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Updated: 18 Nov 2021

Best waterproof walking trousers and overtrousers – and the ones to avoid

From North Face and Berghaus to Craghoppers and Regatta, Which? members rate brands for their warmth, breathability, water resistance and more
Which? Team
waterproof walking trousers

For those who hike in all weathers, investing in comfortable and waterproof walking trousers is paramount. When it pours, a pair that will keep you dry and warm will be the difference between an enjoyable trek and a miserable one.

To help uncover the brands that manufacture the best options, we asked thousands of members to rate walking trouser and overtrouser labels they’d previously worn. Your star ratings separated the good from the bad, from their durability and comfort to how well-fitting and water resistant they are.

Results revealed that the most expensive brands performed best but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to splash out. Decent sets are available at more affordable prices, so we’ve highlighted options for varying budgets below as well as the brands to avoid.

Best walking trousers – and those to avoid

We've provided links for the brands rated best by Which? readers, all of which scored over 80% overall.

BrandAverage price paidBreathabilityComfortDurabilityFitWarmthWater resistanceValue for moneyCustomer score
Mountain Equipment£59
Mountain Warehouse£36

Best overtrousers – and those to avoid

We've provided links for the brands rated best by Which? readers, all of which scored over 80% overall.

BrandAverage price paidBreathabilityComfortDurabilityFitWater resistanceValue for moneyCustomer score
The North Face£52
Peter Storm£37
Mountain Warehouse£38

Using the tables

Survey (conducted in March and April 2021) is based on responses from 3,997 Which? members who own waterproof jackets bought since 2016, 1,791 Which? members who own walking trousers bought since 2016 and 1,200 Which? members who own overtrousers bought since 2016. Sample size in brackets. ‘-’ means there isn’t enough data to give a rating. Average price paid is based on the mean amount members paid. Customer score is based on satisfaction and whether members would recommend the brand. 

Best walking trousers brand: Paramo

Páramo walking trousers are pricey. But members think that they’re worth the investment, awarding five-star ratings for breathability, comfort, durability, warmth and water resistance.

Members like their year-round versatility, and several told us how well Páramo trousers prepare them for both winter wanders and summer saunters.

Verdict: Walking trousers worth investing in for all weather conditions. 

Best overtrousers brand: Berghaus

Berghaus overtrousers are expensive, but Which? members think they’re a cut above the rest. They awarded the well-known label four out of five stars for value-for-money. It’s perhaps not surprising, as Berghaus was the only overtrousers brand to receive top marks for water resistance – with breathability, comfort and fit categories each given solid four star ratings. Discover how Berghaus performed in our walking boots survey results.

Verdict: Excellent outdoor clothes.

Shop Berghaus overtrousers direct

Best walking trousers and overtrousers brand on a budget: Craghoppers

Shop Berghaus overtrousers at Go Outdoors For more affordable legwear, try Craghoppers. Its walking trousers and overtrousers typically cost less than £50, yet the brand received much higher customer scores than some well-known brands, including Regatta (its parent company). Its overtrousers get four stars for durability and water resistance, while its walking trousers get the same for breathability, comfort and durability. Both come with a lifetime guarantee. Craghoppers also supports various charitable organisations. It sponsors and donates kit to 14 non-profit partners, including English Heritage, Walking With The Wounded and the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Verdict: Affordable legwear that lasts. 

Shop Craghoppers walking trousers and overtrousers direct

Shop Craghoppers trousers at Cotswold Outdoor

Shop Craghoppers trousers at Go Outdoors

Find a well-rated waterproof jacket to pair with your trousers

Other waterproof trousers that gained a customer score of 80% or more

watreproof walking trousers

Which? members awarded six of 11 regular waterproof trouser brands an overall score of 80% or higher, indicating they were generally quite happy with their waterproof trousers. While not all gained top marks for water resistance, they were rated well in other areas such as comfort, breathability and fit. These are the best of the rest that we've not already mentioned:

Where to shop for waterproof trousers

We'd always recommend opting for a reputable retailer when shopping online. Pick one with a decent returns policy, and good reviews online. For all the brands we recommend, we’ve provided links to click through to shop directly, but many are also available via well-rated clothing retailers such as John Lewis, Cotswold Outdoor and Go Outdoors. Find out all best-rated shops as rated by Which? readers.

Walking trousers brand to avoid: Peter Storm

Lower-priced brand Peter Storm came bottom in our walking trousers survey. Which? members do not think the brand’s trousers are comfortable, awarding two stars in this category. And despite the average pair costing just £40, people weren’t impressed, awarding the label just three out of five for value. However, we weren’t able to generate a rating for water resistance, because too few respondents shared their opinion on this matter.

Verdict: Outperformed by other cheap brands in our survey, such as Craghoppers

Overtrousers brands to avoid: Mountain Warehouse & Trespass

With an overall customer score of 65%, these well-known brands found themselves at the bottom of our waterproof overtrousers results table.

Several Which? members that had worn Trespass trousers commented on them being too wide and ‘flappy’. Mountain Warehouse wearers had similar fit complaints. A few people commented on the baggy shape and several said the legs were too long. Both brands scored three out of five for fit, as well as for water resistance.

Verdict: Unimpressive.

What to consider when buying waterproof trousers

Good pockets

Pockets should be well positioned and the right size for your essential items. For example, if your mobile phone is larger than most, check there’s room to store it in a convenient place. Also make sure at least one pocket can be securely fastened, so your valuables don’t fall out when you’re hopping across a stream. 

An adjustable or elasticated waistband

An elasticated waistband will ensure a tight fit so that your trousers remain firmly in position. However, make sure there’s a section of softer lining inside the waist, so there’s less chance of chafing and irritation. If you don’t want an elasticated waist, look for a pair with belt loops or an adjustable waistband.

Zip-off trouser legs

Zip-off trousers are a great hybrid if you find shorts more comfortable for daytime walks, but want to stop insects from getting to your legs at night. Just make sure the zips aren’t in a position that rubs against your knees while you walk.

Well-stitched seams

Trousers with double-stitched seams tend to be more robust than singly-stitched pairs. If you plan on using yours for other activities, such as climbing or mountaineering, look for a pair with extra stitching around the knees and seat.