As avid hikers know, finding the right pair of hiking pants can make the difference between a fun experience and a miserable one. Choosing moisture-repelling materials is critical for comfort in all seasons, not just summer. When searching for a pair of pants, consider how long you’ll be hiking and what the terrain will be like. Pants that are thicker and heavier are ideal for rugged hikes, while lighter weight pants are a good bet for summer. There are many considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best hiking pants. Your decision ultimately depends on the conditions, your budget, and your personal style. As you’re searching for the right pair, consider these 10 best hiking pants that top the list.
Ten Best Hiking Pants Reviews
The Stretch Zion pants are actually made for climbing, but their excellent mobility and utility makes them a top choice for hiking, too. They are made of 97% nylon and 3% spandex, which makes them soft and comfortable for hiking all day. Since they’re breathable and light weight, they are ideal for summer. They’re also easy to take on and off, and they don’t constrict your waist, thanks to a forgiving drawstring closure. With a dual-access zippered cargo pocket, these handy pants are great for keeping keys, ID cards, band-aids, and all your other essential small items in easy reach.
Since they’re rip-resistant, you can take on strenuous climbs and crawl down harrowing descents without fear that you’ll ruin your new hiking gear. These pants are also water resistant, thanks to the addition of an equally soft and light weight outer shell. Their ability to withstand the elements makes them an especially popular choice for longer backpacking excursions.
When you can’t tell if it will be a pants or shorts day, these pants solve the problem. Their handy zip-off leg design makes them ideal for wearing as pants on cooler days or when walking along overgrown trails. However, they easily to transform into shorts for walking in the strong midday sun. The Paramount Trail pants get their durability from a 100% nylon fabric that’s finished with a DWR coating. The term “DWR” stands for “durable water repellent.” It’s a very thin outer layer that makes the fabric underneath water resistant.
The North Face Paramount Trail Pants also have two deep side pockets for keeping small essentials and accessories safe and in easy reach. They have a somewhat loose and relaxed fit, which makes them comfortable for wearing in all weather. It also gives you room for base layers on cold days. Rounding out the pants’ features is the fact that they come with a belt.
Another great choice for warm weather hiking are the Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research. Outdoor Research has a reputation for making quality outdoor gear, and these pants are living proof. They’re made of 86% nylon and 14% spandex. They are also light weight and breathable. If you want a pair of pants that will endure a days-long hiking trip, plus many more in the years to come, this pair of pants is it. They also have a special ventilation fabric, which means that they’ll breathe easily in the summertime. But despite their light weight build, these pants are tough as nails, and they’ll stand up to the elements when put to the test.
Their outermost layer is a thin shell that wards off moisture. So when the weather forecast looks unpredictable, you can rely on these pants to keep going, rain or shine. Perhaps best of all, they’re also windproof, which means you can keep climbing to the summit even when temperatures suddenly change. When you need a solid pair of pants for year-round hiking, these tried-and-true award-winning pants do the trick. They are also perfect for climbing, which means you get your money’s worth if you want pants that will last through all your outdoor adventures.
Made with a moisture-repelling coating, stretchy materials, and a warm lining, these hiking pants from Mountain Hardwear will get you comfortably through long hikes on even the coolest days. They are made with a soft knit polyester fabric, which offers protection from rain and wind while simultaneously keeping your legs loose and warm. The pants are made with stretchy material, which comes in handy for more technical hikes when you’re climbing and scrambling over rough terrain.
The Mountain Hardwear pants’ material is also quite breathable. This helps prevent excess moisture accumulation in cool weather, which in turn can cause you to get chilled quickly. The pants’ breathability is due in large part to their technical composition, which is a special polyester fleece fortified with small channels that enable airflow. The neat thing about this technology is that the channels instantly wick moisture when you start to sweat, which leaves your skin dry. For that reason, the Right Bank pants will keep you warn and comfortable during outdoor activities down to the low 20s, without necessitating another base layer beneath.
Since the Mountain Hardwear pants are designed for a range of athletic activities, you can easily use them for other endeavors too, such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Their streamlined classic fit makes them loosely hug your legs without being restrictive or baggy. They’re also quite stylish, and you can easily take them from trail to town.
Made by a Swedish company, the Vidda Pro pants from Fjallraven are just about the toughest pair of hiking pants you can find. The Vidda Pro pants are made of a polyester-cotton blend. By the numbers, they’re 65% polyester and 35% cotton. The polyester gives the pants durability, while cotton makes them soft and comfortable. These pants are ideal for serious hiking through brush and thickets. They weigh about 21 ounces. They are reinforced with the company’s original fabric, called G-1000, which is virtually immune to rips and tears. Furthermore, the G-1000 fabric is a quick-drying material that offers wind and water resistance.
To make the pants even more water repellent, you can purchase a special beeswax coating from the company, which is designed specifically for the pants and gives them an added layer of protection against moisture. The fabric is also highly breathable, which is beneficial when you’re trying to stay warm in cooler weather or cool off on a strenuous summertime hike. Another perk of the Vidda Pro pants is that because they dry off quickly and keep moisture away from your skin, they’ll keep you comfortable even when you stop for a break or sit down around the campfire in the evening after a long day hike.
Too cold for shorts but too hot for long pants? If this is the dilemma you’re facing on the morning of a hike, let the Silver Ridge Convertible Pants put your worries aside. These pants belong to a group called “convertible pants,” which are quite popular among hikers. Convertible pants are just what they sound like – with a full zipper around the leg, they can turn from pants to shorts in seconds.
Columbia’s Silver Ridge pants are made of 100% polyester. They also have moisture-wicking ventilated side panels. The pants weigh just under 13 ounces, which makes them suitable for hiking through brush and overgrown areas. Their fabric is simultaneously light weight, breathable, and quick-drying.You can easily wear them in warmer and cooler weather without getting chilled or too hot. The pants are equipped with two (zippered) cargo pockets and a third deep security pocket, which means you can take along valuable items like keys, a wallet, and important documents without having to worry about them falling out or getting lost. Another nice feature about these pants is that they come with a contrasting color belt that makes wearing a pack easier.
Weighing in at 8.4 ounces, Montane’s Terra Pack pants are a lighter weight version of the company’s Terra pants, which are quite popular for hiking in cooler weather. Now, with the introduction of the Terra Pack pants, hikers can sport their favorite Montane gear year-round. These pants are made of a blend of fabrics, which is 96% nylon and 4% spandex. For hikers, this means a stretchy, comfortable pair of pants that enables comfortable walking all day. An added bonus of the pants is that they’re made with a special Vector Lite fabric. This technical material promotes breathability and offers plenty of stretch for a full range of motion.
Although the pants are light weight, don’t think they won’t hold up to rough play. They’re surprisingly sturdy, and they stand up well to scrambling through rocky areas and narrow passes. An added plus is that they wick away moisture, which lets you hike on warmer days without getting drenched in sweat. The pants’ capacity to wick moisture makes them equally appealing for cooler days, when having extra moisture against your skin invites the chills. The pants have a button fastener, and they also come with a belt. A handy side zip pocket completes the pants.
A special water-repelling outer coating, and soft, stretchy fabric will make Patagonia’s Quandary pants your go-to pair for hiking in all conditions. They’re made of 94% nylon and 6% spandex. Of that material, 62% is made from recycled products that are also certified sustainable materials. These hardy but light weight pants will get you through the longest hikes with ease. Their fabric stretches nicely to accommodate a range of motions, and they’re hardy enough to endure spills or crawling over rocks.
You’re probably thinking that a pair of pants this tough can’t be comfortable, but the Quandary pants prove otherwise. In fact, they’re considered some of the most popular hiking pants available because their soft, stretchy, and super comfortable materials makes them wearable all day. Articulated knees and a gusseted crotch are added bonuses. The Quandary pants come with multiple pockets, which makes it easy to stash small accessories in easy reach.
They have an easy on-off design with a drawstring waist and a snap button closure. The pants’ performance-oriented fit and composition makes them useful for a range of outdoor activities, including climbing. They’re also great for yoga and other athletic activities. Technicalities aside, another great feature of these pants is their stylish design. With a flattering slim-fit cut, they’re just as worthy of wearing out on the streets as on the trails.
Soft, durable, and light weight, these pants are just what you need to stay cool and comfortable while hiking on hot days. They weigh in at just over 10 ounces, which makes them a natural choice if you want comfortable, tear-resistant hiking pants that will go through just about everything. Like many on the market these days, the pants also have an ultra-thin outer coating that affords even more protection against the elements.
These pants have a narrow, straight leg design that makes them ideal for wearing with ankle-high boots. Their snug fit and lack of excess baggy material is appealing to many hikers, especially those who prefer not to hear a swishing noise with each footstep. The pants have a discrete zippered pocket on the leg that has enough space to keep maps, keys, cards, and any other item you might want to keep safe and in easy reach.
With a total weight of less than 10 ounces, the Lefroy pants from Arc’terykx are a must for long hiking trips and hiking in warm weather. These pants are made from a winning combination of 86% nylon and 14% elastane. This makes them feel sturdy, comfortable, and stretchy without feeling overly stiff or cheap. Arc’teryk’s Lefroy pants get a nod of approval from summertime hikers for their breathability and moisture-wicking capacity. In other words, if you have plans to hike the Appalachian trail this summer or take a hike through Yellowstone, these pants will do the trick.
They’re also stretchy, which means they’ll let you walk, climb, and move about as freely as you want. These pants close with a cinch waistband, which eliminates the hassle of buttons and zippers. They feature a generously sized zip cargo pocket on the side with plenty of room to stash keys, a wallet, a passport, and any other small items you might need for going on hiking adventures. A snazzy signature Arc’teryk logo is stitched onto the side, which adds just enough aesthetic appeal to be attractive without being over the top. The pants fall perfectly into the middle for fit, which means that they’re neither too tight nor too baggy. With a hardy construction and versatile design, they’re sure to last for years to come, too.