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Rain pants can be a lifesaver in the backcountry when Mother Nature decides to start pouring down rain on your outdoor adventure. Luckily, The Adventure Junkies broke down the ten best pairs of women’s rain pants to help you find your perfect match.

What exactly is a perfect match for a backpacking essential item? Well, having a pant that is completely weather resistant is a top priority. All of the rain pants featured in this article are completely rain, snow, sleet, hail and any other moisture-inducing weather proof. 

It’s also ideal to have a pair of pants that are easy to take on and off, and slip over your hiking boots/trail runners, and pockets are always a bonus. 

When rain is approaching, there’s no better feeling than reaching into your pack and pulling out your reliable rain gear to face the storm. Read below to find what features of rain pants suit your fancy. 

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

 

Quick Answer - The Best Women's Rain Pants

  1. Outdoor Research Helium
  2. Arc’teryx Zeta SL
  3. Arc’teryx Beta Sl
  4. Black Diamond Stormline Stretch
  5. REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants
  6. The North Face Venture 2 Half-Zip
  7. REI Co-op Talusphere Pants
  8. REI Essential Rain Pants

 

Comparison Table - The Best Women's Rain Pants

PictureNameInseamWeightSide PocketsPriceRating
Outdoor Research Helium30 Inches5.4 ozNo$$5.0
Arc’teryx Zeta SL32 Inches9 ozNo$$$5.0
Arc’teryx Beta Sl32 Inches12.2 ozNo$$$4.5
Black Diamond Stormline Stretch32 Inches6 ozYes$$4.5
rei xerodry gtxREI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants32 Inches9.1 ozYes$$4.5
The North Face Venture 2 Half-Zip32 Inches6.4 ozYes$$4.0
rei-talusphere-pantsREI Co-op Talusphere Pants32 InchesN/AYes$4.0
rei co-op essential rain pantsREI Essential Rain Pants31.5 InchesN/AYes$3.5
PictureNameInseamWeightSide PocketsPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Women's Rain Pants

Outdoor Research Helium

Specs
  • Fabric: Nylon
  • Inseam: 30 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: PerTex Shield
  • Weight: 5.4 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: No
Features
  • Back Pocket
  • Side Zips
  • Self Stuffs Into Pocket
  • Elastic Waistband With Drawstring
  • Reflective Logo
  • Gusseted Crotch

BEST FOR:  THE ULTRALIGHT HIKER

Outdoor Research is known for making quality products that are extremely lightweight. The Helium Rain Pants for women are no exception.

Weighing in at 5.4 ounces, you won’t ever think these pants are too heavy to carry. And even better; these pants come with their own storage system by folding into their own back pocket. 

The side zippers on these pants reach to your ankle, so you can slide your hiking boots or trail runners on and off pretty easily. One back pocket on these pants is secured with a zipper, so you know your belongings aren’t going anywhere while you’re hiking. 

These pants have an elastic waist and a drawstring to tighten to your most comfortable fit. A gusseted crotch will also help with comfort, and assure the pants won’t rip on you when you sit down for lunch.

Arc’teryx Zeta SL

Specs
  • Fabric: Ripstop Nylon With Gore Tex
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore Tex Paclite Plus
  • Weight: 9 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: No
Features
  • WaterTight Zippers
  • Reinforced Insteps
  • Front Zip and Button Closure
  • Side Zips

BEST FOR:  THE MINIMALIST 

Arc’teryx strikes gold again with these lightweight, packable women’s rain pants. Weighing nearly half a pound and made with a Gore Tex membrane, this product is hard to beat.

Gore Tex is known to have a soft exterior feel that isn’t stiff, offering you a full range of motion while you’re hiking. Reinforced insteps in the Zeta SL pants provides security when you’re trekking through rocky terrain, guaranteeing your pants won’t shred on you.

The side leg zipper on these pants nearly goes up to your knee, so taking your hiking boots or trail runners off and on will be a breeze. An adjustable webbing closure inside the pants will help you tailor the fit of these rain pants to your body perfectly. 

The zippers on all of these pants have watertight closures, which make sure no moisture will get through the zippers. 

The only downside to these pants is that they don’t have any pockets, making them a great option for a minimalist hiker. Similar to most Arc’teryx products, they come with a hefty price tag.

Arc’teryx Beta Sl

Specs
  • Fabric: Gore Tex Paclite Plus Synthetic
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: GoreTex Paclite
  • Weight: 12.2 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: No
Features
  • Full Length Side Zippers
  • External Waist Adjusters
  • Reinforced Insteps

BEST FOR: THE WINTER HIKER 

If you are a winter hiker who ventures into the alpine mountains in snow shoes, the Arc’teryx Beta SL Rain Pants are for you. 

These are guaranteed to keep you dry in rain, sleet, hail, snow and any other weather patterns Mother Nature throws at you. They also have a full length zipper, so getting in and out of these pants is a breeze.

These pants are designed to easily fit over your hiking boots or trail runners, and clasp at the bottom with a button for extra security. External waist adjusters on the outside of the pants tighten to help you get a secure fit. 

These pants also have reinforced instep patches, meaning that the bottom of the pant has an extra layer of fabric. So even when you’re climbing over rocks or hiking through tough terrain they will hold up on you and not rip. 

Similar to other Arc’teryx products, these come with a steep price tag, but the durability and comfortable feel makes it worth it.

Black Diamond Stormline Stretch

Specs
  • Fabric: Majority Nylon
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Waterproof Breathable Laminate
  • Weight: 6 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: Yes
Features
  • Gusseted Seat For Maximum Comfort While Moving
  • Articulated Knees So You Can Bend Down Comfortably
  • Self Stuffs Into Pocket For Minimal Storage
  • Elastic Waistband With Internal Drawstring
  • Back Pocket
  • Side Zips

BEST FOR: THE LIGHTWEIGHT HIKER

Black Diamond’s StormLine Stretch Rain Pants will keep you dry in the worst weather conditions and won’t weigh you down when you’re carrying them in your pack. 

Weighing in at less than half a pound, these pants are a no brainer for the ultralight hiker. Made with a gusseted seat and articulated knees, these pants won’t rip on you when you’re hiking or climbing about, and won’t seem tight when you’re bending your knees.

The elastic waistband at the top of these pants is thick, so they will stay in place and you won’t have to keep pulling them up. When the storm has ceased and you’re ready to throw them in your pack, these rain pants self stuff into the right back pocket of the pants, so they take up minimal room.

These pants come with side zips to comfortably fit around your hiking boots or trail runners, and a back pocket that zips shut for storage.

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants

Specs
  • Fabric: Polyester
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Gore Tex Paclite
  • Weight: 9.1 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: Yes
Features
  • Articulated Knees So Pants Won’t Rip While You Hike
  • Under Leg Gussets For Maximum Mobility And Comfort
  • Elastic Waistband With Drawstring
  • Zipper Side Pockets
  • Side Zips
rei xerodry gtx

BEST FOR: HIKING IN THE RAIN ON A BUDGET

REI ups their rain pant game with their XeroDry GTX Pants. These pants have a Gore Tex PacLite membrane, meaning they are fully waterproof AND packable.

Weighing in at just under 10 ounces, these are a lightweight yet durable option will hold up over the years. Under leg gussets is a unique feature on these rain pants, so when you’re trekking through abrasive terrain, these pants will give your knees extra room with each step.

Articulated knees will increase your range of motion and give you some comfort when you’re bending your knees. These pants have enough space for a thermal layer to fit underneath, and have a bit of a baggy fit. The pants have an elastic waistband you can slip over your base layers that can be adjusted with a drawstring to perfect your fit.

The North Face Venture 2 Half-Zip

Specs
  • Fabric: Ripstop Nylon
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: Waterproof Breathable Laminate
  • Weight: 6.4 oz
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: Yes
Features
  • Elastic Waistband with Internal Drawstring
  • Side Zip Pockets
  • Self Stuff Into Pocket
  • Side Zips

BEST FOR: THE BEGINNING HIKER

The North Face Venture 2 Half-Zip Rain Pants are a quality waterproof pant that will be the only shelter your legs need when you find yourself hiking through a rainstorm. 

These pants have an elastic waistband with a drawstring inside so you can tighten the pants to a fit you prefer. Equipped with two side pockets that can be fashioned shut with a zipper, you can hike assured that your belongings won’t be falling out of your pockets. 

These pants also have side zips that go all the way up to your knees, so putting your hiking shoes on or taking your trail runners off at the end of the day won’t be a battle. The ankle of this pant also has a drawstring adjuster, so you can tighten the bottom of the pants around your leg if you like.

These pants are a relaxed fit, and run a bit large. The nylon they are made of creates a rustling noise as you hike, but you won’t notice it much after the first mile.

REI Co-op Talusphere Pants

Specs
  • Fabric: Bluesign Approved Polyester
  • Inseam: 32 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Type of Waterproofing: REI Elements Waterproof Breathable Laminate
  • Weight: N/A
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: Yes
Features
  • Sealed Seams Prevent Water From Entering
  • Self Stuffs Into Pocket
  • Side Zip Pockets
  • Side Zips
rei-talusphere-pants

BEST FOR:  THE DAY HIKER 

REI’s Element Waterproof Breathable Laminate waterproofing technique ensures these rain pants are stretchy and breathable, making them a comfortable and waterproof option to sport on any trail.

The seams on these pants are sealed, meaning they are sewn together and then reinforced with a waterproofing material that guarantees a durable seam so they won’t be ripping apart at the seams. All of the pockets on these pants have a zip-shut closure, so your items will be secure while you trek through the mountains. 

These pants also can stuff into the left pocket, meaning they are packable and won’t take up much room in your pack. There are side zips that you can zip open when you are putting your hiking boots or trail runners on, and zip shut once you’re finished. 

These pants have an internal drawstring and elastic waistband, so you can slide them on and then tighten the drawstring to a fit you’re comfortable with.

REI Essential Rain Pants

Specs
  • Fabric: Waterproof Breathable Fabric
  • Inseam: 31.5 Inches
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Waterproof Type: Waterproof Breathable Fabric
  • Weight: N/A
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Side Pockets: Yes
Features
  • Sealed Seams Prevent Water From Entering The Pants
  • Articulated Knees Mean These Pants Won’t Rip When You Bend Your Knees
  • Elastic Waistband with Drawstring
  • Side Zip Pockets
  • Self Stuffs Into Pocket
rei co-op essential rain pants

BEST FOR: THE FRUGAL HIKER

REI’s Essential Rain Pants are an affordable option that still does it’s job of keeping you dry amid a storm in the backcountry.

REI treats the nylon material of these pants with a waterproof treatment to ensure they will keep you dry. These rain pants are also packable and can fold into the side pocket, so you know they won’t take up much room in your pack.

These pants have an elastic waistband with a drawstring that will help you tighten them to your most comfortable fit. They’re are also designed with an articulated knee, meaning extra space and detail have been added to the knee portion of the pant,  so when you’re moving in the mountains these pants won’t get stiff around your knee.

The only downside of these pants is they aren’t shaped to compliment to fit a woman’s body, and are a bit of a baggy fit.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING RAIN PANTS

FABRIC 

The fabric of your rain pant is arguably the most important feature to check when picking out your new pair of rain pants

Nylon is a common fabric, and ripstop nylon is a step above standard nylon that will help make sure you pants don’t rip. Nylon does tend to make a crunching noise as you hike, but you stop noticing it after a mile or so. 

Pants that have a Gore Tex PacLite membrane basically mean that they’ve been coated with a highly weatherproof guard that is softer and more comfortable than nylon or polyester. This means that the pants will certainly keep you dry, and are packable, so they won’t take up much room in your pack. The Adventure Junkies think pants with a Gore Tex PacLite membrane are the way to go, but they can oftentimes be a bit more expensive. 

Polyester is also a common fabric you see listed in this article. Polyester is usually accompanied by a cheaper price than nylon or Gore Tex, but is still does the job of being waterproof. It’s a bit of a thinner material than nylon, and can be noisy when hiking, but it does the job of keeping you dry and that’s the most important factor. 

TYPE OF WATERPROOFING 

Several of the pants featured in this article are treated with different types of waterproofing to make sure the pants are weather resistant but also comfortable. 

The most common type of waterproofing in this article is Gore Tex PacLite. This type of waterproofing is completely weatherproof and comfortable, while still being packable and lightweight.

Patagonia uses a H2No Water Treatment that is their proprietary technology to ensure their rain gear is dually waterproof and breathable.

PerTex Shield is another term featured in this article describing the type of waterproofing. PerTex Shield is resistant to rain and snow, windproof, and highly breathable.

Read more here about how to pick out rain gear and for tips on hiking in the rain. 

WEIGHT

The weight of your rain pants can be a big factor for someone going on a long backpacking trip, where every ounce counts. 

Figuring out what exactly you will be using your rain pants for, and then finding a pair that fits the features you want at the weight you’re looking for, is the way to go.

For example, if you are going to be using the rain pants for hiking as well as winter sports, you may want a pant with a wider boot leg or straps that can attach to the bottom of your boots.  

COST

A pair of rain pants won’t set you back as much as a rain jacket will, but some of them can still be rather expensive.

Similar to a rain jacket, once you buy a pair of rain pants, you shouldn’t have to replace them for a long time. Keep this in mind when you are dishing out some cash for rain pants. 

POCKETS 

Pockets are a popular feature for rain pants because it’s nice to have extra storage compartments at your access. Need a place to throw your keys? Stick them in your pockets. Looking for a midday snack? What better place than a pocket. 

Some pockets are zip shut and others are not. If you are one who puts precious items in you pants, such as your keys or wallet, you might be looking for extra security a zipper provides. If not, you could probably go without. 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

RIPSTOP NYLON

Ripstop nylon is a type of nylon sewn with a reinforcing technique to provide a quality garment that won’t rip or shred easily. This makes nylon a great choice for rain gear, because oftentimes you can be hiking through rocky terrain, and with ripstop nylon you will have the security that your clothes can withstand the wilderness.

GORE TEX

Gore Tex works as a membrane on a garment to prevent it from harsh weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet, hail and others. 

Gore Tex is also comfortable. It is softer than nylon or polyester, and it’s breathable material so it won’t leave you drenched in your own sweat at the end of the day.

PACLITE PLUS

A lot of times Gore Tex is paired with PacLite Plus in this article. This makes for not just a waterproof garment, but also a garment that can pack down very small, meaning it is lightweight and it won’t take up much room in your pack. Double bonus. 

WATERTIGHT ZIPPERS

Watertight zippers are the bees knees. They ensure that water won’t get in between your zips, and are easy to zip up and down. 

REINFORCED INSTEPS

Reinforced insteps means that your rain pants have an extra layer of fabric where it is needed most: the bottom of your pants. A lot of times when hiking through rough terrain, pants can shred easily on the rocks/dirt/debris you are stepping over. Reinforced insteps make it a little tougher to shred by adding an extra layer of security. 

SIDE ZIPS

Most of the pants in this article come with side zips. Their main goal? To make it easy to put your hiking boots/trail runners on and take them off. Having the ability to zip up the leg of your pants, put on your shoes, and then zip down the leg of your pants helps tremendously. 

H2No PERFORMANCE STANDARD WATERPROOF BREATHABLE FABRIC

This is Patagonia’s waterproofing fabric material. It is soft, breathable, and durable, and is used on most of their rain gear. 

ARTICULATED KNEES

Articulated knees are a big bonus, because no one likes stiff pants when you’re hiking. This gives your pants the ability to move with you when you step, instead of holding your leg back in a stiff position.

Articulated knees means the designer prepared for you to bend your leg, and designed the fabric in a way that will benefit your knee when it’s bending. 

GUSSETED CROTCH 

A gusseted crotch means the crotch of your pants has a diamond like pattern of fabric that lays over the seams. This reinforces the crotch area of your pants, so that you can sit criss cross applesauce without a worry of your pants splitting on you.

READ MORE

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

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