What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting – The Ultimate Guide

Looking for the perfect what pants to wear white water rafting? Look no further! When it comes to white water rafting, wearing the right pants is crucial. The pants should provide essential features like water resistance, abrasion resistance, flexibility, and quick-drying properties.

The right pants for white water rafting provide comfort, protection, and freedom of movement, ensuring a great rafting experience. With quick-drying properties and durability, they keep you comfortable and shield your legs from water and abrasions, allowing you to focus on the thrill and enjoyment of your adventure.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of proper attire, delve into different materials suitable for white water rafting pants, explore additional desirable features, touch on safety considerations, and provide recommended brands and products to help you make an informed decision. Get ready to gear up for your next white water rafting adventure!

Table of Contents

What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting

So, what pants to wear white water rafting? When it comes to white water rafting, there are several types of pants that are appropriate for the activity. Here are some options to consider:

1. Water-Resistant Pants

These pants are designed to repel water and dry quickly. They are typically made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester, which offer good water resistance and help keep you dry during your rafting adventure.


  • Repels water and keeps you dry during rafting.
  • Offers protection against light splashes and waves.
  • Durable and abrasion-resistant for navigating rough surfaces.
  • Suitable for milder weather conditions or when additional insulation is not required.


  • May not provide sufficient protection in heavy rainfall or when fully submerged.
  • Limited insulation in colder water or weather conditions.

2. Quick-Drying Pants

Quick-drying pants are essential for white water rafting, as they allow moisture to evaporate quickly, preventing discomfort and potential hypothermia. Look for pants made from materials with moisture-wicking properties, such as nylon or polyester blends.


  • Dries quickly, keeping you comfortable during and after water exposure.
  • Moisture-wicking properties help regulate body temperature.
  • Lightweight and breathable for enhanced comfort.
  • Suitable for warmer weather or when rapid drying is crucial.


  • Limited water resistance compared to water-resistant pants.
  • May not provide sufficient insulation in colder conditions.
  • Less durable than some other options, especially in rugged environments.

3. Convertible pants: Convertible pants offer versatility for changing weather conditions and personal preferences. These pants typically have zip-off legs, allowing you to convert them into shorts when the temperature rises or when you prefer more freedom of movement.

They are great for multi-day trips or when you need to adapt to varying weather conditions.


  • A versatile option that allows you to switch between pants and shorts based on weather or personal preference.
  • Provides flexibility and adaptability to changing conditions.
  • Offers freedom of movement for active pursuits.
  • Quick-drying and water-resistant properties in most cases.


  • Zip-off legs may add weight and bulkiness.
  • Can be less durable at the zipper attachment points.

4. Board Shorts

Board shorts are a popular choice for water-based activities like white water rafting. They are typically made from quick-drying and water-resistant materials, offering comfort and freedom of movement. Board shorts often feature a secure waistband and may have pockets for small essentials.


  • Lightweight, comfortable, and offer excellent freedom of movement.
  • Quick-drying and water-resistant materials keep you comfortable during water-based activities.
  • Typically feature secure waistbands and pockets for small essentials.
  • Suitable for warmer weather and less intense rafting conditions.


  • Limited protection against cold water or adverse weather conditions.
  • Offers minimal coverage and limited abrasion resistance.

5. Wetsuits Or Drysuits

In colder conditions or if you expect to spend a significant amount of time in the water, wearing a wetsuit or drysuit is advisable. These suits provide insulation and help maintain body heat by trapping a thin layer of water against your skin, which warms up due to body heat.

They are particularly useful for rafting in colder climates or during spring runoff when the water temperature is low.


  • Provide excellent insulation in cold water and weather conditions.
  • Retain body heat by trapping a thin layer of water against the skin.
  • Offer protection against hypothermia and provide buoyancy.
  • Suitable for colder climates and prolonged exposure to cold water.


  • Can be restrictive and limit freedom of movement.
  • May be uncomfortable in warmer weather or during intense physical activity.
  • Require proper fitting and care for optimal performance and effectiveness.
  • Higher cost compared to other pant options.

Consider your specific needs, weather conditions, and the level of water exposure when choosing the most appropriate type of pants for white water rafting.

It’s also worth noting that layering options, such as pairing water-resistant pants with base layers or thermal leggings, can provide added insulation in colder conditions.

Importance Of Proper Pants For White Water Rafting (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

Wearing the right pants is crucial for white water rafting due to several important reasons. Here’s why proper attire is essential for this adventurous activity:

1. Protection From Water

White water rafting involves being exposed to splashes, waves, and potentially even capsizing in the water.

Wearing the right pants can help keep you dry and comfortable during your rafting expedition. Pants made from quick-drying materials and water-resistant fabrics prevent excessive water absorption, minimizing discomfort and reducing the risk of hypothermia, especially in colder conditions.

2. Abrasion Resistance

Rafting often takes place in environments where contact with rocks, branches, or other rough surfaces is possible. Proper pants with durable materials and reinforced areas like knees and seats offer protection against potential scrapes, cuts, or abrasions.

They act as a barrier between your skin and the elements, reducing the risk of injuries and allowing you to navigate through challenging terrain with greater confidence.

3. Flexibility And Freedom Of Movement

White water rafting requires active movement, including paddling, bracing, and balancing on the raft. The right pants should provide flexibility and freedom of movement without restrictions.

Look for designs that incorporate features like articulated knees or gusseted crotches, as they allow for a wide range of motion. Flexibility in your pants enables you to paddle efficiently and maneuver with ease, enhancing your overall rafting experience.

4. Quick-Drying Properties

In white water rafting, it’s common to get wet from waves, splashes, or even from occasional swims in the water. Pants that dry quickly are essential to prevent prolonged wetness, which can lead to discomfort and even hypothermia, especially in colder environments.

Quick-drying fabrics like nylon or polyester wick away moisture, promoting faster evaporation and ensuring you stay dry and comfortable throughout your adventure.

5. Comfort And Focus

Wearing the right pants contributes to overall comfort during white water rafting. When you’re comfortable, you can fully focus on the experience and enjoy the adrenaline rush without distractions.

Well-fitting, lightweight, and breathable pants help regulate body temperature, prevent overheating, and enhance your overall enjoyment and performance on the water.

Features To Look For In What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting

One of the best ways to have fun is taking time to go on adventures like white water rafting. This type of water sport activity helps you clear your head and keeps you focused on work. It offers a lot of benefits.

When it comes to what pants to wear white water rafting, there are some factors to ponder. Here are some recommendations:

1. Quick-drying material: Opt for pants made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. These fabrics are lightweight, water-resistant, and dry quickly, keeping you comfortable throughout your rafting adventure.

2. Durability and abrasion resistance: Look for pants that are designed to withstand rough conditions. Consider pants with reinforced knees and seat, as they provide extra durability and protection against potential scrapes and abrasions.

3. Flexibility and freedom of movement: Choose pants that allow for a wide range of motion. Look for designs that include articulated knees or gusseted crotches, as they offer better flexibility and mobility while paddling or maneuvering on the raft.

4. Secure fit: Ensure that the pants have an adjustable waistband or a drawstring to achieve a secure and comfortable fit. This is important to prevent the pants from sliding down or becoming a hindrance during your rafting experience.

5. Lightweight and breathable: Opt for pants that are lightweight and breathable to help keep you cool and comfortable. Look for pants with ventilation features such as mesh-lined pockets or vents to allow airflow and prevent overheating.

6. Sun protection: If you’re rafting in a sunny location, consider pants that offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) or integrated sun protection. This will help shield your legs from harmful UV rays.

7. Avoid cotton: It’s important to avoid wearing cotton pants for white water rafting as cotton tends to retain moisture and takes a long time to dry. Wet cotton can lead to discomfort and even hypothermia in colder conditions.

Remember to always consider the specific weather and water conditions of your rafting trip. If you’re rafting in colder weather, you may need to layer your pants with thermal or waterproof leggings for extra warmth and protection.

Different Materials Suitable For White Water Rafting Pants (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

When it comes to selecting the right material for white water rafting pants, there are several options to consider. Here are some materials commonly used and preferred for their suitability in this activity:

1. Nylon

Nylon is a popular choice for white water rafting pants due to its excellent water-repellent properties. It dries quickly and efficiently, preventing the pants from becoming waterlogged and heavy during the rafting adventure.

Nylon is also known for its durability and abrasion resistance, providing protection against rough surfaces and potential scrapes.

2. Polyester

Polyester is another commonly used material for rafting pants. Like nylon, polyester is water-resistant and quick-drying. It offers good durability and can withstand the rigors of rafting, making it suitable for navigating through challenging environments.

Polyester fabrics are also lightweight and breathable, enhancing comfort during extended periods of physical activity.

3. Synthetic Blends

Many white water rafting pants are made from synthetic blends, combining materials like nylon, polyester, or spandex. These blends offer the advantages of multiple fabrics, such as water repellency, quick-drying properties, durability, and flexibility.

Synthetic blends are often designed to strike a balance between comfort, performance, and functionality, making them well-suited for the demands of white water rafting.

4. Ripstop Fabrics

Some pants for white water rafting feature ripstop fabrics, which are designed with reinforced grid patterns. These fabrics are resistant to tearing and offer increased durability.

The grid pattern helps prevent small tears from spreading, ensuring the pants remain intact even when subjected to rough conditions. Ripstop fabrics are particularly beneficial in environments where the pants may come into contact with branches, rocks, or other abrasive surfaces.

When selecting pants for white water rafting, prioritize materials that are water-repellent or water-resistant, quick-drying, and durable. These properties will help keep you comfortable, protect against moisture, and withstand the challenges of the rafting environment.

How To Choose The Right Pants For Your Individual Needs (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

Choosing the right pants for your individual needs when it comes to white water rafting requires considering several factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Assess the environment: Consider the specific conditions in which you’ll be rafting. Consider factors such as water temperature, weather conditions, and the intensity of the rapids.

If you’ll be rafting in colder temperatures or harsh weather, you may lean towards pants with insulation and water resistance. For warmer climates, quick-drying and breathable options might be more suitable.

2. Evaluate water exposure: Determine the level of water exposure you’ll encounter during your rafting trips. Will you be fully submerged, facing splashes and waves, or mostly dry? This assessment will help you determine the necessary water resistance and drying capabilities of the pants.

3. Consider comfort and mobility: Look for pants that provide a comfortable fit and allow for a wide range of motion. Consider the design, flexibility, and stretchability of the pants. Opt for pants that won’t restrict your movements during paddling or other physical activities involved in rafting.

4. Assess durability and abrasion resistance: Rafting often involves navigating through rough and abrasive surfaces. Choose pants that are durable and can withstand potential scrapes and abrasions. Look for reinforced knees or seat areas to ensure longevity.

5. Evaluate insulation needs: Depending on the water temperature and weather conditions, you may need pants with additional insulation. Consider layering options or pants that can accommodate base layers or thermal leggings for added warmth when necessary.

6. Prioritize safety features: If safety is a top concern, consider pants with high-visibility colors or reflective elements for increased visibility in case of emergencies. Ensure the pants are compatible with safety equipment such as PFDs or harnesses if needed.

7. Read product reviews: Research and read customer reviews about different brands and specific pant models. Customer feedback can provide valuable insights into the performance, durability, and overall satisfaction of the pants.

8. Try them on and test them out: If possible, try on the pants before purchasing to assess fit, comfort, and mobility. Consider performing some physical movements similar to rafting to ensure they meet your needs.

Tips For Keeping Your Pants Dry And Comfortable While Rafting (Knowing What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

While white water rafting, keeping your pants dry and comfortable can greatly enhance your overall experience. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

1. Choose appropriate pants: Opt for pants specifically designed for water activities, such as water-resistant or quick-drying pants. These pants are made from materials that repel water and dry quickly, keeping you comfortable throughout your rafting adventure.

2. Layer properly: Consider layering your pants with a base layer or thermal leggings, especially in colder conditions. These layers provide additional insulation and help retain body heat. Choose moisture-wicking materials for your base layer to keep sweat away from your body, enhancing overall comfort.

3. Use splash gear or waterproof layers: Consider wearing waterproof gear, such as splash pants or dry pants, over your regular rafting pants. These additional layers provide an extra barrier against water, keeping your pants dry and minimizing moisture absorption.

4. Secure closures and adjust fit: Ensure that the closures of your pants, such as zippers, buttons, or drawstrings, are properly secured. This prevents water from seeping in through open gaps. Adjust the fit of your pants to be snug but not too tight, allowing for ease of movement while minimizing water entry.

5. Avoid excess water exposure: While rafting, try to avoid unnecessary water exposure to your pants. Sit in the middle or back of the raft to minimize splashes or use techniques like bracing or leaning to shield yourself from excessive water.

Be mindful of the rafting route and avoid unnecessary contact with rough surfaces that can soak your pants.

6. Properly seal pockets: If your pants have pockets, ensure they are properly closed or secured to prevent water from entering and soaking the contents. Zippered or sealed pockets are particularly useful for keeping small essentials dry.

7. Stay on top of the raft: When navigating rapids, try to stay on top of the raft rather than in the water. This reduces the chances of getting completely submerged and helps keep your pants dry.

8. Pack a dry bag: Bring a waterproof dry bag to store spare clothes or items you want to keep dry during the rafting trip. This ensures that you have a change of dry clothes readily available after your rafting adventure.

Remember that complete dryness may not always be possible during intense white water rafting. However, following these tips can help minimize water absorption and keep you as dry and comfortable as possible throughout your rafting experience.

What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting

Best Pants To Wear For White Water Rafting (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

1. BALEAF Women’s Hiking Pants

The BALEAF Women’s Hiking Pants are excellent for white water rafting. These pants feature:

  • An elastic closure
  • Machine washable
  • Lightweight, breathable, water-resistant, and quick drying.
  • Keep you cool and comfortable throughout your rafting adventure.
  • UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, ensuring your skin stays safe.
  • Designed with four zip-closure security pockets, an elastic waist with a drawstring, and articulated knees.
  • The adjustable cord locks around the cuffs allow for easy leg opening adjustment.
  • Snug fit.
  • These pants are versatile and ideal for all seasons of white water rafting.

2. BGOWATU Hiking Pants for Men

The BGOWATU Hiking Pants for Men is an excellent choice for white water rafting. These pants offer:

  • A drawstring closure.
  • Machine washable for convenience.
  • Crafted with lightweight, breathable, water-resistant, and quick-drying fabric.
  • They keep you cool and comfortable during outdoor activities.
  • The elastic waist with an internal drawstring provides an adjustable fit, ensuring optimal comfort.
  • With four zippered pockets and one cargo pocket with Velcro, you can securely store your belongings.
  • The adjustable cord locks at the bottom allow for easy leg opening adjustment, making them more convenient for sports.
  • Versatile

3. TBMPOY Men’s Hiking Pants

The TBMPOY Men’s Hiking Pants with Belt is an excellent choice for white water rafting. These pants have

  • A zipper closure for easy wear
  • Designed to be thin, quick-drying, and water-repellent, making them suitable for summer, spring, and windy weather conditions.
  • The included belt and elastic waist provide adjustable and comfortable fit options.
  • With five zipper pockets, including side and back pockets, you can conveniently and securely store your essentials during your rafting adventures.
  • These pants have a slim fit
  • Perfect for various outdoor activities

4. Ninovino Women’s Workout Leggings

The Ninovino Women’s Workout Leggings are a fantastic choice for white water rafting.

  • Made from Nylon and Spandex
  • Comfortable and flexible fit.
  • With their quick-dry and stretchable fabric, they are ideal for water activities.
  • The leggings feature a built-in breathable brief bottom and a hidden drawstring for added convenience and security.
  • The elastic wide waistband offers comfort and freedom of movement.
  • These leggings are perfect for different water sports.
  • Versatile leggings.

5. AIRIKE Men’s Elastic Waist Hiking Pants

The AIRIKE Men’s Elastic Waist Hiking Pants are excellent for white water rafting. Here are their key features:

  • Zipper closure
  • Machine washable
  • Water-resistant and quick-drying fabric for shedding light rain and stains
  • Four-way stretch fabric for comfort and flexibility during movement.
  • Sunscreen fabric provides protection against harmful UVA/UVB radiation.
  • Two zipper front pockets and invisible back pockets for secure storage of essentials
  • Suitable for various occasions, including daily wear, sports, etc.

Libin Women’s Cargo Joggers

The Libin Women’s Cargo Joggers are excellent for white water rafting. Here are their key features:

  • Drawstring closure for a secure and adjustable fit
  • Super lightweight and slightly elastic fabric for comfort and quick drying
  • UPF 50+ treatment for excellent UV protection
  • Water-resistant capacity to resist light moisture
  • 5 functional pockets, including 2 side zip pockets, 2 cargo pockets with hook-and-loop closure, and 1 back zip pocket
  • Elastic waistband with drawstring for a customizable fit
  • Stretchy ankle cuffs for a sporty look and easy wear
  • Versatile jogger pants suitable for lounge, travel, hiking, workout, walking, or daily wear.

What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting In Summer (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

When rafting in the summer, go for lightweight and breathable pants that offer quick-drying properties. Opt for materials like nylon or polyester blends that wick away moisture and keep you cool.

Look for pants with a relaxed fit and ample ventilation, such as mesh panels or zippered vents, to enhance airflow. Prioritize comfort and flexibility, allowing you to enjoy the refreshing water without feeling weighed down.

Choose pants that provide sun protection and are resistant to UV rays to shield your legs from harmful sun exposure. Stay cool, dry, and protected during your summer white water rafting adventures with the perfect pants.

What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting Men (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

Guys, when gearing up for white water rafting, opt for pants that provide comfort, flexibility, and protection. Look for water-resistant or quick-drying materials to keep you dry and comfortable on the water.

Choose pants with a secure fit and ample mobility for paddling and maneuvering through rapids. Consider options with reinforced areas for durability and abrasion resistance. Prioritize performance and style and get ready to conquer the rapids with the perfect pants for your white water rafting adventure.

What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting Ladies (Knowing What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

Ladies, when it comes to white water rafting, choose pants that offer comfort, flexibility, and durability. Opt for water-resistant or quick-drying materials that keep you dry throughout your adventure. Look for pants with a secure fit and adjustable closures to ensure they stay in place during intense rapids.

Consider options with reinforced knees or seat areas for added durability. Prioritize performance and protection while embracing your personal style for an unforgettable white water rafting experience.

What To Wear White Water Rafting Cold (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

For white water rafting in cold conditions, layering is key. Wear thermal base layers to provide insulation and moisture-wicking properties. Opt for water-resistant or waterproof pants to keep you dry and protected from splashes and waves.

Consider wearing a wetsuit or a drysuit for added warmth and protection against cold water. Don’t forget to wear insulating socks and waterproof footwear to keep your feet warm. Prioritize comfort, warmth, and water resistance when choosing your attire for cold-weather white water rafting.

Water-Resistant Shoes For White Water Rafting (What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting)

When it comes to water-resistant shoes for white water rafting, there are a few options to consider:

1. Water shoes: Water shoes are specifically designed for activities in and around water. They are lightweight, quick-drying, and offer good traction on wet surfaces. Look for shoes with a durable rubber sole and a snug fit to prevent them from coming off in turbulent water.

2. Neoprene booties: Neoprene booties provide excellent insulation and protection. They are made from a synthetic rubber material that offers thermal insulation, flexibility, and water resistance. Neoprene booties are great for colder water conditions or when extra warmth is needed.

3. Wetshoes: Wetshoes are similar to water shoes but provide more protection and support. They often have reinforced soles, toe caps, and ankle support. Wetshoes are designed to protect your feet from rocks, debris, and potential impacts while maintaining water resistance and quick-drying properties.

When choosing water-resistant shoes for white water rafting, ensure they have a secure fit, good grip, and proper drainage to prevent water from pooling inside. Look for shoes with features like adjustable straps or laces to customize the fit and reduce the risk of losing them in fast-moving water.

It’s essential to prioritize comfort, traction, and protection to enjoy your white water rafting experience to the fullest while keeping your feet dry and safe.

The Bottom Line On What Pants To Wear White Water Rafting

Looking for what pants to wear white water rafting? Gear up with the best pants for white water rafting and make your adventure unforgettable. Choose pants that offer water resistance, quick-drying properties, durability, and comfort.

With the right gear, you’ll stay dry, protected, and ready to conquer the rapids. Don’t let ill-fitting or inadequate pants dampen your experience. Invest in quality white water rafting pants today and take your rafting adventures to new heights!

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