Winter’s coming… again. Every bloody year, eh?
For me, and probably most Brits, winter means rain. Drizzle mostly, but sometimes you get that awful heavy stuff too. And while nice-looking water-resitant cycling trousers may see you through the mild days, no cycling bag should be without an emergency pair of waterproof overtrousers.
What Are Overtrousers?
Overtrousers are just what they sound like: trousers that go over your normal trousers. This extra layer is built with one – and only one – function in mind – to keep your legs (and your other trousers dry). This isn’t a fashion item, but if it’s really lashing down, they are an indensible item in your wardrobe.
Waterproof trousers are extremely useful for cyclists, but you don’t need to wear them at all times. They often come with a handy bag and can be folded down so that you can easily throw them in a bag so that they’re ready for you in case of a rainy emergency.
For commuters especially, having a pair of waterproof cycling overtrousers at hand is a must.
In the following guide, we’ll take a look at four of the best waterproof overtrousers for cycling – covering four relatively cheap options that do the job well.
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Top 4: Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers
On extremely rainy days, Discerning Cyclist holds up a little white flag when it comes to style – instead wrapping oneself in waterproof materials to stay as dry as possible on the commute – i.e. rain trousers for cycling. You can look good underneath and emerge victorious at your destination once you’ve removed the shrink-wrap, but downpour days are about damage limitation.
So, what are best waterproof cycling overtrousers? This guide will look at the best options at multiple price points.
Best Breathable Waterproof Cycling Overtrousers for Men + Women
Premium breathable waterproof overtrousers
- Elasticated waist with cord adjustment
- Three-quarter side zips for extra ventilation and easy clothing changes
- 100% nylon which is both waterproof and breathable
If you want a really good all-round waterproof over trouser, then the Berghaus Deluge range is right up there.
As well as the top-notch waterproof material, these trousers also feature an articulated design – primarily intended for “stepping high”, which translates very well into pedalling furiously too.
Getting into these trousers is very easy thanks to the ¾ length side zips – so squeezing past even big chunky boots isn’t a problem. There’s also upper leg venting, which may aid breathability somewhat – after all finding a good pair of breathable waterproof trousers is usually a big challenge, but one that this pair does well.
Another good thing about the Berghaus overtrousers is that not only are they available in multiple sizes, they’re also available in three different lengths (short 29”, standard 31” and long 31”) which means regardless of whether you’re tall or small – you can find a great fit, without getting the hems stuck under your shoe.
Weighing in at just 390g too, these over trousers feel light whether you’re riding in them or carrying them in a bag. Importantly, Berghaus overtrousers also have zipped side pockets – a feature you shouldn’t underestimate the usefulness of.
Men's Berghaus Deluge Waterproof Breathable Over Trousers
- Elasticated waist with drawcord
- Three-quarter length side leg zips opening top and bottom
- Articulated knees
Women's Berghaus Deluge Waterproof Breathable Over Trousers
- PROTECTED WITH HYDROSHELL Our breathable and waterproof Hydroshell fabric keeps you dry and protected when the weather turns
- COOLING VENTILATION 3/4 side zips for speedy changing and cooling ventilation
- ENHANCED COMFORT The breathable fabric of Hydroshell and knee articulation all add to the comfort
Best Waterproof Cycling Trousers for Easy Access
Great rip stop rain pants to keep you dry
- Drawstring fastener
- Half leg zip makes them easy to pull over clothes and shoes
- Men’s and women’s versions available
One of the challenges relating to waterproof overtrousers is putting them on easily. After all, you’ll often have to do this in a hurry at the side of the road in the event of an unexpected downpour.
The waterproof overtrousers from Mountain Warehouse excel in this regard as they have a half-leg zip, meaning you can easily pull these trousers over your shoes and legs in order to get them on.
I also really like these overtrousers because they’re very hard-wearing with heavy-duty, waterproof Isodry and Polyester fabric.
Again, Mountain Warehouse advertises these as breathable due to their mesh-lining, but this is kind of irrelevant if you’re wearing two pairs of trousers.
The Mountain Warehouse Spray overtrousers have an elasticated waist with drawcord adjustment to ensure they fit you well.
Mountain Warehouse waterproof over trousers come in both men’s and women’s fits, seen below.
- Half Leg Zip - Half leg zips allow you to pull the garment on over your footwear, perfect for speed and convenience
- Mesh Lining - Improves breathability by allowing air to circulate through your clothing
- Rip Stop Fabric - Stop rips in their tracks with this heavy duty fabric
- Rip Stop Fabric - Stop rips with this heavy duty fabric, longlasting and durable
- IsoDry - Waterproof & breathable material allows moisture out & prevents rain getting in
- Taped Seams - Waterproof tape runs across all stitched areas, making the item fully waterproof
Best Cheap Waterproof Overtrousers Under £20
Great waterproof trousers on a budget
- Waterproof and breathable isolite 5 lightweight polyamide fabric
- Elasticated waist and a lightweight design
- Men’s and women’s versions available
If you want something cheap and cheerful, that will keep you dry, is light, and can easily be thrown in your bag, the Regatta Pack It range is exactly what you need.
Available from just £7.99 (running up to £20 depending on colours and sizes), the Regatta Pack It – can be just that – packed up in a sack and kept in your bag for emergency.
The Regatta Pack It Over Trousers are light as anything and are made from Isolate Lightweight Polyester. They’re apparently also breathable, but these are really designed to go over your existing trousers – so this isn’t really a viable feature.
These waterproof cycling pants from Regatta come in men’s and ladies’ sizes.
- Lightweight, waterproof and breathable
- Isolate lightweight polyester fabric
- Packs away into stuff sack
- These over trousers are ideal for keeping in the car or rucksack
- Waterproof and breathable Isolate 5000 lightweight polyester fabric
- Packs away into stuff sack
Best 2-in-1 Pack: Waterproof Over Trousers + Jacket
All-in-one waterproof set ready-made for rain emergencies
- 100% Coated Stormdri Polyester
- Come in a handy bag
- Five colour options available
Earlier in the year I visited a client for a few a few days and with the unpredictable weather at that point, they kindly gave me a waterproof trouser and jacket set to make use of, the Result Heavyweight Waterproof Jacket and Trouser set.
Now this isn’t the lightest gear you’ll get a hold of, with the whole pack weighing in at around 800g. But I love the convenience of it and throw it in my bag whenever I feel the weather may turn at some point.
It’s a no-thrills but hard-wearing pack.
The trousers have an elastic waist, with holes rather than pockets on the sides – confusing at first but then you realise it’s so you can access the pockets in the trousers underneath. The trousers also have button fasteners on the bottom to help close them in a bit.
The jacket has a couple of hand pockets, but unfortunately there’s no seal on them. However, there is reflective detailing on the front and back of the jacket – ensuring you stay visible even in bad weather. There’s also a couple of back vents on the rear of the jacket to aid breathability, while the hood is elasticated and has a Velcro strip in order to keep it from blowing off in windy conditions. There’s also a double cuff on the sleeves with the underlayer being elasticated to stop you from blowing up like a balloon on your ride.
While this pack isn’t perfect, I love the convenience of having everything together in a small pack that you can throw in to your backpack. It’s also available in six different colours: black, fluorescent yellow, green, navy, red and blue.
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