rain and/or hiking pants for woman with fat thighs
May 14, 2021 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I just spent a very annoyed hour at REI. The XL goretex rain pants were way too big but the L didn't fit in the thighs (I tried both men and women's.) Is there a vendor, brand or model of waterproof pants that is "curvy fit" or otherwise likely to accommodate fat thighs? This is for use in rainy hiking/other outdoor conditions. Has to be goretex or otherwise breathable. Nothing that chafes, including leg zippers. Size is something like US 16.
posted by fingersandtoes to Shopping (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There's a Kickstarter for this!
Ponderosa Pants: Hiking pants made for women's sizes 14-24!

They have two fit styles for different body shapes.

That said, not really gortex or waterproof, but definitely the hiking part.
posted by GuyZero at 1:29 PM on May 14 [3 favorites]

I've had my eye on these Fjallraven pants after reading this review at Outside mag. Fjallraven also has other curvy fit pants.
posted by cocoagirl at 1:35 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]

It's been years since I purchased them but having often struggled with pants being too tight, I've been really happy with my Mountain Hardware pants (not the style linked), so that might be a brand for you to try. I was especially happy to see they still fit even after having 2 kids and not being at the same weight I had been when I had purchased the pants. A number of the reviewers in the link describe their body as curvy, fwiw.
posted by snowymorninblues at 1:39 PM on May 14

My favorite hiking pants are Orvis waders (pay no attention to the skinny model; I'm your size and they are snug/generous where they need to be). I also have a pair of theirs that convert to shorts - I hate that feature in general but the Orvis ones are the least annoying of any I've worn. Both pairs have lasted over a decade w/hundreds of trail miles on them.
posted by headnsouth at 1:41 PM on May 14

Most REI-brand women's pants have an invisible adjustable waist. Looking on their website, their Gortex rain pants say in the specs "Waistband with elastic back and a drawcord for a fine-tuned fit" - did you find the draw cord? It can be hard to spot and varies by model pant. It may help the XLs fit you better? As someone with larger thighs/smaller waist, it's one of the things I like most about REI pants.
posted by mcgsa at 1:49 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

One idea: maybe look at rain pants for biking rather than hiking. Why? Because we bike folks tend to have bigger thighs, so maybe the rain pants are sized to accommodate that. I have never had a problem fitting my bikey legs into bike rain pants. Bike rain pants are also designed to go over other pants, so your size might be a bit different than with hiking pants.

I'm comparing the size charts for REI's XeroDry Goretex pants for women and the Showers Pass Transit Pant for women (also breathable and about the same price). The Showers Pass pants are sized more generously, but even more striking: REI doesn't even include a thigh measurement, but Showers Pass does. You could measure your thighs and go from there.

Bike pants might have a leg zipper, especially around the ankle (like with these Showers Pass pants), but would an ankle zip be okay because it'll only be near your socks?
posted by bluedaisy at 2:01 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Have you considered a Rain Skirt/Kilt? They're very trendy for the ultralight hiker crowd. Simple, goes on top of your existing clothes (so no weird changing in the middle of a hike), less likely to rip a seam.

It does depend on how much rain you expect to encounter. If you expect monsoon or flood conditions, it's not as great, but will probably do fine with rain falling overhead. Your shoes need to be suitable too, but that's true for both rain pants and skirt.
posted by meowzilla at 2:39 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I just got the Open-Air Pants from Alder Apparel and I like them a lot. I am a short 3X with a big lower belly and butt. I ended up returning the 3X for a 4X, and they fit great. They don't gap in the back when I bend over, and the inseam sizing keeps the hems from dragging.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:01 AM on May 15

I’ve had the same problem — ‘traditional’ hiking pants never work for me. I have big hips and thighs, too. I have and quite love two pairs of these Athleta hiking leggings, which claim to be water resistant (never really had to test that out since I’ve never hiked with them in the rain). They go up to a 16. Because they’re leggings, they stretch to accommodate everything I’ve got going on, and they’re super comfortable — no digging in at the waist or anything like that. I wore them on a backpacking trip a few years ago and they were great. No chafing. The back part of the pants are more of a leggings material and they can snag more than normal hiking pants, but to me it’s not a big problem and worth that slight annoyance to have comfortable pants.
posted by imalaowai at 9:09 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Columbia makes good plus size hiking pants/shorts. There are a bunch of them here: https://www.columbia.com/c/womens-plus-size-clothing/?prefv1=Pants&prefn1=productClass&cgid=women-plusSizes

I have worn the Saturday Trail stretch ones. If I remember correctly, the convertible ones weren't big enough for my thighs, because there's no stretch around the zipper. I've been thinking of switching to leggings with pockets, which is what I see most plus sized hikers are wearing these days. Superfit Hero leggings are really nice.
posted by ceejaytee at 11:22 AM on May 17

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