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Rain Kilts

A rain kilt is a simple solution for lightweight, ventilated weather protection. The waterproof nylon skirt keeps most of the moisture off your lower body, with ease of movement and great ventilation.

Both men and women can wear a kilt when enjoying the outdoors. Great for hiking, running, swimming, camping, a kilt packs down super small. It frees you from the constraints of shorts and pants so you can enjoy your outdoor adventure.

The waterproof rain kilt is designed to be worn over your clothing to protect your lower body from rain dripping off your rain coat or cape. Complete your rain outfit look for boots or gaiters, and a cape or anorak on top.


No sweat accumulation inside because they are totally open and vented at the bottom. There is no need for costly and heavy "breathable" fabrics, which aren't effective when it's raining and 100% humidity, as no vapor pressure is causing moisture to move at all.

They are cooler thus preventing sweat in the first place during high exertion activities. By keeping you drier against your body's own generated moisture, it better preserves the warmth of other clothes and requires less insulation to begin with (don't have to insulate against the chill of being wet)


We had a look at the various kilt offerings. There is a wide variety, some expensive, some useless and a few that may actually work. Look out for these features:


Ventilation is the key feature of a hiking skirt, so of course it excels in this regard. It’s kind of a no-brainer as to why, so I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Or just ask the Scotts why they’re so fond of their kilts.


The material is very robust and durable. Ripstop tent-fly nylon is the best. Avoid cheap PVC, Tyvek, or Crinkly Cuben.

Made from rugged nylon canvas fabric with a seamless conical waist that won't bunch up or irritate skin while you are underway with a pack. The best kilts are made of PU coated plain 210D Nylon with very high waterproof level to 1000mbar. It is a soft material with high abrasion resistance. This waterproof rain kilt is designed to be worn over your clothing, or on its own, to protect your lower body from rain dripping off your rain coat. The material is very robust and durable. It can be washed often.


Go for a conical shape, not cylindrical. It allows your legs and knees to swing wide and step up high when climbing large rocks. Around the waist it does not waste excess fabric weight or volume or be puffy, goofy looking, and oversized. Hiking in the mountains or along the shore line often involves a lot of high rock stepping. The better ones are fully pleated across back panel for mobility.

Better hiking kilts are made for comfort with full back pleats for mobility and an easy fit waist with integrated belt. Some have a soft, seamless chamois lined waist for an extra good fit.

Hem Line

Look for a very lightweight "boning" strip along the bottom seam. It makes that edge of the cone a little more stiff. The kilt does not billow around in wind as much and it's less clammy against your leg skin when it's damp.


Choose plastic snaps for the closure instead of velcro or zippers, or no closure which requires additional weight for overlapping material. Velcro loses its stick, catches on lots of natural material, and the hook side can be scratchy on the skin. Look for an internal snap closure for modesty.


For the waistband use flat elastic with an adjustable fastex closure, not the round bungee material like most of the kilts on the market, because it may be under the backpack hip belt and pressed hard into your body. Make sure it is flat and smooth, not small, round and pokey.


Most rain kilts easily adjust at the waist (24" to 54") by tensioning the flat elastic band. Sizing: if you are under 5'8 get the medium size, if over, get the large size, which is 2 inches longer. A split center and velcro tab allows for a range of adjustment. Length: 36'' (91cm) for waist 33-50'' (84-127cm)