Best waterproof walking trousers might not be the most fashionable pieces of kit, but you’ll be thankful you have them when the heavens open. While some walking trousers come with a durable water repellent coating, this isn’t going to offer enough protection in heavy or sustained downpours.
So what do you want from a new pair of waterproof trousers? They need to keep the weather out, obviously, but we also like them to be lightweight and packable in the hope of good weather, at which point they’ll be living in your pack. In the event that it does start chucking it down, they need to be easy to pull on in order to minimise how wet you get, so we like to see long zips to aid this. We also like to see pockets, vents (or two way zips on the leg) and a slim cut so they don’t act as sails in the wind. Of course, they must also be comfortable.
Here, top 10 Best waterproof walking trousers to you to choose!
1. Regatta Chandler Overtrousers III
I know that even some of the best waterproof trousers are noisy to walk in, but these seemed especially so, and they are rather baggy, meaning they flap away in the wind quite a bit. Poppers on each ankle help cinch them in at the bottom to counter this slightly. They were certainly comfortable to wear, and the elastic waistband ensures you can achieve a good fit.
One thing that does bother me is that I found it quite easy to overheat in these. Some ventilation zips would have helped, and they aren’t very light or packable, but for the price (they are often on sale for just £25), you can’t expect the world.
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2. Berghaus Deluge Trousers
These good value waterproof trousers feature a type of fabric that Berghaus have developed themselves called Hydroshell. It’ll offer good wet weather protection and a decent level of breathability, and better still, the durable water repellent treatment it features contains none of those nasty environmentally harmful PFCs. The ¾ length zips up each leg make life easier when you need to put these on or take them off, plus the handy poppered flaps give that potential for ventilation if you need it while on-the-go.
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3. Fjällräven Nils Men’s Trousers
These gorgeous walking trousers look and feel rather like you’re wearing cotton chinos – and they are definitely smart enough for city use, making them a versatile pick for travelling as well as for walking. We love the tough, reinforced rear panel, handy if you’re sitting around on long hikes or camping trips, the articulated knee panels, deep zipped pockets and the adjustable cuffs. The trousers proved quick to dry on test despite their thick, cotton-y feel, and you can also render the trousers water-resistant by treating them with Fjallraven’s Greenland wax (you need to buy this separately). Cheerful plum and yellow colourways make a bright change from muted walking trouser shades.
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4. SHERPA ADVENTURE GEAR Women’s Kalpana Legging
These slim, sleek leggings are the ultimate in versatility, and despite how simple they look, they pack a technical punch. The tights are lightweight and moisture wicking, and stay comfortable even when you’re hiking in them for days on end thanks to a thick, stretchy high waistband and flatlock seams. Handy zipped side pockets are perfect for holding essentials such as your phone. Pack these and you’re set for your travels: they work well as a yoga pant and running tight as well as on the trail. These are tights that do good, too – for every product sold, Sherpa donates money to provide education and resources for children in Nepal.
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5. Mountain Warehouse Pakka Womens Waterproof Over Trousers
While they’re not designed to withstand hours of hiking in a downpour, these lightweight overtrousers will shrug off light to moderate showers, and come with a stuff sack so you can stow them in a rucksack neatly. They also come in a choice of three colours, which is exciting. Although those colours are black, khaki and navy, which is not so exciting.
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6. Craghoppers Men’s Waterproof Stefan Outdoor Trousers
Cragghoppers calls the cut of these trousers “active fit”, which translates to a closer fit with details like a stretch-fabric waistband that sits on your hips. They’re designed with the all-weather hiker in mind, and once you’ve donned them you’ll be the streamlined guy romping through the hills that’s all business.
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7. Marmot Scree Hiking Trousers
The Marmot Scree walking trousers come with pre-bent knees ensuring big movements can be made in comfort. Meanwhile, the water resistance is reliable, with good protection from the wind and sun.
The extra stretch is a nice touch, while there are also plenty of sipped pockets to utilize on your hikes. The soft-shell outer fabric helps make these walking trousers feel nice and light while you wear them, but they’re still tough and hard wearing.
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8. Jack Wolfskin Activate Winter Softshell Walking Trousers
These Jack Wolfskin Winter waling trousers are warm but breathable, thanks to the Flex Shield Softshell on the outside, made up of 90% polyamide, 10% elastane and the warm lining on the inside that’s 100% polyester.
They also have secure pockets and are designed to fit with strenuous movement in mind, as they also include the two-way stretch, wind resistance abilities on the outer material.
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9. MAIER SPORTS NIL PLUS TROUSERS
Heading somewhere hot? If you’re planning an active trip to foreign climes you’re going to want practical clothes. Cue the Maier Sports Nil Trousers, which provide no less than five zipped pockets for storing valuables, including one passport-sized and another ‘secret’ pocket inside for keys or a credit card. They stop short of having more zips to convert them into shorts, but do have roll-up legs that fasten below the knee.
What we love most about the Maier Sports Nil Trousers is that they let you move and breathe. As well as being water repellant, the Dryprotec fabric is super-thin and stretchy, so perfect for ascending mountains as well as for general travel in humidity. That fabric is also windproof so works well in cooler conditions, too. Lightweight, quick-drying and with bags of stretch and security, these are the best walking trousers for active adventurers.
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10. Peter Storm Women’s Packable Pants Walking Trousers
Peter Storm’s packable pants are like the Mac in a Sacs of the trouser world – cheap, cheerful and effective in sudden rain.
They don’t offer much breathability to speak of, and aren’t suited to trekking or outdoor sports, but if you just need to sling on waterproof bottoms for a festival, gardening or a dog walk, these are perfect, and make a great affordable backup pair of waterproofs. These have two pockets and can stuff into a small mesh sack, but have no side zips.
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Adding an extra waterproof layer is especially helpful to protect heavier under layers, and can be quicker-drying than conventional hiking trousers or materials such as denim. They also provide extra flexibility, warmth and wind protection, which is often a must when journeying into the hills.
You will see that there are some trekking trousers, day-to-day waterproofs and more all-round hiking trousers in this list – to suit a range of budgets. Many waterproof trousers are quite universal, so have a think about what’s important to you. Remember, some over-layer ones don’t have waterproof pockets, and if you’re looking for trousers with insulation, be prepared to compromise slightly in terms of weight and speed of flexibility and movement.