally any condition - rain or shine.
You'll love how easily they slide on with their 3/4 length side zippers and the way their elastic waistband holds you tightly in place while keeping you looking stylish. The back pocket also doubles as a stuff sack for easy packing on your next trip, making traveling even easier!
With features like a gusseted crotch and articulated knees for active sports enthusiasts, these pants will make quick work of all your outdoor endeavors without ever even realizing it.
The fully taped seams ensure these bad boys are watertight, so no matter how wet your day gets, you have to stay dry inside too. So take these on your next mountain challenge or any other intense hike and never worry about getting chilled or soaked again.
Knees that move with you? Check! A drawstring waist to give yourself easy breathing even when it's hot out? Yep. Unexpected features like side zippers allow for super fast and convenient on-the-fly bathroom breaks, complete with a cuff drain to make even the wettest conditions feel like dry land.
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants are made of 100% synthetic fabric features a pull-on closure. Perfect for those wet days where you want to go outside, these rain pants come with an elastic waist for a comfortable fit and full-length side zips for easy on/off.
These are some of the best rain pants in terms of comfort because of ultra-soft 4-way stretch fabric made of abrasion-resistant 40D material, and these are machine washable; dry. Q Active 2.5L waterproof technology banishing moisture like no other, these will be the only pants you'll need outdoors!
The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pant is a favorite of those who want versatility and top-tier performance. Made with 100% synthetic material for easy care, the stretch fabric provides an ultra-soft four-way all-over comfort stretch for maximum movement and quick on/off with side zips.
With 40D abrasion-resistant face fabric, DryQ Active 2.5L waterproof technology banishes moisture to keep you comfortable throughout your climb up the mountain on your next outing in pure style and full functionality!
The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pant is perfect for active people on the go in wet weather. Pull them on and head outdoors to go hiking, kayaking, biking, etc. Then, machine wash and dry and they're ready to go again!
Waterproof hiking pants are an essential part of any hiker's wardrobe, but too often, hikers are overloaded with options when it comes to outdoor gear. While some waterproof pants look very similar to non-waterproof ones, others have unique features that set them apart.
If you're looking for the best waterproof hiking pants available today, here's what you need to know before making your decision.
When considering which of these products are the best waterproof hiking pants, we view several factors as critical to choosing a pair of rain pants within the product line over others currently on the market. These include:
Hiking pants are meant to be used out in the wilderness. If they're too bulky, it's simply not worth the hassle to bring them with you on your hike - but if they're too flimsy, they won't protect you from either mother nature or other hikers who might accidentally bump into you at a crowded waterfall.
For this reason, we've given extra points to products that fold down easily and compactly into themselves for packing (without sacrificing protection) while remaining strong enough to stand up to whatever comes their way.
This criteria also includes belt loops and zipper durability which can make or break your trip if they fail when needed most. Our favorite rain pants pack up into their own pocket.
Waterproofing is the number one priority for any hiker who doesn't want to spend their time outside with wet pants. Most of these pants are constructed out of either GoreTex or DryQ Elite. Both are reliable waterproof materials that provide hikers with protection from rain showers and stream crossings alike.
For purposes of this buying guide, we've given double points to products that use both technologies together to provide hikers with complete coverage possible.
Breathability is another metric we considered - if your pants are too hot or sticky on a hike, you're not only ruining the experience by having uncomfortable clothing against your skin but also creating an environment where mold can grow more easily (and making you wet from sweat). Waterproof zippers are essential to keeping out rain.
Some of the products we've included in this guide have unique features that make them stand out from others. These include things like cuff-to-thigh zippers, side zippers, a stuff sack, an adjustable elastic waist, zippered hand pockets, and more.
For all of these reasons and more, We've given each product an "overall" score to determine the very best waterproof hiking pants available today.
No matter what your style or budget preference might be, there's something here for everyone! Combined with the detailed descriptions on each product page (linked above), you should find everything you need to find the perfect pair of waterproof hiking pants for yourself this season...
Whether you're looking for pants for everyday wear made of stretchy material or lightweight pants or storm surge pants because you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, there are going to be pros and cons for every option. Unfortunately, even the most durable pants on the market have their breaking point.
It's best to try on a few pairs and see what's comfortable. If you're not comfortable, you're not going to be happy—especially in rain and cold weather.
Take a moment and think about what's important to you, as well. Generally, it's safe to go with waterproof breathable material, but if hand pockets or leg cuffs, or ankle cuffs with velcro straps and a zippered pocket are what you're looking for, make sure to weigh the outdoor gear with all the bells and whistles more heavily in your search.