Rain Kilts Vs. Rain Pants – Ultralight Tips

For all the backpacking enthusiasts, there can’t be enough lightweight tips. So here we are with another one. Today we target an important issue regarding travel precautions, which is protection against rain.

When you are packing light, you can compromise on lots of things but you don’t want to be dripping wet in the rain.

There is an easy solution to that. Nowadays, you can buy or even make your own rain protection gear. Rain kilts and rain pants are both used for this purpose.

They are specifically made from water repelling material and are supposed to be lightweight. However, we discuss which one is your best option by comparing the two.

Quick Comparison: Rain Kilts vs. Rain Pants

Rain GearPriceHeavyEffective Functionality
Rain Kilt
Our Best Pick
Check Current PriceNo (Just 2 ounces including pouch)Yes (requires dry areas sufficiently covered)
Rain Pants Check Current PriceYes (up to 12 ounces)No (Extra non-usable coverage)

Rain Pants

When you first see a pair of rain pants, you may think they are perfect. They are long enough to cover your entire legs and shoes. Now, rain pants are not a feasible option for backpackers.

These are quite heavy. For example, most rain paints can weigh up to 8 or 12 ounces. You definitely don’t need that weight, especially when it is not going to be of any use.

The drawback with rain pants are that the extra coverage it is supposed to provide does not actually work. You don’t need coverage below your knees.

You want your pants and shorts to remain dry, but below that you are going to wet. The shoes are definitely a lost cause so no need to carry extra weight for them.

Rain Kilts

As compared to rain pants, rain kilts are the better option. They are extremely lightweight and can be pushed into a tiny pouch, which is much more convenient than folding a heavy pair of pants into the backpack.

The good thing about a rain kilt is that it poses no real design. This means you can make one on your own. It is a like a rectangular piece of material that goes around your waist.

The design is much more effective than that of rain pants.  It is a piece of still nylon with some Velcro and bungee sewed together. If you don’t want to make your own, you can always buy it from the market; easily available.

The design of the rain kilt covers you down to the knees. The back of the legs, just above the knees, features an open slit as you fasten the kilt around the waist.

The back of the legs will not get wet as your upper prevents water from reaching there. The bottom of the legs and shoes remain uncovered. The rain kilt and pouch add up to 2 ounces.

Final Verdict

For your next trip, better pack rain kilt in a pouch, which also saves you some money if you make your own.


Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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