If you’ve seen our post on waterproof jackets, you’ll know that for a number of good reasons, we prefer a shorter jacket to full-length. But what about your bottom half? If you’re caught out in the rain, the last thing you want to spoil your unique Globetrotting experience is a wet tush! That’s where waterproof trousers come into their own. To make things easier for you, seasoned Globetrotter Bernadette Kelly has put together a list of considerations that will ensure you stay warm and dry whatever the weather.
Just as with jackets, you’ll want to be checking the label for the word ‘waterproof’ rather than ‘water resistant’ or ‘showerproof’. You want a pair of pants that will stand up to anything from a light shower to a torrential downpour. Some pants also claim to be windproof, or even thermally insulated. This can definitely be an added bonus – an extra layer to help keep you cosy in the wind and rain.
Will they be long enough to sit over the top of your boots and not ride up and leave a gap? Some trousers have elastic loops that fit over your boots to keep them where they should be. This is a brilliant feature if you can find it. Keep in mind that if you find a great pair of pants that don’t have these loops, you can always sew some on. It’s a relatively easy job if you’re handy with a sewing machine, or better yet, know someone willing to do it for you. If you ride in long boots this may not be an issue, but it’s worth noting that soggy, cold ankles on a long ride are far from ideal.
Will you be able to slide your pants on over your boots? Look for zips at the hem to ensure you can get them on without having to take your boots off first. Some zips go all the way up the leg. This can be a particularly useful feature when they’re wet on the outside and need to be peeled off without getting your legs or inner layers wet in the process. Pockets are also very handy, especially if you are used to having them in your riding pants. Let’s face it, poking around inside your overpants searching for a pocket in your underpants (so to speak), is not the best look!
There are not a lot of waterproof pants made specifically for riding, but believe me, they’re worth seeking out. The problem with most overpants is that all that shiny, water-shedding fabric can become quite slippery in the saddle. If you can find waterproof pants that are designed with riding in mind, they will pay themselves off in durability and added safety – and they look way more stylish, as well. There are also more generic ‘grippy’ styles available from some outdoor or motorcycle stores that will work just fine, but make sure you’re confident they won’t slip around in the saddle before you buy a pair.
Where to buy
After riding in all weathers and destinations across the world, my advice is to not let a wet backside ruin your once-in-a-lifetime horse riding holiday. The most expensive pair of trousers is not necessarily the best, so it’s important that you look for quality above all else.
Happy shopping, Globetrotters! I’ve included links to cover a range of budgets and styles.
This article was written by Bernadette Kelly, a loyal Globetrotter since 2010, with 16 rides under her belt spanning Africa, South America, Iceland, Europe, the UK, and Australia.