When vacation travel takes you hunting, fishing, biking, camping, or hiking, waterproof pants will not only protect your legs from wet weather and the occasional gamble through streams and standing water, but they also help to keep your legs scratch-free and nice and warm.
Whether you opt for full-on ski pants with insulted layers and fashionable good looks or a pair of over-pants for emergency use when the weather turns, waterproof pants are a brilliant addition to your outdoor activity wardrobe.
Things To Consider With Waterproof Pants
Before you buy a pair of protective pants for your next outdoor adventures, consider the following:
To keep your legs protected in the wild, your pants need to offer a reasonable level of resistance to water. Whether you are walking in the rain or hiking through streams and standing water, they will need to repel enough water to keep your legs dry.
The waterproofing found in outdoor pants can come in the form of a coating or a membrane, and there are varying levels of protection that they can offer you. Membranes are considered to be highly water-resistant while still allowing your skin to breathe, and when paired with sealed seams, it is highly unlikely that any water will make its way onto your skin.
Bottom Line: Waterproof coatings also offer excellent protection against rain and snow, although the coating can start to fail over time.
The key to a comfortable pair of waterproof pants is a successful combination of water resistance on the outside and a soft, warm, and moisture-wicking lining on the inside.
While you want your legs to enjoy the soft, warm luxury of a fleece lining or a well-insulated thermal layer, you also don’t want to feel cold, hot, or sticky once you start to work up a sweat. Moisture-wicking linings will help prevent a build-up of perspiration to ensure that you always feel comfortable.
The design of your waterproof pants will also play a big part in how comfortable they are. Look for elasticated waists with belt loops for a customized fit, as pants that feel too tight or need constant adjustments will slow you down and become annoying after a while.
Most waterproof trousers come with an elasticated waist that is easy to pull on over regular clothing or a thermal base layer. While these are comfortable and practical and designed to fit wearers of all sizes, they can feel bulky around the waist and less streamlined. Belt loops are also useful as they allow the elastic to be synched in to ensure your pants stay put while you are out in the elements.
If you are planning on tackling more technical terrain or more extreme pursuits, you may want to consider pants that come with a bibbed front and braces to keep them up. More streamlined and offering a slimmer silhouette, most ski pants and salopettes are designed this way to offer a flexible range of movement on the slopes. Bibs and braces sit flush against the body, making it easier to slip your ski jacket over the top of them.
As with all of your outdoor kit and caboodle, some items promise the world but don’t always deliver. If you are looking for additional features on your waterproof trousers, there are only a few that are truly beneficial. For instance, zipper pockets are a useful feature for keeping your smallest and most necessary personal items close at hand and protected against wet weather.
Pockets with flaps over the zippers offer better protection again, and the strong zippers will stop any water from seeping in. Leg zips are also handy if you want to wear your pants over your hiking boots, and you might even want to consider pants that offer knee-length zippers or 2-way zippers to accommodate the size and bulk of ski boots.
Reinforced or patched knees are also a must-have if you are planning on working your waterproofs hard when hiking. Darts allow for a full range of movement, and extra layers of fabric around the knee will prevent holes from appearing after mile upon mile of adventures.
Waterproof trousers can be oversized to fit over your clothing or slimmer in style to be worn like a regular pair of pants. Whichever type you prefer, be sure that you purchase the right size to fit your body and style to suit your chosen activities.
You will need enough space to move around comfortably, but avoid overly baggy trousers as they will catch the wind like sails and ultimately become a hindrance in wet and windy weather. Also, check the length of your pants — too short, and the rain and wind will make their way in at the bottom; too long, and you will find yourself either tripping over them or constantly having to roll them up as you walk.
While there is no hard or fast rule for how your waterproof trousers should fit you, opt for the right size waistband and a leg style and length that suits your needs.
Waterproof pants need to be strong enough to go the distance without weighing you down. Look for fabrics that are durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities in cold and wet conditions and that are designed not to rip, tear or bobble when you hit the ground running.
Fabrics that allow your legs to breathe are also a must-have to prevent the build-up of sweat that can make you feel too hot or it soon becomes super cold against your skin.
Thicker fabrics generally offer better degrees of protection from both the weather and the environment, while thinner waterproof fabrics may not be as breathable and more suitable for short walks and emergencies.
Hot Tip: The seams are an essential element when it comes to keeping the water away from your skin, so opt for pants that come with sealed or taped seams to stop any moisture from seeping in.
The 8 Best Waterproof Pants for Women
Designed to fit the female form, these pants are narrower in the waist and wider in the hips and will offer excellent waterproof protection for ladies on the go.
1. Best Thermotech Ski Pants
Arctix Women’s Insulated Snow Pants
Made from a tightly woven fabric that features a durable waterproof coating, these all-weather pants offer excellent protection in the wind, water, and snow. Tough enough to also withstand a fair amount of knocks and tears, you can also rely on these pants to remain resistant to impact and abrasion damage, no matter how hard you work them.
With an engineered synthetic 85-gram Thermotech insulated layer, you can enjoy instant warmth without the worry of extra weight to slow you down, and the reinforced 600 denier ballistic reinforced ankles, scuff, and hem guards will protect the integrity of these pants, even after daily wear.
For a super comfortable fit, the elasticated waist strap will rest easily against your waist, and the belt loops offer additional security as you move. With boot gaiters and grippers on the bottom of the legs, these pants form a seamless integration with your boots to ensure the worst of the wet and winter weather is kept out.
What We Like
- Has boot gaiters with grippers
What We Don’t Like
- Can get a bit sweaty wearing them
2. Most Stylish Slim Fit Waterproofs
BenBoy Slim Cargo Pants
Made from a soft and stretchy blend of polyester and spandex material, these super-stylish, slim-fitting cargo pants offer excellent protection against the wind and rain. Highly waterproof and designed to cope in even the most extreme outdoor conditions, you can also enjoy incredible resistance to tears and abrasion, making these the perfect choice for all kinds of outdoor adventures.
With a supersoft fleece lining, your legs will feel warm in even the coldest of conditions, and the adjustable waistband comes with a belt to ensure a custom-made fit no matter what your size.
Also featuring reinforced patchwork at the knees and steric knee darts, these pants are strong and durable enough to see you through many years of skiing, hiking, and mountaineering trips, while continuing to offer the full range of movement.
Featuring unique zippered cargo pockets up high on the thigh, these pants offer easy access to your phone, keys, cash, and other essentials, while the water-resistant, anti-static, windproof, anti-friction, and wrinkle-free design make these an excellent choice for everyday adventures in inclement weather.
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
- Not much stretch for strenuous activities
3. Best for Increased Mobility
Camii Mia Slim Hiking Pants
Highly durable and incredibly waterproof, these pants will keep your legs well-protected against high winds, heavy rain, and even standing water. Made from a super comfortable mix of nylon and spandex, these pants come in a variety of colors and are soft and supple enough to move with you at every turn.
The waterproof surface features a high-tech coated layer that helps to repel rainwater while you walk, and the soft fleece lining keeps your legs warm while still allowing them to breathe, no matter how much you exert yourself. The high-density design also ensures that these pants offer effective windproofing, making them suitable for wear in all weather.
With 2 slanted hand pockets and 2 back pockets, you can keep your personal items close at hand, and the reinforced articulating knees are designed with pleats to ensure excellent mobility around the knee area when you walk, run, bend, and squat.
What We Like
- Lots of pockets to stash your essentials
What We Don’t Like
- They are quite high-waisted
4. Best Fleece-lined Waterproofs
Tofern Breathable Softshell Pants
These awesome winter pants are a great choice for everyday outdoor adventures, and the polyester and spandex outer shell material ensures excellent protection in wet and windy weather. With a high-quality TPU waterproof membrane and high-density fibers, these pants also promise to be abrasion-resistant, anti-scratch, and tough enough to resist tears and damage.
Lined with 330-gram polar fleece to provide incredible warmth and comfort, these pants will keep you snug in temperatures as low as 14 degrees, and the moisture-wicking properties will ensure that your legs remain dry by speeding up the smooth discharge of sweat and moisture.
With an elastic waistband that provides a customized fit and a built-in webbing belt that makes it easy to adjust the fit, these pants are incredibly comfortable from the outset. With high-density side pockets with superstrong zippers, you can keep your smallest essentials within easy reach without having to worry about the rain seeping in and damaging them.
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
5. Best Softshell Waterproofs for Everyday Wear
Women’s Fleece-Lined Soft Shell Pants
These women’s ski pants not only offer high performance in all weathers, but they are also good-looking enough to wear every day. Lightweight and never bulky, these warm and waterproof pants are made from a soft, pliable material that offers an excellent amount of stretch in all directions.
With a high-quality fleece lining, these pants help to lock your body heat in to keep your legs warm while you walk, and the outer shell is made from breathable high-tech materials that will keep you dry no matter how sweaty you get. Reinforced seams create a seal to ensure that no water seeps through, even in the driving rain.
Incredibly lightweight to wear in all weathers, these pants have a super-comfortable elasticated waistband, and the 2 large zip pockets and further hidden back pocket make it easy for your to keep your most valuable items close at hand even.
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
6. Best for Use Over Your Regular Clothing
Mountain Warehouse Pakka Over Pants
Complete with their very own waterproof carry bag, these awesome over-pants will help keep your regular clothing dry in the rain. Made from super lightweight and incredibly durable EVA material, these pants can withstand the rigor of everyday wear in harsh conditions.
Tapered seams ensure that these pants always remain fully waterproof, and the IsoDry membrane is breathable enough to allow moisture out to prevent the build-up of sweat while still being waterproof enough to keep the rain out. Rated at 1,500 grams, your perspiration won’t stop you from working hard in these pants, as you can remain cool and comfortable.
With a Velcro ankle opening, you can easily slip these waterproof outers over your regular pants and over the top of your walking boots. Perfect for mud and rain, these are a brilliant addition to your everyday outdoor wardrobe.
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
7. Best for Use on and off the Piste
Postropaky Women’s Insulated Ski Pants
Stylish to look at and incredibly comfortable to wear, these waterproof ski pants have a flattering slim fit and offer lots of protection against the wind and rain. Made from a practical blend of polyester and spandex, the surface layer has been designed to quickly repel water, rain, and snow.
On the inside, the skin-friendly fleece lining is coated with a superior moisture-wicking treatment that allows your legs to breathe, and the mid-waist button fastening with elasticated sides makes these incredibly comfortable for wearers of all sizes.
Articulated knees make for greater flexibility as you walk, run, or hike and the ankle zipper opening allows these pants to fit right over your walking boots to offer seamless protection against bad weather.
Durable enough to withstand the rigors of winter weather and challenging terrain, the ripstop fabric is scratch and tear-resistant to ensure that it will last for many wet and windy adventures to come.
What We Like
- Ankle zipper to fit easily over your shoes
What We Don’t Like
- Quite a low waist that can let snow in
8. Most Stylish Ski Pants That Will Keep You Warm
Gopune Women’s Waterproof Windproof Outdoor Hiking Snow Ski Insulated Pants
These super-flattering insulated pants are slim fitting and incredibly warm, made from soft and stretchy nylon and spandex. With a water-resistant coating on the surface, these pants will keep you dry in the rain and snow, while the inner fleece lining is breathable and snug to keep your legs warm in cold weather.
With a partially elasticated waistband, these softshell pants are incredibly comfortable to wear, and the buckle closure ensures they remain secure against your body while ensuring the full range of movement while you hike, snowboard, climb, or ski.
Offering 2 front slant pockets, 2 back Velcro pockets, and 2 innovative knee pockets, you will easily keep your most essential items close at hand. Available in a wide choice of fashionable colors, you will be able to remain super stylish, even on the slopes.
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Hot Tip: Don’t forget to check out our picks for waterproof jackets, waterproof shoes, and waterproof backpacks too.
The 8 Best Waterproof Pants for Men
From over-pants for occasional use to ski pants for use on the piste, these all offer exceptional protection from wet weather, with the ability to keep you warm on the go.
1. Best All-round, All-weather Waterproof Pants
TBMPOY Men’s Quick-Dry Hiking Pants
Made from a comfortable blend of polyamide and spandex, these super-comfortable hiking pants offer superior protection against the weather. The quick-dry surface material is water-repellent and windproof, making these an excellent choice for skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking, and many more all-weather, outdoor activities.
On the inside, the comfortable fleece fabric will keep you feeling warm, even in subzero temperatures, while the high-quality material will help your skin to breathe to prevent the build-up of perspiration. With an adjustable and super-stretchy waistband, these pants are incredibly comfortable, and the belt that is included will ensure that these pants stay put, even on tough terrain.
With zip pockets at the sides and back, you can enjoy secure storage for your most essential items, and coming in a wide variety of colors, these smart-looking, incredibly practical all-weather hiking pants are great for men who like to move more.
2. Best Lightweight Multi-layered Winter Pants
Arctix Men’s Essential Snow Pants
Featuring a multi-layered construction, these snow pants have a high-tech layer that has been designed to help you stay warm and well protected against wind, rain, and snow. An inner breather layer helps to wick away moisture to help keep your body dry and prevent the build-up of sweat to keep you comfortable.
Offering 85 grams of lightweight ThermaTech insulation with heat-trapping micro chambers, these pants are perfect for subzero temperatures and long days on the piste. Despite their incredible heat retention capabilities, they still feel incredibly lightweight to wear and offer the full range of movement for active adventurers, even in cold conditions.
With 600 denier ballistic reinforced ankle, scuff, and hem guards, they are more than capable of holding up against daily wear and tear, and the waist strap with belt loop offers a secure fit for wearers of all sizes.
Boot gaiters are also included in this design to form a seamless integration with your boots to ensure that the bad weather has no way of getting in.
3. Most Practical Pants for Sudden Downpours
Frogg Toggs Pro Action Waterproof Rain Pant
Made from high-quality, non-woven waterproof material, these pants will keep your legs dry. With oversized leg openings, these pants can be worn over your regular trousers or base layer, and the hook and loop adjustments at the bottom allow them to slip neatly over your favorite pair of hiking boots or waterproof footwear.
With an adjustable and elasticated waist, you can easily achieve a customized, secure, and incredibly comfortable fit, and the expanded 4-inch back rise ensures that these pants come up high enough to fit under your rain jacket and prevent moisture or cool breezes from getting in any gaps.
Perfect for hunting, fishing, biking, camping, and hiking trips, these easy-to-wear waterproof pants come in a selection of plain colors and camouflage designs, and they are durable enough to last for many outdoor adventures to come.
4. Best Lightweight Waterproofs for All Kinds of Activities
BenBoy Fleece Cargo Hiking Pants
Made from a comfortable and practical blend of polyester and spandex, these awesome hiking pants are water and windproof and incredibly resistant to abrasions. These pants will protect you from inclement weather on dog walks, hiking trips, and other outdoor activities with a soft-shell outer.
On the inside, the soft fleece lining will keep you warm without making you sweat, and the patchwork reinforced knees are designed to withstand the rigors of everyday wear while still being able to offer you the full range of movement you need.
With an adjustable waistband and belt, you can enjoy an almost customized fit that will stay put no matter how hard you exert yourself on your next outdoor adventure.
Bottom Line: Perfect for hiking, fishing, camping, and even just walks in the park, these pants are versatile and easy to wear every day.
5. Best Pack-away Pants, Complete With Their Own Carry Bag
Mountain Warehouse Pakka Men’s Waterproof Rain Pants
These waterproof over-pants are perfect for everyday use in wet and windy conditions. Made from IsoDry fabric that offers 100% waterproofing, they have a breathable membrane that will keep you feeling cool and comfortable.
With their own handy storage bag, these are an excellent addition to your winter activity wardrobe. Taped seams prevent water from leaking through joins or stitching and the quick-drying capabilities mean that they won’t stay wet for long, even when the heavens open.
Offering a hydrostatic rating of 1,500 millimeters, these pants will keep your regular clothing or base layer completely dry, no matter how wet they get on the outside. With Velcro openings that can expand wide enough to fit over the top of your hiking boots, these are impressive enough to be worn when hiking, mountaineering, climbing, or even just over your clothes on wet and muddy dog walks.
6. Best for Protection Against the Wind and Rain
Jessie Kidden Men’s Waterproof Hiking Pants
Featuring a wear-resistant stretch nylon surface layer, these pants offer exceptional protection against wind and rain in even the most extreme conditions.
With a waterproof coating that effectively repels rain and snow, these are great for use when skiing or snowboarding, and the boot fit design will prevent moisture or cold air from infiltrating the gap between the bottom of the trousers and your boots.
With a warm fleece inner layer that offers superior moisture-wicking properties, you can remain warm and cozy without ever having to worry about feeling sweaty or uncomfortable. Articulated knees provide excellent stretch and a full range of movement, while the ripstop fabric will help to protect the skin on your legs from gravel and rough terrain.
With a comfortable mid-rise waist and side elastic panels for extra stretch, you can enjoy a customized fit, and the 4 large capacity pockets and 2 further button back pockets are perfect for keeping your smallest essentials close at hand in any weather.
7. Most Versatile Ski Pants With a Choice of Linings
Singbring Men’s Ski And Snow Pants
Available in a wide range of colors, these handsome ski and snow pants offer incredible protection against the wind and rain. Made from polyester and spandex, they are versatile enough to offer a full range of movement, and the patchwork knees offer extra strength where you need it the most.
Available in a choice of different waist sizes, the zipper closure, and built-in belt offer a tailor-made and secure fit for men. Choose from thin or thick fleece linings to suit the weather wherever you are headed, and the waterproof exterior offers quick-drying capabilities to ensure your stay comfortable.
With 2 zippered pockets on the top of the legs, you can easily carry your cell phone, cash, or keys with you, and further waterproof pockets will ensure that they don’t suffer any damage in the rain and snow. Windproof and warm, these are an excellent choice for use both on and off the piste.
8. Unisex Waterproof Pants
5Oaks Waterproof Rain Over Pants
Designed to suit both men and women, these waterproof pants are easy to pull on in an instant and can be worn over your regular clothing or base layer. The waterproof and breathable fabric features a DWR coating that offers excellent protection in the wind, rain, and snow, and the functional design makes these the perfect choice for hiking, walking, and cycling in wet weather and windy conditions.
Available in a selection of colors, the reflective piping on the bottom of the legs ensures excellent visibility even in low light, and the fully-taped seams ensure that no water can seep in, keeping you dry in any weather.
With a pull-on elasticated waistband and a 1-hand drawstring with stopper adjustment, these over-pants offer a customized fit for wearers of all sizes. Available in sizes from small to XXL, there is a pair of 5Oaks to fit everyone.
Whether you are simply looking for a pair of waterproof pants to wear while walking the dog, or you need multi-layered protection for use on the slopes, there are plenty of excellent waterproof trousers to choose from.
Made from water-repellent fabrics with an elasticated waist, adjustable bottoms, and a range of zippered pockets, waterproof pants can be stylish and slim-fitting while still offering you all the protection you need in the rain, wind, and snow.