These pants resist water more than any other pants I've ever owned- and that's their sole function. The very lightweight, flexible nylon material doesn't breathe particularly well but it doesn't have to because you'll be nice and dry on the inside. Because of their lightness, these pants seem designed to be balled up and put in a pack, removed when a cold rain starts and put on over top of whatever pants you're already wearing- I usually wear mine over jeans during rainy football games. The roomy fit, elastic waistband, and awesome velcro cuffs w/ a zipper ensure you won't have trouble wearing these as an outer layer or even have to take off your shoes if you need to get these on in a hurry. Also great- the zippered hip pockets keep items dry.