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.

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST RAIN PANTS FOR HIKING

PICTURE
RAIN PANTS
LEG ZIP
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
RAIN PANTS
LEG ZIP
PRICE
RATING
Patagonia Torrentshell Pants
¾ Length Zips
$
5.0
Montane Minimus Pants
Knee Length Zips
$$
5.0
Outdoor Research Helium Pants
Ankle Zip
$$
3.8
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants
Full Length Zips
$$
5.0
Arc’teryx Beta SL Pants
¼ Length Zips
$$
4.5
The North Face Resolve Pants
Ankle Zip
$
4.5
Columbia Rebel Roamer Pants
None; Adjustable Cuff
$
4.5
Marmot PreCip Pants
Ankle Zip
$
4.0
Helly Hansen Voss Pants
None; Snap Cuff
$
4.0
rei
REI Talusphere Pants
Ankle Zip
$
3.0

 

 

HIKING RAIN PANTS 101

 

3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING RAIN PANTS FOR HIKING

 

1. 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.

 

2. 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.

 

3. 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.

 

best hiking pants for the rain

Photo by istockphoto.com/es/en/portfolio/rdonar

 

 

HIKING RAIN PANTS REVIEWS

TOP 10 BEST RAIN PANTS FOR HIKING OF 2016

 

PATAGONIA TORRENTSHELL PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: For the adventurous trekker

WOMEN’S VERSION: Patagonia Women’s Torrentshell Pants 

MATERIAL: H2No Performance Standard waterproof breathable ripstop nylon

FEATURES: Pull-on elasticized waistband with internal drawcord, zippered handwarmer pockets, articulated knees, welded, water-repellent side zips from cuff to thigh

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

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Hikers who like don’t need all the bells and whistles

WOMEN’S VERSION: Montane Minimus Pants

MATERIAL: Pertex Shield, DWR coating

FEATURES: Knee-length zippers, hook-and-loop ankle tabs, articulated knees, reflective trim

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

 

 

 

OUTDOOR RESEARCH HELIUM PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Ultralight hiking

WOMEN’S VERSION: Outdoor Research Aspire Pants

MATERIAL: Waterproof (20k) and breathable (20k) Pertex Shield+

FEATURES: Zip front hand pockets, 100% taped seams, ankle side zips with cuff tabs, back zip pocket

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

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR STRETCH OZONIC PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Hiking in weather conditions that can rapidly change

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Stretch Ozonic Pant

MATERIAL: Dry Q Active 2.5L 40D 100% Nylon

FEATURES: Full-length side zips, belt loops, enhanced knee articulation, elastic at back of waist for comfort

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

 

 

ARC’TERYX BETA SL PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: The minimalist hiker who wants to stay dry

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Beta SL Pants 

MATERIAL: GORE-TEX 3L Nylon

FEATURES: Articulated knees, gusseted crotch, 1/4 length leg zippers, waist drawcord, adjustable pant cuff

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

CONS: They are expensive and have no pockets

 

 

THE NORTH FACE RESOLVE PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Hikers on a budget

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Resolve Pant 

MATERIAL: 70D HyVent 2L-100% Nylon

FEATURES: Mesh lining, elasticized waist, two hand pockets, ankle zipper, seam sealed, lifetime warranty

PROS: Theses lightweight rain pants are budget friendly and comfortable

CONS: The ankle zip may not be long enough to get over a pair of hiking boots

 

 

COLUMBIA REBEL ROAMER PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Hikers who want a very budget friendly pair of rain pants for “just in case” needs

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Storm Surge Rain Pant

MATERIAL: 100% Omni-Tech Nylon 70D MP LTX

FEATURES: Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs, elastic waistband, fully sealed seams

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

CONS: No pockets

 

 

 

MARMOT PRECIP PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Hikers who like to layer clothing

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s PreCip Full Zip Pant

MATERIAL: 20 denier Stretch NanoPro Membrane

FEATURES: Fully sealed seams, elastic waist with draw cord, ankle zips, zip front pocket

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

CONS: Only has one pocket

 

 

 

HELLY HANSEN VOSS PANTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Hikers who just want to stay dry in severe conditions

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Voss Pants 

MATERIAL: Helox + polyurethane

FEATURES: Elastic adjustable waist, welded seams, fully wind- and waterproof, adjustable snap bottom hem

PROS: These pants will keep you dry to the bone

CONS: These pants don’t have good breathability

 

 

 

REI TALUSPHERE PANTS

rei

Check out the latest price on:
REI

BEST FOR: Perfect for day hikers

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Talusphere Pants 

MATERIAL: Polyester 2.5-layer REI Elements

FEATURES: Zip pocket, waist drawcord, ankle zips with cuffs

PROS: These pants are both budget-friendly and comfortable

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

 

Top 10 Best Rain Pants for Hiking of 2017 – Hiking Clothes for Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring – Hiking Outfits for Women, Men and Kids – Backpacking Gear For Beginners
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