Best Gore-Tex Pants Reviewed & Rated for Quality
If you are an avid outdoorsman or woman, then it’s important to have a quality pair of Gore-Tex pants. These allow you to freely navigate the terrain regardless of the cold and still manage to keep you in dry comfort. You can easily go camping, trekking, hiking, cycling, running, and more without feeling the weather get to you.
Once you start searching for your ideal pair, you might stumble on tons and tons of options that all seem the same. To help you narrow your list down, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten currently on the market.
In addition to that, we’ve gathered all the necessary information you will need when you’re on the search for your next or first pair in our buying guide. Keep on reading to find out our top ten products and a buying guide.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
A range of color options
Keeps you warm and dry
10 Best Gore-Tex Pants
1. Burton AK
A range of color options
Keeps you warm and dry
Some colors are not exactly as shown
Not much insulation - so you need to wear something underneath
The Burton AK are well articulated option for those individuals that see a lot of weather at the resort or in the backcountry. It features a two-layer Gore-Tex weave fabric that helps it to be comfortable while keeping it dry. The shell is mapped with mesh lining and taffeta to help you keep warm.
The Cyclic Pants are designed to have an articulated fit to ensure precise movements. It has fully taped seams to provide you with the ultimate protection from the elements.
These Burton pants feature zippered cargo pockets that have a tool sleeve for your convenience. They also have anti-scuff cuffs to eliminate all dragging.
Cost and Value
These are approved by Blusign as it’s manufactured using natural resource efficient processes. The are available from size extra small to size XX-large. They are well worth their medium-high price point.
2. Burton Duffey
Keeps you dry through sleet and snow
Decent color options
Some stated that there were large differences between the sizes
The Burton Duffey is designed to be able to withstand all the mother nature can throw at you, be it howling winds, puking rain, or sideways snow. These feature two layers of Gore-Tex fabric to ensure that you remain absolutely dry.
Burton’s Living Lining
The Duffey pants are created with Burton’s Living Lining that offers users with automatic climate control without any excess weight or bulk. When you’re cool, the fabric works to be breathable and keep you warm. When you’re cold, the breathable pores help to trap body heat to retain heat for longer.
Like many others, these have anti-scuff cuffs that help to resist abrasion. Burton’s one specifically is made with durable Cordura fabric and designed with a contoured shape to be fitted and flattering.
Cost and Value
The Burton Duffey feature fully taped seams, zippered handwarmer pockets, as well as back pockets. It even features mesh-lined inner thigh vents that increase the value greatly. These are the lowest priced items
3. Arc’teryx Theta SV
Instep heavy patches help to enhance durability
Two-way zippers give a drop-seat option
Slightly oversized to allow room for clothes underneath
Some users stated that the pockets were too small
Slightly tight in the crotch area
The Arc’teryx Theta SV Bib feature Gore-Tex technology that provides a sufficient amount of protection from the weather. The reinforcements in the lower legs, seat, and knees help to enhance the durability of the garment. The zippers on this bib, including the external bib pockets, are watertight while also having garages.
Mobility and Comfort
To enhance your comfort and mobility, these feature articulated knees and a gusseted crotch. The tiny Gore seam tape and micro-seam allowance help to reduce the bulkiness and weight of the bib.
The Theta SV Bib features adjustable suspenders that allow you to customize the fit to your body. The two-way side zipper allows you to have a drop-seat option without having to fully remove the suspenders.
Cost and Value
Though the Arc’teryx Theta SV only comes in black, it does feature sizes ranging from small to extra large, with additional length options. This breathable bib is the priciest item on our list, but the material and construction make it well worth its high price point.
4. Arc’teryx Beta AR
Micro-seam allowance reduces the weight and bulkiness
Polyester tricot lining slides over mid layers easily
Integrated ¾ inch zipper
Zipper allows easy removal of footwear
Windproof and breathable
A baggy fit which some might not like
Not ideal for situations where you are mid-thigh to waist deep in snow
The Arc’teryx Beta AR are one of the most favored options on our list. It’s made from a Pro 3 Gore-Tex Fabric, that helps to make these great for use in the rain as well as windproof, and breathable. The reinforced Keprotech technology further protects all the patches against chafing and abrasion. These are designed to be able to withstand rugged and heavy-duty use.
Just because they are designed to be rugged, doesn’t mean that they won’t be comfortable. The reinforced knees and seat provide wearers with an ease of motion. The fewer seams help these to remain lightweight.
The Beta AR feature side zippers that are complete with back flaps to provide a simpler way to remove crampons and boots. There are also laminated powder cuffs which incorporate boot lace hooks.
Cost and Value
The Arc’teryx Beta AR features a large range of sizes from small to XX-large. Within those sizes, you’ll also have length options available to you (short and tall) to really get a size that fits you well. With the technology and size options, it’s well worth its higher-end price point.
5. Gore Bike Wear Cycling Rain
Great for sub-zero conditions
Good, breathable design
Size seems to run small
Fitted construction (some might not be fond of)
The Gore Bike Wear rain bottoms have all the things that you need in a good adventure pant. It is made with high-quality material and it’s great for use in the rain and breathable. Made with two and a half layers of 100% polyester and Gore-Tex membrane, they give you everything you need to protect you from the cold.
Lightweight Active Shell
All of Gore-Tex fabrics are polyester and nylon face fabric that is laminated with a fabric membrane. These come in a range of grades, including regular, Active, and Pro. The Active shell is designed to be very lightweight, windproof, and breathable.
Fully Sealed and Highly Visible
Because these are great for use in the rain, it also means that they are fully sealed from the wind. In addition to that, they also have reflective inserts that make them have high visibility, which is great for those situations where you are out when it’s dark out.
Cost and Value
The Gore Bike Wear Windstopper offers wearers with ample amounts of storage as it includes a zipped pocket on the back - great for those times when you need products quick. With all that it offers and being set at a lower range price, you won’t be able to do better than this product.
6. Gore Bike Wear Lady Active
Keeps you dry
Back zippered pocket
Might be too long for some
Cannot be hemmed to fit properly
These are ideal for short distance recreational activities. It is also designed to be worn all year round because of the rain-proof technology in it. Though these are designed specifically for recreational cyclists, it can also be worn for other activities.
The extremely thin core is vital in ensuring these pants remain lightweight, windproof, and breathable. The construction means that the material is impenetrable. The material is also great for keeping your dry on the inside and out by allowing perspiration and moisture to escape.
These feature an adjustable leg width that can be tightening or loosening with the use of velcro. It also has seat reinforcement, pre-shaped knees, and a zipped stow pocket in the back.
Cost and Value
This product is a highly versatile piece of contemporary style clothing. It can have a comfortable or close fit, depending on your preferences. For its mid-range price, the pros outweigh the cons considerably.
7. Gore Bike Wear Element
Can even suit freezing temperatures
Good quality material
They feel too large off the bike
Are not as breathable during the summer months
These are great for year round use due to its top of the line Gore-Tex technology. All which ensure to make these extremely breathable, windproof, and rainproof. Though designed for recreational cyclists, it can be used for any outdoor activity that requires unaccountable weather conditions.
These are not designed to be overly fitted, instead, they are designed to offer you a comfortable fit. Thus, allowing you to layer up if the weather requires it.
They have an adjustable elastic waistband that can be loosened or tightened using a flat cord. They also have an adjustable leg width that uses velcro fastenings.
Cost and Value
This product has a wear-resistant seat and pre-shaped knees to offer you the highest mobility possible. Though this is priced quite high, the versatility, visibility, and fit more than ensure that this will be a good purchase.
8. Gore Wear C3
Easily packable (compact)
Might be too long for some users
Some found the waist to be too short
The Gore Wear C3 is ideal for all athletic activities and is great for use all year round. Regardless of what activity you’re doing outdoors, these will be able to keep you warm and dry for long stretches of time. They are made with Gore-Tex Active material, therefore, you’ll be able to perform all intense effort activities.
The C3 are designed to be extremely breathable, windproof, and rainproof. The breathable material is in contact with your skin, therefore allowing optimal moisture and sweat management. The keep the body warm during breaks and cool during periods of physical effort.
These feature anti-chafing seam placement that makes wearing these for long periods more comfortable. It also has pre-shaped knees to allow you a better range of motion. They also have zippered pockets at the back.
Cost and Value
The C3 is designed to keep your comfort and safety as the top priority. It features reflective elements to enhance security regardless of the environment you are in. Placing in the lower price range (on our list), this product is definitely well worth all that it is marked as.
9. Gore Wear R3
Enough space for clothes to be worn under it
Great for cooler, windier weather
Only available in black
Sizing can be unclear and inconsistent
The R3 Windstopper allow you to enjoy the outdoors regardless of what the weather is like. These are great for moderate 30-45 degree Fahrenheit weather. The full Windstopper membrane is encompassed by breathable, stretch paneling behind the knees so that you remain warm without compromising your mobility and ventilation.
These are designed to have two ventilation openings on the side to keep you cool and warm whenever you need to. They also have a key pocket placed at the inner waistband to keep smaller items safe.
The R3 have a relaxed, but form fit, cut to give you shape but not restrict your movements. Like other Gore Wear apparel, these are also breathable, windproof, and rainproof.
Cost and Value
The R3 Windstopper are great for all year use for any outdoor sports activities. Though they are designed specifically for running, they can be used for other sports. These are another lower-price range product, which means that you get a lot of features for the money you spend.
10. Burton AK 3L
Top notch construction
Study and durable
Top end materials used
High price point
The Burton AK 3L is thin, but tough piece of outerwear. If you’re one to see and travel into a lot of wet weather, spend time in the Backcountry, or just in a lot of deep powder, then this might be a piece worth investing in. It has a three-layer rainproof Gore-Tex 70D construction that keeps you warm and dry.
The fit is more of tighter articulated fit rather than regular. It’s tight enough to give a tailored look, but still gives you room to layer up if the weather calls for it.
Though these look thin, they are very sturdy and well put together. It might not have insulation, but it does have enough space for you to layer up. It is also very rainproof through the use of the top end Gore-Tex three-layered fabric.
Cost and Value
This product is the second most expensive item on our list. However, if you spend a lot of time outdoors where you need this type of garment, then this is well worth the money you invest in it.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The type of materials and fabric play a big part in how these fit. For example, if they are made from natural fibers, like cotton, they are going to be quite stiff and have no give. That means, they will only fit select body styles. With these types of fabrics, manufacturers have to be very specific in their sizing guides.
Synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, are generally more forgiving as they are less stiff. They also don’t have much structure to them, therefore need additional lower bands with drawstrings or elastic waistbands. The positives of having a waistband though are that they can fit the size of the wearer a lot easier than natural fiber options.
Keep in mind, these types of athletic garments should not fit like skinny jeans. They should offer you great freedom of movement and fit comfortably. If they don’t, then you will need to find a pair that does because otherwise, your activities will not leave you very comfortable.
The comfortability of your new garment goes further than just delivering a breathable experience to your legs. Though there are countless features to look out for in terms of comfortability, you should prioritize having bottoms with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch.
In order to spot out pants that have articulated knees, just look for options that closely resemble the human leg shape. So, rather than a straight fit, it has slight curves narrow portions to really fit the body of the wearer.
A gusseted crotch refers to the way the crotch area is sewn. A gusset is a piece of denim formed in the shape of a diamond. When sewn in, it will eliminate several seams allowing you to have more comfort and maneuverability.
There are several features that you should keep an eye out when searching and buying this type of garment. These include articulated knees, adjustable waistband, pockets, and side zips, to name a few.
In certain styles, the knee is constructed pre-bent so that it’s easier for you to bend your knees when wearing these.
Having an adjustable waist allows you to modify how the garment fits you. These usually consist of elastic tabs that are pulled through a loop and secured with a piece of velcro. It’s a nice feature to have when the bottoms don’t fit you as well as they could.
Pieces should resist deterioration during laundering, piling, and abrasion.
Strategically and Fully Taped Seams
Strategically Taped Seams indicate when only certain seams are fully sealed to make that section rainproof. These sections are what is deemed as critical by the manufacturer. This means that the entire garment is not rainproof.
On the other hand, Fully Taped Seams mean that every seam in the garment is fully sealed and reinforced to make it completely rainproof. With these, there is a layer of fabric double stitched between the two inner and outer layers of fabric.
Gore-Tex is the name of the most well-known breathable and rainproof fabric. It is guaranteed in its performance due to a patented process that combines three layers of fabric.
These help to regulated the body temperature of the wearer. They are usually located in the outer/inner thighs. Vents can either have a mesh backing or open directly to the fabric underneath.
Zipper Shield/Storm Flap
A zipper shield is an extended piece of fabric that covers your side seams or zipper. It is designed to avoid any wind or water from seeping through.
There are two main styles, which are the bib style and the traditional style. Both have their own sets of advantages and weaknesses. What’s best for you depends on what the main activity you’ll be undergoing with these garments.
In terms of fit, they can feel less bulky because they provide you with less coverage than bibs. While bibs extend up under your coat to completely enclose you. Some find bibs constraining because they continue upwards. Two of the major upsides to bibs is that they cover more area, therefore, you’re well protected from the elements and you don’t have to worry about the waistband being loose. With bottoms, the waistband needs to fit well in order for it to remain in place while you are outdoors.
Everything from late spring walks to deep winter mountaineering, Gore-Tex can handle almost anything you put it under. Gore-Tex is designed to offer wearers with complete breathability, windproof and water protection. So whether you're stuck in a downpour in downtown or knee deep in powder - you’re covered.
They also take style, functionality, and flexibility into consideration when designing products, therefore all that you’re getting is the best quality material in your apparel. This is why Gore-Tex has become a top material for rainproof apparel.
Aside from that, these garments are generally comprised of a few materials, such as nylon or polyester. With the new innovations, rainproof pants can now be made out of virtually any material as there are tons of coating and laminates available.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Breathability in this type of clothing usually comes through from the vents, mesh panels, side zips or overall material. You will usually find one (or more) of these in a pair. They all work to make the fabric and garment more breathable and comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
Other Factors to Consider
Regardless of the type you decide to go for, they all should protect you against all that the elements might throw at you. Gore-Tex material is chosen because it is completely breathable, rainproof, and windproof.
All of the models that we’ve mentioned above are the best of the best. They have been tried and tested to ensure that they keep you warm while remaining breathable. This allows the bottoms to keep you warm while you rest and keep you cool while you are undergoing extreme physical activities.
Many users wear these garments over hiking bottoms or some other type of inner layer, though there are a few that decide to wear them on their own. What you decide to do is completely your own choice. It also depends on where and why you’ll be wearing these.
If you’re hiking or traveling in extremely humid environments, where your inner layer would just get soaked from sweat, then it might do you well to just wear the pants. However, a large portion of people travels with these as an option for the outer shell layer to give them more protection and warmth. As gore-tex is windproof and rainproof, it’s also great for really cold areas with high wind chills. Some are even great for use in freezing temperatures.
The size completely depends on the brand that you are purchasing from. Even then, it might also be completely specific to each product. There have been times where within the same brand, two products are sized completely different. This can be due to their fitting, material use, or any other reason.
So, to ensure that you get the right size, double check with the sizing chart of the product you are looking at. In addition to that, for extra precaution, look through the reviews and comments to see what others have said about the sizing of that specific product. Sometimes, the sizing is true to size, runs bigger, or runs smaller. Knowing what others have said, you can then make an educated guess on which one will suit you best.
These garments can be used for almost anything all year round. They are great for hiking in the warmer climates to trekking through the knee-deep snow. Here are a few scenarios where it would be great to have a pair of these:
Hiking trails that require bushwhacking
Trips above the treeline
Heavy rainstorms during your trip
Adventuring in a cold environment
Hiking in the pacific northwest
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are these necessary?
Similar to other hiking and athletic gear, these rainproof bottoms are not necessary. So, for the average person who does not enjoy being outside when it’s wet and rainy, you do not need a pair of these. However, if you’re someone who works outdoors or takes a lot of outdoorsy trips (cold or warm climates) they can really come in handy. Check our versatility section for some sample situations where they would be great.
q: Are these products rip proof?
By nature, they are not rip-proof. However, some are coated with Teflon that provides them with additional protection from tears and rips.
q: Is there a way to fix any damages to the Gore-Tex material?
Gore-Tex is a highly efficiently technology, but just like everything else, it is not perfect. There might come a time where your bottoms succumb to holes, abrasions, and other general pieces of damage. Even if the fabric is resistant to such, it can happen after a long period of time. Depending on the extent of damage, you may be able to patch some holes and abrasions. If it gets too large, then it might just be time to invest in a new pair.
q: Will these help to keep you warm?
Typically speaking, these help to keep you warm because they are resistant to certain weather conditions, such as wind, water, etc. In addition to that, you generally always have the option to wear a piece of clothing underneath which help to further protect you from the elements - keeping you warm.
But, in technical terms, the garments on their own do not have insulation or technology that keeps them warm. They just use your body to keep you nice and toasty without being overwhelmingly warm all the time. As you exert yourself, the warmth your body creates is retained while any moisture is removed.
q: Is there any safety concerns for wearing Gore-Tex gear?
There are no safety concerns. The fabric is environmentally safe and safe to wear. They meet the product safety requirements set by Oeko-Tex Standard 100. They have also implemented bluesign standard that has helped to make their environmentally sound and product harmless to people.
q: Is there a special way to care for these products?
Footwear and garments made from GORE fabrics can be disposed of just like any other apparel product. Unlike other plastics, the raw material of the Gore-Tex membrane isn’t made using any stabilizers or plasticizers. Instead, the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of these types of products is to try and elongate their life as much as possible.
q: What is the typical lifespan of a Gore-Tex apparel garment?
Due to the wide variety of apparel available, there isn’t one specific answer to that. The longevity of the product can be determined by the amount and type of use. It truly depends on the choices you make. So, a lack of care can mean that the product has a reduced life.
Therefore, it’s important to routinely clean your garment and follow their care instruction given with the product. Components used in the construction of the garment, such as the adhesive, will eventually degrade. So, even with proper care, products do tend to have an expiry date, after which it’s best if you replace the product for your own protection.
q: What is Gore-Tex’s guaranteed to keep you dry?
Gore-Tex has a promise guarantee that if you are not completely satisfied with the breathability, windproofness, or rain protection of your Gore-Tex product, then Gore-Tex will refund, replace, or repair the product. The promise ensures that no water will get on the inside.
You can be kneeling in wet grass, sitting on a damp bench, or whether you’re in driving rain, Gore-Tex fabric is guaranteed to keep you dry. The three-layer construction is designed specially to keep you warm and dry.