Rain pants. Now there’s a topic that I am sure many of us have different opinions about!
I almost always wear my rain pants over my hiking pants, except when I am doing laundry in a trail town and rain pants are the only pants I am wearing!
Joking aside, I wear my rain pants over my hiking pants because it’s much easier to put them on and take them off when it starts and stops raining. Think about what a hassle it would be to switch between the two every time it started or stopped raining during the day.
I also wear hiking pants under rain pants because they slow body heat loss when my outer layer is wet. It’s the same reason I wear a fleece sweater or mid-layer under a rain shell in the rain, because it keeps the cold shell fabric off my skin where it can rapidly chill me.
I know a lot of people who don’t hike with rain pants at all. This is really a regional issue; New England weather tends to be much wetter than many places in the western USA where it doesn’t rain or doesn’t rain enough. That’s why I always carry rain pants on hikes, even on day hikes.
Lightweight Rain Pants
|Enlightened Equipment Visp Pants||Ankle-Zip||4 oz|
|Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants||Ankle-Zip||6.7 oz|
|Outdoor Research Foray Pants||Hip-Zip (3/4)||10.7 oz|
|REI Essential Rain Pants||Ankle-Zip||9.5 oz|
|REI Ranier Full Zip Pants||Full-Length||12.6 oz|
|REI XeroDry GTX Pants||Ankle-Zip||10.0 oz|
|Rab Downpour Eco||Ankle-Zip||7.9 oz|
|Black Diamond Stormline Stretch||Ankle-Zip||8.3 oz|
|Columbia Rebel Roamers||None||11 oz|
|Marmot Precip Full Zip Pants||Full-Length||12 oz|
|Marmot Precip Eco Boot Zip Pants||Ankle-Zip||8.1 oz|
|Marmot Minimalist||Ankle-Zip||10.5 oz|
|Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants||Mid-Thigh||11.8 oz|
|Frogg Toggs Ultralite Pants||None||5 oz|
|Montbell Versalite Pants||None||3.2 oz|
|Montbell Rain Trekker Pants||Knee-length||6.1 oz|
|Montane Minimus Pants||Ankle-Zip||4.4 oz|
|Lightheart Gear Rain Pants||Ankle-Zip||3.7 oz|
I always bring rain pants (my current ones are OR Helium) because they are an integral part of my cold weather layering system even when it’s not raining.