You could pair a waterproof textile jacket with leather trousers for most conditions but if it’s really hammering it down, leather trousers won’t keep the water out.
You need a quality pair of waterproof textile trousers, ideally connecting to the jacket with a full-length zip to really do the business.
While Gore-Tex is the household name in weather protection, some manufacturers also produce their own waterproof technical membranes, which are just as good and don’t cost as much. For example, Alpinestars have their own version, Drystar, which is waterproof yet breathable.
Trousers with a removable thermal lining might cost a bit more but they mean you can get all-year use from them. If you’ll only wear textiles in the winter and leather trousers in the summer then you’ll benefit from a thermal lining.
You’ll also want to ensure the trousers will go over the top of your boots, to keep the water that runs down your legs from ending up sloshing around your toes. If you wear Adventure boots, then you’re probably better off going for adventure-bike trousers, which will be roomier around the lower legs to accommodate larger boots.
Check out our showcase below, where we’ve hand-picked some great waterproof textiles for all budgets.
The 600D outer shell of these textile motorcycle trousers provide durability while the waterproofing and thermal liner keep you warm and dry. CE approved armour is in the knees and a fully adjustable waist, leg closures and stretch panels aim to give a better fit.
The outer construction is made from Heros-Tec 500D fabric and reinforced 900D knees for strength. Waterproofing comes in the form of a Humax-Z waterproof and breathable liner while a mesh lining is added for better comfort. For warmer days, zipped ventilation can be adjusted for quick cooling. Stretch panels in the knees, thighs and calves allow for a tight fit but still be comfortable. Protective knee inserts are height adjustable to suit riders’ needs.
The Andes Drystar trousers by Alpinestars are made of a reinforced poly-fabric and include a waterproof and breathable Drystar membrane. A full length removable thermal layer is included for cooler days while on warmers ones, use the zip closure vents for comfort. Complete with optional braces, these trousers can be adjusted at the waist to better suit the rider. No knee protection but there are pockets to add hip protectors.
With an outer Duratex layer for robustness, the Galvestone D2s include a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane and a detachable thermal quilted layer for comfort in all weather. The removable knee protectors are CE certified plus they feature an adjustable waist and zipped bottom for larger body shapes. Winner of a RiDE recommended award, these textile trousers have additional reflective detailing which compliment the smart style choice.
If you want to push the boat out or maybe want to match your Rukka textile jacket, these ones are for you. The high-tech aramid and Cordura construction is perfect for long lasting wear and the Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer stretch laminate layer is fully waterproof. Featuring D30 knee protectors and heat and abrasion resistent leather patches on the inner knees for safety. Plus, Rukka AirCushion and Rukka Antiglide system of Keprotec to prevent slipping on your seat. For warmth, the trousers have a separate pair of 60g down trousers. 6 Year warranty once registered.
Waterproofing a garment to the sort of conditions bikers go through and the sort of standards we expect is a tough business. Getting lashed by rain at 70mph is going to test any material and construction, which is why we advise you not to skimp when it comes to waterproof textile kit.
These HWK Waterproof Textile trousers are cheap, £30 cheap. The cheapest we could find.
They might look tempting if you’re on a budget but from my experience, they won’t do the job. I can see them being about as waterproof as a sieve when the going gets tough and those cargo pockets look like they’re primed to collect water.
If you are on a tight budget, far better to improve your waterproofing by wearing a cheap set of waterproof trousers over the top of your textiles, to keep the rain from getting in.
The only thing more miserable than getting soaked while on the bike is having to put on your damp gear for the ride home the next day.
Jeans, pants or trousers?
To make life a bit more confusing, waterproof textile trousers are also called jeans or pants, depending on the manufacturer. To us, jeans are the denim/kevlar variety and pants are what you wear under your trousers.
Can you re-waterproof textile trousers?
If you see any areas where rainwater no longer beads up, then these will need re-proofing. Buy a bottle of waterproofing solution, it either can be hand-applied or you can add it to your washing machine to recoat the garment.
Thanks to the following websites which helped us research and write this waterproof textile motorcycle trousers review: