Some choices to keep you warm, dry and comfortable
If you’re thinking about what to wear when you’re shooting, at the top of your list should be a pair of good waterproof overtrousers. Living in the countryside can present a tricky set of challenges when it comes to clothing. Whether it’s hot and humid, windy, cold and rainy or even snowy, waterproof trousers are essential owing to changeable weather. But what are the best options?
On the subject, Ed Solomons said: “I have a few pairs of shooting trousers that I use. For me the key thing is that they are lightweight, fully waterproof and can be stored with the minimum of space. I’m not using them for insulation so the thinner the better. I tend to keep a set in most of my shooting bags so I can slip them on at short notice if the weather starts to come in.”
On a rainy, sleety day waterproof overtrousers can make the difference between an enjoyable day and one to be endured. Look for pairs that are easy to pack, with elasticated waists and knee-high zips, which will make them easier to pull on (and off) over boots.
So whether you’re looking to spend a little or a lot, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best waterproof trousers for hunting on the market. (Read our list of the best waterproof shooting jackets here and the best waterproof boots.)
Best waterproof trousers – our top picks for all-season hunting
- 100% nylon
- Waist adjusted with tape belt
+ Side slits for trouser access
+ Taped seams
+ Great price
These waterproof overtrousers with taped seams from Alan Paine feature some of the essential features that any good pair of waterproof trousers need, such as side slits for trouser access and taped seams to help keep the heavy rain out. And you get all this for an amazing price.
Best value for money
- Machine washable
- Coated knitted polyamide Flexothane Classic fabric
+ Resistent to all oil derivatives such as fuel, diesel and grease
+ 150% stretchable
+ Very tear-resistent
Even though these waterproof trousers are the second most affordable option on the list (and there isn’t much in it) these are by far and away the best value you can get for your money on this list. Whilst they don’t have all the features that some of the higher priced entires do, there is still so much to love about these trousers that for the money, you just can’t get any better.
- 100% waterproof, windproof and highly breathable
- Machine washable
- Made from Venturi 2-layer laminate
+ Improved fit
+ Quick drying
+ Durable ripstop fabric
+ Packs away into its own pocket
+ Articulated knees for freedom of movement
+ Full length side zips to fit over boots
+ Security pocket
There’s always a debate to be had in the fieldsports community, as with any other subject when it comes to buying kit, as to whether it is worth spending the money on something more expensive or whether you’re better off with something cheaper, and that it’ll do pretty much the same job. Whilst that is true in some instances, it isn’t true with these. Yes, they’re the most expensive pair on the list, but the quality and the kit you get with these waterproof trousers make them worth every penny. Whether it’s the fit, the practicality, the durability or anything else that these trousers have to offer, sometimes it’s worth investing that little bit extra to get the best you can buy.
Best for long-term use
- 100% Polyester
- Includes GORE-TEX 2-layer technology
- Made using the Härkila Weather System
+ Packs away into the pocket bag
+ Full length side zips
+ Lightweight and breathable
With the design being a combination of pure Polyester, GORE-TEX Technology and incorporating Harkila’s own Weather System design, these trousers come out on top in this list when it comes to pure durability and long-term use. If you are willing to spend a little bit extra, with Harkila’s waterproof trousers you’ll get an addition to your kit that will last you a very, very long time.
Best high-end price
- Velcro hem
- Packable (bag included)
+ Elasticated waist for easy fit
+ Boot zips
The lightweight fabric of Ridgeline’s offering is 100% waterproof and manages to be very breathable and lightweight yet robust and substantial. Some people may be put off by the fact that there is a separate bag for these trousers to be stored away into, but that shouldn’t really make too much of a difference when it comes to practicality and ease of transport.
- 100% Polyamide
- Machine washable
- Packs away into internal pocket
+ Velcro for easy fit over boots
+ Zipped thigh pocket
+ High back with waist adjustment
+ Hardwearing 2-layer nylon fabric
+ Articulated knees for unrestricted movement
Any truly great pair of waterproof trousers need to have the magic hat-trick of being lightweight, breathable, but still windproof. And not only does Musto’s offering make this a priority, there’s so much more besides to like about these waterproof trousers. They fit easily over boots, there are zipped thigh pockets, there is unrestricted movement thanks to the articulated knees and so much more. These trousers can do almost anything, and whilst they don’t have quite all the features that over best overall option does above, there really isn’t much in it.