When do you need rain pants?

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Person walking through water in rain pants and boots.

When do you use rain pants?

Rain gear is one of those things that you don’t think about until it’s too late. Unfortunately, they’re not something we can buy on a whim or when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. I’ve found myself stuck in rainstorms and snowstorms without any type of protection because “it won’t happen to me.” If you’re anything like me and forget your rain pants every time, there’s even a slight chance of precipitation (or if you live somewhere where it rains all year round) then this blog post is for you! There are times when you need rain pants for protection from the elements. If you’re wondering when you should wear rain pants, this blog post will tell you five instances where they come in handy.

  1. Rain pants can be used for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. If you camp often then you probably already know that you cannot predict what the weather is going to be on any given trip. So having rain gear handy can make or break your trip.
  2. They are also perfect for keeping your clothes dry if you’re caught in a downpour on your way home from work. Even when it’s just cool and damp rain pants can help keep you warm and comfortable.
  3. Bicycle commuting has become very popular however if the forecast says rain, it’s time to break out your rain gear! Cycling in the rain is not a lot of fun but if you are prepared with rain gear it can be doable.
  4. Rain pants are a great addition to your gear when travelling. I took a trip a few years ago to the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica which is very wet even when it is not raining. My rain gear kept me dry and comfortable for the entire trip.
  5. Rain gear can be great for daily tasks as well like walking your dog. My dog doesn’t mind getting wet, but I find it’s much more enjoyable for me to walk her if I can stay dry. It’s important to be able to stay dry regardless of the activity.

Rain suit

It’s a good idea to remember that not all rain pants are created equal – 

Some have better wind protection than others and have zippered legs to make it easier to put them without taking off shoes.  You may need different types of rain gear depending on where you live and what you do with them. If you spend long periods of time outdoors in wet conditions, then it’s smart to spend a little bit more money on rain gear. Good quality rain gear should last for years without needing to be replaced even with frequent wear. However, if you don’t need routine rain protection then it’s not necessary to buy the more expensive brands. A quality affordable pair of rain pants should last for a long time with proper care. I bought pair for around $50 and even after 8 years they continue to keep me warm and dry.

How much does a pair of rain pants cost?  

Price can vary somewhat depending on the materials used, whether they are single or multilayer, and if they have zippered leg openings- half zip or full zip. The most common type is 2-layer rain pants with a waterproof outer layer including a durable water repellent finish and an inner layer (usually mesh) for comfort and breathability.

You can find both half zip and no zip rain pants in the more affordable brands. Generally, these are made of a durable outer layer with a water repellent coating & an inner lining of lightweight mesh. There are good affordable options within the $25 to $50 range. As usual women’s apparel tends to be on the higher side of any price range.  

Higher end brands, think Marmot & The North Face, tend to feature half zip to full zip and are made with proprietary materials such as NanoPro or Gore-Tex.  These can range in price from $100 up to and beyond $200.

How should rain pants fit?

Rain gear is designed to be worn over other clothing so it’s generally loose fitting, so your movements are not restricted. It should fit comfortably over the clothing you normally wear. Depending on the activity you are planning to wear it for you may want to look for rain pants that have a closer fit, so it won’t get caught on anything (think cycling). If you know you’ll be out in cold weather, you may want a larger size so it will fit over bulkier clothing.

Final thoughts on rain gear.

If you’re not sure what to wear on a rainy day, rain gear is the perfect solution. Rain gear is essential for outdoor adventurists – but it’s not just for hikers & campers. Rain protection is needed for everyday activities where you may find yourself caught in an unexpected downpour. It’s important to remember that different types of rain pants serve different purposes; some offer better wind protection than others while still keeping your clothes dryer than other alternatives. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall, investing in higher-quality gear might be worth the cost since they’ll last longer and work more effectively (plus most likely won’t need replacing!).

Do you wear rain pants? What are your thoughts on the trend of wearing them in all sorts of weather conditions, not just when it is raining?  Have you ever had to wear rain pants for an extended period of time, and what was that experience like? Share with us!
Person walking through water in rain pants and boots.
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