6 Best Waterproof Cycling Pants in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

As a cyclist, I am certain you’re only too familiar with getting rained on during mid-rides. Fortunately, there are accessories and apparel that can help you pedal through the torrential downpour with minimum fuss.

Also, as you’re equipped with waterproof gear that can not only keep the water out but also provide ventilation for your sweat to pass through, cycling in the rain can be a lot more fun for you.

Today, let’s talk about waterproof cycling pants.

If cycling is not your preferred mode of transportation, you could probably get away with a cheaply made bike pant. However, if you cycle religiously, it’s in your best interest to splash the cash on premium cycling pants.

High-quality, waterproof, breathable pants keep you dry, are comfortable to wear, easy to put on and take off, and offer excellent ventilation. Additionally, they also offer greater freedom of movement, facilitating an easier ride.

I understand that you’re strapped for time. So, without beating around the bush any further, allow me to present you with 6 of the best waterproof cycling pants available for purchase.

I’ve tried to include pants of various price ranges to account for most budgets.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Waterproof Cycling Pants

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the waterproof cycling pants that most people buy).

  • Gore-Tex Active Pants For Bike Top Pick
  • Showers Pass Transit Cycling Pants Runner-up
  • Showers Pass Visible Cycling Pants Runner-up

Top 6 Best Waterproof Cycling Pants 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Gore-Tex Active Pants For Bike

The Gore-Tex Active Pants For Bike have all the features you’d want in a high-functioning cycling pant. Constructed of only the finest materials, the Gore-Tex Active Pants have exceptional breathability despite being fully waterproof.

This is only possible because of Gore-Tex’s innovative Gore-Tex membrane. The membrane, when paired with the 100% polyester fabric, makes the trousers windproof, lightweight, waterproof, and extremely breathable.

Boasting reflective inserts that make the pants highly visible especially in dark areas, the Active Pants have also been fully seam-sealed to provide an extra layer of resistance to water and wind. Let’s not forget the zipped stow pocket at the rear end of the pants that provides plenty of storage to store your essentials.

Now, let’s discuss a bit more about the design of the pants.

The makers have included an adjustable elastic waistband and pre-shaped knees on the pants to offer the most comfortable riding experience. The presence of Velcro fastenings that help you adjust the width of the pants and the zippers on the lower end of the pants that help you take your pants off with relative ease are also practical designs.

Don’t look at the high price point of the Gore-Tex Active Pants. Instead, pay attention to the value you’re getting for your investment.

Pros

  • Innovative Gore-Tex membrane ensures optimal breathability and waterproof performance
  • This rain gear has a zipped stow pocket to keep your valuables dry
  • Adjustable elastic waistband and pre-shaped knees for added comfort and convenience

Cons

  • High price

2. Showers Pass Transit Cycling Pants

As we have come to expect with the best waterproof cyclist pants, the Showers Pass Transit Cycling Pants, too, are highly waterproof and breathable. Featuring a 3-layer Artex Hard-shell rip-stop construction and 100% nylon fabric, the Transit Cycling Pants from Showers Pass has been built to provide complete comfort to the wearer.

Other features of the Transit Cycling Pants include reflective trims to improve visibility and optional suspenders to ensure the pants have a snug and secure fit on you. The incorporation of ankle zips also helps you put the pants on and off with minimum effort. 

When you purchase this pair of trousers, you are also provided with a stuff sack to store your pants should you not use them. 

Although I’m not one to complain too much over things, the fact that the Transit Cycling Pants don’t have pockets really puts me off. The trousers also do not offer any type of insulation whatsoever.

Here are some words of advice for you—remember to size up when purchasing this specific pant as it is tighter than you’d expect.

Pros

  • Designed to excel in the rain
  • Inclusion of Velcro tabs for lower legs
  • Reflective properties all over to make you highly visible
  • Optional suspenders for added convenience
  • Highly waterproof and breathable
  • Good price point

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide much insulation
  • No pockets available
  • Can be tighter than you’d expect

3. Showers Pass Visible Cycling Pants

Yet another Showers Pass product makes it to the list. Well, the Showers Pass Visible Cycling Pants’ inclusion should come off as no surprise to anyone. Let me tell you the things that make this pant so darn hard to ignore.

The Showers Pass Visible Cycling Pants work exactly as marketed. Featuring 3M Scotchlite reflective material, this pant will offer you unmatched visibility in dark areas.

Boasting water-resistant zippers, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to state that the Visible Cycling Pants are waterproof all the way around. Plus, unlike the previous Showers Pass model, this one actually has pockets—large ones at that!

I am also a big fan of the articulated knees and gusseted crotch on the trousers. These features improve the mobility of a rider tenfold and help make riding a lot easier.

With Velcro cinch straps to ensure that your trousers don’t get anywhere near your drive chain, the Showers Pass Visible Cycling Pants have been designed immaculately with the convenience of the rider in mind.

Lastly, let’s not forget the zippers added to the lower part of the trousers. These zippers make it possible for you to put on and take off your pants over your cycling shoes.

Pros

  • Highly visible
  • Optional suspenders
  • Large pockets to store your essentials
  • Straps to prevent your trousers from obstructing your motion
  • Waterproof, breathable, and comfortable to wear in the rain

Cons

  • High price
  • The Velcro straps could’ve been tighter
  • The zippers may not be as watertight as you’d expect

4. 4U Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants

Although the 4U Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants are predominantly advertised as windstoppers, they are quite water-resistant too.

Coated with a water-repelling coating, the 4U Fleeced Windstopper Cycling Pants don’t allow any water to seep in through. As the water falls on the fabric, it gets deflected immediately.

As the name of this pant suggests, the 4U Fleeced Windstopper Biking Pants also have a fleeced interior for added insulation, allowing you to cycle through the blistering cold without losing heat from your body. Despite being laden with features to prevent the loss of heat, the pants do have pretty good breathability.

It has also been a smart move on the designer’s part to include reflective strips on the trousers. The strips improve visibility and ensure that the oncoming traffic sees you fully no matter how dimly lit the roads.

Although the pockets aren’t large, they can be quite useful to store little, useful items such as your key or phone.

Unfortunately, the weak waistband of the pant can be a deal-breaker to some.

Pros

  • Reflective strips make you highly visible
  • Fleeced interior provides added insulation
  • Water-repellent
  • One of the best bike rain gears around
  • Good price point

Cons

  • Has a weak waistband

5. REI CO-OP Cycles Junction Rain Pants

Primarily constructed of 2.5 layers of ripstop nylon, the REI CO-OP Cycles Junction Rain Pants perform exceptionally well as waterproof bike pants. Additionally, they serve as excellent windstoppers too, keeping out wind up to 60 mph without fussing about.

Large enough to be worn over bib tights, the REI CO-OP Cycles Junction Rain Pants really have it all. They come equipped with elastic ankle zippers that help riders put on and take off the trousers over their cycling shoes without breaking a sweat. 

The idea to include a drawcord waist adjustment is also an inspired move from the makers as it prevents the external elements from seeping in through. Lest we forget, the REI CO-OP Cycles Junction Rain Pants also come equipped with a zippered rear pocket, providing storage options to those who travel with their essentials in check.

Waxing lyrical about the REI CO-OP Cycles Junction Rain Pants comes easy while pointing out its flaws are hard. However, if I must nitpick, I must say that the trousers aren’t too breathable.

Pros

  • This rain gear can be worn over tights, bike shorts, and padded liners
  • Gusseted crotch and articulated knees give riders more mobility on the bike
  • Ankle zippers enable easy on/off over cycle shoes
  • Available at an affordable price

Cons

  • Not too breathable
  • May not perform up to standard under heavy rains
  • Doesn’t have the best fit

6. Showers Pass Refuge Cycling Pants

I promise that Showers Pass hasn’t paid me to endorse its products, but my hands are really tied here. What can I do if they produce waterproof cycling pants that stand head and shoulders above their competitors?

Constructed of three layers of premium 100% nylon hardshell fabric, the Showers Pass Refuge Cycling Pants are as waterproof and breathable as they come with a waterproof rating ranging to 15,000 mm and a breathability rating of 15,000 g/m2

To top it off, the pants also boast of fully seam-sealed YKK Aqua guard Vislon water-resistant zippers.

Also featuring optional suspenders to hold your pants up and prevent water from seeping in through and articulated knees for ease in mobility, you’d be hard-pressed to find waterproof cycling pants as good as the Refuge Cycling Pants.

Other additional features of the trousers include reflective trim to aid in visibility and a reinforced seat to prolong the lifespan of the pants.

Pros

  • Highly waterproof and breathable
  • Optional suspenders for extra security
  • Reflective trim to improve visibility
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • The reinforced seat can tear and flake off after repeated use
  • The Velcro on the calf could’ve been tighter for skinnier cyclists

Tips When Buying Waterproof Cycling Pants

1. Be on the lookout for taped and welded seams

It’s always best to get waterproof bike pants with taped and welded seams.

Small stitching holes are usually formed when materials are sewn together. To prevent water from seeping through the holes, manufacturers usually cover the holes with thin, waterproof tape.

To ensure the tape stays secure, glue and heat sealing methods are applied.

Now, a pant that has been fully taped has every seam taped shut and has a high price point. Meanwhile, critically taped pants only have heat-sealed waterproof tape applied to the highly exposed areas.

So, choose your waterproof trousers carefully before you empty your wallets.

2. Pay attention to ventilation

When searching for waterproof bike trousers, it’s in your best interest to look out for proper ventilation in the apparel.

When cycling at a rigorous pace particularly while wearing three-layer models, you will sweat profusely. However, with proper vents in the pockets, under the armpits, flap on the back, your riding sessions will be more bearable.

3. Choose a relaxed fit

When picking waterproof pants for biking, it’s necessary for you to consider the layers you’ll wear underneath the trousers.

So, if you go for a tight fit, you won’t be able to add insulation layers. Therefore, it is always best for you to opt for a relaxed fit.

4. Check how difficult it is to put on and take off your pants

The best waterproof cycling pants usually have zippers near the ankle area to facilitate easier wear and removal of the trousers. As long as the trousers can be worn and taken off over your shoes with minimum effort, you’re good to go.

5. Look for extra features

Waterproof cycling pants with zipped stow pockets on the outside can prove to be particularly useful at storing your essentials.

It’s also important for you to remain highly visible when you cycle during the rainy season; having reflective elements in the waterproof trousers can go a long way in ensuring your safety.

Conclusion

Well, it appears that we have reached the end of our journey. By now, I assume that you’ve become quite the expert at judging the quality of waterproof pants for cycling.

However, if you’re still facing a dilemma making a pick and would like me to direct you to a specific product I regard as the best in the business, I am happy to oblige. 

My recommendation for you would be the Gore Bike Wear Element Gore-Tex Active Pants. Sure enough, it has a high price point, but as I said before, it offers bang for your buck!