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To rain pant or not to rain pant…..

Will be joining RS tour to Scotland in June. I have done tours in the past to Ireland, 2 in England and the Normandy tour and have only taken a rain jacket plus an umbrella which was quite adequate. However, I have been reading various trip reports where people have mentioned using rain pants while touring Scotland.
Living in NW Washington State, I am no stranger to wet weather, but am wondering if it’s worth trying to urge one more item into my carry-on. 🌧️

Posted by
585 posts

Personally I wouldn’t bother with rain pants on a tour….pain pulling them on and off when getting in and out of coach. Much of the time rain in Scotland is a soft rain, not a heavy downpour. A pair of quick drying pants should be sufficient.

Posted by
2524 posts

I wouldn't either. Too specialized.
I tend to bring ponte pants and thin nylon "hiking" pants on tours. I'd choose to wear the latter on a rainy day, but they can be worn other days too.

Posted by
3034 posts

I don't know about Scotland, but I'm sure glad I had rain pants in Iceland in July. It's not much fun wearing soaked pants most of the day. I like the idea of wearing lightweight running pants that dry easily.

Posted by
5158 posts

I wore my rain pants in Scotland, and the rain wasn't a gentle sprinkling! I hope your rain jacket is full- length (to your knees). My rain jacket is packable, so goes into a small pouch.
The rain pants also add warmth. (Scotland can get really cold and windy, even in the summers.) Mine have zippers at the ankles so are easy to take off. I roll them into a small roll and put rubber bands around them to keep them small, and they travel in the backpack.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
680 posts

I only wear rain pants if I am hiking all day. I wore rain pants in Scotland but that was while hiking the West Highland Way. I'm not sure I would bother with them on a regular tour where you are in and out of museums and such.

Posted by
4 posts

We just got back from rainy and windy France. My husband had his rain chaps. I couldn’t find mine. I froze! He was warm and dry. They don’t take up much room (we both do carry on only and we’re gone 32 days this time). They are on my list for the next time I take a northern tour in the spring!

Posted by
422 posts

Given its climate, I can't imagine going to Scotland without my rain pants. I guess the litmus test question is: if it's pouring rain on a day and the tour soldiers on with outdoor activities, will you wish you'd brought your rain pants?

Posted by
210 posts

We were on this tour at the beginning of October last year. I would highly recommend taking rain pants that you can just pull over what ever you are wearing that day. They were invaluable on several days. Who wants to get back on a bus and sit for hours wet. Trust me take them.

Posted by
541 posts

Unless the tour has a dedicated hike, where being outdoors for several hours is a definite, bring rain pants might be an extra you'll use MAYBE once. Contact RS tours and double check with them. I will say, if you tend to run cold, including some rain pants does help retain some body heat and may make your trip a bit more comfortable while the weather is gloomy and drizzly.

Most tours tend to work around inclement weather by adjusting outdoor activities, to something indoor or, covered. Last thing an operator wants is a series of bad reviews because their guide insisted that their clients endure the weather in order to satisfy a specific itinerary bullet-point, while the majority of paying guest were unprepared. Scotland is known for its wet conditions, double check with RS Tours, they may in fact say its a nice item to have versus a must item.

Posted by
100 posts

We were there late May 2022, and I brought this pair of Columbia women's hiking pants that I wore on a few of the days we were going to be outside a lot (the 3-island tour out of Oban, where it rained most of the day, and a hiking day on Skye). They were nice enough looking that I didn't feel out of place in shops or restaurants, but still water-repellant enough to keep me dry. They're very lightweight and roll/fold up pretty small. I wore them over some 32 Degrees thermal bottoms, which were also extremely lightweight and took up very little space (I also used those in the hotel while lounging around).

Posted by
160 posts

I like to carry rain pants as they add an extra layer when it is cold as well as keep me dry. We did RS Scotland in late April / early May and encountered snow on Ben Nevis. I froze in Ireland one August and encountered torrential rains another August. For the small space the rain pants take, it is nice to be prepared as I am not going to hang inside just because it rains.