Wind / Rain Pants

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Dan Driscoll

Jan 23, 2022, 1:41:26 PMJan 23
to Randon
Looking for suggestions. 

Would like to find a light weight and not very bulky pair of over pants. 

Climbing a mountain in knee warmers with temps in the low 30’s works fine for me, but not descending.

I’ve tried a second pair of heavy knee warmer on top, but that’s not worked well enough for cold temps or dampish conditions. 

On a cold 1,000 km ride, when we got surprised by a cold front arriving much sooner than predicted and soaked by heavy rain, we stopped at a Walmart for $70.00 worth of new dry clothing, one of my purchases was a pair of Coleman rain pants, with a liner and snaps at the bottom of the leg. They are baggy enough to slip on over my cycling shoes, and the bottom cuff can be snapped shut so it does not get caught in the chain ring. These work, but are extremely bulky to tote on a 1,200 km, and too baggy to comfortably ride in, all day, they rub on the top tube.

I’d like to find a pair of over pants that I could quickly step into at the top of the mountain pass for the descent then quickly remove, with out having to remove my cycling shoes. 

I’ve tried thin plastic rain pants, but I’m a heavy sweater, and the lack of breathability just causes me to get wet and eventually colder.  

Ideally, the pants would have wind and water protection in the front and breathable in the back, be light and not to bulky, as I’d be carrying them along on an entire Super Six or 1,200 kms, and storage space is at a premium. I’m expecting temps well below freezing, but would have calf sleeves, tall wool socks and knee warmers on underneath these over pants.  

A friend has recommended REI’s Cycling Pants, but they look bulky -

Another friend has recommended Frog Toggs, I have a Frog Togg jacket, and don’t use it for cycling it’s bulky, but light, have not tried the pants -



Bob Unger

Jan 23, 2022, 2:33:55 PMJan 23
to randon

How about these? They have a DWR coating and a slim fit. If you have an average inseam they’ll fit well.

Jake Kassen

Jan 23, 2022, 3:20:47 PMJan 23
to Dan Driscoll, Randon

I use "rainlegs" sometimes and I find them preferable to real rain pants. They are much smaller when not in use and can be put on over any other pants quickly without much effort. You can wear them like a belt and unroll when needed but I normally remove them entirely.

You'll still get wet in heavy rain but it won't be bone chilling. They block the wind too.

I've found any rain pants or jackets that are actually waterproof to make me wet via sweat after a while.

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Bill Gobie

Jan 23, 2022, 3:29:04 PMJan 23
to Dan Driscoll, Randon
Goretex shell pants. I have some that are approaching 20 years old. They breathe well enough that I can ride in them all day (and I did yesterday with the temperature steady around 33F). New ones are probably even better. It's important not to wear too much under them or you can overheat. The fit is trim/snug. 



Susan Otcenas

Jan 23, 2022, 5:33:28 PMJan 23
to, Dan Driscoll, Randon
Rain Legs.    They are basically chaps.   Lightweight and easy on/off.     The commercial ones are of medium quality.   I made my own pair by cutting apart a pair of rain pants after my Rain Legs delaminated.  


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 23, 2022, at 12:29 PM, Bill Gobie <> wrote:

Emily O'Brien

Jan 23, 2022, 9:10:18 PMJan 23
to Susan Otcenas,, Dan Driscoll, Randon
I’m another rainlegs fan. The first time I wore something like, I DIY’d them out of garbage bags and electrical tape at a gas station, having gotten unexpectedly caught in 33-degree rain. That worked so well and was so surprisingly comfortable that I sewed my own DIY pair for real when I got home. Jake has a pair of the “real” ones, and I’ve used those too. I kinda like my DIY ones better, but any of the above are really very good for keeping the wind and water off where it matters most and keeping the air flowing everywhere else. 


Lane Coddington

Jan 23, 2022, 9:11:20 PMJan 23
to randon
I like Outdoor Research's Helium Rain Pants because they breathe and weigh only 7 ounces. I use my reflective ankle bands to keep the ankles from flapping and carry a pair of velcro straps that I wrap around my calf to also cut down on flapping. I always carry them and so never worry about freezing when the weather turns.


Thomas Martin

Jan 23, 2022, 11:54:59 PMJan 23
to Dan Driscoll, Randon
I used to own a pair of Tights that were breathable in back but Wind & rain resistant in front.
Something like these: Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Tight - Men's


Lynne Fitz

Jan 24, 2022, 2:37:31 AMJan 24
to randon
+1 on the RainLegs.
If it is cold, I’ll wear wool knickers (venerable Ibex and Icebreaker ones) with (colorful) snowboard/ski socks for my lower legs.

If it is miserably cold (freezing all day), the old Pearl Izumi AmFib tights are worn over cycling shorts.  RainLegs over those if it is raining, although my AmFibs are old and not really waterproof any more; the newer ones are probably much better.

On Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 10:41:26 AM UTC-8 DanD wrote:

Bill Bryant

Jan 24, 2022, 9:31:08 AMJan 24
to Thomas Martin, Dan Driscoll, Randon
+1 on Rainlegs -- not perfect but better than rain pants in my experience, and they pack smaller when not in use.

Bill Bryant

Andy G

Jan 24, 2022, 9:39:36 AMJan 24
to Randon
I really hate any type of pants while riding. Maybe there are better cut ones now, but the rainpants I tried for commuting would get snagged in the chainrings, were loud, and the water just dripped down them and into my shoes. I'd also get wet from sweat on the inside even on a short ride. I found it overall just not worth it.

I have 3 different thickness options of tights I choose from instead. For the Cascade 1240km, I carried a pair with me the whole ride on word that descending mountain passes would be chilly and/or rainy. I only wore them for one damp pass. I find that if it's above about 40f and wet, I just prefer to ride in shorts so long as I am able to keep moving and stay warm. If it's a ride where I need to stop with some frequency, then I'd wear wool tights and let them get wet. Sometimes wringing them out is needed. Also for rides where I expect to get wet, I pack a drybag with extra shorts for then the sun does finally come out.

If it's under 32, I'll just wear tights and hope for snow. 

The most difficult rides are when it's 32-40f and raining. I've had dozens of commutes in that, but luckily it was only 4 miles at the time. I haven't had a brevet or other long ride in that range, thankfully. If I was doing that often, I'd consider rain pants, but probably also finding a different time/place to ride. Being soaked in frigid rain and/or sweat all day just isn't much fun, imho.

Andy in NH

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