Best Rain Pants for Men in 2024

Best Rain Pants for Men: A hiker in rainy conditions walking on a trail in Sweden

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Looking for the best rain pants for men to keep you dry during your outdoor adventures?

Whether you’re tackling tough trails, exploring wet forests, or just walking in the rain, having the right rain pants is crucial.

This guide will help you find the top-rated men’s rain pants for 2024. We’ll consider factors like weight, breathability, adjustability, and performance in bad weather.

Keep reading to discover the perfect pair of rain pants for men that will keep you comfortable and dry, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

What are the Best Rain Pants for Men?

  1. Most Ultralight: Rab Phantom Waterproof Pants (2.82oz/80g)
  2. Best Overall: Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants (6.06oz/172g)
  3. Best Value: Montane Unisex Minimus Rain Pants (3.52oz/100g)
  4. Most Durable: Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Pants (9.77oz/277g)
  5. Budget Option: REI Co-op Trailmade Rain Pants (7.7oz/218g)

1. Most Ultralight
Rab Phantom Waterproof Pants

Rab Phantom Waterproof Pants

Key Specs


Weight: 2.82 ounces (80 grams)
Waterproof Rating: 20,000 HH
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Ultralight

✅ Small pack size

CONS


❌ Runs a bit large

❌ Not for rugged use

Rab’s Phantom Pants truly live up to their featherlight name. Despite their light weight, the material is quite durable and waterproof.

We were impressed by the pants’ freedom of movement. With pre-curved knees and a minimalist fit through the leg, these pants allow for unrestricted mobility on the trail. The adjustable waistband also ensures a comfortable custom fit.

Comfort and portability make these an excellent emergency layer. However, because they are fairly minimalist in design, these may not be suitable for prolonged heavy rain. But they excel for brief showers or unexpected weather changes, buying time to set up camp or reach a dry destination.

Overall, it’s hard to beat the convenience of the Phantom Pants’ ultralightweight design and packability.


2. Best Overall
Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants

Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants

Key Specs


Weight: 6.06 ounces (172 grams)
Waterproof Rating: 20,000 HH
Price: $$$

PROS


✅ Great warranty

✅ Small pack size

CONS


❌ Not the most durable option

Outdoor Research’s ultralight hiking rain pants are designed for backpackers and hikers seeking reliable rain protection without the burden of heavy gear.

The advanced Pertex Shield fabric with Diamond Fuse technology offers improved tear resistance compared to previous versions while still maintaining excellent breathability.

We found the pants provided solid waterproof and windproof protection even in heavy downpours. The elastic waistband also provides a flexible, adjustable fit that accommodates layering thermals or insulation underneath.

However, the ultralight material requires careful handling as some users have reported tearing with abrasion or snags. For the weight and pack size, minor tearing is a reasonable trade-off.

For backpackers and hikers focused on minimizing weight and bulk without sacrificing weather protection, Outdoor Research’s ultralight rain pants are a recommended option. Just take care around sharp branches or rocks to preserve the lightweight material.


3. Best Value
Montane Unisex Minimus Rain Pants

Montane Unisex Minimus Rain Pants

Key Specs


Weight: 3.52 ounces (100 grams)
Waterproof Rating: 15,000 HH
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Quiet

✅ Small pack size

CONS


❌ No pockets

I love hiking long distances with a lightweight backpack, so I decided to give the Montane Minimus Nano Pull-Over Pants a try. These pants are known for being super light yet still keeping you dry.

Just like other Montane gear, these pants are well-made and lightweight. I found that going up a size from my usual fit was the way to go. It covered everything I needed without adding unnecessary weight.

The fabric does a great job of blocking water while still allowing air to flow through. This kept me dry without getting sweaty. Unlike some waterproof pants that can be noisy and annoyingly flap around as you hike, the Nanos moved smoothly and quietly. Plus, they pack down really small, which is perfect for saving space in my bag.

The only downside is that these pants don’t have any pockets. But overall, they were awesome for keeping me dry without adding extra bulk on those long hiking trips.

If you’re into outdoor activities where keeping things light is key, the Minimus Nanos are a solid choice for their reliable performance and low weight.


4. Most Durable
Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Pants

Black Diamond Stormline Stretch Rain Pants

Key Specs


Weight: 9.77 ounces (277 grams)
Waterproof Rating: 10,000 HH
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Great material

✅ Has a drawstring

CONS


❌ Only one small pocket

Black Diamond’s StormLine Stretch Rain Pants provide versatile weather protection for climbers and hikers with their unique combination of waterproofness, durability, and flexibility.

The proprietary BD.dry waterproof yet breathable fabric contains 4-way mechanical stretch for unrestricted mobility. This allows full freedom of movement for scrambling or climbing without sacrificing weather resistance.

Articulated knees and gusseted crotch further enhance mobility and reduce binding when high-stepping or crouching. Fully taped seams provide reliable waterproofing in wet conditions.

We found the StormLine’s performance comparable to premium mountaineering pants at a more reasonable price point. The stretch fabric’s durability also surpasses cheaper competitors that sacrifice longevity for initial savings.

For those seeking reliable storm protection for alpine pursuits, Black Diamond’s StormLine Stretch Rain Pants check all the boxes.


5. Budget Option
REI Co-op Trailmade Rain Pants

REI Co-op Trailmade Rain Pants

Key Specs


Weight: 9.87 ounces (280 grams)
Waterproof Rating: N/A
Price: $

PROS


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ No waterproof rating available

❌ No front pockets

If you’re looking for a solid pair of rain pants for hiking, check out the REI Co-op Trailmade pants. These waterproof, breathable pants are lightweight and flexible.

The articulated knees and gusseted crotch allow for full range of motion as you move down the trail. No restrictive rubbing or binding here. I found them super convenient for keeping my shorts and legs dry on wet weather day hikes.

They’re not 100% sweat-proof, but do a decent job keeping moisture out while letting some vapor escape.

The adjustable waistband and leg zippers make them easy to get on and off over boots. Handy features when nature calls! However, front pockets would be nice for stashing small items.

After testing them out on some rainy section hikes, I did notice some minor tearing in wet brush. So they’re durable but not indestructible.

Overall though, for the weight and price, these REI rain pants are a practical choice for weekend warriors and recreational hikers. They provide good waterproof protection without breaking the bank.

One bummer – we learned these rain pants are being discontinued. But some stock remains available as of now. We’ll keep an eye out and update this if they do go fully out of sale. Snag them while you can

How to Choose the Best Rain Pants for Hiking

When it comes to selecting the best rain pants for hiking, there are a few key factors to focus on:

Fit

Be sure to try on rain pants before buying to ensure a good fit. They should be comfortable over your hiking layers and long enough to cover your boots without bunching at the ankles.

Features

Look for rain pants with useful features like:

  • Adjustable waistband and ankle cuffs for a customized fit
  • Long side zippers to easily take pants on and off over boots
  • Durable waterproof fabric to withstand rugged trails
  • Zippered pockets to keep items dry
  • Vents for breathability and temperature regulation

Fabric

Pay attention to the fabric, as it impacts breathability and wet weather performance. Waterproof yet breathable fabrics enhance comfort.

Budget

Let your hiking frequency in rain help guide your budget. Frequent rain hiking warrants investing more for quality, while occasional use can allow budget-friendly pants.

The Bottom Line

Choosing rain pants that fit well, have strategic features, utilize ideal waterproof yet breathable fabrics, and match your budget will lead to comfortable, dry hiking in any weather.

If you’re on the hunt for a rain jacket, check out our guide here, where we’ve listed the TOP 5 lightest rain jackets available.

FAQ

What materials are commonly used in high-quality rain pants for men?

The most common and durable waterproof fabrics used in high-quality men’s rain pants are nylon, polyester, and GORE-TEX. Nylon is lightweight, abrasion-resistant, and quick-drying. Polyester also dries quickly and resists absorbing water. GORE-TEX uses an ePTFE membrane that allows perspiration to escape while blocking external moisture. Many quality pants combine these materials, such as nylon pants with GORE-TEX membrane lining. Features like taped or sealed seams, adjustable leg openings, and zippered pockets further enhance waterproofing. The ideal rain pants for men balance breathability, durability, and comfort.

How to choose the best rain pants for men?

When selecting high-quality rain trousers for activities like hiking, fishing, biking, or travel, focus on waterproof and abrasion-resistant shell fabrics like nylon or polyester coated with durable water repellents. Seek adjustable waists and leg openings for a customizable fit over layers and shoes. Look for useful features like long side zippers, venting, and zippered pockets to store items. Trying on rain trousers is advisable to ensure good mobility and coverage before purchasing. Frequent use in wet conditions warrants investing more in premium trousers, while occasional use allows budget-friendly options. Choosing rain trousers made with comfortable yet performance fabrics, strategic features, and proper fit will optimize dryness and mobility in rainy conditions.

How to waterproof rain pants for men?

To make rain pants more waterproof, use a special wash-in treatment made for outerwear. First, clean the pants according to the care label. Then, in the washing machine, add the recommended amount of treatment along with detergent. Wash the pants on a gentle cycle setting. Finally, tumble dry the pants on low heat. The treatment leaves a durable water-repellent finish on the fabric. It makes water bead up and roll off the surface of the pants. Reapply after several washings to maintain the waterproofing. With this easy process, you can restore lost water resistance to worn rain pants or boost it in newer ones. The result is gear that keeps you drier in wet conditions.

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