Best Waterproof Trousers For Hiking Of 2023 | Rain Pants To Fend Off Everything From Drizzle To Downpours - Outdoors Magic

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Best Waterproof Trousers For Hiking Of 2023 | Rain Pants To Fend Off Everything From Drizzle To Downpours

Options from Patagonia, Rab, Rohan, Fjällräven and more...

Waterproof trousers are an item of hiking gear we never want to have to use but inevitably, thanks to our lovely climate here in the UK, end up using quite frequently.

To make matters worse, there are some pretty shoddy waterproof trousers out there, and most of us will have come across them at some point. You know, those ones that made you wetter than the rain itself from the condensation build up; the ones that were shaped so poorly your stride could only reach about a foot; the ones that had a gaping hole on the thigh after they were once slightly nicked by a bramble bush.

Related: Best Walking Trousers

And we all hate that sound, right? That intolerable swish, swish, swish with each step that becomes unbearable.

OK that’s our complaining done with now. What’s important to know is that there are good pairs of waterproof trousers out there, and as luck would have it, we’ve gathered them all together for you in this round-up. Because they aren’t all clammy, hot and intolerable – there are some that are actually worth wearing, even when it isn’t pouring with rain.

What Are the Best Waterproof Trousers?

Put simply, the best waterproof trousers will be fully waterproof but also breathable enough to prevent moisture build up on the inside. You also want to consider things like their weight, pack size and long-term durability, while paying attention to details like water-resistant pockets, thigh vents and lined waistbands.

Related: Buyer’s Guide to Waterproof Overtrousers

It’s worth us pointing out that there are two distinct types of waterproof trousers out there: overtrousers, and wear-all-day trousers. Overtrousers are the ones you pull out of your pack when the bad weather moves in to wear over your standard walking trousers. Wear-all-day-trousers, well, we don’t really need to explain, but if you need another clue, they’re the ones that you can wear next to the skin from the first mile to the last.

Each type has its virtues, and when choosing between the two it really depends on the conditions that you’re planning to face up to. If you’re likely to experience start-stop rain, overtrousers will tend to be your best bet, whereas if you’re going to be faced with non-stop rain or snow you might want to go for the wear-all-day kind.

Different Types of Waterproof Trousers

Most waterproof trousers employ a membrane to block precipitation, from driving rain to snow, sleet and hail. One of the most common constructions are 2.5-layer fabrics, where a membrane is bonded to a face fabric and backed with a printed or raised inner ‘half’ layer. 2-layer fabrics have no backer, instead using a separate mesh drop liner. They are cheap and comfortable, but bulkier, heavier and warmer. Premium 3-layer options, where the waterproof-breathable membrane is sandwiched between a face fabric and a comfortable, wicking tricot or scrim fabric backer offer robust protection with a longer lifespan but usually at a higher cost. Other waterproof trousers don’t use membranes, and simply consist of a shell fabric finished with a durable water repellent treatment such as Nikwax, combined with a PU (polyurethane) inner coating.

Best Quality Waterproof Trousers

For this round up of the best waterproof trousers we’ve picked out everything from great value 2-layer overtrousers to durable, high spec, 3-layer options with brilliant breathability – and a few interesting alternative options in-between.

  • 66° North Snaefell NeoShell Pants – Best Waterproof Trousers
  • Sprayway Nakuru Rainpant
  • Patagona Torrentshell Waterproof Trousers – Best Value Waterproof Trousers
  • Berghaus Deluge Trousers
  • Rab Downpour Pants
  • Montane Minimus Pants
  • Columbia Pouring Adventure
  • Rohan Dry Requisite
  • Pàramo Cascada II
  • Fjällräven Vidda Pro G-1000
  • CimAlp Storm Pro Pant 2H
  • Filson Skagit Rain Pants


BEST BUY: 66° North Snaefell NeoShell Pants

Price: €330/£300
Weight: 305g
Best for: Hiking, ski touring, winter trekking
Key attributes: Highly breathable, soft and quiet fabric

These might be some of the priciest pants on this page, but by jove they’re decent. The waterproofing comes courtesy of Polartec’s NeoShell, a membrane that’s highly regarded by our gear testers on account of the impressive amount of breathability it provides. What’s more its added advantage is that it doesn’t rustle as much as, say, standard Gore-Tex lined fabrics, and it also has a good deal of stretch to it.

The face fabric isn’t the burliest, so you do need to take a bit of care with these. In other words, don’t go smashing through branches and bushes.

Because they’re so breathable, we wouldn’t really consider these as overtrousers, but rather as something to wear all day, perhaps over some baselayer leggings. However, you should be able to wear these over a light pair of walking trousers if you wanted to.

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL / available in men’s and women’s version / 3L Polartec NeoShell fabric / 10,000mm hydrostatic head / water-resistant side vents / zipped front pocket with ventilation / integrated webbing belt and elastic rear waist / adjustable velcro ankle tabs / 48% Nylon, 25% polyester, 27% Polyurethane.




Sprayway Nakuru Rainpant

Price: £110
Weight: 335g
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Reliable Gore-Tex protection

British brand Sprayway’s Nakuru Rainpants are relatively simple but well-built overtrousers that use a 2-layer construction. A soft but reasonably tough 40D polyester face fabric, finished with a protective PFC-free DWR, is bonded to a Gore-Tex membrane for reliable waterproof-breathable performance. A taffeta and mesh drop lining means they feel very comfortable and rarely clammy. The semi-elasticated waist has drawcord adjustment and ½ length side zips for easy on and off. Velcro ankle adjustment gives a secure seal around your walking boots. They’re not the lightest or most packable pants around, but they utilise quality materials and ought to give good service. 

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL, short or regular length (men’s) / 2-layer Gore-Tex laminated fabric / Velcro adjustment ankle tabs / semi-elasticated waist with drawcord / half-length side zips with inner storm flap.



Patagonia Torrentshell Waterproof Trousers

Price: £85
Weight: 284g
Best for: Hiking, hillwalking, general outdoor use
Key attributes: Great value, sustainable

Matching one of Patagonia’s most popular waterproof jackets in both name and nature, the Torrentshell trousers from Patagonia offer wet weather protection that doesn’t come at a cost to the environment. Waterproof and breathable thanks to the brand’s own 2.5-layer H2No fabric with 100% recycled nylon, it’s a product with full Bluesign approval, an industry mark for efforts towards sustainable and ethical production.

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS – XXL (men’s), XS-XL (women’s) / 2.5-layer H2No Shell from recycled nylon / elasticated waistband with drawcord / two zipped handwarmer pockets with mesh pocket bags / articulated knees / 2-way 2/4-length zips / stuff into handwarmer pocket with carabiner clip.



Berghaus Deluge Trousers

Price: £60
Weight: 390g
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Great value, good ventilation

These good value waterproof trousers feature a type of fabric that Berghaus have developed themselves called Hydroshell. It’ll offer good wet weather protection and a decent level of breathability, and better still, the durable water repellent treatment it features contains none of those nasty environmentally harmful PFCs. The ¾ length zips up each leg make life easier when you need to put these on or take them off, plus the handy poppered flaps give that potential for ventilation if you need it while on-the-go.

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS-XXXL in short, regular or long lengths (men’s), 8-18 in regular or long legs lengths (women’s) / Hydroshell fabric / ¾-length side zips and upper leg venting / elasticated waist with adjustment tabs.



Rab Downpour Pants

Price: £70
Weight: 205g
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Great value, light and packable

You’ll find a few nice waterproof jackets out there that use the exact same Pertex Shield waterproof material as these overtrousers do. At just 205g they won’t be too noticeable in your backpack when it’s dry and when it is raining they won’t be too troublesome to pull on thanks to their knee-length YKK zips.

Full Specifications

Sizes: S-XXL in short or long leg lengths (men’s), 8-16 in short or long (women’s) / Pertex Shield 2.5-lyer fabric / knee-length YKK side zips with storm flaps / elasticated waistband with drawcord / articulated knees / hem drawcord.  



Montane Minimus Pants

Price: £100
Weight: 145g
Best for: Hiking, hillwalking, fellracing
Key attributes: Extremely light and packable

Ever heard of the Montane Spine Race? It’s a brutal event where runners are expected to cover the entire length of the Pennine Way, non-stop and right in the dead of winter. And it’s something you certainly need some good kit for. In fact, we reckon a few competitors at the next event will be sporting these. The lightest pair of overtrousers included in this article, they’re a pair that Montane have specifically tailored for those that need an articulated, breathable and lightweight option to wear for things like long-distance running races.

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS-XXL in short or regular leg lengths (men’s), 8-16 (women’s) / Pertex Shield waterproof / articulated knee / elasticated waist with drawcord / 1/4 -length YKK side zips / hook and loop calf tabs / reflective tabs / stuff sack included.



Columbia Pouring Adventure

Price: £55
Weight: 390g
Best for: Hiking, hillwalking, general outdoor use
Key attributes: Great value

The lowest cost option on this page, at £55 the Columbia Pouring Adventure overtrousers are a sensible choice for anyone on a budget. They’re made from Columbia’s Omni-Tech fabric, something they use across much of their range of waterproof jackets. Expect rain protection, but not necessarily the kind of breathability you’d get from some of the other options on this page.

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS-XL in short or regular leg lengths (men’s), S-XL in short, regular or long leg (women’s) / Omi-Tech waterproofing / drawcord adjustable waist / zippered thigh pocket / size zips.



CimAlp Storm Pro Pant 2H

Price: £120
Weight: 240g
Best for: High-intensity hiking and running in testing weather conditions
Key attributes: Lightweight, three-layer, streamlined package

CimAlp’s Storm Pro pants are designed to be much less muggy than most overtrousers, making use of a highly breathable 3-layer waterproof fabric, and being equipped with some nifty knee vents too. They’re intended for high-tempo, fast-moving outdoor disciplines and offer excellent weather protection for minimal weight.

In terms of materials, the pants are made from CimAlp’s own three-layer fabric called UltraShell, a 160gsm, 100% nylon face fabric with a laminated membrane and a tricot backer, with fully taped seams throughout. The trousers are also bluesign approved, employing organic dyes and a PFC-free DWR Teflon EcoElite treatment derived from renewable resources.

Full Specifications

3-layer 160gsm UltraShell fabric / 100% nylon face fabric with laminated membrane, tricot backers and fully taped seams / 20,000mm Hydrostatic Head / MVT rates of 80,000g/m2/24h / slim fitting / one leg length: 80cm inseam / bluesign approved / organic dyes and PFC-free DWR Teflon EcoElite treatment / knee vents / zipped back pocket / flat fronted design / drawcord and semi-elasticated waistband at the rear / semi-elasticated hems and quarter zips. 

Selected for our Outdoor 100 201/22 – Read our full CimAlp Storm Pro Pant 2H review.



Filson Skagit Rain Pants 

Price: £340
Weight: 150g
Best for: Extreme weather conditions
Key attributes: Tough and durable, fully waterproof

Filson’s Skagit Rain Pants are incredibly waterproof. This, combined with their comfortable fit, makes them ideal for those tough characters who like to float about on boats in all types of weather. They’re built from from a proprietary three-layer Rain Cloth, an incredibly tough, tightly-woven, nylon shell with a waterproof / breathable membrane laminated to its interior. Underlining that sense of durability and protection are the cuffs and lower seams which have been reinforced with tough Cordura nylon.

The interior is a brushed tricot backer which not only adds warmth but also helps to disperse moisture vapours, adding to its breathability, whilst there’s also the smart implementation of waterproof flexi-tape throughout, YKK AquaGuard-zippered hand and rear pockets, articulated knees, and a zipper-fly and snap waistband.

Full Specifications

Multi-activity compatible / waterproof-breathable Rain Cloth nylon shell / brushed tricot backer interior / waterproof flexi-tape throughout / reinforced Cordura nylon on the cuffs and lower seams / YKK AquaGuard-zippered hand and rear pockets / articulated knees / zipper-fly / snap waistband.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 2021/22 – Read our full Filson Skagit rain pants review. 


Rohan Dry Requisite

Price: £120
Weight: 550g
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Suitable for all-day wear

These are one of the few pairs on this page that are designed to be worn by themselves. They’re “regular trousers that happen to be waterproof”, as Rohan say on their website. They do indeed appear and feel like normal trousers, yet offer full waterproof protection. It’s all thanks to their clever blend of fabrics: a soft and stretchy polyester waterproof membrane and an equally stretchy DWR-treated polyamide outer.

Full Specifications

Sizes: 30-40 in short, regular or length leg lengths (men’s), 8-18 in short, regular or long leg lengths (women’s) / 100% polyamide outer with polyester Barricade membrane / two handwarmer pockets / zipped rear pockets with protective flap.



Páramo Cascada II Trousers

Price: £155
Weight: 481g
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: Suitable for all-day wear, soft, quiet and comfortable

Páramo are another brand, like Rohan, who do things a bit differently. They make weatherproof products that don’t require membranes, instead trusting in the Nikwax Analogy system, a fabric construction that repels water and moves moisture fast. Turns out it’s a useful way of making waterproof trousers that are breathable enough and comfortable enough to be worn against the skin and hiked in all day long.

Full Specifications

Sizes: XS-XXXL (men’s), XXS-XXL (women’s) / Nikwax water repellent treatment / PFC-free / ¾-length side zips with internal poppered storm baffles / zip fly with poppers / ankle volume adjustment.



Fjällräven Vidda Pro G-1000

Price: £145
Weight: 590g
Best for: Hiking, hillwalking, bushcraft
Key attributes: Eco-friendly, rugged, fully-featured

OK, these aren’t strictly waterproof but they’ll still offer a very high level of weather protection, as well as better breathability than any of the other trousers featured on this page. Made from a blend of cotton and polyester that Fjällräven call G-1000, you’ll need to apply their Greenland Wax to the material to get maximum wet weather protection. On top of all this, they’re extremely durable and have loads of useful pockets.

Full Specifications

Sizes: 42-60 (men’s), 32-50 (women’s) / adjustable leg endings / durable G-1000 fabric (65% polyeter and 35% cotton) / reinforced rear and knees / hand pockets / map pocket / multitool pocket / internal phone pocket.

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