Sometimes when it rains, it pours. There’s nothing worse than getting caught in the rain on your ride or your morning commute to work, and arriving with sopping wet clothes. Regular wind breaking pants may hold up in a light shower, but when it really starts coming down you need a little something more. First of all, keeping your torso warm and dry with a waterproof cycling jacket or rain cape is your first line of defence, but your legs are also important. Waterproof cycling pants will keep all the water running off your jacket from soaking into the tops of your legs.
Features to look for
Material / Waterproofing – The word “waterproof” is thrown around a lot, but the truly waterproof gear will most likely come with a higher price tag. The top of the line will be products made from Gore-Tex, but other materials such as polyester or nylon can also be used with a waterproofing top layer.
Comfort – It should be said right now that waterproof pants are never going to look cool, so you might as well focus on comfort and functionality right off the bat. They are not fitted like regular cycling pants, as you need to be able to pull them overtop of whatever you’r wearing at the time. They will most likely have an elastic waist, with wide enough legs that you can pull them over your shoes, but with some sort of system to clip in the right pant leg so it doesn’t get caught in your gears.
The Best Waterproof Cycling Pants
The Showers Pass Storm Pant is waterproof and rugged, made with a 3-layer waterproof breathable Artex material. Ankle zippers help these rain pants slide on and off over shoes easily. They also include a mesh stuff sack for pants storage during bike commute hours. This style runs small, so size up if you are layering over other clothes.
Price: $26 – $64
With the lowest price point, these pants are super light and flexible, but the cost of their waterproofing is a lack of breathability. So, these are a great option for the commuter who needs something to throw on overtop of their work pants, but for the more avid cyclist they leave something to be desired.
Price: $86 – $130
This waterproof and breathable full-length pant is engineered to provide optimal freedom of movement on the bike, while keeping you warm and dry. What makes them unique is their matte finish and unique feel. None of that shiny look that comes with most waterproof clothing, and they are noiseless when you walk around.
With the higher price point comes a very bike-specific design. These pants are probably overkill for the commuter, but for cyclists who train outside no matter the weather, they are worth it. They are highly functional, combining elastic fabrics with advanced body mapping and ergonomic design ensuring body-temperature management, body control, aerodynamics, and a comfortable riding position fit.
Price: $106- $255
Gore-Tex technology is proven to be top of the line when it comes to being waterproof, windproof, and breathable. The Element Series was specially developed for the recreational cyclist to account for unaccountable weather on and off the road. The pants combines high versatility, contemporary design geared to road cycling or mountain biking, and a close and comfortable fit.