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RailRiders Bushwhacker Weatherpants Review

Rigged for some heavy-duty cool weather bushwhacking on Wolf Cub Mountain wearing my Railriders Bushwhacker Weatherpants
Rigged for some heavy-duty bushwhacking on Wolf Cub Mountain wearing my Railriders Bushwhacker Weatherpants and old patched rain jacket.

I’ve been hiking and backpacking in RailRider’s pants and shirts since 2008 because they’re comfortable, synthetic so they dry quickly, and they’re treated with Insect Shield which helps protects me from Lyme Disease. Insect Shield is a commercial treatment that uses Permethrin, an insecticide that kills ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects that have the misfortune of landing on my RailRider’s clothing. I hardly every put DEET on myself anymore; I simply wear long sleeve shorts and pants whenever I hike and just change from thinner to heavier weight pants and shirts in autumn or lighter weight ones in the spring.

When the weather gets cooler I switch from the RailRider’s Eco-mesh hiking pants I normally wear in spring and summer to RailRiders Weatherpants or Winter Weatherpants, which are considerably warmer and heavier weight. All of RailRider’s Weatherpants are reinforced in the knees and seat, so they can withstand serious abuse.

RailRiders retired their old Weatherpants design this year, removing the velcro cuffs at the ankles in favor of a boot cut, adding more pockets to the pants, and offering them with or without Insect Shield. I’ve been using the new version, renamed Bushwhacker Weatherpants, for shoulder season bushwhacking (off-trail hiking) during the past two months, an activity that normally shreds or holes most of the clothing I wear on my hikes.

Like their predecessor, the Bushwhacker Weatherpants are bomber tough with a double layer of fabric cover the knees, shins, back of the ankles and seat of the pants and gusseted crotch for comfort.  The double layer of fabric helps block the wind on cold days, but also make the pants uncomfortably warm in anything above 40 degrees. Much warmer than that and you’ll start sweating if you’re on a vigorous hike.

I have never managed to rip or destroy a pair of RailRiders Weatherpants, which is nothing short of a miracle given my track record. If you’re looking for a pair of shoulder season hiking pants that will likely outlive you, give RailRiders Bushwhacker Weather pants a try.

Disclosure: Philip Werner received a sample pair of Bushwhacker Weatherpants for this review. receives affiliate compensation from retailers that we link to if you make a purchase through them, at no additional cost to you. This helps to keep our content free and pays for our website hosting costs. Thank you for your support.


  1. wandering virginia

    I am a Boy Scout Scoutmaster, and I bought a pair of these in sage when they were first offered. The fit is much better than my “official” pants, so I now wear these to nearly every BSA function as well as late season hiking in Virginia.

  2. I use the eco mesh pants in spring and summer (thanks to a review/post of yours). Even though they’re thin and breathable they still withstand a good beating. Aside from permanent dirt stains they’re still in perfect condition. No rips, holes, or tears. They’re the only hiking pants I use in warmer weather when I’m not wearing shorts. I’ll definitely be picking up a pair of the weather pants for this upcoming winter. It sounds like they’re damn near indestructible.

  3. Railriders make the best pants suitable for doing a John Muir Trail hike. They are so tough. The weatherpants were the best made pants in the world until they stopped including the velcro cuff-wrap. Now I have to have the pants custom hemmed as I require a 28.5″ inseam (not the 30″ inseam one can order the pants in–they have two inseam sizes). With the velcro cuffs, one could have about any inseam length and the pants would fit just fine. But now you have to either have a 34″ or 30″ inseam or else take them to a tailor. Bummer. I loved the black weatherpants as I could wear them around town. Now, if we could get Railriders to make a zip-off set of hiking pants, then the JMT world would super love them. It’s nice to have zip-off pants when crossing streams. — Roleigh Martin, Lead Moderator, JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group

  4. They had a sale today and I ordered a pair. Never been disappointedin Railriders stuff!

  5. I’m looking to buy a pair of these pants myself. How is the fit? Are the sizes true to size or do they run big or small? I just hate having to exchange through the mail. Thank you.

  6. Yup!

    I much prefer the Velcro cuff on my old pair. The new Bushwacker is very comfortable except for the
    excessive cuff hanging up in stubs and blueberry bushes. Like Marti, I’m off to the tailor…..not to shorten but to make a true boot cuff.

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