Marmot Precip Full Zip Pant
Marmot Precip Full Zip Pant (Courtesy of Marmot)
Gear Guy

What Are the Best Summer Rain Pants?

I'm looking for good mixed-use rain pants for hiking, camping, and occasional cycling. I'm size large, but I can't find anything with a short-enough inseam. What do you recommend?

Marmot Precip Full Zip Pant
Doug Gantenbein

You’re in luck. There are plenty of great rain pants out there. For fit, you have three options.

One, shop around a bit to see how different pants are cut. Arc’teryx, for example, says their Large/Short pants have a 30.5” inseam. They may work well.

Two, have them modified. Your local Mountain Equipment Co-op store should be able to tell you where they send Gore-Tex items for repair. (Just whacking 4” off the cuffs isn’t a great idea, so try to find someone who can remove a section, re-sew, and tape the seam.)

The cheapest solution is to make do with rolled-up pants. Not perfect, but it’ll work in a pinch.

Now, what to buy? At the low end, price-wise, you’ll find Marmot’s Precip Full-Zip Pant ($95). The Precips are lightweight, with a full zipper that makes putting them on and taking them off easy, and a proprietary waterproof coating that will keep you dry and allow for decent breathability. They also come with an interior coating that helps prevent condensation from building up and creating a clammy feeling.

The Best Summer Rain Pants: REI Kimtah Pants

REI Kimtah Pants
REI Kimtah Pants (Courtesy of REI)

REI’s Kimtah Pants ($189) are a step up in price, and they’re made with a waterproof-breathable fabric called eVent, a material I really like. REI says they’ll stay windproof up to 60 miles per hour. They have sealed seams and ankle zips and grommets where you can add instep cords, giving them a snug fit around your feet. They’d be good for just about any activity.

The Best Summer Rain Pants: Arc’teryx Beta AR Pants

Arc'teryx Beta AR Pant
Arc'teryx Beta AR Pant (Courtesy of Arc'teryx)

If money isn’t a major consideration and you simply want the best pants, take a look at Arc’teryx’s Beta AR Pant ($350). Made with Gore-Tex’s windproof and waterproof Pro Shell fabric, they’re durable enough to take skiing and light enough for backpacking. With special patches sewn in to prevent abrasion and Arc’Teryx’s always-impeccable construction, they’ll also last for years. I rarely wear rain pants while cycling, but these would work for short rides in a heavy downpour.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Courtesy of Marmot