There’s no escaping the fact that if you go hiking in the UK, at some point you’re going to need waterproof trousers. For an in-depth explanation of waterproof jackets, along with the fabrics and technologies used, take a look at our guide to buying women’s waterproof jackets. Much of that information applies equally to waterproof trousers.

All walkers should be prepared for changing weather conditions in the UK hills and mountains, so it’s advisable to carry a pair of over-trousers in your pack on all but the driest, warmest days of high summer. An over-trouser is also great protection against the wind and offers an extra layer of warmth if the temperature takes a nosedive.

Pack lightweight waterproof trousers that are easy to put on and take off for rain showers, and pick a pair that has a long side opening in the legs – allowing you to get the trousers on and off without the need to remove your boots. If it’s likely to rain non-stop then you’ll want waterproof trousers for all-day wear.

Here are our top picks of trousers that will keep your legs dry in a downpour.

Berghaus Women’s Paclite Pants

Made from Gore-Tex Paclite, these are completely waterproof and very breathable. They’re also exceptionally light at just 185g and can be jammed into a stuff pack. An elasticated waist and three-quarter length, two-way leg zips make these easy to get on and off over boots, and allow for a bit of venting if it’s warm and wet. These trousers are simple and functional, the perfect addition to a hikers backpack for walks in uncertain and changing weather conditions.

Buy from Cotswold Outdoor | Sizes 8-20 | £120

Rab Women’s Downpour Eco Waterproof Pant

The waterproof products in the Rab Eco range are all made from 100% recycled polymers and can be recycled at the end of their useful life. These 2.5 layer Pertex Revolve trousers offer a waterproof rating of 20,000 HH and are breathable. There’s an elasticated waist, and the knee-length side zips will fit over most boots without too much struggle. As well as being practical and planet-friendly, the light and packable design makes them a useful addition to your hiking pack for those walks with changeable conditions. They come in short, regular and long leg lengths.

Buy from Rab | Sizes 8-18 | £75

Rab Women’s Kinetic 2.0 Waterproof Pant

Rather than an over-trouser, these are a pair of closer-fitting waterproof trousers to put on all day in inclement weather. Made from three-layer Proflex Kinetic 2.0 fabric, these are waterproof (20,000 HH), breathable and stretchy for all-day comfort and easy movement. The elasticated waist has a secure silicone grip so they don’t ride up or slip down and the ankle area is reinforced for increased durability. There are also zips on the lower leg that means these pants fit nicely when wearing a sturdy boot. The Kinetic 2.0 Waterproof Pants come in a choice of two colours.

Buy from Rab | Sizes 8-16 | £130

Rohan Women’s Dry Roamers Waterproof Trousers

The dry roamer trousers from Rohan are fairly unique amongst waterproof trousers. They look exactly like a regular pair of walking trousers, with all the waterproof and windproof technology provided by an internal drop liner. The membrane in these is breathable, but it’s worth noting that because these are a double layer, with no side vents, they do keep you very warm. Therefore they suit cold, damp weather where you’re not overdoing it and want a more casual style to last you for the whole day. There’s a choice of three colours and three leg lengths.

Buy from Rohan | Sizes 8-18 | £115

Mountain Equipment Ama Dablam Women’s Pant

These are serious waterproof trousers designed for challenging days in the mountains. Made from durable Drilite with a reinforced weave, the fabric is hard-wearing, and full-length side zips with an inner storm flap means that you can put them on when wearing full winter boots and crampons. Additional features include fully adjustable braces and a drop seat, articulated knees, internal gaiters, a reinforced hem and kick strips for durability. These trousers are probably more than you need for a wet walk in the hills, but an investment if your adventures take you to more challenging places.

Buy from Mountain Equipment | Sizes 8-16 | £200

Berghaus Women’s Deluge 2.0 Overtrousers

If you’re a fair weather walker and think you’ll rarely want to don a pair of waterproof trousers, these are a good option. At £60 they’re great value and are more than up to the task of most general walks. For warmer days they also feature side zips with a set of poppers to aid ventilation. There’s a good size range too, one of only a few waterproof trousers on the market to go to a size 20, with short and long leg options too.

Buy from Berghaus | Sizes 8-20 | £60


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