Waterproof motorcycle trousers can make the difference between having an enjoyable ride or a miserable battle to get to a destination.
Being warm and dry are two key factors that make riding in the cold and wet manageable; some riders even go on to enjoy it. It’s all about the adventure, right?
I would have enjoyed my trip in North Wales when the heavens opened a lot more if I wasn’t just in Kevlar jeans and my boots hadn’t taken on litres of water.
Here I have gathered all the information you need to make an informed decision about which trousers will be suitable for you, with some pretty great options too.
Let’s get to it.
Here are our top waterproof motorcycle trousers.
Gore-Tex Waterproof Lining, Brilliant Quality, All-Season Trousers
Protective, waterproof and breathable, all you need in a pair of motorcycle trousers, with the bonus of being comfortable and suitable for all-year riding.
The Best Waterproof Motorcycle Trousers Reviewed
Richa Cyclone Gore-Tex
Richa is excellent at producing quality motorcycle gear, and the Cyclone trousers are no exception to these high standards.
The Gore-Tex lining will keep you dry and allow you to breathe, removing moisture from the inner trouser to keep you comfortable.
Rated CE A and provided with D30 Level 1 armour in the knees, these trousers are also protective.
Although I think Richa could have included some hip armour as part of the package, don’t be fooled, it is just foam at the hips, not protective armour. This should be replaced immediately with some proper certified hip armour.
A padded thermal liner is easily removed to accommodate all temperatures, and the ventilation system is great for keeping you cool.
Richa has gone out of its way to keep you comfortable with stretch panels behind the knee and the inside leg; the waist is adjustable to ensure the right fit.
Constructed from Cordura (even the stretch panels are Cordura spandex), they are up to a high standard for abrasion resistance.
The trousers require stretching out and wear to make them comfortable, but that is just due to the thick Cordura used.
- Gore-Tex lining
- CE A rated
- D30 CE Level 1 knee armour
- Suitable for all-year riding
- Bit stiff to start with, need breaking in
Oxford Mondial Advanced Textile
Much like the Mondial jacket from Oxford, I was surprised when the trousers hit the market.
Laminate waterproof trousers at such a reasonable price point were unheard of.
They don’t disappoint in quality either; the waterproof membrane keeps the rain at bay and the rider dry.
Ventilation is excellent for when things heat up a little, and when it gets cooler, Oxford’s detachable WarmDry thermal liner will keep you warm.
A full 360 zip will connect you to the Mondial jacket or other Oxford jackets for complete waterproof protection.
There are just two things not so great about these trousers.
The first is that there is no hip armour supplied; there are pockets, but you have to purchase that separately.
Secondly, the trousers come up a little small, so be sure to go up at least one size when ordering.
- Great value
- Laminated waterproof membrane
- CE certified Level 1 knee protection and hip armour pockets
- Removable thermal liner
- Effective ventilation
- Sizing is a little small
Klim Badlands Pro Gore-Tex Textile
The badlands from Klim is top-shelf quality for the most hardcore riders.
The laminated Gore-tex construction will ensure that you remain completely dry and keep the weight of the trouser down, thanks to a complete lack of water penetration through the membrane.
Rated CE AA, the trousers have been approved to meet the everyday rider’s needs in all the typical conditions where their protective abilities may be needed.
D30 hip, knee and tailbone armour are there if you need it but are hardly noticeable thanks to the soft, malleable nature of D30 (unless there is an impact).
Comfort is second to none, and the ventilation is effective alongside Klimatek cooling stretch mesh and an internal moisture-wicking lining.
The downsides are; there is no removable thermal liner, they are expensive, and the sizing is a little off as the legs are quite long and can feel a bit baggy with no way to tighten them up.
- CE AA rating
- Gore-Tex laminate
- D30 CE Level 1 hip, knee and tailbone protection
- Sizing a bit complicated
Weise Hydra Leather Pants
For those that don’t want to switch to textile and prefer to ride in leather, then the Weise Hydra’s may be the perfect option.
They are constructed from Monaco performance leather and are fully lined with a Reissa waterproof lining.
You have plenty of ventilation and waterproof zips to open them up and stretch panels in all the right places to ensure comfort.
CE-approved armour is at the knees, and hip armour can be purchased separately.
Fit is also pretty good, with sizing being on point with what you usually wear in trousers.
Some compromises must be made; for example, the leather will become very heavy when damp, even though you should remain dry.
Leather also takes significantly longer to dry than textile gear.
They are also very warm, so will be great in cooler weather but may not be best suited to Summer riding, despite the vents.
- Leather construction
- Great fit
- Drop liner
- Heavy when wet
- Not the best option for all-year riding
RST Alpha 5 CE Textile
For a simple, no-frills, good-value pair of waterproof trousers, the Alpha 5 pants are not a bad choice at all.
They feature the RST Sinaqua waterproof drop lining, which is claimed to be breathable.
They have a fixed thermal lining, an adjustable waistband and are constructed of Martex and Ballistic material.
Alongside the rugged construction, they have been rated CE A, which is best suited for Urban riding.
This makes them a pretty good option for commuters, and they also have CE-approved knee protection and options for hip armour.
It could be argued that in a serious downpour over a prolonged time, the waterproof effectiveness may be tested, but with shorter commutes in the Winter, these trousers will be up to the job.
- Good Value
- Rated CE A
- CE Level 1 knee protection
- Drop liner
- Fixed thermal liner
- Small sizing on the waist and a bit long in the leg
There are just a few things to think about with waterproof motorcycle trousers to ensure you get the right pair for your needs.
You need to know if they are actually waterproof, how protective they are, and whether they fit your riding style and needs.
With the following short buyer’s guide, you should be able to navigate your way to the best waterproof trousers for you.
Here are my top tips for buying waterproof motorcycle trousers:
Level of Waterproofing
When a manufacturer states’ waterproof’ on their clothing, it is used quite liberally and not always correctly.
The problem is that there are different degrees of waterproofing, and some test their products more thoroughly than others.
You can usually gauge how waterproof a pair of trousers will be by the type of waterproof liners they utilise.
A waterproof drop liner is a piece of waterproof fabric between the trousers’ outer and inner comfort layers.
The drop liner prevents water from getting through to the inner layer.
However, water still penetrates the outer layer and often will make the trousers very heavy to wear if you have been riding in the rain for a while.
The water can also gather at the seams at the bottom of the trouser or pockets, forming puddles, and if the seams aren’t robust, you will eventually end up with water getting through.
If you imagine the liner as a heavy-duty plastic bag, it also doesn’t allow the trousers to breathe, so you have no ventilation or moisture-wicking properties.
So, this type of waterproof liner can get quite hot and sticky in trousers.
Gore-Tex liners work the same way in that they are dropped down between the outer and inner layers.
However, the Gore-Tex material is breathable and will allow your heat and sweat to escape without letting rainwater in.
Gore-Tex trousers are guaranteed waterproof; the Gore-Tex is also windproof and will keep you more comfortable than other drop liners.
A pair of trousers with a waterproof laminate membrane is the best for waterproofing.
Essentially the waterproof membrane is laminated to the outer layer of the trousers; therefore, when water hits the trouser, it cannot penetrate through.
The main advantage of laminate waterproof trousers is that they remain lightweight compared to their Gore-Tex liner counterparts that retain water in the outer layer.
You would be amazed at how many people think that only their jacket needs to be protective and disregard the protective properties of a good pair of trousers.
All the same, rules apply when looking for trousers, and you should want to protect your legs as much as your top half.
Here are the top things to look out for to ensure your trousers are protective:
- Check for a CE Rating (with A being the lowest and AAA being the highest)
- CE Level 1 knee protectors as a minimum
- If hip armour isn’t supplied, check for pockets for it, then pick some up at the same time
- The trousers should be constructed of Aramid fibres, dense Nylon, Cordura or such to ensure they offer a good level of abrasion resistance.
Consider whether you are riding all year, through every weather, commuting on your bike, or just riding in the Summer.
If you are riding all year, a pair of laminate waterproof trousers might be worth the investment.
Whereas you could get away with cheaper trousers with a drop liner if you are just worried about getting caught out in a Summer shower.
There you have it, the best waterproof motorcycle trousers currently available.
The Richa Cyclone trousers are my favourite pick, thanks to their excellent construction, Gore-Tex liner, and versatility for being used all year in all weather.
Oxford offers an excellent package with its laminate Mondial pants at a competitive price.
You might also be interested in our other waterproof clothing guides: