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Tested regularly throughout Autumn and Winter 2017/18 in the Cairngorms.

For many people, the most ideal situation would be to keep waterproof trousers packed away in their rucksack for the duration of a trek. British weather, however, rarely allows this. But rest assured, if you find yourself blessed with a dry day or two, the Rab Downpour Pants weigh in at just 190 grams, so carrying them will be far from a chore. Easily uncomplicated and packable, you can head out into the hills knowing that you have some decent leg protection if the weather does decide to turn.

The true sticking point with many waterproof trousers comes with the act of actually getting them on without having to de-boot. There’s possibly nothing worse than an impeding deluge of water coinciding with the old ‘one-boot-hop’ while struggling to pull on second layer of leg-ware.With the Downpour Pants, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. The half-length zip provides ample space to manoeuvre the lightweight material over boots and even a thick pair of winter trousers.

The elasticated waist is nice and high, avoiding the hips, and adds to the quick and comfortable transition from being unprotected to waterproof. The sizing is as spacious as it needs to be, permitting a good amount of flexibility while not impeding movement with excess material. A particularly good feature is the adjustable ankle baffle and closure button. This allows a nice snug fit around the top of your boots and provides extra leak protection – especially welcome if you’re not a fan of gaiters.

There’s no doubt about it, the Downpour Pants will keep you extremely dry. From hiking in torrential rain, blizzards or just sitting on wet ground, moisture was kept out throughout. This is testament to the Pertex Shield 2.5L fabric with Dry Touch, which allowed very good breathability and durability. There were no concerns over whether the fabric may rip when sitting on a rock or rough ground. It’s worth noting that there are no air vents, sometimes useful when wearing during dry spells, but quite frankly they are unneeded as the material does a decent enough job of preventing any clamminess. There is also no pocket access, which some may miss. However, from a design perspective, the absence of these things is just another way of ensuring the pants are in no way compromised from moisture.

Our Verdict

These are a good all-round waterproof pant with low weight, comfort and dryness at their core. They won’t take up much room in your rucksack but will ensure good protection in bad weather without compromising flexibility or comfort. From short day hikes to longer multi-day treks, the Downpour Pants fit the bill and can be relied upon to keep you dry.

Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...

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