Best Rain Pants for Hiking (2018 edition)

The last few days have been quite hectic for you; other than just running around, making calls as you assemble your hiking team, you been forced to visit several stores in town looking for the best gear.  Apart from those last minutes items, you probably have everything already parked waiting for that action packed hiking day. You are going to spend a couple of days in the wilderness with some of your close friends and you are really excited about it.

Your have also watched the weather channels and from the look of things it looks like it going to rain while you will be out in the mountains there. For that, you are thinking of getting the best rain pants for hiking. You thought you had everything packed and you can’t just imagine how you missed it. Well, since you are still left with a couple of days before you leave, we are pretty sure nailing down the best rain pants is not going to be easy for you.


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

How To Choose The Best Rain Pants For Hiking

Rain pants for hiking is not one of those items you pop into a store and pick it right away without giving much thought. Thankfully, we are here to help you. We just want you to relax and sit as we give you great tips on how to choose the best rain pants for hiking. We know all the terminologies used, recently released pants designs and we know some of the most reputable manufacturers in the world. To help you find the very best, here are great tips on how to choose the best rain pants for hiking.

Types Of Rain Pants

What is that you really need? There are different types of rain pants and with that in mind, you just need to know what you really need as that will make your whole shopping process a bit easy. There are 3 main types of rain pants: Rain pants with zipper, rain pants without zipper and rain chaps.  To give you a clear picture of what we mean, here is a quick look into each one of them.

  • Rain pant zippers: These are pretty much like the pit zip on rain jackets. They will let you vent moisture when opened. There are some of the easiest to put on or take off, as you will not be forced to take off your shoes.
  • Rain pants without zippers: They are some of the lightest compared to one with zippers. The best part, they are less likely to fail when a zipper breaks.
  • Rain Chaps: These are leggings that cover your legs and attach to your pant belt. They don’t cover your crotch or butt area though. Although, there are super breathable, you will be forced to wear a rain coat to protect your crotch from getting soaked in water.

Leg Zippers

As simple as it may sound, this feature is really important as it comes with great benefits. So when buying your rain hiking pants, you may want to make sure it comes with a zipper at the bottom. It is a very convenient feature as it allows you to widen them as you slip them on without the need to remove your hiking boots.

After all, who would want to remove their shoes when it starts raining? So for convenience and safety also, make sure the  choice you make comes with this feature. It cannot get better than that.


How windproof is you pair of rain pants? It is important you take that into consideration. Yes, we understand the primary purpose of rain pants is keeping your dry, but it will make sense if they can protect you from the wind. This is important for if that wind penetrate your clothes, it will remove warm air that insulates your body and that can leave you feeling very uncomfortable and maybe cold.

How Waterproof?

One of the biggest reasons why you are buying your rain pants is because you are looking for protection from the rain. Because of this you may want to consider how waterproof your pants are before you make any choice. So you know, hiking pants are all breathable and no breathable fabric is 100 percent waterproof. Our hiking pants often come with layer and the number of layers directly affects the extent to which these pieces of clothing prevent water from passing. Taking that into account, it is important to note that there will always be a trade-off between, weight, performance and price. So you need to think very carefully about  the exactly situation you need the rain pants as that will dictate what you are going to choose in the long run.


When it comes to layers, breathable waterproof fabrics come in three different types of layers; 2 layered, 2.5 layered and 3-layred.  Each one of this comes with its own properties and you will need to decide which kind of layering will suit your outdoor activities.

  • 2-layer waterproof fabrics

This one often feature an outer layer combined with a second waterproof layer in the inside, either in form of a membrane or coating. Fabrics that come with this kind of layering are probably the heaviest, making them unsuitable if you are looking for ways to bring the weight of your hiking pants down.

  • 5 Layer fabric.

This one comes equipped with an external layer treated with Durable Water Repellent.  Right below the outer layer features a breathable membrane which is said to aid in transferring moisture away from the body. Plus, below this you also find a very thin coating that protects the membrane. Pants that come with this layering are some of the lightest and impressively packable.

  • 3-layer fabric

This type of fabric is all about Durable Ester Repellent external layer and internal membrane that features an internal liner. With this kind of layering, you get a tough and more durable, but also heavy fabric.

Weight and Compressibility

Rain hiking pants usually come made of different materials and different technologies have been used resulting in varying weight. When it comes to the amount of weight you should go for, you need to consider the kind of activities you are likely to take part.

For example, if you are going hiking, likely, you will be carrying a pair of ran pants as a backup and you will probably have it packed in your backpack most of the time just in case weather gets nasty. For that, you will need something that is light and that is quite packable. We mean something that pack down as small as possible.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a pair of ran pants you will wear all through and a pair that can withstand some fairly rough treatment, going for a much heavy 3 layer pants will make a lot of sense. They are quite durable and are sure to stand up for those rough weather conditions in the wilderness.


If you want to feel very uncomfortable throughout your hiking, go for a pair of pants that is too big or too small. You won’t like it. It is because of this buyers are always advised to choose a perfect fit. However, since you will wear these pants over your regular clothes, you may want to make sure it is big enough to fit over whatever you are wearing beneath. You need to tread carefully; you don’t want to pick a huge pair of rain pants that are too baggy. It will hinder your movements. It might also let in rain.

Pockets and Belts

If your pair of rain pants for hiking comes with plenty of pocket, you can net quite a number of good things. It will not only allow you to store your valuables, but you can also access them with so much ease. However, make sure they are zippered as that will ensure your items are safely locked in there. In other cases, there is no denying the fact that finding pants that fit can be an uphill task. However, those coming integrated with belt can be just awesome. The best part, having your belt built into your pair of rain pants means you will get a few benefits; better integration and most importantly lower profile

Best Rain Pants For Hiking You Need To Check Out


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  • Keep your legs dry
  • Dries quickly


  • Quite expensive

Bottom Line: If money is not a problem and you are willing to pay any amount for the best rain pants, the ARC’TERYX BETA SL PANTS is a solid choice. They are of high quality and come featuring waterproof breathable Gore-Tex fabric

Probably the best you could buy today, the ARC’TERYX BETA SL PANT have become among the most loved rain pants out there. These pants come with the familiar Gore-Tex breathable fabric. These pants also feature some of the largest waterproof zippers on the ankles. With this, you get plenty of room for getting in and out your hiking boots. In short, these are the best rain pants you could invest in. They will never disappoint.


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  • Extremely lightweight
  • Budget friendly
  • Pleasantly comfortable


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

Bottom Line: For shoppers who are looking for a budget friendly pair of hiking rain pants, the NORTH FACE RESOLVE PANTS is definitely what you should be going for next. They are reliably breathable hiking pant from a reputable gear maker. The best part, other than great breathability, you also get a very clean design.

It is for a fact, The North Face is one of the biggest names when we talk of outdoor gear. This giant brand has in the recent past continued to wow us with the best outdoor gear. If you are looking for a pair of rain pant for hiking from this giant brand, you need to check out the NORTH FACE RESOLVE PANTS. They are some of the most sought after rain pants for hiking, and all that thanks to their classic design. That is not the only best part, these pants are budget friendly and you won’t be forced to break a bank in order to own them. Interestingly that has not in any way compromised the number of features it comes with. These rain pants feature a dozen features.


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  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Packable


  • Ankle zippers don’t allows you to put the pants on over hiking boots

Bottom Line: Although the OUTDOOR RESEARCH HELIUM PANTS come with a few minor issues, this pair of hiking pants is still great. They are lightweight, breathable and can be packed with so much ease. It will not take so much space in your backpack.

If you are thinking of striking both lightweight and breathability on your pants, the OUTDOOR RESEARCH HELIUM PANTS is definitely going to make a great choice. Coming from one of the biggest brands in the world, these pants have found their way into the hearts of many outdoor enthusiasts. This pair of pants is all about waterproofness and lightweight. However, before you get all excited, you may want to be very careful with how you treat this pair. The lightweight nylon it comes made of needs to be treated gently and with a lot caution.

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