Rainpants. You put them on only when you have to and take them off as soon as you can. They swamp out almost immediately, they never fit well, and the crinkly whoosh would make George Costanza die. That’s why we love Rab’s new Kinetic Alpine Pant, an asterisk-free, weatherproof trouser we actually want to wear all day.
The Kinetic Alpine Pant is made out of Proflex, Rab’s proprietary waterproof-breathable fabric. It pairs a stretchy PU membrane with a DWR-treated knit polyester face fabric (instead of plasticky nylon) and a wicking backer. We gave the tech an Editors’ Choice Award for its softness and stretch when it was introduced in a jacket in 2017, but its best use may be in pants. Fit is trim, and you can’t slip these pants over boots, even with the 8-inch ankle zips, but we never wanted to shed them—even when the rain stopped. “They’re softer than normal hiking pants,” one editor says, “more like pajama bottoms.” But tougher. A ceramic coating on the knees, cuffs, and seat adds durability in high-wear areas.