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The perfect pair of waterproof trousers
Stay dry in bad weather
Unfortunately, many cyclists have already become used to riding in rain. Whether on your way to work, to the supermarket, on an evening ride with your road bike or on an MTB weekend with your mates – a refreshing rain shower can always catch you unawares. If you don't want to get totally soaked through, you will be well advised to buy a pair of waterproof cycling trousers as effective protection from rain.
High-quality wet weather trousers will serve you well for many years, reliably keep you dry on any tour and pay off in the end. Our recommendation: Better spend a bit more on perfectly fitting trousers with a high waterproof rating than buying a new pair of cheap rain pants in a discount supermarket and throwing it away after a year only, as it is not water-resistant at all.
In our online shop, you will find a wide range of women's, kids' and men's waterproof trousers for mountain biking, road cycling, commuting and cycle touring. Here you'll surely find the right pair of rain pants in your size and colour! Discover our range of popular brands like ENDURA, GORE, VAUDE and GONSO!
Which type of waterproof cycling trousers is right for me?
In contrast to e.g. hikers, cyclists have different requirements regarding waterproof trousers. While cycling, the blowing wind presses rainwater harder against the outer fabric. Thus, moisture can penetrate even faster into the material than during hiking, walking, skiing or other sport activities. Besides, waterproof cycling trousers are subject to greater wear: Due to continuous pressure and friction between your legs and bike saddle and the risk of contact with the crank or chain, the material wears out faster. In those areas exposed to friction, moisture can penetrate the material even faster. So, when looking for a pair of wet weather pants, you should make sure the trousers are especially designed for cycling and thus fit for purpose. In the best case, they should also feature additional material layers in exposed zones to effectively prevent wear.
What type of waterproof trousers do I need for mountain biking or road cycling?
Those who prefer sporty mountain biking or road cycling need particularly durable, waterproof trousers for muddy trails or wet roads. Make sure that the legs fit tight or that there is a velcro for width adjustment, so that the trousers won't get caught in the chain. We also recommend choosing trousers with a thicker crotch or knee area for even higher durability. Articulated knees provide additional freedom of movement. Popular brands for waterproof MTB trousers are among others ENDURA and GORE.
Road cyclists often prefer waterproof shorts by GORE or ROSE to enjoy sufficient freedom of movement and breathability. If you are looking for waterproof trousers for use on rainy summer days or in-between seasons, light rain shorts are also recommended in addition to regular rain pants. Those shorts are especially popular among mountain bikers, as they protect from spray without reducing breathability or mobility. Shorts are also a perfect choice when the heavens open on bike tours or cycle journeys.
What should I wear underneath?
Depending on the intended use and situation, it's up to you to decide whether you would like to simply slide the waterproof trousers over your regular trousers or whether you prefer to wear the rain pants alone. For everyday commutes, it is recommended to wear light and thin wet weather trousers over your jeans to stay dry on your way back home. If you get dressed for a bike tour in rain or if you have a lined model though, you can of course also wear thin cycling tights or long underpants underneath. Simply decide for a combination depending on the prevailing temperature, the type of trousers you wear and the situation.
Which size is right for me?
Waterproof trousers are usually true to size. The manufacturers have already considered that the trousers are often worn over jeans or cycling tights. That's why you normally don't have to go one size up.
Some manufacturers additionally offer different models with extra-short legs or extra-long legs. These cycling trousers generally correspond to regular size trousers but come with around 5 cm shorter or longer legs – ideal for slightly smaller or taller bike enthusiasts. Should you be interested in waterproof shorts or trousers, we recommend you to search our shop for the popular brand VAUDE. Thus, you will discover what you are looking for.
Which waterproof rating do I need?
Waterproof trousers usually have two important features to guarantee perfect protection from rain. The first key feature is a membrane that is integrated into the material. This thin plastic film is usually sandwiched between a robust outer fabric and a softer inner layer. The membrane allows heat and moisture to pass through to the outside (enabling the layer to "breathe"). However, the micro-pores are so small that a single water droplet is unable to penetrate – only smaller water vapour molecules are able to pass right through. Thus, the membrane protects you from rain.
There are various kinds of membranes with differently sized micro-perforations and features. Therefore, the membranes differ in their level of waterproofing. This is what you call a waterproof rating. It is the standard guide to measuring a garment's waterproofness and comes from the Static Column Test. During the test, a cylinder positioned vertically over the material is filled with water. The point at which the material leaks becomes the waterproof rating. According to the European standard DIN EN 343:2010-05 (protective clothing against rain), a fabric with an 800 mm water column is rated as "class 2 waterproof". From a water column of 1,300 mm a fabric is rated as "class 3 waterproof". All fabrics with a waterproof rating below this magic limit are only water-resistant, which means that the material will absorb water after a short time only. Well-known rain protection membranes of waterproof trousers are for instance GORE-TEX by GORE, VAUDE CEPLEX ACTIVE, VAUDE SYMPATEX or JACK WOLFSKIN TEXAPORE.
Apart from a waterproof membrane, wet weather trousers should feature seams and zips that are resistant to rain. These are usually welded or tape-sealed to prevent water from penetrating.
In addition to a membrane, most waterproof trousers feature an outer fabric with DWR treatment (Durable Water Repellent). This coating makes sure water cannot penetrate the material and rain just beads off the surface. Yet, this surface treatment will wear out over time, so that it is recommended to regularly treat the garments with waterproofing sprays or washing agents.
Which additional features are there?
If you are looking for waterproof trousers, you should also think about which features are most important to you. Here's a list of the key features:
Side zips – Those who want to quickly slide their rain pants over their regular trousers won't get around a long leg zip. These leg zips on both sides help you easily get into the overtrousers, even with shoes on. Depending on the model you choose, the zips may vary in length – trousers with side zips reaching up to the knees or thighs are especially practical.
Reflectors – No matter if it's summer or winter or if you ride a mountain bike, road bike or touring bike: It is highly recommended to choose cycling trousers and shorts with reflective elements. If you want to use your waterproof trousers on urban roads, you should make sure they have high-quality reflective details – preferably with 360° visibility.
Rain legs or rain pants?
Classic, long rain pants have long been the only possibility to effectively protect your lower body from rain or spray. But then the Rainlegs were launched! And they are a real alternative to waterproof trousers! Rainlegs are made from wind- and waterproof ripstop nylon but are no regular trousers. They are rather leg covers for your thighs and knees. This means that they are open on the back of the legs, where rain is unlikely to become a problem, so that they offer high breathability. Many customers swear by this alternative to standard wet weather trousers or rain shorts and especially recommend Rainlegs for those unpredictable showers in between!
In our range, you'll surely find the perfect pair of waterproof cycling trousers in your desired size and colour (e.g. black or reflective) – whether pants or shorts, for women or men, for mountain biking, road cycling or commuting. We also stock a range of waterproof cycling trousers from well-known brands like ENDURA, GORE, VAUDE and GONSO. You can also choose from a wide range of waterproof trousers featuring the popular GORE-TEX membrane! Get the right garment to protect yourself from wind and weather!