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Top Waterproof Tights and Trousers for Fall and Winter Riding

By Megan Flottorp

There’s a nip in the air, the pumpkin spice enthusiasts are out to play, and we have officially entered the autumnal season. In other words, it is time to start assembling everything you need to continue cycling through the cooler months. Although some decide to park their bike for the winter (depending on where you live, winter cycling may be a pretty daunting task!), if you do want to join the hardcore ranks of those who ride all year—you best be prepared. 

Be it rain or snow; it pays to have a good pair of the right gear with reflective detailing to help keep you visible, dry, comfortable, and warm enough to cycle safely. If you’re new to the challenge of all-weather riding, you’ll be glad to know that water resistance gear has come a long way. And if you don’t mind shelling out a bit of cash, you can brave the temperature drop in comfort.

Of course, you’re going to need to suit up from head to toe to truly enjoy the fun that can be had pedalling through precipitation. But for now, we are going to focus on keeping those legs protected from the wind and water. Below you’ll find some of the top features to look for and a selection of our best waterproof cycling trousers and tights.

Cyclist riding in a downpour in shorts and jersey. Pour guy!
Better be ready. © Profimedia

Some things to keep in mind when shopping for below-the-waist cycling protection: 

You might be used to form-fitting gear when you ride, but keep in mind that you’re going to want to choose waterproof trousers made from waterproof fabric for total rain protection, and water-resistant tights for rides where you don’t mind getting a bit damp. Really keeping the rain out requires waterproof fabrics and sealed seams, which is simply incompatible with the stretch needed for tights.

If you’re commuting, touring, or mountain biking—waterproof cycling trousers might be a better option than waterproof cycling tights. Their looser fit makes them more comfortable, and they can be worn over casual clothing. Which ever model you choose, be sure they have ankle zips to facilitate taking them off and on without having to remove your shoes.

Make sure you’re visible! Riding in cooler weather tends to go hand in hand with less daylight, so ensure you’ve got plenty of reflective patches or details to increase your visibility in the dark and on gloomier days.

Looking for something that can handle a bit of rain in bad weather without requiring a change of clothes? Trousers and jeans made from water-repellent cotton are an unexpectedly effective alternative that looks like regular trousers off the bike.

Waterproof pants 

REI Co-op Cycles Junction Rain Pants 

REI Co-op Cycles Junction Rain Trousers

With ripstop technology, these waterproof pants are perfect for pulling over bib tights or cycling shorts for a wet or muddy training session—and are equally suited to ensure you arrive at your destination looking spiffy. The fully seam-sealed 2.5-layer construction will keep out wind up to 60 mph, and elastic ankles zip open for easy on and off over cycling shoes.

A zippered rear pocket means essentials stay dry and close at hand, and there are plenty of reflective details to help you be seen in low light. They are also made from bluesign®-approved materials, so you can feel good about doing your part to protect the health of the environment and the workers who made them. You can find these waterproof trousers in both men’s and women’s models.

Gore Wear C5 GORE-TEX Active Trail Pant

These reliable pants are totally waterproof, not only repelling road spray, rainwater but mud, snow, and whatever else the elements throw your way. You can also expect an exceptional level of durability and can rely on this garment to see you through more than a few spills with tearing.

The grippers on the elastic waistband hold the pants in place, and the hems are just narrow enough to avoid being caught in the chainring. They are not the most affordable waterproof overtrousers option out there, but if you’re a rider looking for durability and longevity, you can count on this effective pair to keep you safe and comfortable in all sorts of weather. They are also very lightweight, making for easy packing when heading out for longer rides or an extended adventure.

Cube Blackline Rain Pants

Cube Backline Rain Trousers

These pants offer a quick-drying and hard-wearing technical fabric that is super waterproof. They also have all the features you’d expect from a pant in this price range, including taped seams, a pocket with zipper, reflective elements, high breathability, adjustable trouser leg width and a comfortable elastic waistband.

That being said, these are not intended to act as your standalone protection against those truly chilly days. Think of them as overtrousers – a waterproof outer layer – especially if you’re going to be wearing them on a longer and colder ride.


Endura Pro SL Bib Tights 

Endura Pro SL bib tights

An indisputably solid buy, these tights are windproof, fit superbly, and the chamois comes in three widths, so you have a little customisation to work with. They are made of breathable fabric with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish front and seat panels. In the words of the makers themselves, these have been “designed for the hardcore roadie who rides all winter long, whatever the weather.

The updated Pro SL Bib tights have benefited from rigorous on-bike testing, resulting in a premium tight that keeps your legs warm, the wind at bay and prevents road spray from soaking your lower legs and feet.”

Pearl Izumi Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights 

Pearl Izumi Pursuit Hybrid cycling big tights, two images, one front, one rear, same product

The latest version of Pearl Izumi’s Pursuit Hybrid winter bib tights is made from top-quality material. The lightweight ELITE AmFIB® Softshell provides superior wind and water protection in key exposure areas.

There is also thermal Fleece fabric with water shedding PI DRY® technology on the back of the legs and around the hips. They’re super-stretchy to move with you, too, so you can use them during demanding training sessions. There is a lot to feel good about here.

Rapha Women’s Pro Team Winter Tights

Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter Tights

These tights are a great pair worthy of its name, but they have an equally corresponding pro price tag. They are a good buy if you don’t mind shelling out for quality. As well as being made with a rugged and lightweight three-layer fabric—including windproof and water resistant panels at the front and Thermoroubaix fabric at the back—the broad stretch straps are designed to sit around the outside of the bust. Best of all? A heavy-duty magnetic clasp at the back allows for pee stops without having to strip (love that!).

As you can see, there is no need to let fear of the wind and cold keep you from venturing out this autumn and winter. Figure out what qualities you want in a waterproof tight or trousers, and go get yourself outfitted for some wet and wild riding!