Waterproof trousers for stormy weather
When it's bucketing down, not only is it important to keep your upper body dry, but you should also invest in some waterproof trousers for rough weather conditions because your regular trousers just won't cut it. The term hardshell doesn’t only apply to jackets, but also to permanently waterproof trousers. Keep reading if you want tips on how to choose the right pair.
Waterproof overtrousers or lined waterproof trousers?
Classic overtrousers are probably the most common type of waterproof trousers. Whenever you need some protection against the elements, you can simply slip them on over your regular trousers. These are lightweight and compact, so you can take them with you anywhere (stuff sacks are often included). In terms of breathability, any waterproof fabric is inferior to windproof fabrics in terms of breathability. So, in order to maintain a comfortable microclimate, you should only wear overtrousers when it rains or as protection against extreme abrasion (whilst mountaineering).
Lined waterproof trousers are a great choice for winter or mountain activities. They feature a hardshell outer and a lightweight thermal lining, so you won’t need to change your trousers or add an insulating layer anymore. However, one disadvantage of these models is their reduced adaptability.
Workmanship and features of waterproof trousers
More inexpensive models are usually made of a two-layered fabric that the manufacturer created. Waterproof trousers feature taped seams, their fabrics are permanently waterproof and they’re sometimes equipped with special coatings to prevent the fabric from sticking to your skin. In addition, most waterproof trousers are relatively loose, which makes them easy to put on. There are also triple-layer models on the market, but you should only consider these if you’re planning a trip under extreme conditions that requires wear resistant garments. Some models come with a lateral zip over the entire length of the trousers, which not only makes it easier to put your shoes on, but it also provides you with sufficient ventilation. If you’re looking for waterproof trousers for cycling, then make sure they have (triple-layer) reinforcements at the seat and width adjustment at the lower legs. Another practical feature includes braces, which prevent you from getting cold, especially on alpine terrain. Hardshell trousers are designed for winter use and feature both a warm lining and integrated gaiters. And if you're looking for a more sustainable model, then you can opt for waterproof trousers made of recycled polyester (i.e. Fjällräven Eco Shell)!