The 7 Best Rain Pants to Buy for Women in 2018

Stay dry through all types of activities

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Doing any sort of physical activity outdoors comes with an entirely different list of things to consider: your activity, insects (and the like), and well, most importantly—the weather. Nothing can turn an outdoor adventure around faster than an impromptu shower, but if you’re prepared with the right gear you can watch those water beads roll right off as you venture on. If you’re an avid hiker or biker or you’re embarking on a trip to a marshy, cold, or rainy climate, you’re going to want the best pants to keep you dry and warm. Luckily for you, we researched the best bottoms for just about every outside event you can think of (whitewater rafting anyone?) so you can eliminate the hours of guesswork and get back out there. Here, the best rain pants for women to buy wherever their workout takes them.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: L.L.Bean Pathfinder Waterproof Pants

Pathfinder Waterproof Pants
Courtesy of L.L. Bean

The 100 percent nylon TEK3 waterproof fabric on these Pathfinders make them perfectly suited for all inclement weather conditions, whether you’re camping, hiking, backpacking, or just happen to find yourself caught in the middle of a thunderstorm. They’re also breathable, thanks to a 3-layer ripstop shell, which keeps the wind out, but the air flowing through and they come on and off without any hassle via the side zippers.

As for the fit and bottom, you don’t have to worry about dirt, debris, and slush creeping inside your pant legs—the adjustable hems will keep everything you don’t want in, out.

Reviewers praise their ability to keep you dry through it all, with a customer noting that not a drop of water got through them after 36 hours in the rain.

Best for Cycling: Nonwe Outdoor Water-Resistant Cargo Pants

Given the awesome (and crazy fast) quick-drying capability these Nonwe cargos have, they’re ideal for any activity where you’re going to sweat a lot (think cycling or mountain biking) and don’t want soggy pants clinging to you the entire time. Made up of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex (hence the semi squishy noise they sometimes make), most reviewers rave about them keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable when on, plus the assortment of six pockets for toting all your essentials on-the-go. Another bonus? Their machine wash-friendly life span, but refer to the sizing notes when purchasing, as the brand tends to differ from traditional models.

Best Budget: Diamond Candy Outdoor Hiking Mountain Pants

Diamond Candy’s mountain pants were essentially made for embracing the great outdoors due to their multifunctional fabric and stretchy, relaxed fit. There’s a waterproof surface layer coating for when nature strolls turn drizzly, and an inner polar fleece lining that will keep you warm on long trails but won’t make you overheat if you’re clocking serious miles. They’re also anti-static, have an adjustable waist, and come in cool colors like purple—not just your basic black. There’s no beating the really affordable price tag, either.

Best for Intense Activity: Frogg Toggs WPro Action Rain Pant

Many of the 5-star positive reviews are quick to point out these are not the most fashion-forward rain pants—partly because of the gathered ankles and baggy track suit resemblance—yet they’re still highly recommended for their sturdy construction and the fact that not even the grossest sludge can penetrate them. As two commenters put it: They stayed dry running through waterfalls in Iceland and river rafting in Colorado. So, if you’re going to be doing any adventurous activities with less than ideal elements hitting your body (like say a Spartan Race in a storm), Frogg Toggs are worth checking out for their high-tech performance perks. And even though they’re made of a stiffer tyvec-like fabric, they’re still more flexible then PVC or rubber-based materials.

Best for Hiking: Columbia Anytime Outdoor Boot Cut Pant

This Columbia style has a lot of pros—they’re wrinkle resistant and fold and roll easily (making them travel favorites), have a drawstring waist that won’t leave you pulling them up all day, and a slightly more modern and flattering silhouette from the boot cut. One of the best things they have going for them, though, is the fact that they’re super lightweight and stretchy. So whether you’re traveling in them for hours at a time, or simply hiking for full days, they won’t slow you down.

One thing to keep in mind from the reviews is that you may want to go up a size, as Columbia tends to run a bit small.

Best for Harsh Conditions: Patagonia Torrentshell Pants

Patagonia Women's Torrentshell Pants
Courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia’s Torrentshell trousers may be a tad on the expensive side  but with their high rating and their “H2No” patented performance reliability and you’ll see very clearly that you have a winner on your hands. They’re also eco-friendly—made out of 100 percent recycled nylon—and boast a bevy of fun extras like: articulated knees for optimal mobility, the ability to self-stuff into the left pocket with a carabiner clip-in loop, long side zippers that easily pull over boots, and a DWR (durable water repellent) fabric finish. So wind, rain, and snow don’t stand a chance.

Best for Walking: White Sierra Trabagon Pants

If your athleisure interests fall more on the minimalistic side and you don’t need the kind of coverage fit for climbing mountains and navigating rough rapids, a classic rain pant like White Sierra’s Trabagon is up for the task. Crafted with a Teflon fabric protector, it’s casual enough to run errands in or go for a walk, but will also stand up to windy wet conditions should the skies decide to open up. And should you feel the need to double up with another layer of protection, they’re thin enough to be worn over an additional shell according to many reviewers.

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