I get hot and sweaty wearing my raingear while hiking. End up taking it off and being thankful for my quick dry clothes. In Washington there are enough trees to block the worst of it so my question is when do you wear your gear and what do you wear?
Others have told me they swear by a rain jacket and gaiters or if able an umbrella.
Gore-Tex or equivalent helps a little, but not much. I generally keep a change of clothes handy and hopefully will have a dry spot out of the weather in which to wear them. When it is on the cool side, I usually opt for a fleece jacket which will usually keep me warm enough, even when wet.
I'm very close to embracing my Celtic half and going with a hiking kilt and then a rain kilt over top.
Breathes well, dries quickly...
Frog Togs and an ul umbrella. The umbrella lets me keep part of the jack unzipped. Another item to assess is your backpack. Nothing worse than hiking all day in the rain and wanting to jump into dry cloths to find them wet as well.
I have the same issue. Even when it's chilly outside, and even if I'm using GoreTex, I can get wetter from the inside due to sweat than from the rain. In the summer, and in a nod to another post about staying cool in the hot weather, I just let the rain fall and get wet. Nearly all of my hiking clothes are quick-dry and breathable. In the colder months, for light rain and snow fall, I will typically wear soft shell jacket with DWR, and reserve my GoreTex shell jacket for downpours. I typically wear pants with DWR and maybe gaiters. Very seldom do I resort to rain pants.
Of my hundreds of days backpacking and hiking and climbing mountains, I can think of a handful of days where I went through the trouble of taking off my boots and putting on my rain pants. I was quite happy to have them those days. I'll continue to carry mine. If nothing else they count as emergency clothing. Half the time I don't have long pants with me anyway.
It depends on how long you are out for, and what you are carrying with you. In absolute downpours which go on for days your boots and socks can get uncomfortably soaked without rain pants and/or gaiters. The rain just runs off your coat, down your legs and straight into your boots. No big deal if you are out for an afternoon hike. Different story if you need to get from point A to point B that day in a fixed period of time (so you can’t wait the rain out). Much different story if you are out for several days in the same conditions and nothing gets to dry out.
I have to agree with @Former community member . As they say, "It's better to have and not need than to need and not have."
I would say that for most day hikes, in known and reasonably populous areas, when weather conditions are favorable, there's no need to carry them. However, on any extended trips, especially into mountainous terrain where weather can turn in an instant, it's good to be prepared. If weight and/or cost is a concern, simple Frogg Toggs should do the trick.