The Best Rain Pants for Women to Keep You Dry and Comfortable

Stay dry in The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Pants

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

If you plan to run, walk, or hike in the rain, adding a pair of rain pants to your wardrobe is a must. Designed to keep your lower body dry in wet conditions, they can usually fit over your existing gear like leggings, jeans, and boots. “Rain pants should be an activewear wardrobe staple for anyone who likes to be active outdoors and doesn’t live in the desert,” says Jody Braverman NASM-CPT, personal trainer and founder of TrimTactics.

Reviewed & Approved

Our best overall pick is The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Pants because they can slip on easily with an elastic waist and knee high zippered legs. A budget-friendly option are the Frogg Toggs Classic Pro Action Rain Pants that are durable and lightweight.

A key feature to note when shopping for rain pants is waterproofing. Some pants are labeled as waterproof, but they may actually just be water-resistant. “That makes a big difference,” Braverman says. “While water-resistant pants can be just fine in a drizzle, they will do nothing in a deluge.” When we reviewed rain pants for our roundup, we looked at waterproof vs. water resistance, whether they offer wind protection, their weight, portability, durability, and fit.

Here are the best rain pants for women on the market.

Best Overall: The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Pants

4.6
The North Face Venture 2 Half Zip Pants

Moosejaw

Pros
  • Windproof

  • Elastic waistband and zip-up legs

  • Two zipper pockets

Cons
  • May trap sweat

  • Available in just one color

Who else recommends it? New York Times also picked The North Face Half Zip Pants.

What do buyers say? 120+ The North Face reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Durable, comfortable, and genuinely waterproof, The North Face’s Women’s Venture 2 Half Zip Pants check all the boxes and are our best overall selection. The rain pants are crafted from durable nylon and treated with a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish. This combination makes the pants both waterproof and windproof but still breathable enough to keep you comfortable as you exercise.

Since the pants are lightweight, they're easy to bring with you on the go. And if you get caught in the rain, don’t worry—flexible features, like knee-high zippers and an elastic waistband, make them easy to slip over your gear at a moment’s notice. Once you have the pants on, you can fasten them using an internal waistband drawcord and hook-and-loop closures at the ankles.

For added convenience, the pants come equipped with a set of zippered pockets, which protect your essentials from the elements—or simply warm up your hands. You can also fold your pants inside one of these pockets to save space when you’re not wearing them.

Sizes: XS–XL | Inseam: 28.5–33.5 inches | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Yes

Best Budget: Frogg Toggs Classic Pro Action Rain Pant

FROGG TOGGS Classic Pro Action Rain Pant

Walmart

Pros
  • Windproof

  • Loose fit and lightweight feel

  • Elastic openings

Cons
  • No pockets

  • You may have to remove your shoes to slide these on

  • Noisy when walking

If you’re looking for a pair of no-frills rain pants you can score on a budget, Frogg Toggs has you covered. The brand’s Classic Pro Action Rain Pants are simply designed. They boast an elastic waistband and a set of elastic ankle bands, both of which should be easy to slide over your go-to gear. And once you’ve slipped into the pants, you can secure them in place using the drawcord along the waist and the hook-and-loop closures at the ankles.

The pants are both waterproof and windproof, so they should keep your legs protected from the elements. The pants are currently available in five different sizes (S–XXL), as well as two versatile colorways (black and camouflage).

Sizes: S–XXL | Inseam: 30.5–33 inches | Color Options: Two | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Yes

Best Size Range: L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Pants

L.L. Bean Trail Model Rain Pants

L.L. Bean

Pros
  • Adjustable waistband and zip-up legs

  • One zipper pocket

  • Packable

Cons
  • Petite length isn’t available in plus sizes

  • May not be windproof

  • Available in just one color

L.L.Bean’s Trail Model Rain Pants aren’t just a great set of rain pants. They’re a great set of rain pants that are available in a particularly inclusive size range. The pants come in eight standard sizes (XS–3X) and five petite sizes (XS–XL petite).

Crafted from two layers—a waterproof nylon shell and a laminate inner lining—the pants promise to feel both protective and breathable. And since they’re lined with adjustable features, like a stretchy waistband and zip-up leg openings, they should be easy to slip over whatever gear you have on. The pants are designed to be lightweight and packable, so they should be easy to bring with you on the go. And they come equipped with a zippered pocket, which you can use to store and protect your essentials.

Sizes: XS–3X | Inseam: Not listed | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Not listed

Best Petite: REI Co-op Talusphere Rain Pants Petite

REI Co-op Talusphere Rain Pants Petite

REI

Pros
  • Windproof

  • Elastic openings and zip-up legs

  • Zip pocket doubles as storage pouch

Cons
  • Bulky fit (especially in the waist and hips)

  • Not available in XS

  • Available in just one color

Searching for a pair of rain pants with a more petite fit? Look no further. REI Co-op’s Essential Rain Pants Petite comes in four sizes (S–XL), and all of them boast a petite-friendly cut. The pants should be 2.5 inches shorter in inseam, 0.75 inches shorter in rise length, and 1 inch shorter in body length than the average pair of rain pants. This means the pants shouldn’t just be short enough for you—they should also fit you better than a pair of classic rain pants that you’ve cuffed at the hems.

Of course, fit isn’t the only thing these pants have to offer. Crafted from lightweight polyester, the pants are both windproof (up to 60 MPH) and waterproof. And since they boast an elastic waistband and a pair of zip-up leg openings, they should be easy to slip into. (You won’t even have to remove your boots)! Even better, these lightweight pants are remarkably packable. When you’re not using them, simply fold them inside their own pocket, and carry them with you on the go.

Sizes: S–XL petite | Inseam: 29 inches | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Yes

Best Tall: REI Co-op Talusphere Rain Pants Tall

REI Co-op Talusphere Rain Pants Tall

REI

Pros
  • Windproof

  • Elastic openings and zip-up legs

  • Small storage pocket

Cons
  • Legs may be wide and billowy

  • Inseam still may not be long enough for some

  • Available in just one color

If you need a little extra length from your rain paints, consider snagging REI Co-op’s Talusphere Rain Pants Tall. The rain pants are available in three different sizes (M–XL). And thanks to their tall-friendly style, the pants should be 3 inches longer in inseam and 2 inches longer in body length than your average pair of rain pants.

Aside from the extra inches, these pants are about as classic as rain pants come. Crafted from waterproof laminate, the pants should do a great job at keeping the wind and rain out. And since the pants boast an elastic drawcord waistband and zip-up ankles, you shouldn’t have any trouble slipping them over your gear—hiking boots included. The pants also boast a pair of zip-up pockets, which you can use to store your essentials. And when the sun comes out, pack up the pants and slide them inside one of these pockets for easy storage.

Sizes: M–XL tall | Inseam: 33 inches | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Yes

Best for Hiking: Marmot PreCip Eco Pant

Marmot PreCip Eco Pant

Backcountry

Pros
  • Windproof

  • Elastic waistband and zip-up legs

  • Three zipper pockets

Cons
  • May run small

  • Available in just one color

Lightweight enough to toss in your bag and durable enough to protect you from the elements, Marmot’s PreCip Eco Pants should make an easy addition to your hiking trips. Crafted from durable nylon, the pants should hold up to the wear and tear of your toughest hikes. And since they boast a waterproof finish, they should keep you dry and comfortable—even when it starts to pour.

The pants are equipped with an elastic drawcord waistband and a pair of ankle zippers, so they should be easy to slip over your hiking clothes. And since the ankle cuffs also come equipped with snaps, you can secure the pants snugly around your hiking boots to keep your legs dry and comfortable—and keep out water. The pants also come equipped with three zipper pockets, which you can use to keep your essentials out of the rain.

Snag the pants in one of five different sizes (XS–XL) and in one of three different lengths (short, regular, or long).

Sizes: XS–XL | Inseam: 29–33 inches | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Not listed

Best for Running: Under Armour UA OutRun the Rain Pants

Under Armour UA OutRun the Rain Pants

Under Armour

Pros
  • Elastic openings and zip-up legs

  • Three pockets

  • Lined with reflective details

Cons
  • Only water-repellant (not waterproof)

  • May not be windproof

Classic rain pants may not be great for running. Why? They can be billowy, noisy, and not particularly breathable. Plus, you’re probably not running in a torrential downpour. So what you really need is a pair of water-resistant workout pants—like Under Armour’s UA OutRun The Rain Pants.

Crafted from a combination of polyester and elastane, the pants should feel soft and stretchy—more like a pair of workout pants than a pair of rain pants. But since the pants come equipped with UA Storm technology, they promise to repel water without sacrificing breathability.

The pants boast other convenient features, like an adjustable drawcord waistband and zip-up ankle cuffs. And they’re lined with reflective details that should enhance your visibility in low-light conditions. The pants are currently available in five different sizes (XS–XL), as well as two different colorways (black and purple).

Sizes: XS–XL | Inseam: 28.25 inches | Color Options: Two | Waterproof: No (water-repellant) | Windproof: Not listed

Best for Cycling: Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Cycling Pants

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm Cycling Pants

Patagonia

Pros
  • Soft, comfortable inner lining

  • Knee-high zip-up legs

  • Two zipper pockets

Cons
  • Some fit inconsistencies

  • Inseam may be too long for some

Patagonia’s Dirt Roamer Storm Cycling Pants were specifically designed for cycling in the elements. Fully waterproof, the pants promise to protect you from rain, snow, mud, and more. But thanks to their two-layer design, they should keep you pretty comfortable, too.

On the outside of the pants, you’ll find a durable nylon performance shell. This sturdy shell is designed to keep you dry. And it’s reinforced in key areas—along the knees, at the seat, and at the crotch—to ensure the pants hold up over time. On the inside of the pants, you’ll find a soft knit lining. Crafted from polyester, this lining is designed to keep you comfortable. And since it’s so cozy, you can wear the pants on their own—rather than layering them over your other gear.

As if that wasn't enough, the pants also boast a pair of waterproof zip-up pockets. And they come equipped with knee-high leg openings, which you can unzip to slide the pants over pads and shoes. The pants are currently available in six different sizes (XXS–XL) and two different colorways (black and teal), depending on where you buy them.

Sizes: XXS–XL | Inseam: 30–32 inches | Color Options: Two | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Not listed

Best for Commuting: Showers Pass Transit Pants

Showers Pass Transit Pants

Showers Pass

Pros
  • Convenient ankle zippers and snaps

  • Lined with reflective details

Cons
  • May run small or snug

  • Available in just one color

If you ride your bike to work every day, you know how tedious commuting in the rain can be. But Shower Pass’s Transit Pants promise to make it a little easier. Specifically designed for people who commute on their bikes, the pants are flexible enough to comfortably cycle in and loose enough to slip over your work clothes. They’re also lightweight enough to bring with you on the go, so you can pack them in your bag any time you spot rain in the forecast.

Crafted from durable nylon, the pants are sturdy and waterproof. And they’re equipped with a handful of useful features. Along the waistband, you’ll find an adjustable drawcord, which you can loosen or tighten to find your perfect fit. And along the legs of the pants, you’ll find a series of zippers and snaps. Unzip the ankle zippers to conveniently slide the pants over clothes and shoes. Then, zip them back up, and use the snaps to fasten your pant legs securely in place.

The pants are currently available in four different sizes (S–XL). And though they’re designed to be worn over your work clothes, REI recommends sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

Sizes: S–XL | Inseam: 30 inches | Color Options: One | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Not listed

Best for Intense Activity: Patagonia Pack Out Tights

Patagonia Pack Out Tights

Patagonia

Pros
  • Stretchy, soft feel

  • Three pockets

Cons
  • Only water-repellant (not waterproof)

  • Less protective than traditional rain pants

Tackling a high-intensity workout in rain pants is no easy feat. Rain pants can be prone to trapping sweat and heat. Not to mention, they’re also known to make a lot of noise. (And unsurprisingly, both of these features can distract you from the workout you’re trying to tackle.) So if you need some extra rain protection during your next high-energy workout session, consider snagging a pair of water-resistant leggings—like Patagonia’s Pack Out Tights.

Crafted from a polyester and spandex blend, the leggings should feel incredibly soft and stretchy. But since they’re designed with a thick, tapered fit—rather than a skin-tight one—they should feel sturdier and more protective than a traditional pair of leggings. (So even though Patagonia calls them “tights,” you could comfortably wear them as a pair of pants.) Though the tights aren’t waterproof, they are water-repellant enough to get you through a drizzly hike. And they’re lined with pockets that make it easy to store your must-haves.

Score the tights in one of five different sizes (XS–XL) and three different colorways. And consider wearing them during hikes, outdoor workouts, and any other activity that requires flexibility and rain protection.

Sizes: XS–XL | Inseam: 29 inches | Color Options: Five | Waterproof: No (water-repellant) | Windproof: Not listed

Best for Snow: L.L. Bean Wildcat Waterproof Insulated Snow Pant

L.L. Bean Wildcat Waterproof Insulated Snow Pant

L.L. Bean

Pros
  • Made from 100-percent recycled nylon

  • Microfleece liner

  • Insulated

Cons
  • Probably too warm for non-snow adventures

If you’re headed into frigid winter weather, you may not want a pair of simple rain pants. Instead, you may want a pair of snow pants—like L.L.Bean’s Wildcat Waterproof Insulated Snow Pants. Like rain pants, snow pants tend to be waterproof. But unlike rain pants, snow pants tend to also be insulated. This combination of waterproof protection and insulated warmth makes snow pants a particularly great pick for winter weather—especially if you’re skiing, snowboarding, or otherwise exploring the snow.

To keep you dry and cozy, L.L.Bean’s Wildcat Waterproof Insulated Snow Pants are made up of a few different layers. On the outside, you’ll find a waterproof nylon shell. And on the inside, you’ll find a cozy insulated lining. This lining is mostly made up of durable nylon, but along high-contact areas—like the waistband, seat, and knees—it’s made of soft polyester fleece, instead.

Zippered pockets line the pants, giving you a convenient place to store your necessities. And adjustable features—like snaps, Velcro strips, and zippers—make it easy to find your perfect fit. To make matters even better, the pants are available in eight standard sizes (XS–3X), five petite sizes (XS–XL), and three different colors.

Sizes: XS–3X | Inseam: 29–31 inches | Color Options: Three | Waterproof: Yes | Windproof: Not listed

Final Verdict

Searching for a great pair of rain pants? The North Face has you covered. In addition to being both waterproof and windproof, the brand’s Women’s Venture 2 Half Zip Pants (view at The North Face) are breathable, comfortable, and durable. And since they’re incredibly lightweight, they should be easy to take on the go. Simply pack the pants down into their own pocket, and toss them in your bag for flexible protection. 

If you’re looking for something a little budget-friendlier, Frogg Toggs' Classic Pro Action Rain Pants (view at Amazon) are another great option. The pants are both windproof and waterproof, so they should keep you protected from the elements. And thanks to their loose fit and lightweight feel, they should be pretty comfortable (though you may have to slip off your shoes to slide them on).

How We Selected the Best Rain Pants for Women

When searching for the best rain pants for women, we considered a few factors including protection against the elements and waterproofing. While we highlighted a few water-resistant pairs, we favored options that are both waterproof and windproof. We also analyzed fit and prioritized pants that are available in a wide range of sizes. The ability to slip over gear, the inclusion of an elastic waistband, overall style, and helpful utility features were also considered.

What to Look for in Rain Pants

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

“What you need in a pair of rain pants depends a lot on your sport and where you live,” Braverman says. “But first things first, you want to make sure they are actually waterproof.” While many rain pants are waterproof, some are only water-resistant—meaning they might protect you from a drizzle, but not from a full-blown rainstorm.

In most cases, you’ll want as much protection as you can get. You’ll want waterproof rain pants that can keep you and your gear dry on hikes, runs, and bike rides. But since waterproof pants don’t tend to be very breathable, there is a time and place for water-resistant rain pants, too. If you want a lot of breathability—and you don’t need much rain protection—water-resistant pants may get the job done.

Wind Protection

Many rain pants aren’t just waterproof—they’re also windproof. And this added layer of protection can make the pants an even better buy. Rain pants that are both waterproof and windproof should keep you even more comfortable on blustery days. And they can be useful on days when it’s not even raining. (You’d use your rain jacket as a windbreaker, so why not use your rain pants the same way)?

Weight and Portability

When picking out rain pants, consider the climate you’re navigating. As Braverman notes, those in warm climates may benefit from lightweight, more breathable rain pants. And those in cool climates may benefit from something a little heavier—like rain pants that are windproof or insulated (or both). “If you live in a place with seasons, you may need two pairs of rain pants to cover all your bases,” she adds.

And remember that weight also affects how portable a pair of rain pants may be. Some rain pants are so lightweight that you can pack them up and store them inside their own pocket. These kinds of rain pants can be particularly useful on long hikes when you want the option of rain protection—but you don’t want to weigh down your bag.

Durability

Any time you’re investing in activewear, it’s a good idea to score something durable. Many rain pants are made from durable materials, like nylon and polyester. And some are reinforced with extra fabric in high-friction areas (like along the seat of the pants or around the knees).

Fit

If you plan to wear your rain pants with any frequency, you need them to fit you comfortably. And that means a few things. “The fit depends on what you’re going to be wearing them over,” Braverman says. “If you’re wearing them over running shorts, you’ll need a lot less extra room than if you’re wearing them over hiking pants with hiking boots.”

To determine whether a pair of rain pants fit you right, focus on how tight the waistband is, how long the pant legs are, and how comfortably the pants fit over your other clothing. “All you need to do is make sure they fit you in the waist, that the length is right (not too short), and that they comfortably fit on top of whatever you are wearing without restricting your movement,” Braverman says.

First, the pants need to be snug enough to stay in place as you exercise. Look for adjustable waistbands, snap-lined ankles, and other features that will help you secure your rain pants in place once you have them on. Second, the pants need to be loose enough to fit over your clothing. They should be roomy enough not to restrict your movement (even when layered over clothing), but they shouldn’t be so bulky that they’re getting in your way. Adjustable features—like elastic waistbands and zip-up ankles—can be helpful here, as they’ll make it easy to temporarily expand your pants as you’re sliding them on.

Finally, the pants need to come in your size and your preferred inseam length. If your rain pants are too long, they may trip you up. And if they’re too short, they may not give you the protection you’re looking for. Luckily, many rain pants come in petite and tall styles—which boast different rise lengths, inseam lengths, and total lengths than standard rain pants.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use rain pants for skiing?

    Ski pants and rain pants aren’t quite the same thing. But if you really needed to, you could probably get away with skiing in rain pants. “If they are a high-quality, truly waterproof pair of rain pants, they’ll do the job,” Braverman says. “You do want to make sure that they are either thick enough to keep you warm or that you are wearing the right layers underneath them.” (Ski pants are typically insulated. So you need to make sure you’ve piled on enough layers to stay warm underneath your rain pants.)

    “The one potential problem I can think of is durability,” Braverman adds. “Ski pants are typically made from very durable strong fabrics that won’t easily tear if you take a spill. If you’re not an expert skier and you think you might take a tumble, just make sure the rain pants you’re wearing are sturdy enough to stay in one piece.”

    If you feel like your rain pants are both genuinely waterproof and very durable, they may be up to the task. That said, it’s probably a good idea to ski in ski pants—rather than in rain pants—if you have the option.

  • Do you wear rain pants over regular pants?

    Most rain pants are designed to be worn over athletic gear. So you should be able to comfortably wear rain pants over your go-to leggings or workout pants. If you want to wear rain pants over casual pants or dress pants, consider snagging a pair of commuter-friendly rain pants—like Shower Pass’s Transit Pants—which are specifically designed to be worn over more casual clothes.

  • How do I wash and care for rain pants?

    Many rain pants are machine washer- and dryer-friendly. But since some aren’t, you’ll want to double-check the care instructions for your specific pair of rain pants before tossing them in the laundry. Start by checking the tag on your rain pants, and follow the instructions you see listed there. If you can’t find a tag, consider checking the manufacturer’s website to see if you can find care instructions there.

    Rain pants, like all rain gear, will also lose waterproofing capability over time. Once you start to notice your rain gear isn't beading up raindrops (the rain will actually start soaking into the material instead of beading and rolling off), it's time to reapply some waterproofing. We recommend using Nikwax's laundry detergent (view at Amazon) or spray-on application (view at Amazon).

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The 3 Best Rain Pants of 2022. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-rain-pants/