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Best Rain Pants for Hiking: Top 9 Products to Keep You Going

Man wearing a pair of rain hiking pants climbing the mountains

You have to agree with us that when you are hiking and camping, you want to be in the most comfortable clothes to keep you going. We know that the pants are often overlooked, but if you are not in comfortable pair then it can be hard to keep going and enjoying your hike. When it comes to rain pants most people don’t have any idea what to look for when they are buying rain pants for their outdoor trip.

Well, we are going to solve this problem of yours by telling about some important terms that you need to know to buy the best rain pants for hiking that will keep you dry and comfortable. Then, we are going to give you a review of the top nine rain pants that we think will allow you to not only have a great product, but enjoy your hikes or camping trips even more.

Product NameWeightMaterialsSpecial FeaturesPrice
Patagonia Torrentshell0.62 lb100% rip-stop nylonRip stop nylon, breathable, waterproof, elasticized waistband, mesh pockets, DWRCheck price on Amazon
Montane Minimus0.96 lbPERTEX shield fabricWaterproof, breathable, lightweight, side ankle zippers, stuff sack, draw cord waist, elastic edges.Check price on Amazon
Marmot Precip0.93 lbPreCip 2.5 100% nylonWaterproof, breathable, 100% seam taped, back zip pockets, ankle side zips.Check price on Amazon
Helly Hansen Voss0.6 lb100% polyurethane fabricImported, 100% polyurethane, waterproof, breathable.Check price on Amazon
Mountain Hardwear AW160.96 lbDry Q active waterproof fabric and 40D face fabricBreathable, waterproof, durable fit, thigh pocket, ventilation, four way stretch.Check price on Amazon
Arcteryx Beta SL1 lb100% cotton100% cotton, light weight, compact, fly zipper access, DWR.Check price on Amazon
Columbia Rebel0.96 lb100% nylonWaterproof, breathable, machine washable, adjustable cuffs, omni tech waterproof.Check price on Amazon
North Face Resolve0.79 lbNylon ripstop fabricImported, waterproof, breathable, seam sealed, elasticized waist, ankle zipper gusset.Check price on Amazon
Outdoor Research Helium1 lb100% nylonNylon, breathable, waterproof, seam taped, ankle zippers.Check price on Amazon

Features To Consider Before Buying

There are quite a few things that you should know before you make a decision of buying a product. Take a look at the features we have listed, and get ready to make the right choice.

Kinds Of Weather Protection

Every pant offers some kind of weather protection. To know about the kind of weather protection they offer can prove to be a lot helpful.

Waterproof

Water proof pants are those who will keep water away from your skin and will keep moving your sweat to evaporate outside. If any brand or product is claiming to be waterproof that means its fabric is water resistant enough to keep the water away from your skin even if it’s a rain storm. So if you are planning an activity that will make you sweat more, then waterproof pants are the best choice for you.

Water Resistant

Water resistant fabric can survive light rain for a short time, but if it starts raining heavily, then these pants, will not be able to keep the water away from your skin in most cases. If you don’t plan any activity that will make you sweat much and all you plan on doing is walking or sitting then this type of pants are a suitable choice for you.

Image of a mans legs in the snow wearing a softshell hiking pants

They cost less and are effective mostly. But, if it’s continuously raining then this won’t be of much use.

Windproof

A pair of pants that are waterproof is also wind proof which makes sense because the design that is made to block rain will also block the wind. Still, there are pants available that offer windproof pants so you can get them too, if you want to be extra cautious just in case.

Wind Resistant

Wind resistant pants are almost the same as water resistant pants. The difference is that these pants are lighter in weight and can be fit easily into backpack’s pockets.

A man wearing a windproof hiking pants

These are usually for short camping trips and they don’t offer protection in a storm or worse weather conditions so you need to consider that before making any decision.

Different Kinds Of Weather Shells

To know more about the weather protection fabric you need to know about different kinds of shells they use for weather protection, which will help, you choose a better product for yourself.

Hard Shell

As the name indicates hard shell is a lot stiffer than others and it’s not insulated it provides warmth through its inner mid layer and base layer. Hard shells that are flexible are being made to provide more comfort. These hard shell pants are mostly part of breathable and waterproof backpacking gear.

Soft Shell

Soft shells are more flexible than hard shells and they have insulation to provide the warmth. They are water resistant and to keep it lightweight, they have a single layer that works as the mid layer and an outer layer.

A person wearing Norrøna Bitihorn Lightweight Pants

It will offer lesser protection against rain, but higher breathability. These types of pants are recommended when you are planning high exertion activities and the perspiration is a big priority for you.

Hybrid Shell

Hybrid shell is basically a hard shell and soft shell combined. The hard shell is mostly present on the outer surface and the soft shell is under the surface and on the sides. These shells have both soft shell and hard shell qualities and are more breathable, water proof and wind proof thus offer the most protection.

Insulated Shell

Insulated shell has down or synthetic insulation in them, to provide warmth and protection against the weather. These are also water resistant and breathable.

Hiker with red backpack on sharp sandstone rock in rock empires park and watching over the misty and foggy spring valley to Horizon.

If it’s also seal seamed, then it means it will provide full protection against rain. The waterproof and breathable fabric will make it more comfortable for you.

Breathability

Breathability is really an important factor because you don’t want to go hiking with sweat dripping down all over you. That will make the hiking more difficult and you will get tired easily which means it will make your trip miserable.

So in order to avoid all that you need to pick a fabric that is breathable enough to vaporize the sweat and to keep the rain away too. The better the breathability, the more comfortable you I’ll be. It just means the passage of air from outside to inside and from inside to outside.

Waterproof Technologies

There are few coatings and membranes that are a part of rain wear fabric to keep the water out. The technology that is used to keep the water out and to enable the fabric to vaporize the sweat is either lamination or coating. We will explain the difference between these two to help you understand more about it.

Hiking-pants-made-of-synthetic-materials-may-resist-tearing-and-moisture-from-rain

Laminate is basically kind of like glue that sticks to the wall and it is made of the polyester membrane while coatings are more like paint on a wall and are made of polyurethane. Coatings are lighter in weight and have low prices compared to laminate waterproof fabric.

DWR

Double water repellent (DWR) is high efficiency water repellent technology, but it is difficult to maintain. In this fabric, rain wear has a durable water repellent quality that works like magic.

Man wearing a rain jacket and arain pants

Though, it needs to be applied constantly to keep it maintained. So you need to regularly apply the DWR treatment to maintain it.

Layers Of Rain Wear

There are usually three layers of a typical rain wear fabric. The 2, 2.5 and 3 layer design is most common. The outer layer repels the water away and the inner layers provide protection against the body fluids and any kind of abrasion.

Fitting

Fitting is really important if you want to spend a comfortable time hiking your way through the trails. The rain pants mostly have elasticized waist and draw cord to provide comfortable and convenient fitting.

Man wearing a lightweight DWR hiking pants

But to be sure you should try on the pants and check if they fit right and you can move around in them comfortably because this is very important when you are outdoors and you can’t really do anything about the fitting of the pants there.

Color

If you think that the color of the pants doesn’t matter, then let me tell you why it does. The light colors are for summers and dark for winters because they absorb more sunlight and will keep you all warm and comfortable.

A pair of hiking pants on a wooden floor

Most of these pants are available in black color which works fine in rainy weather so you are okay if you want to get black pants. Though you really need to consider the weather conditions of the place you plan to go to before making any decision.

Quality

When you are buying rain pants you should consider the quality of the material they are made of and the waterproofing technology they are using. If the quality is good enough, then they will last longer and will prove to be of great help during your hiking trips. If the quality is good, then you can rely on these pants to against even worse weather conditions.

Top Rain Pants Reviews

The following nine pairs of rain pants are the ones we consider the best. From there, it’s your decision which ones to pick based on your needs or preferences, but know that all nine are a very good option.

Patagonia Torrentshell Patagonia Torrentshell Pants

Price: $170 – $210

Weight: 0.62 lb

Specific features: Rip-stop nylon, breathable, waterproof, elasticized waistband, mesh pockets, DWR

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Patagonia Torrentshell Pants are manufactured with 100% rip stop nylon and are available in all sizes. These waterproof pants have DWR for protection against rain and are durable. The waistband is elasticized with draw cord to provide better fitting as well as not creating any troubles during long hikes.

To enable you to move with ease, the knees have been articulated and the pants can be stuffed into its own left pocket. This particular feature is really useful when it comes to traveling or even hiking, as they can become very compact and don’t take space at all. These pants are lightweight so they are easy to carry around. These pants additionally have two pockets with zippers to store your things.

These pants are made of high quality fabric, are lightweight and durable which makes them perfect for the outdoors. The price is quite reasonable too, so you need to definitely check them out.

PROS:

  • They occupy a tiny volume of space on any bag
  • The fabric is very high quality

CONS:

  • None

Related: The Helly Hansen Seven J Jacket is a strong and reliable rain jacket, which can be bought alongside these pants. This jacket will also protect you against rain and wind whilst you hike, and it’s lightweight and easy to carry in a bag.

Check the price on Amazon

Montane Minimus Montane Minimus Pants

Price: $80 – $140

Weight: 0.96 lb

Specific features: Waterproof, breathable, lightweight, side ankle zippers, stuff sack, draw cord waist, elastic edges.

Best use: Mountaineering, camping, backpacking

Description: Montane Minimus Pants are available in black color in medium, large and XX large sizes. These pants are waterproof and have PETREX shell that makes them highly breathable and comfortable.

The pants are ultra-lightweight, which makes them easy to move and carry around. These pants are very suitable for mountaineering as they have articulated knees for step high movement. For perfect fitting, these pants have elastic waist with drawstring for easy adjustment.

If you are on a trail, and you want to pull over the pants, then these pants give you this option with their side zippers and provide you exposure to air and access. Additionally, to reduce the wind resistance and the abrasion on inner lower leg Velcro calf tabs are included to lessen the volume around calves.

To keep you warm and to prevent heat loss the hem is pre elasticated which also gives tight fitting against footwear. This product comes with a stuff sack to store the pants if you are on the move. These pants also feature 360 reflectivity from dust till dawn.

PROS:

  • Very breathable fabric, ideal for hikes
  • The PERTEX shield works very well
  • Great fit

CONS:

  • The calf Velcro is not the best quality

Related: The Altra Trail Gaiters are a great add-on to any rain pants. These gaiters will protect your ankles from dirt, rocks, mud and snow, keeping you dry and clean. They can be worn under the pants and tied to the shoes, protecting a part of them too.

Check the price on Amazon

Marmot Precip Marmot Precip Pant

Price: Approx. $80

Weight: 0.93 lb

Specific features: Waterproof, breathable, 100% seam taped, back zip pockets, ankle side zips

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Marmot Precip Pant as the name indicates are available in navy color and XL size. These pants are waterproof with the PreCip Dry Touch Technology.  To keep them fully water proof they are 100% seam taped. These pants have ankle side zips which makes it was to put them on even with shoes.

The snap tabs at cuffs give protection to the zipper against snagging. Front hand pockets with zippers are to give you space to store small items like phone or wallet. Back zip pockets are also there to give you space to store your little things.

The fabric is lightweight, which lets sweat to evaporate to keep you comfortable. These pants are reliable and work in even rough weather conditions. These pants are light weight and will keep you dry during outdoor adventures. If you are looking for quality and durability, then this product is definitely for you.

PROS:

  • Front and back zipped pockets
  • 100% seam taped, making them completely waterproof

CONS:

  • They are a bit large or wide, people say they are on the larger side

Related: The Osprey Ultralight Raincover is commonly bought alongside these rain pants. The cover will protect your bag or any other items from getting wet, and it’s very small and compact when folded, ideal for camping or traveling.

Check the price on Amazon

Helly Hansen Voss Helly Hansen Voss Rain Pant

Price: $20 – $50

Weight: 0.6 lb

Specific features: Imported, 100% polyurethane, waterproof, breathable

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Helly Hansen Voss Rain Pant is made of imported 100% polyurethane fabric. These pants are waterproof and lightweight. The product is available in almost all sizes and two colors black and navy.

The price of this product is cheap, so if you are looking for a good product in the low price range, then this is the product for you. The pants can be turned into pull on style, which means they can be used regularly too. The waterproof protection means it will keep you dry and warm. The downside of these pants is that they don’t have any pockets, which are otherwise really useful for outdoor trips.

These pants are comfortable, lightweight, and they get the job done.  The adjustable drawstring at the waist makes the fitting easier. Snap buttons at the bottom are there to keep it tight against your leg while you are climbing or even riding a cycle.

PROS:

  • Affordable price
  • A lot of breathing room, very comfortable
  • Waterproof feature is very reliable

CONS:

  • No fly or ankle zippers
  • No pockets

Related: The Helly Hansen Workwear Rain Jacket is a good match with these pants, both from the same brand. It’s affordable, reliable and very durable, a great match for rainy camping trips or hikes.

Check the price on Amazon

Mountain Hardwear AW16 Mountain Hardwear AW16 Pants

Price: $140 – $160

Weight: 0.96 lb

Specific features: Breathable, waterproof, durable fit, thigh pocket, ventilation, four way stretch

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Mountain Hardwear AW16 Pants are available in almost all sizes, in black color, which gives them an amazing look. These pants feature all over stretch which makes them really comfortable during wet conditions and hiking.

The Dry D active technology ensures that the moisture banishes effectively. The stretch fabric makes it easy for you to move around, especially when you are on a rather tough trail. The Dry D active technology makes it highly breathable, highly movable even with the light weight.

This technology is the combination of hard shell with stretchable fabric that makes it unique. The four-way stretchable ozonic feature means that you can put the fabric in your fingers and stretch it in any direction you want. Additionally, the pants have a Velcro tab at waist and snap tab at ankles to provide tight fitting. Thigh zip is for storage and pit zips to provide ventilation. Side zippers also have two security closures to keep your things safe.

PROS:

  • Very reliable waterproof feature

CONS:

  • No side or back pockets

Related: The Mountain Hardware Wicked Tee is commonly bought with the pants. This is a very comfortable shirt to be used during hikes or camping trips. It’s light, comfortable and dries very fast.

Check the price on Amazon

Arcteryx Beta SL Arcteryx Beta SL Pant - Men's

Price: $120 – $300

Weight: 1 lb

Specific features: 100% cotton, light weight, compact, fly zipper access, DWR

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Arcteryx Beta SL Pants are available in two colors black and codium. The pants are available in almost every size from extra small to XX large.

The fabric used in these pants is 100% cotton. The fabric is made with Paclite technology, which makes it compact and lightweight.

The pants have lace hooks to secure pants over footwear. The product also features micro seam allowance to lessen the bulk and DWR finish is to give protection against rain and to keep you dry and warm.

The pants also have a fly zipper to give easy access and the waistband is elasticized with a draw cord for easy fitting. The material used in these pants is highly durable and comfortable. The price of these amazing pants is around $200,  which is quite reasonable with all the features it offers. All in all it’s a really good investment choice for you.

PROS:

  • GoreTex Fabric, one of the most famous in the market
  • Taped zippers, completely waterproof pants

CONS:

  • The price is quite expensive

Related:  The Arcteryx Bora2 Boots are a good match with these pants. Wear the pants and the boots to any hike or camping trip, and you’ll stay dry as well as comfortable for the entire time.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Rebel Columbia Rebel Pant

Price: $35 – $90

Weight: 0.96 lb

Specific features: Waterproof, breathable, machine washable, adjustable cuffs,

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Columbia Rebel Pants are available in all sizes and the color of this pant is black. The pants are made of 100% nylon fabric which makes them durable and breathable.

The pants have soft shell to provide comfort and protection in the outdoors. The pants feature fully seam sealed waterproof performance, which makes it extremely breathable to give ventilation and also to keep you dry.

Furthermore, they come with an adjustable elastic waist with draw cord to give perfect and durable fitting. The pants are machine washable, so you can easily wash them with washing machine. The downside of these pants is that they don’t have any pockets, thou they have hook and loop adjustable cuffs.

The price of these pants is from around $40 and to nearly $60, which depends on where you buy them from. This product has got some really good reviews and feedback so you should definitely check them out to see if they are the right choice for you.

PROS:

  • Very good breathability
  • Good fit
  • Great waterproof feature

CONS:

  • No pockets

Related:  If you like these Columbia pants, the Columbia Watertight II Jacket is a very good combination with the pants. Being also waterproof and reliable, wear pants and jackets to any rainy hike or camping trip.

Check the price on Amazon

The North Face Resolve The North Face Resolve Pants

Price: $70 – $80

Weight: 0.79 lb

Specific features: Imported, waterproof, breathable, seam sealed, elasticized waist, ankle zipper gusset

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description:  The North Face Resolve Pant comes in black color and is available in different sizes. They are waterproof and breathable so they are very suitable for rainy weather hiking or camping.

Furthermore, this model is ultra-light weight so in case of down pout you can also pack these into your backpack easily. Made of rip stop nylon, which makes them lightweight, breathable and durable.

The 100% seam sealed feature is to keep you fully dry while you are on a wet trail. You can also roll these pants and fit them into its own pocket, which makes the storing part very convenient.

The elastic at the waist is for easy adjustment and secure fitting. The pants also have two hand pockets and ankle zipper gusset. These water proof pants also have mesh lining to give breathable protection.

PROS:

  • Seam sealed and great waterproof feature
  • Two pockets
  • Affordable price

CONS:

  • Pockets are small

Related: The North Face Resolve Jacket is literally the complementary item to buy with these pants. It is from the same line, also waterproof, comfortable and reliable. Both items will keep you dry on any rainy situation.

Check the price on Amazon

Outdoor Research Helium Outdoor Research Helium Pants

Price: $80 – $120

Weight: 1 lb

Specific features: Nylon, breathable, waterproof, seam taped, ankle zippers

Best use: Hiking, camping, backpacking

Description: Outdoor Research Helium Pants also comes in black color and is available in every size. The price of these pants is around $120, depending on where you are buying the product from. They are made of rip stop nylon, which makes them lightweight, breathable and durable.

The 100% seam sealed feature is to keep you fully dry while you are on a wet trail. You can also roll these pants and fit them into its own pocket, which makes the packing quite seamless. These pants are waterproof and breathable so they are perfect for rainy weather hiking or camping trips.

They are ultra-light weight so in case of a downpour you can also pack these into your backpack easily, or just wear them confidently knowing that they won’t make your hike uncomfortable. The elastic at the waist is for easy adjustment and secure fitting. The pants also have two hand pockets and ankle zipper gusset.

PROS:

  • Ankle zippers which are very useful
  • Great sizing, even for taller and larger men

CONS:

  • The female sizes are not very accurate, they are too small

Related: The Outdoor Research Helium HD Jacket is the item that combines with the pants. To stay dry on hikes or camping trips, buy both items. It is also an affordable and reliable jacket.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

To wrap it all up the final decision is going to be yours. We have given you plenty to choose from. Rain pants have many different features that you should know about before buying them, like the DWR or the rip-stop. You just need to figure out which features are the most important to you, check out our top product reviews again, and make the final, right decision.

A man wearing a waterproof convertible hiking pants

Please do share your views with us and let us know if there is something that we missed. Happy hiking, even on a rainy day!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Frederik Marner

    Hi Rebecca. I love your run down of all the different types of pants. What about snow? I live in Canada so snow will be a problem. Will these be resistant against snow when I don’t wish to wear the bulky snowpants?

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    These are made for protection against rain, so they might hold up in a little bit of snow, but you will want something with a little warmth, too. You can find thinner snow pants on the market that can fit you comfortably.

  • Fabienne Robert

    Most of these given products are more expensive as I found. I recommend that we should go for a pant with water proof plus with pockets. If there is no pocket I feel like there is no importance of the pant.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    Sorry they are too expensive! You could probably find other ones out there. We agree pockets are important however!

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