Will Renwick tests out Rohan’s casual-look waterproof trousers
The majority of waterproof trousers are designed to be pulled over trousers or shorts when the heavens open. This pair are made to be worn on their own and to be worn all day. The intention by Rohan is to provide an option for rain and wind protection that has a casual, on the hill and off the hill look.
The trousers have two layers: the outer is a polyamide ripstop fabric treated with Durable Water Repellent and the inner is Rohan’s own Barricade waterproof lining. This inner lining is impressive. Against the skin it’s very soft and comfortable with a bit of a stretch to it and no feeling of instant stickiness, and I found it very dependable for protection against the elements. In regards to the outer material, although not waterproof, water beaded-off very well. It was only in extremely heavy and prolonged rain that the outer-layer started to dampen.
Waterproof trousers that are designed to be worn all day need to have very high breathability. I found these to be breathable enough to allow for comfortable winter, autumn and early spring walking. For summer or for any days with a lot of sweat-inducing ascent, I would prefer to stick with overtrousers rather than these, just to have that option of high breathability when there isn’t any rain.
Pockets are aplenty. There are two handwarmers, two large thigh pockets with flaps and two zipped rear pockets, each with a narrow flap over their entry. As Rohan points out on its website, these pockets – in particular the uncovered handwarmers – won’t protect anything stored inside them from rain and this is a bit of a shame. Still, even if the pockets do soak they won’t let water through to the skin.
The waist is semi-elasticated with belt loops, the crotch is zipped and the leg and ankle volume is quite large though not baggy.
If going out for a day hike in cool or cold conditions that are likely to be persistently wet, or raining on and off then these are a very good option.