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Best waterproof cycling trousers 2024 — make winter and wet weather riding less dirty and more fun

Protect your legs from the elements while cycling and keep riding year-round with our choice of the best waterproof cycling trousers

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To keep cycling through the cold winter months, facing rain and road spray is inevitable. However, choosing the right legwear can prevent your rides from turning into soaking-wet miseryfests. We've racked up countless cold and wet miles to round up some of the best waterproof cycling trousers so you can choose the ideal pair for you and your riding. 

Leg muscles don’t work as well when they’re cold, and there are few better ways of making them cold than running water over them. Tights, trousers and overtrousers that fend off the wet are therefore a winter essential for many riders.

You have three main choices. Performance-orientated riders tend to go for bib tights; waterproof overtrousers fend off the rain so you arrive at the office with dry trousers; and cycling trousers look like regular trousers, but are shaped and detailed so they're comfortable for riding.

Waterproof trousers are ideal when you require complete rain protection, be it during your daily commute or off-road adventures. If you want a more inconspicuous off-bike look, consider trousers and jeans made from water-repellent cotton. These fabrics do a pretty good job of keeping the rain out for a while and look normal off the bike too. 

A note on water resistance: it's just about impossible for a fabric to be totally waterproof and remotely pleasant to cycle in, so there's always a degree of compromise here. We've found the garments in this guide fend off water well enough that we'll happily use them in the rain.

How we review waterproof cycling trousers

We only give products to reviewers who would otherwise consider buying them, so that means waterproof trousers will be sent out to riders who have a use case for them and can compare to other cycling trousers they've used previously. It's no good sending them to a member of the team who only ever rides their bike outdoors in summer, so we ensure that doesn't happen when dishing out cycling trousers! 

Cycling trousers are assessed on quality, durability, features, value and the all-important waterproofing/water resistance, and we judge things based on similar products in their category. Essentially, we're not going to compare a set of £200 fully waterproof cycling trousers to 20 quid ones that only claim to offer water resistance, and pan the latter for no being as good as the former. 

Why you can trust us

All the trousers selected for this guide were included because they performed well in and reviews, not because someone in sales told us to do their client a solid. The staff members who write our buyer's guides are also keen and experienced cyclists too, so the product selections and advice will be based off our own experiences, with a smattering of assistance from other team members where appropriate. We have a specific chat on our internal messaging system where we discuss all manner of nerdy cycling tech-related things, so you can be assured that the info about waterproofing, fit, style etc will have been thoroughly researched.

Need to cover your top half too? Check out our guide to the best cycling jackets. If you're specifically after wet weather protection, narrow it down and head straight to our waterproof cycling jackets guide. You're here for trousers though, so read on for our top four overall, plus plenty of other recommendations and some bonus handy advice... 

The best waterproof cycling trousers: our top picks

B’Twin 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

B’Twin 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers

Best budget waterproof overtrousers
Buy now for £19.99 from Decathlon
Perform above expectation at this price point
Overshoes keep your shoes dry and clean
Waterproofing and breathability limit use to low-intensity activity
Zips designed for access to trouser pockets also let in water

B'Twin's 900 Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers are worth a look if you're looking for protection from the weather and don't want to spend too much. They are designed to be both waterproof and breathable for shorter journeys at low intensity, and easily pack down small, making them easy to transport. 

Tester Iwein writes: "The cut is good too: they're not just a bag with holes in them. They strike the right balance between being roomy enough to get on and off without swearing, and not being flappy on the bike". 

These waterproof trousers also feature overshoes which are a nice touch for keeping your shoes clean and dry. 

More cycling trouser recommendations

Altura Grid Softshell Pant

Altura Grid Softshell Pant M Carbon

Best casual cycling trousers to wear on or off the bike
Buy now for £59.99 from Tredz
Zipped hand pockets keep essentials secure
DWR coating
Practical tapered design ensures comfort on and off the bike
Durable construction
Subtle reflective elements
Struggle in single-figure temperatures
No additional reinforcement in the saddle area

The Altura Grid Softshell Pants are a great pair of cycling trousers making commuting in most conditions pleasant. For most riders and most days, the textured fleece and DWR coating will keep you warm and dry in mild conditions and withstand drizzle and road spray. 

They have been designed to be as practical as possible with their tapered design and fleece-lined inner, the Pants can be worn on and off the bike, much like a pair of sweatpants. There's also plenty of room to wear a pair of bib shorts underneath if you're seeking a bit more comfort or want to travel further afield. 

Gorewear Gore-Tex Paclite Pants

Gorewear Gore-Tex Paclite Pants Men’s

Best packable waterproof cycling trousers
Buy now for £179.99 from Gorewear
​Brilliant reflective detail and high-vis panel
Neat fit, with space for underleggings or trousers
Adjustable Velcro ankles
Great waterproofing
Good breathability
Secure, zippered rear stash pocket
Quite noisy, crunchy material
No side pockets or access to internal pockets
Feet and ankle area still very much exposed

The Gorewear Gore-Tex Paclite Pants are an excellent addition to any rider's winter kit bag thanks to the comprehensive waterproofing, impressive breathability and the well-executed versatility of the Velcro calf straps, which mean you can tighten them up and loosen them on the fly.

The calf panels have been made from hi-vis material and Gorewear includes a great amount of reflective detailing. The visibility is fantastic and they are incredibly light too, but you wouldn't want to wear them in normal-life scenarios as they are made of pretty noisy material and are clearly technical bike wear.

These are a seriously versatile pair of waterproof and breathable trousers and tester Laurence writes, "Light and medium showers of up to 30 minutes are not a problem at all for these trousers. The precipitation rolls off and doesn't threaten to break through. They also stood up against heavy showers, and it wasn't until I gave them an absolute dousing with the hose that I managed to get damp patches to go through – but that was a slightly extreme test!" 

Albion Zoa Rain Trousers

Albion Zoa Rain Trousers

Best money-no-object waterproof cycling trousers
Buy now for £200 from Condor Cycles
Great waterproofing
Excellent breathability
Toughened seat material
Go over shoes
No leg length options
Slight bunching on lower leg zips

The Albion Zoa Rain Trousers are a well-thought-out pair of waterproof trousers, with lots of bike-specific touches. They're suitable for bikepacking, mountain biking, commuting, and even hiking. The waterproofing is very good, as is the breathability, making them useful whether it's cold and wet or warm and wet, and they won't make your legs sweaty like some waterproof trousers.

The trousers feature a three-layer waterproof fabric, Pertex Shield, with a C0 DWR coating (a more eco-friendly durable water repellent treatment than the standard C8 or C6 methods), with taped seams on the inside. The idea behind this fabric is it offers good protection without sacrificing weight or breathability. It's waterproof and windproof, and is also quite soft to the touch.

They are expensive but tester Hollis writes, "If you're willing to spend the cash, I think you'd be hard pressed to find waterproof cycling trousers as good as this. In terms of waterproofing and breathability they're very good, they're comfortable to wear, and have a lot of neat touches". 

Vulpine Men's Rain Trousers

Vulpine Men's Rain Trousers

Buy now for £150 from Vulpine
Ideal for commuting
Water resistant
Lots of pockets
The premium price

You might not want to go full hog with a set of waterproof trousers, instead opting for a set of water-resistant trousers like these Vulpine Men's Rain Trousers. They are premium cycling-oriented smart/casual trousers that are packed full of features, including five pockets. They will repel light rain showers and road spray, and look great off the bike too. 

Tester Bryn writes: "The trousers' weather resistance is extremely effective. During commutes over wet roads I found that the water beaded and simply rolled off the trousers – and they were warm and windproof too, with no air blowing through them."

We don't currently recommend stuff that's out of stock but we recently reviewed these and think they are worth hanging around for. 

Pas Normal Studios Escapism Pants

Pas Normal Studios Escapism Pants

Buy now for £175 from Pas Normal Studios
Comfortable on the bike
Comfortable off it
Hold off showers
Stretch and hang well under pedalling
Four other colour options and one is purple
How much?!

The Pas Normal Studios Escapism Pants are extremely good – they're stretchy, fit and hang well, feel nicely made and are very comfortable both on the bike and off. They're considerably more expensive than some really strong competition, though.

The DWR coating will protect you against rain showers and tester Steve says, "They never got any less comfortable when damp. They dry reasonably quickly too". 

They are very effective trousers for gravel, town, or just general riding. Additionally, they are well-suited for a range of outdoor activities. If you're keen on making a statement, you can choose from white or purple, in addition to black, brown or this olive green. We aren't sure how well the white will stand up against the elements though...  

DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jean Trousers

DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jean Trousers

Buy now for £79.95 from Absolute Snow
Good fit
Comfortable on and off the bike
Reflective details
Not cheap
Heavier than regular jeans

For cycling short distances and not having to carry a spare change of clothes, the DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jeans are ideal, being comfortable on and off the bike and keeping you dry and warm in the wind and rain thanks to a waterproof membrane. They also pack some useful reflective details when you roll the cuff up.

The best thing is they look like regular jeans but normal jeans aren't much cop for cycling any sort of distance. Whereas the DU/ER Performance Denim Weatherproof Slim Jeans are stretchy and provide no restriction to pedalling nor are there any nasty seams in the saddle area to cause discomfort.

Our reviewer said: "Ride in the rain and, put simply, the jeans don't get saturated like regular jeans. Arrive at the office and they quickly dry off so you don't need to get changed. I found the waterproofing adequate for most rain I encountered, from drizzle to heavy downpours."

Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Trousers

Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Trousers

Buy now for £104.99 from Cycle Store
Waterproof and pretty breathable
Rugged and hardwearing
Great fit and style
Need a little more room at the knees for bigger knee pads

The Madison DTE Waterproof Trousers are a robust pair of mountain bike-specific trousers that look pretty cool and are made for riding in the most terrible conditions. They protect you from the elements and do the job exceptionally well. As soon as you hit the trails, smash into the first puddle and realise you aren’t sending cold water up your shorts, you’ll fall in love with the DTE’s, and with a lifetime warranty on offer from Madison, you’ll likely be smiling for a long time.

They are constructed from a 2.5 layer fabric with 3 layers on the rear panel, knees and ankles for more protection, and taped seams which make the DTE's fully waterproof. They are pretty breathable too and tester Rachael writes: "Outings in these have been in both conditions of ‘raining cats and dogs’ and ‘dry skies but swamp like’. For the former the trousers have kept me dry while the rain batters down and for the latter they have defended us from the wet and crud whilst preventing us from overheating". 

Jack Wolfskin Bike Commute Wi Pants M

Jack Wolfskin Bike Commute Wi Pants M

Buy now for £57 from Jack Wolfskin
Warm and waterproof
Stretchy, tapered fit
Sustainability credentials
Zipped pockets
Slippy on the saddle
Lack of ankle adjustability
Not the most visible

These trousers will do a great job of keeping your warm and dry according to our reviewer, and for not a huge outlay if you manage to nab a discounted pair. 

Featuring wind-resistant, water-repellent and breathable material, these trousers have a good fit and they're very versatile. The stretchy material means you can put another pair of trousers on underneath, making them suitable for winter commuting or milder conditions when used on their own. 

While they lack ankle adjustability and there aren't many reflective details, these trousers are well made and will shrug off the worst of the elements. 

Endura GV500 Waterproof Trouser

Endura GV500 Waterproof Trouser

Buy now for £114.99 from Tredz
Lightweight, waterproof and breathable
Tough material
Ankle zips so you can fit them over your shoes
No frills
Zips can snag on the internal gussets

Endura’s GV500 Waterproof trousers are lightweight, packable and waterproof, and cut for gravel adventures on your bike.

They boast impressive figures both for breathability and waterproof ratings, and are devoid of zips and pockets for simplification and maximum protection. They have ankle gussets to allow access over your shoes, a pull cord waist, and a durable seat for extra protection making them a solid option as far as the best MTB trousers go. 

If most of your wet rides take place off-road, the GV500 trousers will serve you well. 

How to choose from the best waterproof cycling trousers

Are waterproof trousers necessary?

The necessity of waterproof trousers depends on your cycling habits and the weather conditions. Especially in the UK during winter, it's nearly guaranteed that even if rain isn't falling from the sky, you'll likely be subjected to road spray, making waterproof trousers a practical choice to stay dry and comfortable. 

Waterproof trousers are particularly valuable for commuting, off-road cycling, and long rides where exposure to rain is more likely. They can often be packed up small and allow you to wear normal clothes underneath, keep them dry as well as stay warm. 

What are the types of waterproof cycling trousers?

You have three primary options to consider. Waterproof overtrousers are designed to be worn over your regular clothes, providing complete rain protection. Cycling trousers offer a more versatile look resembling regular trousers, suitable for both on and off-bike wear. They provide some water resistance while ensuring breathability. Alternatively, waterproof bib tights cater to performance-oriented riders, offering advanced protection and functionality.

Should you wash waterproof trousers?

Yes, you should wash waterproof trousers, but it's important to follow the manufacturer's care instructions. It's usually recommended not to wash waterproof garments after every use and instead, spray off visible mud after every ride to maintain their performance. 

Generally, it's recommended to use a gentle detergent, avoid fabric softeners, and wash them in cool or lukewarm water.

Do you wear anything under waterproof trousers?

Certain waterproof trousers are intended to be worn over your regular clothing, while others are designed as standalone items. For instance, waterproof overtrousers are specifically designed to be worn over your existing clothes, serving as an outer layer to protect your inner garments. On the other hand, cycling trousers are purpose-built to be worn independently, functioning as complete standalone items.

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

Add new comment


belugabob | 2 months ago

Double post

belugabob | 2 months ago

I'm currently using craghoppers Steall trousers for my winter commute.
+ Different leg lengths available (hobbits of the cycling world rejoice)
+ Pockets with waterproof zips and storm flaps
+ Fleecy lining for comfort
+ They look like they've wetted out, but stay dry inside and seem to dry out really quickly, once the rain stops.
+ Double up for dog walking in the rain duties
+ Prevent the 'toilet accident' look when you've got a really good waterproof jacket and it all runs down your legs.
+ Very reasonably priced
X - the ankles are a bit flappy, so required strapping up to avoid chainring snags

Lozcan | 2 months ago

Got some Regatta ones for 25 quid, so impressed I got another pair

Benthic | 2 months ago

The review for the Albion Zoa Rain Trousers says, "X No leg length options", but that's the only mention of length across the entire article covering three other trousers.  I'm none the wiser.

capedcrusader | 4 months ago

Yup, the cheapest ones with the booties, also sold by Lidl are gamechangers, even in torrential downpours I arrive in work bone flippin' dry - 15 minute commute from the train station, West Wales. Once you've tried them you'll never go back.