Best Rain Pants for Hiking

It can be a beautiful morning when you throw your backpack over your shoulder and head off into the great outdoors.

As an experienced hiker can tell you, protecting yourself at all times is essential. Rain gear is vital because once you get in the hills, the weather can turn in an instant.

There is nothing worse to dampen the mood than hiking in the rain with wet pants weighing you down.

Hiking Rain Pant Reviews

To make sure your choice of rain pants for hiking meets your needs, we have five of the best in these hiking pant reviews to help your purchasing decision.

What are Rain Pants?

Rain pants are part of your waterproof rain protection clothing. While the majority of waterproof hiking pants are thin pants, you keep in your backpack ready for a downpour.

At the first signs of rain, you will pull over and slip these over your regular hiking pants, and couple it with your best waterproof hiking jacket.

Rain pants have changed a lot in recent years, and what used to make you sweat have now changed.

You can find waterproof pants made from a breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex. Now, as soon as you feel the first drops of rain, there is no need to struggle to pull the second pair of pants on as these can keep you dry and well as wicking sweat away from the body.

Top Rain Pants for Hiking Reviews

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant1. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

These convertible Columbia Silver Ridge lightweight men’s waterproof pants have zips, which change the pants into 10-inch inseam shorts within seconds.

The pants have a semi-elastic waistband and an adjustable outer strap, which helps to fit the body with full comfort. There is also a gusseted crotch made from ripstop nylon for durability.

The pants offer UPF 50+, so they are perfect for protecting your legs from harmful ultraviolet rays during extended hikes in the sun.

To keep you cool, the best waterproof pants come with mesh pockets with Velcro fasteners that provide ample ventilation. Because these trousers are thin and breathable, this simple style is ideal for hiking in hot sunny weather.

Handy features include a zipped security pocket, hook and loop closing, and more. The pants are casual fit and come from one of the largest manufacturers in activity wear.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Convertible into shorts
  • Ample ventilation and moisture-wicking
  • UPF 50+ protection

Cons

  • Sizes can run small
  • Small pockets
  • Materials changed on pockets

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Ripstop nylon, polyester
  • Weight: 10.8 oz.
  • Type: Convertible
  • UPF Rating: UPF 50+
  • Pocket Number: 6
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Color: Various

Columbia waterproof pants have all the basic needs covered, which any hiking pants should have while being well constructed and competitively priced.

With a guide price of around $40, the Columbia best waterproof hiking pants are the perfect option.

Anyone looking for a pair of pants that will last for a while and that will provide sufficient storage, comfort, and protection from harsh hiking activities can find this in the hiking rain pants.

Having a durable construction yet remaining loose enough to allow you to traverse rough terrain, these are the best affordable hiking pants you can find. Besides, they are just as ideal to be the best waterproof work pants you can find.

Columbia Men’s Rebel Roamer Rain Pant

2. Columbia Men’s Rebel Roamer Rain Pant

Columbia has been a brand name that delivers value. Their gear may not be the most imaginative, but it is very affordable, and it works perfectly! Rebel Roamer water proof pants are no exception.

Once you see the pants, you find you have a durable, 70 denier nylon and waterproof pants with a durable, breathable design. The Omni-Tech technology allows breathability while being able to fend off the heaviest of the weather.

One thing you will lose is zippered cuffs, zippered flies, and pockets. If you don’t mind not keeping things in your pants pockets, it takes little time to open the elastic waistband. The adjustable cord is an industry-standard for waterproof hiking pants.

You will not find anything innovative here, but the Columbia rain pants may be the best men’s rain pants to couple the best water shoes on the market.

The durable materials will withstand everything from day-to-day life through to intense activity and the roughest trails. The pants offer a relaxed fit, and the fully sealed seams, which are waterproof and breathable, seal the elements to dissipate excess heat.

Pros

  • Durable
  • 70D nylon
  • Omni-Tech Breathable Waterproofing
  • Adjustable opening for legs

Cons

  • No pockets
  • No Fly Zipper

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Nylon, Elastine
  • Weight: 10.4 oz.
  • Type: Full leg
  • UPF Rating: N/A
  • Pocket Number: None
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Color: Black/ Blue

Coming in with a rough guide price of around $35.00, the Columbia Rebel Roamer waterproof rain pants, offer one of the best solutions for any activity where you require your legs to be dry. With ample leg opening, you can easily pull these on over gumboots and use the Velcro fasting to hold them securely around the ankle.

They are a no-frill option, yet they deliver more than waterproof pants costing double. Depending on your job, you can find these the best, which are similar to Gore-Tex pants and cheap rain pants are ideal.

BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Waterproof Windproof Fleece Slim Cargo Snow Ski Hiking Pants

3. BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Waterproof Windproof Fleece Slim Cargo Snow Ski Hiking Pants

BenBoy outdoor winter outdoor pants are waterproof, windproof, and fleece-lined, which makes them a perfect choice for the winter. You can wear these pants either at home or for any outdoor activity like biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, etc.

They are made of 100% softshell polyester, are dirt-repellent, have a fleece lining, and are waterproof to adapt to both snow and wind while remaining comfortable to wear.

The BenBoy women’s rain pants are slim fitting, so they are super warm without being restrictive in any movements.

The waterproof warm pants come with multiple zippered pockets to store keys, cell phones, credit cards, and many other personal items.

The BenBoy pants offer a smart design like the knee folding and extra darts in the knee areas to increase mobility.

The pants are available in a wide range of colors, including shocking pink for high visibility on the trail or snow. The women’s waterproof, windproof leggings, and fleece pants are the best choice for women for all outdoor activities.

Pros

  • Slim fit
  • Good fitting crotch
  • Excellent moisture wicking
  • Very warm

Cons

  • Sizes run small
  • Small pockets due to the slim fit

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Polyester, Spandex
  • Weight: N/A
  • Type: Full leg
  • UPF Rating: N/A
  • Pocket Number: Multiple
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Color: Various

Coming in with a guide price of around $39.00. The BenBoy windproof pants are highly affordable and are a unique design that can make any woman look good while hiking or any other activity during the winter, where she needs to stay warm.

The design of these women’s waterproof pants offers more than good looks, and they are highly durable and abrasion-resistant so that the odd tumble won’t do them too much harm.

CAMEL CROWN Women’s Men’s Snow Ski Fleece Pants for Fall and Winter Outdoor Waterproof Hiking Softshell Pants

4. CAMEL CROWN Women’s/Men’s Snow Ski Fleece Pants for Fall and Winter Outdoor Waterproof Hiking Softshell Pants

Camel Crown softshell pants have a warm fleece in the inner layer, which will feel soft and comfortable against the skin and will effectively block out the cold.

They feature an ergonomic design, which allows for complete freedom of movement, the pants have an elasticated waist that has belt loops, zip closing pockets, and an anti-static coating.

The classic backpacking rain gear designed trousers made of softshell for women or men are made from polyester and spandex. While polyester has the advantages of high moisture absorption (wicking) and high breathability, spandex also has an excellent elasticity. It can easily stretch multiple times with no distortions.

The elastic waistline adapts comfortably to the body and makes the pants suitable for the majority of individuals who like the relaxed feel.

You can find plenty of storage with two waist pockets and two pockets at the back with a zipper to protect your valuables while outdoors and going about any activity.

Lightweight, casual, the rain pants women’s are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, backpacking, kayaking, golf, and any kind of outdoor activity where it’s cold or bad weather.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Good comfort fit
  • Excellent moisture wicking
  • Fleece-lined for warmth

Cons

  • Not waterproof (Water repellant)
  • Sizes run small

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Polyester, Spandex
  • Weight: N/A
  • Type: Full leg
  • UPF Rating: N/A
  • Pocket Number: 4
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Color: Army Green, Gray, Black

Coming in with a guide price of around $24.00, these women’s waterproof pants are an excellent price for any activity where you need a bit of water repellency, warmth, and ease of movement.

Besides the functionality, this waterproof rain gear looks good, and there is no need to change into any pull-on pants.

Mountain Hardwear Men’s Stretch Ozonic Pant

5. Mountain Hardwear Men’s Stretch Ozonic Pant

Ozonic’s Mountain Hardware Stretch men waterproof pants are made from the Mountain Hardwear Dry Q Active material, which uses a 40D nylon surface material and a waterproof polyurethane membrane.

The Mountain Hardware Stretch Ozonic pants are equipped with a full-length side zip on each leg that enables you to quickly slip on the pants while not having to take off your shoes first.

Besides, the stretch Ozonic rain pants men’s fit come with an elasticated waist and articulated knees areas for comfort wearing, no matter what your activity.

For those who like to layer their gear, when in colder weather, you may find these fit a little too close to allow for this. It may be you can squeeze one thin layer underneath, yet thick or multiple layers won’t be possible.

The elastic waistband adds comfort, and there is the inclusion of an integral belt.

Pros

  • Good comfort fit with 4-way stretch
  • Integrated belt
  • Taped seams for advanced waterproofing
  • Full-length side zips

Cons

  • No side pockets
  • No ankle adjustment

Technical Specifications

  • Material: Nylon Dry Q active waterproof
  • Weight: 9.5 oz.
  • Type: Full leg
  • UPF Rating: N/A
  • Pocket Number: Thigh pocket
  • Washable: Machine Wash
  • Color: Black, Gray

The Mountain Hardware stretch Ozonic pants are suitable for all manner of activities like hiking, backpacking, biking.

With a guide price of around $105, these do come in at the top end of any person’s budget. Yet, for anyone who needs the best, then these pants can be ideal to be some of the best rain gear for working where you can’t be doing with too much bulk or restriction.

For overall movement, there are no other all-weather pants, you can find, which matches the all-way stretch. However, they do come at a price.

What to Look for When Buying Rain Pants

Buying Guide for Rain Pants

Hiking Rain Pant Considerations

As with the majority of outdoor gear for hiking, there are many options when it comes to choosing a pair of rain pants, and selecting the item you need is not necessarily straightforward.

You need to evaluate your requirements, comprehend the associated technology, and determine how much you wish to spend.

There are pants, which are designed to take up as little space as possible in your backpack and are cuddled up with rain jackets and other protective gear.

They tend to come into play in emergencies. As a result, they offer a completely different in design and construction from pants meant for daily use under challenging conditions!

The number of options can be confusing at first, but when you know what you need and wish to spend, you can reduce it to a few choices that will help you stay dry in all kinds of wet weather.

Understand What You Need from Your Pants

With this in mind, you will quickly notice differences in emergency rain gear or rain pants, which are suitable for use daily for repelling the rain.

You will have your ‘just in case’ protection with your pants. In many cases, they offer more freedom of movement but can be bulkier compared to the others.

Either you carry a stuff sack that is easy to access, or elsewhere in one of the best backpacks for hiking where you can grab it quickly.

The second one is everyday pants designed for regular use, even working outdoors, where rain can be expected, and rain protection equipment is part of your everyday wardrobe.

Everyday rain gear is more substantial than that which is made to be as small and compact as possible. Although they have excellent water resistance, they sacrifice their durability to accomplish this goal.

Everyday rain protection is considerably more durable and sacrifices weight to maintain its durability. That is often why they look like regular pants.

One of the things you can find when looking for the best pair of rain pants is crossover pants, which meet the requirements of any type of person.

Even when they are designed for everyday use, they need to be as light as possible while remaining durable. In some cases, you can pay a premium for them!

Understanding the Basics of Rain Pants

There are several basic features, which we use to evaluate rain pants.

Waterproofing is essential: Waterproofing is all about keeping us dry. In other words, the material is required to keep the water out, the seams need sealing or welding, and the zippers need waterproofing or protecting.

The breathability is likewise critical to keeping us dry. Breathable fabrics stop water from coming in, but let moisture out, sometimes allowing it to wick the moisture away from your skin.

We often sweat inside our rainwear, so being able to breathe is a decisive factor for comfort and dryness.

Ventilation enables you to open your pants to allow air in, and this may be useful if the shower is on and off, so you don’t always want to remove and put on your pants.

Being mobile is essential in any hiking clothing. You will want protection, but do not want pants, which prevent you from moving.

Manufacturers also use crotch gussets, knee articulation, stretch fabrics, and many other materials to make sure you’re dry and mobile at the same time.

Simplicity is something you don’t consider at the beginning, but it is essential. Rains can come quickly, and you need to be able to put on and take off your pants easily, without taking off your shoes and other garments.

Side zippers can be convenient when putting on rain pants over your shoes, and the adjustable waist is essential to ensure your pants will fit comfortably with other layers.

What are Hardshell Rain Pants?

Hardshell pants have also been known as rain or waterproof pants and protect against rain, wind, and snow.

While doing their job, they breathe to make sure you don’t get wet from your sweat.

Hardshell pants are most commonly worn over ordinary pants since they are manufactured from extremely thin and water repellent fabrics.

What are Rain Pants Made From?

Waterproof pants are made from various materials. Manufacturers often give these their names as they contain some propitiatory elements. Many of the more famous names are Gore-Tex, eVent, Pertex, and others.

Such fabrics use membranes or coatings. It is their function to allow moisture to permeate from the inside, but also block water soaking in from the outside.

Hardshell and Softshell What’s the Difference?

Hardshell pants have better protection against the rain and which are lighter than the softshell pants.

They are more comfortable to pack than softshell pants. However, softshell pants give more breathability, and they are more comfortable to wear, as the material is less rigid.

Convertible Rain Pants

If you wish to be on the trail for many days at a time, convertible pants are mandatory.

The reason for this is straightforward. You want to pack as light as possible while being prepared for any eventuality.

To be honest, packing both pants and shorts in your backpack is not necessary when you can quickly transform many of your hiking pants into shorts.

It is always a good idea to consider investing in a pair of convertible pants, which will allow you to increase your storage space with no effort.

Storage in Pants Not Backpacks

A hiking backpack is awesome, but it is sometimes preferable to have the things you need right at your fingertips.

You don’t want to pause and dig in your backpack each time you want to check the trail map; therefore, you keep it in your pocket.

Besides, what about one of your trusty pocketknives? You will need space in your pants’ pockets, but your map takes up your entire space.

Rather than throwing cash into a bigger backpack, simply search for a pair of hiking rain pants that server up lots of storage and plenty of pockets.

You should also search for zippered pockets, as they can significantly, and if not entirely, reduce the risk of you losing your valuables in the great outdoors.

Weight and Bulk

There comes a time when backpackers want to travel as light as possible. When that happens, then the weight is an essential factor.

Rain trousers for hiking often serve two purposes and, while keeping the rain at bay, they can be used to cut off the piercing wind that blows through mountain trails.

This often results in the selection of the lightest pair because they are very small. We have seen that certain things take up space in backpacks, and that is why these hybrid rain pants are so popular.

Not only do backpacks provide a certain amount of space, but also they rate them by weight and can be damaged if you cross this threshold.

It is essential to consider a pair of rain pants for hiking and backpacks.

That’s why you either go for a small one and sacrifice the durability in a light pair or choose more durable Hardshell pants and wear them on the trail.

Boot Zippers on Rain Pants

Waterproof hiking pants are recommended for use in the colder spring and autumn months and during the winter. In general, in these seasons, most hikers are expected to be wearing heavier shoes, larger boots for warmth, and to protect themselves against the cold.

In such cases, you would have to, in some way, put on your rain pants while the clouds darken, avoiding having to take off your shoes or boots while on the trail. It also makes things easy when you are wearing your best-heated gloves.

Although it may appear trivial, it is essential to consider identifying a pair of pants with zippers for your shoes.

In the warmer months, it may not be so important, but it is an inconvenience at most, to be forced to remove your clothes to wear rain pants.

Unexpected storm showers come in heavy and fast and often allow very little time to react. It is vital to be capable of putting on and taking off your rain pants quickly.

Full-length zippered pants allow this. Ankle zippers can also help keep the wind from blowing up your legs.

Then the other side is to use rain pants designed for daily use, and you don’t need to hunt for an additional pair of pants.

Taped Seams on Rain Pants

The sealing tape is the adhesive, which keeps waterproof clothing in place. Seam strip is a self-adhesive, hot-applied waterproof strip, which covers seams and joints of fabric seams.

If you do not use it, you can almost instantly become soaked in any rain as water leaks from the seams of your pants.

Never purchase any waterproof pants or jackets unless you are sure the seams are taped. This can be checked by flipping the clothes inside out and checking the seams for a thin, transparent strip. It can often be difficult to notice, but you will find it if you look hard enough.

If your clothes aren’t secured with tape or don’t seem to be secured with tape, you should give the pants or jackets a miss as you will regret it.

Waterproof Fabrics Used in Rain Pants

While the different fabrics have been mentioned, here is more about the types of materials you can see in a bit more detail.

Breathable Waterproof

Fabrics are made from layered laminate materials. The most external layer usually consists of either nylon or polyester. A durable water repellent coating for the fabric to be breathable throughout its lifetime must left cover it.

The interior of these fabrics is a laminate made up of several advanced membranes, which allow unidirectional air and evaporated water flow.

Popular brand Gore-Tex had dominated waterproof, breathable fabrics in the past.

Nowadays, numerous different kinds of waterproof fabric, high breathability fabrics have appeared, many of them as functional or technically superior to Gore-Tex.

The waterproof, breathable materials used are much more expensive than the non-breathable waterproof ones.

Many users debate how useful a breathable material is in comparison to a non-breathable one is. While some people swear that they will let out their sweat, others swear they won’t let you sweat out, and you’ll still get wet inside from your sweat.

For the most effective use, they are better for light sweat activities at colder temperatures, where a breathable fabric may keep up with the output of human sweat.

Non-Breathable Waterproof

There are several different styles of this fabric. Polyurethane-coated textiles are, in general, usually more affordable. However, there are different kinds of coated fabrics, and new technologies are developing every day.

Waterproof, non-breathable rain pants are the most economical option. They also prevent air and moisture from penetrating into and out of your clothes.

Waterproof clothing that is not breathable can typically be produced to the most lightweight specifications. The garments are more straightforward and only require one fabric layer with one coating.

On the downside, waterproof coatings finally delaminate and flake away.

This usually happens most often on polyurethane coated materials and may occur after one season or over ten seasons, dependent how tough you are on the clothes and how often you use them.

Durable Water Repellent

DWR is often mistaken for a real waterproof system for outdoor clothing. It is a chemical impregnate and is not intended to be fully waterproof in itself, but to help drain off water from the outer layer of the garment.

Many clothes, particularly waterproof and breathable, are already DWR-impregnated. Durable water repellency is essential to avoid soaking the outer fabric layer on a breathable textile.

Once these outer layers have been saturated with water, the garment will no longer be breathable, making DWR coatings decisive for the continuing health of the clothing and how much more breathable it is and allowing you to stay dry.

Best Rain Pants for Hiking Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

Final Verdict

After testing all these pants in a variety of conditions, It was evident there was only to be one pair that sufficed.

The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant quickly began to shine. The men’s rain pants came with more pockets than any others did; they were comfortable and very durable.

The pants came with the most robust 70D ripstop nylon, and it put most of the others to shame in how tough and abrasion-resistant they are.

The unique feature not often seen on any rain pants is the high level of UPF protection they offer.

Although not baggy, they gave enough room to maneuver while climbing over rough terrain. The one advantage these have over all the others on the test was, you can convert these pants in shorts. Choosing a small size, and they can be a great pair of women’s rain pants as well.

Shorts may not be ideal in the rain, but it does serve up a very versatile pair of pants. If you want pants for work, you will find these are the best rain pants, no matter what your activity at home, or deep in the great outdoors.

If you are building up your winter gear, these are some of the best pants to go along with your hiking shoes to waterproof your bottom half. That is one of the best hiking tips you will find.

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Best Rain Pants for Hiking