Women’s Rab Cinder Downpour Waterproof Pants

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The Cinder Downpour Pants are Rab’s bike answer to your waterproof leg cover needs. They’re predominantly made of 2.5 layer Pertex Shield waterproof fabric, but with a more flexible Proflex fabric on the bum area. Full length two-way zips allow you to vent heat while riding, or remove (or add) your trousers without removing your shoes. They’re designed as a packable and stashable pair of over trousers to be worn when needed. For those that know they’re going to want to wear their waterproof trousers for the entire ride, there’s the Cinder Kinetic trousers.

Rab Cinder Downpour Waterproof Pants Pros:

  • Genuinely useful full length zips
  • Effective Velcro on the calves
  • Good waterproofing

Rab Cinder Downpour Waterproof Pants Cons:

  • A tougher bum area would be good
  • Few reflective elements
  • Some pocket access would be handy

I tested the size 14 (UK) trousers. They were just long enough for my 32inch legs – a touch longer would have been great for a bit of boot overlap when pedalling, but they’re certainly a better length than many other women’s trousers I’ve tried. The Velcro on the calves and ankles allows you to cinch this area up nice and tight and stop things flapping into you drivetrain. The knees are articulated and leave plenty of room for kneepads. The upper thigh and bum area is quite voluminous, and while there might be scope to slim these down a little, it means there’s plenty of room in there for both your bum and baggy shorts.

The waist is tightened by a simple elasticated draw chord, which keeps them in place well. There are no pockets, or flaps or zips to access pockets in whatever you’re wearing underneath. I would quite have liked to see a means of at least getting into the pockets in your baggies – it’s a bit annoying delving in through your waistband, especially if the weather is really poor. Another thing I’d like to see is more reflective elements – they’re very black. Something on the calves to attract the attention of drivers as your legs pedal would be especially good.

Teeny tiny hole

I like that the trousers are substantial enough to make them fairly easy to get on and off, and to not have to worry too much about ripping them as your ride along. They’re not a totally floaty light ‘just in case’ type pack away and forget trouser – more of a ‘there’s a good chance I’ll need these’ item. The Proflex fabric area is not as waterproof as the Pertex area – although it is more breathable. On the one hand, this does mean that in the very worst of grindy, gritty wet rides, your bum gets a little damp. On the other hand, it helps stop you cooking like a steamed fish, and so far this material seems to be pretty durable, although I have found a tiny, barely bigger than a pinprick, hole has appeared in one spot. It’s really tiny, and I don’t know if it’s been caused by grinding on the saddle, or a fall onto my bum. But it’s there – although all the other taped seams and lining fabric are still looking good. On balance, I think I’d rather have a more substantially reinforced bum. While the flexibility of the fabric might be an asset, I think there’s enough volume in the trousers generally that it’s not as essential as strength.

The full length zips are genuinely useful – I’ve even managed to remove and add the trousers with boots on. The fabric does wet out, but doesn’t actually leak, and dries nice and quickly once it stops raining. If you’re wearing them as intended – as overtrousers – I don’t think you’ll notice the cool of them wetting out too much. Once I realised that it wasn’t actually soaking through to me on the inside and that I’d be able to peel the wet layer off it bothered me less that I was feeling like I was getting wet. Mind over matter? Or fact over fiction? Something like that. I do think there’s something to be said for ‘feeling’ warm and dry – once your head tells you you’re cold and wet, it suddenly seems so much worse than when you were happily splashing around and having fun.


They’re reasonably packable and suitably waterproof, and easy to get on and off – pretty much exactly what you need from some over trousers for riding in. If you live somewhere as frequently wet as me, you’ll probably find you wear them rather a lot.

Review Info

Brand: Rab
Product: Cinder Downpour Waterproof Pants
From: rab.equipment
Price: £165
Tested: by Hannah for 3 months
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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  • Women’s Rab Cinder Downpour Waterproof Pants
  • pisco
    Full Member

    When I hear waterproof pants, this is more the image I get

    Full Member

    Yes, agree. Pants! Aargh. They’re TROUSERS

    Full Member

    I find I can access trouser pockets under my Arcteryx overtrousers by zipping down the double ended zips from the top.

    Full Member

    They look like 3/4 length zips rather than full length. Full length would end splitting the waistband in two.

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