Best Waterproof Trousers For Hiking in 2020 | Top 10 - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at


Walking Trousers

Best Waterproof Trousers For Hiking in 2020 | Top 10

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 it’s important to know is that there are good pairs of waterproof trousers out there, and, as luck so has it we’ve gathered them all together in this round-up for you. 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, durability, lifespan and details like protected pockets, flies and types of 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.

What Are The Different Types of Waterproof Trousers

Most waterproof trousers employ a membrane to block out any moisture. 2.5-layer membranes, where a coating is applied to the outer fabric, tend to be one of the most common types. 2-layer membranes will be lower cost but generally less comfortable while 3-layer options offer robust protection with a longer lifespan but usually at a higher cost. There are also waterproof trousers that don’t use membranes, like those that use Nikwax, or simply just a laminated shell.

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 3-layer high spec, durable options with brilliant breathability – and a few interesting other options in-between.

  • 66° North Snaefell NeoShell Pants – Best Waterproof Trousers
  • Sherpa Lithang Bib
  • 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


BEST IN TEST: 66° North Snaefell NeoShell Pants

Price: €330
Weight: 305g

These might be some of the priciest pants on the 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.

Arguably one of the downsides of Polartec NeoShell is that it’s on the delicate side, 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 size vents / zipped front pocket with ventilation / integrated webbing belt and elastic rear waist / adjustable velcro ankle tabs / 48% Nylon, 25% polyester, 27% Polyurethane.

Get the latest price at:


Sherpa Lithang Bib

Price: £220
Weight: 610g

Expect dependable toughness and weather protection plus full articulation from these trousers from Sherpa. Made for mountaineers, they boasts all the right features for demanding conditions, including a three-layer waterproof membrane, two-way zippered thigh vents, a removable bib and lace hooks to ensure no rain or spindrift is able to creep in. At 610g they’re on the heavy side however, and there’s that top end price as well.

Full Specifications

Sizes: 32×32, 34×32, 36×32 (men’s) / 3-layer Himaltec laminated fabric / removable bib / Velcro adjustment tabs on waist / dual centre front fly / gusseted crotch / large two-way zipped thigh vents / zippered cargo pocket / tie-down loops and lace hooks on ankles / articulated knees / durable instep / removable snow gaiter on hem.

Get the latest price at:


Patagonia Torrentshell Waterproof Trousers

Price: £85
Weight: 284g

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 a 2.5-layer membrane 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.

Get the latest price at:


Berghaus Deluge Trousers

Price: £60
Weight: 390g

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.

Get the latest price at:


Rab Downpour Pants

Price: £70
Weight: 205g

You’ll find a few nice waterproof jackets out there that use the exact same Pertex 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.  

Get the latest price at:



Montane Minimus Pants

Price: £110
Weight: 145g

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.

Get the latest price at:


Columbia Pouring Adventure

Price: £55
Weight: NA

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.

Get the latest price at:


Other Types Of Waterproof Trousers

Rohan Dry Requisite

Price: £99
Weight: 550g

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, and do indeed offer 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.

Get the latest price at:


Páramo Cascada II Trousers

Price: £155
Weight: 481g

Páramo are another brand, like Rohan, who do things a bit differently. They make weatherproof products that don’t require membranes for instance, instead trusting in the incredible power of Nikwax, a fabric treatment that repels water and speeds up drying time. 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.

Get the latest price at:


Fjällräven Vidda Pro G-1000

Price: £145
Weight: 590g

OK these aren’t strictly waterproof but they’ll still offer a very high level of weather protection, and probably more breathability than any of the other trousers featured on this page. Made from a blend of cotton and nylon Fjällräven call G-1000, you’ll need to apply their Greenland Wax onto the material to bring it up to its full wet weather potential. 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.

Get the latest price at:


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.