These medium-weight waterproof trousers are designed to pull on in a pinch, making them perfect for a sudden storm, though they may let in a little rain and wind through the access pockets
Windproof and waterproof with taped seams
Elasticated waist with belt loops
Two access side pockets
Zip to knee with storm flap
Access pockets can let in some wind and rain
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Keela Rainlife 5000 waterproof trousers: first impressions
These waterproof trousers are well designed to be able to pull on mid-hike when the heavens open and you don’t have time to take your hiking boots off. The fit leaves plenty of room to wear these rain pants comfortably over your hiking pants, while the lower leg unzips all the way to your knee to allow room for the biggest of boots to pass through. Once they’re on, they offer plenty of protection from the rain with taped seams, as well as sheltering you from the wind.
• List price: £54.95 - £59.95
• Unisex: Yes
• Weight: 340g / 12oz
• Sizes available: 2XS - 3XL
• Materials: 100% nylon with polyurethane coating
• Colors: Black, Moss, Navy
• Best use: Hiking
These lined trousers are medium-weight and pretty packable, presenting no question as to whether or not you should stash them in your backpack. The waist is elasticated with a simple drawcord plus belt loops, so you can tailor these to fit. Once you’re walking in them, two access side pockets allow you to reach any gear that’s in your pants pockets, however these can let a little moisture and wind through in wild weather. A range of sizes and lengths means almost any hiker can find a pair to suit.
Keela Rainlife 5000 waterproof trousers: in the field
When it comes to a pair of waterproof trousers, I just need them to be waterproof, reasonably lightweight and packable, easy to pull on and relatively durable. I’m skeptical of any rain pants that claim to be high tech so I was pleased to see that these trousers from Scottish brand Keela are pretty straightforward.
On the waterproof front, they certainly deliver in a downpour in terms of the fabric, however the one fatal flaw is that they’ve added crafty access pockets which are basically just holes where your pockets would usually be. This allows you to reach through and access whatever is in your pants pocket (I don’t typically carry anything there, however). They do have buttons on them, but they really need zips as I discovered that, when it’s raining sideways in Scotland as it often is, these leak moisture.
They are lined, so they’re not the lightest but at 12oz they’re easily light enough and pack down to about the size of a small water bottle. The zips on the lower legs and elasticated waist mean it’s really easy to pull these on over my hiking gear in a hurry, so that box is checked, and so far they seem to be good quality, sturdy trousers.
Hopefully the next model will have zipped access pockets, or none at all, because other than that design flaw, I think these are a solid pair of waterproof trousers for all my wet adventures.
Here’s how they performed:
Sizing and fit
I tested a size 10 and I’m usually an 8, so they were a little roomier than I needed, but I think a size down would be perfect; in other words, don’t size up or down. These are roomy enough to wear comfortably over your hiking pants and the adjustable waist makes them quite versatile.
Comfort and breathability
These don’t have any stretch, but they’re not uncomfortable so long as you wear the right size and don’t size down, plus the nylon is plenty breathable when it’s muggy out.
So far, so good on the durability front. These seem well designed and constructed.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.