Mother Nature can be cruel. There’s nothing worse than spending a long holiday weekend hiking in picturesque mountain ranges only to have a storm roll in, leaving you soaked to the bone on the first day. However, if you’re prepared for the elements, having a pair of rain pants will keep you dry. But, what are the best rain pants for hiking?

Outdoor gear has improved a lot in the last few years. Long gone are the days of external frame backpacks and cutoff jean shorts paired with tennis shoes. Today’s hiking gear is made from advanced fabrics like Gore-Tex and NeoShell. The products available has all the bells and whistles you need to stay warm and dry during your mountain adventures.

One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to help make your life easier when it comes to shopping for outdoor gear. In this article, we’ll walk you through what you need to look for when buying rain pants and show you our selection of some of the best models of the year.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Rain Jackets for Hiking

 

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Quick Answer - The Best Rain Pants for Hiking

  1. Outdoor Research Helium
  2. Marmot PreCip
  3. REI Talusphere Pants
  4. Arc’teryx Beta SL
  5. Patagonia Torrentshell
  6. Montane Minimus Pants
  7. Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic
  8. Columbia Rebel Roamer Pants
  9. Helly Hansen Voss Pants

Comparison Table - Best Rain Pants for Hiking

PictureNameMaterialLeg ZipPriceRating
Outdoor Research HeliumPertex Shield+Ankle Zip$$3.8
Marmot PreCip20D Stretch NanoPro MembraneAnkle Zip$4.0
REI Talusphere PantsPolyester 2.5-layer REI ElementsAnkle Zip$3.0
-Arc’teryx Beta SLGore-Tex NylonQuarter-length Zip$$4.5
-Patagonia TorrentshellRipstop NylonThree-quarter Length$5.0
-Montane Minimus PantsPertex Shield, DWR CoatingKnee Length$$5.0
-Mountain Hardwear Stretch OzonicDry Q Active 40D NylonFull Length$$5.0
-Columbia Rebel Roamer PantsOmni-Tech NylonNone; Adjustable Cuff$4.5
-Helly Hansen Voss PantsHelox + PolyurethaneNone; Snap Cuff$4.0
PictureNameMaterialLeg ZipPriceRating

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Reviews - The Best Hiking Rain Pants

Outdoor Research Helium


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Ankle Zip
  • Material: Pertex Shield+
Features
  • Zip front hand pockets
  • 100% taped seams
  • Ankle side zips with cuff tabs
  • Back zip pocket

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT HIKING

PROS: Lightweight pant that breathes well and packs down to the size of a granola bar

CONS: Ankle zippers don’t allow you to put the pants on over hiking boots or shoes

Marmot PreCip


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Ankle Zip
  • Material: 20D Stretch NanoPro Membrane
Features
  • Fully sealed seams
  • Elastic waist with draw cord
  • Ankle zips
  • Zip front pocket

BEST FOR: HIKERS WHO LIKE TO LAYER CLOTHING

PROS: No frills waterproof pants that are true to size and keep you dry

CONS: Only has one pocket

REI Talusphere Pants


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Ankle Zip
  • Material: Polyester 2.5-layer REI Elements
Features
  • Zip pocket
  • Waist drawcord
  • Ankle zips with cuffs

BEST FOR: DAY HIKING

PROS: These pants are both budget-friendly and comfortable

CONS: The ankle zip might not be big enough to put on over hiking boots

Arc’teryx Beta SL


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Quarter-length Zip
  • Material: Gore-Tex Nylon
Features
  • Articulated knees
  • Gusseted crotch
  • 1/4 length leg zippers
  • Waist drawcord
  • Adjustable pant cuff

BEST FOR: THE MINIMALIST HIKER WHO WANTS TO STAY DRY

PROS: These pants keep you dry and are easy to get on in a hurry

CONS: They are expensive and have no pockets

Patagonia Torrentshell

Specs
  • Leg Zip: Three-quarter Length
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
Features
  • Pull-on elasticized waistband with internal drawcord
  • Zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Articulated knees
  • Welded
  • Water-repellent side zips from cuff to thigh

BEST FOR: FOR THE ADVENTUROUS TREKKER

PROS: These pants are well-designed with all the bells and whistles you need for the backcountry

CONS: The inside liner might wear out quickly with regular use

 

Montane Minimus Pants


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Knee Length
  • Material: Pertex Shield, DWR Coating
Features
  • Knee-length zippers
  • Hook-and-loop ankle tabs
  • Articulated knees
  • Reflective trim

BEST FOR: HIKERS WHO DON’T NEED ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES

PROS: The Minimus Pant is extremely lightweight and easy to pack

CONS: These pants have no pockets and run a bit short if you have long legs

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: Full Length
  • Material: Dry Q Active 40D Nylon
Features
  • Full-length side zips
  • Belt loops
  • Enhanced knee articulation
  • Elastic at back of waist for comfort

BEST FOR: HIKING IN RAPIDLY CHANGING WEATHER CONDITIONS

PROS: These lightweight stretch pants fit well and pack down to fit into a pack

CONS: These pants don’t have any reinforcement around the high wear areas

Columbia Rebel Roamer Pants


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: None; Adjustable Cuff
  • Material: Omni-Tech Nylon
Features
  • Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs
  • Elastic waistband
  • Fully sealed seams

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING A BUDGET-FRIENDLY PAIR

PROS: This pant has a modern classic fit at a very affordable price tag

CONS: No pockets

Helly Hansen Voss Pants


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Leg Zip: None; Snap Cuff
  • Material: Helox + Polyurethane
Features
  • Elastic adjustable waist
  • Welded seams
  • Fully wind and waterproof
  • Adjustable snap bottom hem

BEST FOR: HIKERS WHO WANT TO STAY DRY IN SEVERE CONDITIONS

PROS: These pants will keep you dry to the bone

CONS: These pants don’t have good breathability

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST RAIN PANTS FOR HIKING

MATERIAL

Hiking in heavy downpours can be awful without the right gear. If there’s a chance of rain during your hike, it’s a good idea to bring rain gear, including rain pants. Look for a pair of pants that is not only waterproof but also breathable and durable. Many clothing manufacturers have developed their own waterproof fabrics. Others use fabrics such as Gore-Tex, Pertex and Polartec.

Waterproof pants and jackets are made of fabrics consisting of either 2, 2.5, or 3 layers of fabric. As you might of guessed, the more layers of fabric, the more waterproof protection you’ll have. Pants with 2-layer protection offer basic protection against the rain. They are also the most affordable option. If you think you’ll be hiking in severe conditions, it’s best to spend the extra dough to get 3-layer protection.

 

LEG ZIPS

You want pants that you can put on easily and quickly over your boots. Rain pants for hiking generally have a leg zip to help you get your pants over your bulky hiking boots. Leg zips can range from short ankle length up to full-length zippers. Most hikers will be fine with ankle zips, but it depends on your boot size.

 

FIT

Rain pants for hiking should not fit like a pair of skinny jeans. They should fit comfortably and offer great freedom of movement. Most hikers tend to layer rain pants over their normal hiking pants so you’ll want a pair of rain pants that you can fit over your other pants. You might even consider sizing up for this reason.

 

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Rain Jackets for Hiking | Hiking Hats

Trail Running Shoes for Hiking | Socks for Hiking

Convertible Hiking Pants | Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Lightweight Hiking Boots

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