I am in need of some waterproof cycling pants and would like some guidance about pants you have tried and wear in the rain. Need to be cycling specific and packable.

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Depends if you want really waterproof or not. For short rides and just drizzle or intermittent showers almost anything will do, $2 dollar shop. Aldi did a line in bike pants that was reasonable. Very light and withstood light rain. 

If cheap gear leaks treat crutch seams with water based seam sealer from Paddy Palins. Or just ride without, if that’s an option. Woolen tights for colder conditions.

Why do they need to be cycling specific?

I use these cheapies but goodies just fine. Seam sealed but not breathable, very packable. 100% dry even in torrential rain.  I combine with waterproof shoes and I can stay dry and be presentable for whatever my destination is.

Going up in price you get better breathability and up in price again lighter and more packable:


As you can see, all one brand but plenty of other brands out there with similar options.

I am going on a bike packing holiday and need pants that will be comfortable with good breathability  as well as waterproof, Also with articulated knees and a comfortable seat.

Well the last ones I listed have all of that.  Except the comfortable seat.  But that is what your seat and your bike pants are for.

Having padded rainproof cycling pants wouldn't be practical sensible.  These are OVERPANTs, made to be worn in heavy rain.  In dry conditions you wouldn't be wearing them.

Also if you are bike packing with cycling clothing on then unless the rain is particularly heavy then it is often easier and cooler stick with bare legs.

If the rain is very heavy you wil get wet anyway, one way or another there will be a leak, so yes bare legs and sandals. 

I was in Omafiets recently and somehow talked myself into buying an AGU rain cape. Havnt used it yet, really needs mudguards to be effective.

Hi Bob. I've been carrying a rain cape with me for some years now when I commute. Petty good at keeping you dry(ish) except in high winds. You do need mudguards. Packs down small. I've tried a few. I'm currently using a VAUDE Covero Poncho II.

The main selling point for me is the ventilation. We get most of our rain in summer and it its very humid - just like the past few days. Jackets and pants just cause you to sweat terribly. With a cape you have ventilation. Plus a cape is much quicker to put on.

Down side - lack of sartorial elegance.

Lack of Sartorial Elegance- yep, that’s my biggest worry! Not sure if I’m ready to appear in public in it. 

I should also add Bob it's a bit hard to give hand signals when using a rain cape. This in fact may be a serious problem depending on your route. For me it isn't on the routes I ride.

I have found that when the rain is coming down people aren't really taking time to make fashion judgements. Having said that some capes are better cut than others and do look better.

For me the winner is the ventilation I get in the hot humid summer rain. In winter I'll more likely use a jacket (and the rain shorts I mention below).

I bought a pair of hiking rain pants, cut them off just below the knees and had a clothing alterations shop hem them.

Pros -

1. Much quicker than rain pants to put on and off.

2. Pack down to half the size of rain pants.

Cons -

Lower legs get wet.

so yes bare legs and sandals.

Definitely agree with this for day long riding in wet conditions.  I own SPD sandals for this reason. :-)

If the rain is very heavy you will get wet anyway, one way or another there will be a leak

I disagree with this.  Good equipment will stop water ingress.  I've ridden in torrential rain multiple times and have been completely dry even after 30minutes of 20mm+ falls.  I've hiked for full days in heavy rain and stayed dry.

That said if you are going for hours and sweating you will likely get wet from inside out.  Breathable membranes only work if there is a decent humidity gradient.

Have gone with Club Visible Pants from Shower pass $135. Are breathable and waterproof with articulated knees and can be tightened around shins to keep away from chain.

Nigel - give us some feedback on how they go in the rain if you get a chance.


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