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Best Rain Pants of 2024

Owen Mitchell

Written by Owen Mitchell

Owen's outdoor pursuits range from bouldering to backpacking to backcountry skiing and everything in between.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Rain Pants of 2024

Rain pants are one of those pieces of gear that you throw in your backpack and hope that you never need. But when you do need them, you really want the best.

We've been caught out in rain storms on sunny days, spent days living in our rain pants on multi-day backpacking trips, and survived sideways sleet that stung the eyes. Here are the rain pants that, after all that, live in our backpack.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.5 /10
Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants Rain Pants
Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants
Breathability
10
Durability
10
Water Resistance
10
Weight
4

The Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants are the top pick because they are by far the most durable, rugged, waterproof (and generally weatherproof) option. They're also a bit heavy and come with a hefty price tag, but if you want the best, these pants are it.

Runner Up #1

8.0 /10
Outdoor Research Foray Pants Rain Pants
Outdoor Research Foray Pants
Breathability
9
Durability
8
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

The Outdoor Research Foray Pants earn their spot as top pick runner up due to their impressive breathability and durable waterproofing in a lightweight and low bulk package. If you think our top pick, the Arc'teryx Beta AR pants, are overkill, these are probably the right rain pants for you.

Runner Up #2

7.5 /10
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants Rain Pants
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants
Breathability
9
Durability
8
Water Resistance
7
Weight
6

The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants are a runner up for their winning combination of reliable waterproofing and bonus features like their zippered waist pockets and adjustable ankle closures. However, they are heavier than the #1 runner up option.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Durability

Durability is key—opt for high-quality materials and robust constructions that can resist rips, snags, and wear-and-tear from rough terrains and rigorous activities.

Packability

Finally, make sure the rain pants are lightweight and packable for convenient carry in your hiking backpack—some pants even pack into their pocket, saving you more space.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort and fit are crucial considerations—look for pants that offer a good range of motion, are adjustable and don't cause chafing, allowing you to move freely while hiking, climbing, or setting up camp.

Weather Resistance

When looking for men's rain pants, you should prioritize the level of weather resistance it provides—make sure it has reliable waterproofing and wind-resistant capabilities to keep you protected outdoors, regardless of the weather conditions.

8.5 /10

Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants

$500.00
The Best Rain Pants

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants are the best Rain Pants on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Arc'teryx Beta AR Pants Rain Pants
Breathability
10
Durability
10
Water Resistance
10
Weight
4

Reasons to Buy

  • Highly waterproof and breathable
  • Exceptional durability
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive price
  • Heavier than most of the competition

The Arc'teryx Beta AR pants are a big price jump from other top contenders, but we think their performance justifies every penny. Arc'teryx recently redesigned these pants, taking out the 3/4 length zippers and adding in a boot zipper and a thigh vent zipper. We liked the 3/4 zipper better, it meant getting these pants on over large boots or ski was possible, and it isn't anymore, but for most use cases the new zippers work well.

The pants' crowning feature is their exceptional waterproofing and bulletproof durability, courtesy of the Gore-Tex Pro fabric and excellent construction and attention to detail. This material ensures you remain dry throughout the day, without the common issue of wetting out after prolonged exposure to rain. The reinforced inner ankles are a nice touch, as this seems to be a common area of wear on rain pants.

Breathability is on par with what you'd expect from Gore-Tex gear, but the generous thigh zippers help out a lot here. If you're looking for a one quiver pair of pants you can use in the winter too, these pants are a great option. They do lean more towards the hardshell end of the spectrum of weatherproof pants.

The big drawkback we see with the Arc'teryx Beta AR pants is that they're on the heavier side. While not a dealbreaker, they might not appeal to you if you're seeking a lightweight option. These pants are probably a little too heavy and bulky to just throw in your backpack and forget they're there.

Arc'teryx's design approach in terms of storage is unconventional but practical. These rain pants don't have traditional waist pockets, you just get a single thigh pocket, which seems to prioritize unrestricted movement over storage capacity. Between the one thigh pocket, jacket pockets and backpack pockets, you're not likely to run out of pockets. Still, the lack of waist pockets isn't for everyone. Lastly, the built-in gaiters add to their versatility, making them ideal for snowy terrain or wet underbrush.

While they're a hefty investment, the Arc'teryx Beta AR pants deliver on their promise of durability, versatility, and top-notch weather protection.

No prices found. Check back later!

8.0 /10

Outdoor Research Foray Pants

$180.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Foray Pants are a great choice if you're looking for rain pants to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Outdoor Research Foray Pants Rain Pants
Breathability
9
Durability
8
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable material
  • Great ventilation
  • Top-notch weather protection
  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be baggy for some
  • Pricey compared to other models
  • Bulkier when packed

Outdoor Research Foray Pants are an all-season wonder that will keep you dry in the rain, sleet, and snow. They're a favorite among backpackers, climbers, and campers alike due to their functional design and top-notch weather protection.

One aspect that customers continually praise about these pants is the breathable Gore-Tex fabric. This high-end material doesn't just resist water; it helps wick away sweat from the body, keeping you dry from both the outside elements and your inner exertion. This dual-purpose design means you stay comfortable no matter the conditions, crucial for long hikes or ascents.

Another stand-out feature of these pants is their full-length side zippers. This smart design choice makes putting the pants on and off easy, even when wearing boots. Moreover, when the weather warms up, you can unzip the sides for some extra airflow - turning these rain pants into breathable shorts in a snap. As one buyer put it, the 'full-length side zippers are an absolute game-changer for weather adaptability'.

The Foray Pants also impress with bonus features like the back pocket, which doubles as a storage sack. Tuck the pants into their rear zipper pocket and voila, you've got a compact bundle that fits easily into your backpack. These pants are meant to be taken with you anywhere and everywhere, and this storage design truly reinforces that sentiment.

With all the good comes a bit of the bad. Though most reviews are glowing, a few customers have expressed some concerns on the sizing of the Foray Pants. They seem to run a bit large, and the overly loose fit may lead to a bit of a sloppy feel. However, many find this looseness beneficial for layering clothes underneath so it can be seen as a plus for colder outdoor adventures.

In the overall usability scale, the Outdoor Research Foray Pants indeed have a higher price tag than some alternatives. Some consumers have voiced concerns about the cost, but most agree on the durability, functionality, and comfort justify the investment. As one long-time user stated, 'These pants are an investment, but even after years of regular use, they've withstood the test of time.'

7.5 /10

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants

$129.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants are a great choice if you're looking for rain pants to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants Rain Pants
Breathability
9
Durability
8
Water Resistance
7
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Great waterproof capability
  • Impressive breathability
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Solid construction and seam sealing
  • Good fit
  • Exceptional durability
  • Great value

Reasons to Avoid

  • Less ventilation than other models
  • Higher price point

The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants are a standout choice for anyone seeking reliable protection from the elements. Made from a recycled nylon face fabric, they are kind to the planet and tough enough to withstand the most rugged treks.

One of the key features of these pants that really stands out is the 3-layer H2No Performance Standard technology. This tech-savvy feature scores high when it comes to keeping you dry. The waterproof/breathable barrier combines with the durable water repellent finish to fend off the soggiest of weather conditions, keeping you comfortably dry.

What’s more, the pants' packability makes them a no-brainer for treks where weight and space are premium. When not in use, they can be packed neatly into the pocket with a carabiner loop, making them easy to clip onto any backpack.

Another great design feature is the side zippers. The full-length, 2-way side zips are a massive bonus for ventilation, and, when nature calls in the middle of a downpour, you will appreciate the ease of entry and exit. These pants certainly deliver on practicality.

However, not all reviews have been gushing. A few buyers noted that these pants can feel pretty bulky when worn over another layer. And while the fit is generally comfortable, cinching the waist tight enough can be a challenge for those on the slimmer side.

Overall, the opinions from online reviews for the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pants have praised its weatherproof ability and comfort. However, they also highlighted some issues with fit, signaling it may not be the perfect fit for everyone.

8.5 /10

Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pant

$100.00
Best Budget Rain Pants

Based on our research and testing, we think the Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pant are a great pick if you're looking for rain pants that are more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pant Rain Pants
Breathability
9
Durability
8
Water Resistance
10
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Made from recycled materials.
  • Highly rated for waterproofing capabilities.
  • Easy to pack and travel with.
  • Not too restrictive, promotes easy mobility.
  • Lasting durability and excellent value for money.

Reasons to Avoid

  • May run slightly large for some users.
  • Better suited for mild to moderate rain, not extreme conditions.
  • Ventilation could be improved.

The Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pants brings together value and performance in a way that's perfect for the budget-conscious outdoor adventurer. You don't have to cough up big bucks to stay dry on all your outdoor exploits with this efficient garment.

These rain pants are made from 100% recycled nylon, so they’re not only good for your pocket, but also for the environment. They're robust and will stand up to the general wear and tear you'd expect from a hefty day on the trail.

They are lightweight and packable, making it incredibly easy to stuff in your backpack when the forecast is uncertain. This is largely attributed to Marmot’s NanoPro fabric which is renowned for its lightness and durability. This material is also highly breathable which is always a solace when you're slogging up steep terrain.

However, some buyers have pointed out that these pants can feel a bit clammy during high-intensity activities. While not a deal breaker for most, this could be a concern for more active wearers. Remember though, finding the perfect balance of waterproofness and breathability is a perennial struggle for most rain gear.

When it comes to keeping the rain out, the Marmot PreCip is dependable. It offers full seam sealing and an adjustable ankle closure to prevent moisture ingress from the bottom. Most users have reported that it held up well in heavy downpours.

In terms of sizing and fit, there is a mix of reactions. A handful of users have reported the pants to run large, so it might be worth considering this before clicking that purchase button. However, the elastic waist with drawcord was generally liked for its adjustability.

Several owners have voiced appreciation for the side zips, allowing for quick changes without needing to take off your boots. It's a small touch, but when you're somewhere out in the wild with the rain coming in sideways, it can be a real savior.

The biggest downside highlighted by users was the lack of pockets. Although a non-issue for some, others found this inconvenient and were disappointed to not have somewhere handy to stash essentials. It seems you'll have to trade off pocket-storage for the affordability of these pants.

In the grand scheme of things, the Marmot PreCip Eco Rain Pants have been well received by most purchasers. Despite a few imperfections, they offer solid rain protection at a price that won't make your wallet wince.

8.3 /10

Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants

$130.00
Best Ultralight Rain Pants

Based on our research and testing, we think the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants are a solid choice for those looking for a lightweight rain pants option to go play hard outside with.

Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants Rain Pants
Breathability
7
Durability
8
Water Resistance
9
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Super lightweight and easy to pack
  • High-quality waterproofing and breathability
  • Reinforced seams for extra durability
  • Good ventilation to keep you comfortable
  • Excellent fit and adjustability features

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some might find the cut a bit slim
  • Ventilation could be improved
  • Occasional complaints about durability and abrasion resistance

For the outdoor enthusiast who counts every ounce, like the meticulous long-distance hiker or the alpine climber, the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants is a hard product to beat. These ultralight rain pants are among the leanest, meanest pieces of gear you'll find when the heavens open up. They weigh in at an unbelievable 5.4 ounces—barely noticeable in your backpack.

Despite their featherweight, they don't sacrifice on performance. Made from a proprietary Pertex Shield fabric, these pants provide a solid barrier against heavy rain and wind. They’re also surprisingly durable given their lightness, with users noting they stand up well to regular use in tough backcountry environments.

However, they are not the most breathable rain pants on the market. For less aerobic activities like walking or cruising around the campsite, they do the trick, but if you're hiking uphill and generating a lot of heat, they can become steamy inside. Some buyers mentioned this as a downside in reviews online.

The fit is another aspect to consider. They aren't designed to be the most flattering pants you’ll wear, but then again, we can safely say that nobody goes hiking for a fashion show. Their straight-leg design and elastic waistband offer an easy, comfortable fit, optimized for quick layering over your hiking pants or shorts when the rain starts falling. They pack down into a pocket the size of a granola bar, as many reviewers highlighted.

One more thing buyers appreciated is Outdoor Research's Infinite Guarantee, which underscores their commitment to quality. This means that if you ever encounter any issues with the Helium Rain Pants, Outdoor Research will repair, replace, or refund it, no questions asked.

Although they don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants stands out in the niche for ultralight rain pants, specifically for those who value weight and packability above all else.

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