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9 best waterproof trousers for women

There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. These waterproof trousers will protect you from the elements, whether you're facing drizzle or downpours on dog walks, school runs or leisurely strolls.

By Alice Cruickshank | Last updated Jan 21, 2022

Woman wearing waterproof trousers

Waterproof trousers aren’t just for ramblers. They can be a handy addition to your wardrobe to keep you warm and dry when you’re out walking the dog, cycling to work or setting off on winter strolls. While overtrousers can be bulky and unflattering, waterproof trousers offer a snug and streamlined look. We’ve rounded up a selection of brilliant trousers for the great outdoors, as recommended by Mumsnetters.

Here are the best waterproof trousers to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall waterproof trousers: Acai Thermal Skinny Outdoor Trousers

Acai waterproof trousers

Price: £89 | Buy now from Acai

"Acai. I have worn them outdoors helping at a Covid clinic throughout the entire winter and spring: rain, sleet and snow. They feel slightly wet to the finger touch but I don't feel the wetness on my skin, if that makes sense. Then they dry very quickly" - oneglassandpuzzled

"I have 3 pairs of the Acai skinny trousers - 2 mid weight in different colours and 1 thermal, and I really like them all. They are quite pricey but I've had a lot of wear out of them. They're smart enough for me to wear to work as well as for walking the dogs, hiking etc" - VetOnCall

"I was going to suggest Acai thermal trousers. Just got myself a pair, very comfy and warm" - bobkate

Mumsnetters rave about Acai’s waterproof trousers, and it’s easy to see why. These thermal skinny trousers couldn’t be any further removed from traditional walking trousers style-wise, with the flattering design mimicking skinny jeans. As well as a showerproof exterior, you’ll find a cosy thermal fleece lining that’s also breathable. Acai’s waterproof trousers are available in 10 neutral shades, and you’ll find them in petite, regular, and long lengths. These cult-favourites do tend to sell out, so you might have to wait to secure yours.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester and Spandex

  • Size range: UK 6 - 22 (petite and tall available)

2. Best budget waterproof trousers: Regatta Women's Pack It Waterproof Trousers

Regatta waterproof trousers

Price: From £9 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a simple, ‘for emergencies’ pair of waterproof trousers, then the Pack It trousers from Regatta are a must-buy. With a comfy, pull-on style and breathable yet waterproof outer layer, the Pack It trousers are perfect for dog walking and outdoor adventuring on a budget. These Regatta trousers also come with a ‘stuff sack’ to pack them away with ease. As they’re unlined, these are best worn over other trousers in colder weather.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester

  • Size range: S - XL

3. Best petite and tall waterproof trousers: Craghoppers Kiwi Pro II Trouser

Craghoppers waterproof trousers

Price: £75 | Buy now from Craghoppers

"Craghoppers Kiwi. On my second pair. First pair lasted maybe 3 years of regular wear. Very comfy, bit of stretch in them and come in a few colours. I’m 5ft 1 and they are perfect for me" - TheBigRoundSquare

Finding outdoor clothing for shorter and taller bodies can be a struggle, but thankfully the Craghoppers Kiwi waterproof trousers come in both petite and long sizes, catering from 28” to 33” leg lengths. These stretch trousers have a brushed lining and feature Craghoppers’ ‘EcoShield’ waterproof technology to keep you dry. A partially elasticated waist and a straight leg cut keep these waterproof trousers nice and comfy.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide and elastane

  • Size range: UK 8 - 20 (petite and tall available)

4. Best Gore-Tex waterproof trousers: Berghaus Women's Maitland GORE-TEX® Waterproof Trousers

Berghaus waterproof trousers

Price: £83 | Buy now from Blacks

"I have some Berghaus ones that have lasted me years in an outdoor job. Zips and poppers up the side and very useful when it comes to taking them off and not overnight everything else in mud!" - nine coronas

Gore-Tex is the ultimate waterproof material, and these Berghaus trousers will keep you dry and comfy, whatever the weather. The Maitland trousers feature zip and velcro adjustable legs, as well as an elastic waistband. The classic straight fit is perfect for hiking and other outdoors adventures.

Key specs

  • Material: Gore-Tex

  • Size range: UK 8 - 20

5. Best insulated waterproof trousers: Decathlon Women’s Warm Water Repellent Trousers

Decathlon waterproof trousers

Price: £40 | Buy now from Decathlon 

"Decathlon - I wear them for walking my spaniels, I love them as I don’t get sweaty in them" - EcoCustard

If you’re looking for protection from all the elements, then these insulated waterproof trousers from Decathlon are just the ticket. These trousers were designed for snowy hikes, so you can be sure they’ll keep you warm and dry in wintry conditions. There’s an adjustable ankle opening and the fabric features stretch for a comfy fit. At under £40 these trousers are also a bargain, and there’s a petite length on offer too.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide, polyester, and elastane

  • Size range: UK 4 - 18 (petite available)

6. Best lightweight waterproof trousers: Donhobo Women's Quick Dry Waterproof Hiking Pants

Donhobo waterproof trousers

Price: £27 | Buy now from Amazon

It’s not only winter when waterproof trousers are necessary in the UK, and these affordable trousers by Donhobo are lightweight enough for warmer weather, yet waterproof enough to keep you dry from any surprise showers. The straight leg fit is flattering and stylish, while the elastic waist offers comfort for long days of adventuring. While these trousers might not offer extreme waterproofing, they offer general protection for outdoors activities, and are well suited for camping and walking.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyamide and elastane

  • Size range: S - XXL

7. Best waterproof trousers for cycling: CATENA Women's Winter Cycling Trousers

Catena waterproof trousers

Price: £49 | Buy now from Amazon

These Catena breathable and comfortable trousers feature a showerproof exterior and a fleecy lining that makes them ideal for colder weather cycles. They also provide some added safety to your cycling wardrobe, with large reflective strips on the legs. These trousers also feature an elasticated waist and ankle zips for speedy changes after long, muddy cycle rides.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester

  • Size range: XS - XL

8. Best waterproof trousers for walking: YSENTO Womens Walking Hiking Waterproof Trousers

Ysento waterproof trousers

Price: £33 | Buy now from Amazon

Practical? Check. Affordable? Check. Waterproof? Check. If you’re into walking or hiking then these Ysento trousers are an excellent buy. The trousers are made for movement, with 3D cutting at the knees and an elasticated waist. The brushed fleece lining will keep you warm. They also come in an array of fun colours - we particularly like the rose red and purple colourways.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester and elastane

  • Size range: XS - XXL

9. Best waterproof trousers for running: BALEAF Women's Fleece Lined Water Resistant Legging

Baleaf waterproof trousers

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

Your early morning winter runs will be much more enjoyable in these water-resistant, fleece-lined leggings from Baleaf. With a conventional legging shape and a high rise fit, these are perfect for when you’re on the move, and the added front media pocket and rear zip pocket will keep your essentials to hand. While these leggings don’t offer the hardiest waterproofing compared to other products on our list, the water-resistant outer layer will protect you from surprise showers.

Key specs

  • Material: Polyester and elastane

  • Size range: XS - XXL

How to buy the best waterproof trousers for women

There are lots of different occasions where waterproof trousers are useful. Deciding what you want to use yours for will help you choose the best style. Look for added comfort features like articulated legs, ankle zips and elasticated waistbands. Not all waterproof trousers are machine washable, which is another aspect to consider before purchasing.

Are waterproof trousers better than overtrousers?

Overtrousers are more traditional for waterproof protection. However, modern waterproof trousers provide a more comfortable, streamlined and stylish look. Often they are fleece lined too, so plenty warm enough compared to layering up with overtrousers.

Can you wash waterproof trousers?

Some lightly water-resistant trousers can be machine washed, but generally more heavy duty waterproof trousers need extra care. That’s because products like laundry detergent and especially fabric softener can damage the waterproof coating. Always read the care labels on your waterproof trousers before attempting to machine wash, and dry brush off mud in the first instance. There are also specialist waterproof clothing detergents available to buy.

What are the best waterproof trousers to buy?

After examining which products Mumsnetters are loving on the forums, as well as external reviews, we decided the Acai Thermal Skinny Outdoor Trousers are the best waterproof trousers to buy. They win on versatility, comfort and style.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like real recommendations from real parents, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which waterproof trousers discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of the waterproof trousers they recommended, noting how practical they found them, and whether they were particularly good for any certain needs.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which waterproof trousers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the waterproof trousers we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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