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Best Hiking Pants for Backpacking, Outdoors & Travel

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Whether you are heading out for a day hike or taking off on a weekend-long backpacking trip, having some of the best hiking pants will keep you comfortable out on the trail.

When you’re heading out for the day or weekend to do some hiking, backpacking, or climbing, you don’t want to just throw on any pair of pants.

You may not only end up destroying them during your adventures, but they are not the most comfortable option. If you frequently go hiking or backpacking, the way to go is to get yourself a pair of the best rated hiking pants you can find. You won’t regret it when you out on the trail.

Why get hiking pants?

There are many reasons for choosing these types of pants. They are more durable than everyday pants, they usually have some type of water or wind resistance, and they are made to move with you to increase your mobility on all types of trails.

Of course, there are a few different types of hiking and camping pants to choose from, including convertible, waterproof, softshell, and winter hiking pants.

Which one you pick will depend on where you’re going and what type of weather you expect to encounter.

Check out our reviews for the top rated hiking pants in each of these categories. We’ve also included some tips on how to choose the right pair to meet your needs with our in-depth buying guide.

best-hiking-pants-reviews-guide

Contents

Best-Hiking-Pants-for-Men

When you’re spending the day or the weekend hiking through the woods or trekking up a mountain path, comfort is key in all your gear. The best hiking pants for men take this into account.

The key features in good hiking pants are breathability and durability. The first is important since you’ll no doubt be sweating while you hike. This can be uncomfortable and cause other issues during your trip. Durability is essential because you will most likely brush up against countless rough surfaces while hiking or climbing.

Other benefits of these pants for hiking are wind and water resistance. They are usually lightweight and made of comfortable material. And they have numerous pockets for easy storage.

Best Hiking Pants for Men

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
86% Nylon, 14% Spandex10.7 oz$$5
prAna Stretch Zion Pants
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex8.25 oz$$5
Arcteryx Gamma LT Pant
100% Nylon11.3 oz$$$4.8
Columbia Sportswear Royce Peak Pants
96% Nylon, 4% Elastane14.6 oz$4.5
Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants
60% Polyester, 40% Cotton22.7 oz$$$4.2

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants – Best Men’s Hiking Pants 2017

If you’re a guy who loves to climb, the Ferrosi Pants from Outdoor Research might just be the perfect pair of men’s hiking pants to meet your needs. The 90D stretch woven ripstop fabric is durable enough to resist tearing during any rugged trek, but the combination of nylon and spandex moves with you for increased comfort.

This material is also water and wind-resistant for added warmth on those damp, chilly mornings. They are also breathable and dry quickly for those hot days when sweating can’t be avoided.

The five pockets on these hiking pants for men give you ample storage room for your smaller items. The brushed tricot-lined waistband is soft against your skin, with a button and zipper fly closure.

The articulated knees add to your maneuverability and the drawcord cuff closures of these nylon hiking pants keep bugs and debris out of your pant legs. The belt loops are also harness-compatible, reducing the need for extra climbing gear.

These lightweight summer hiking pants come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you will have no trouble finding the best outdoor pants to meet your personal style.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 86% Nylon, 14% Spandex

Weight: 10.7 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Zippered Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring or Summer, Climbing

prAna Stretch Zion Pants

These men’s hiking trousers are made using a combination of nylon and spandex to give you the maximum amount of movement during rugged hikes and climbs. The ventilated inseam gusset adds breathability as well as increased mobility for a more comfortable wear. Plus, the prAna Stretch Zion Pants also double as a great travel pant.

This lightweight fabric has a water-repelling finish to keep you dry on the outside and are breathable for less sweating on the inside. The material of these outdoor pants also resists wrinkles, so you’ll look good, no matter how long they’ve been traveling in a pack or suitcase.

There are five pockets to store your smaller items, but only two of them are dual-entry. This means they have a flap over them to hold your stuff in. The rest of them are open, so you may need to be careful you don’t lose anything during your hike

The waistband is adjustable for the perfect fit, with belt loops for those who need them. The legs are adjustable as well, with snaps to hold them up when the need to trek through a low stream occurs.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex

Weight: 8.25 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Pockets, 1 Dual-Entry Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Hiking, Climbing, Bouldering, Travel

Arcteryx Gamma LT Pant

Hiking gear needs to be comfortable, durable, and give you a wide range of mobility to be useful. The Arcteryx Gamma LT Pant meet all these needs.

They are made with Fortius 1.0 fabric that is durable enough to resist all types of abrasions. The LT stands for lightweight, and this material has enough stretch to it to move with you.

At just 11.3 ounces you won’t think twice about packing these lightweight hiking pants on your next backpacking trip.

The DWR finish will keep you dry in damp weather. These hiking pants are also quick-drying if they do happen to get wet. The waistband is made of brushed polyester for a comfortable fit. It uses a zippered fly and a snap closure. There is even an adjustable webbing belt incorporated in the waist for the most secure fit on these men’s hiking pants.

The combination of the articulated patterning and the gusseted crotch give you a wide range of motion when climbing or on rough trails when you need the most mobility possible. The adjustable drawcord on the pant cuff allows you to raise and hold the pant legs when needed for crossing small streams or keeping your cuffs out of the mud.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 100% Nylon

Weight: 11.3 ounces

Pockets: 2 Zippered Front Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring, Summer, and Fall, Hiking, Climbing, Backpacking, Guiding

Columbia Sportswear Royce Peak Pants

With six different colors and a wide range of sizes to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding the right pair of Columbia hiking pants to meet your style. The Columbia Royce Peak Pants have a modern look that makes them great on the trail or hanging out at home with some buddies.

The material has 2-way comfort stretch for those elevation changes during your hike. You can move easily without adjusting them as you go. The gusset detail and articulated knees also add to your mobility for more comfortable movement.

This fabric also has a few unique features. There is the Omni-Shade, which gives you UPF 50 sun protection for those bright, sunny days. The Omni-Shield sheds moisture on the damp days, and even repels stains for a cleaner look at the end of the day.

There are 5 pockets, all of which have mesh pocket bags for more breathability. If water gets into them, they will also dry much faster than regular pockets, so you won’t need to worry about soaked belongings.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane Rugged Stretch Canvas

Weight: 14.6 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Slash Pockets, 2 Back Pockets with Hook and Loop Closure, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Camping, Hiking, Climbing

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants

They may be the heaviest men’s hiking trousers on the list, but their great features make them one of the best hiking pants available. The G-1000 fabric is durable enough to withstand abrasions and tears on more rugged surfaces.

These trekking pants are also resistant to both wind and water, for a dryer, warmer day on the trail.

Reinforced knees keep your pants intact if you need to climb over jagged rocks during your trip. There are a button and zippered fly closure, as well as belt loops on the waist for those who prefer the extra security.

Like many of the other men’s hiking pants available, these ones come with numerous pockets, but the Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants have a wider variety of them.

Along with the slash front pockets, there are 4 snap-closure pockets, with 3 on one thigh and 1 on the other. One of these is a map pocket, and another is for an axe or knife.

There are also elastic strap adjustments with press buttons on the cuffs of these warm hiking pants for easy adjustment.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 60% Polyester, 40%Cotton

Weight: 22.7 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Slash Pockets, 4 Snap Thigh Pockets

Best For: Spring, Summer, and Fall, Trekking

Best-Hiking-Pants-for-Women

 

When it comes to women’s hiking pants, you want to look for similar features as on the men’s hiking pants. They should be made of durable material that will resist abrasions and tears to ensure they will last through numerous treks and climbs over the years.

Along with durability, the best hiking pants for women are breathable for added comfort. But they will also resist water and wind, keeping you warm and dry on those cool, damp days.

Another thing to consider in women’s outdoor pants is that they are geared more for style than men’s are. Women can choose between slim fit hiking pants or a wider leg. There are also more waist options, including the low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise waist. You can choose whichever you want depending on your comfort.

Best Hiking Pants for Women

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating
prAna Women's Halle Pant
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex13.4 oz$$5
Columbia Sportswear Women's Saturday Trail Pant
96% Nylon, 4% Elastane11.2 oz$5
Marmot Women's Scree Pant
90% Nylon 10% Elastane15.2 oz$$4.5
Fjallraven Women's Vidda Pro Trousers
60% Polyester, 40% Cotton15.1 oz$$$4
Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Pants
86% ripstop, 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop10.3 oz$$4.5

prAna Women’s Halle Pant

The Halle pants from prAna are lightweight, with a low-rise waist and a relaxed fit, making them a great pair of hiking pants for women. They have also received great reviews as one of the top travel pants for women.

The Stretch Zion fabric is comprised of nylon, with a bit of spandex thrown in for increased stretchability. This allows the pants to move with you comfortably, no matter how often the terrain changes. The articulated knees also add to the mobility, which is essential when climbing.

Another benefit of this material is that is wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry all day. The water repellent finish resists water on the outside as well, instead of soaking up the rainwater you may be caught in.

These women’s outdoor trousers have dual buttons and a zippered fly. The easy-roll pant legs snap into place so there will be no slipping down when trekking through some shallow water. There are also three pockets to hold any items you prefer to keep close at hand.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex

Weight: 13.4 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 1 Hidden Zippered Stash Pocket on Right Thigh

Best For: Spring and Summer, Camping, Hiking, Climbing

Columbia Sportswear Women’s Saturday Trail Pant – Best Women’s Hiking Pants 2017

Considered the best women’s hiking pants available, the Saturday Trail Pant is perfect for almost any outdoor activity. They are lightweight, with a straight leg for a slim fit all the way to your ankles. But the combination of nylon and elastane stretches easily without the risk of tearing at the seams if you stretch and bend in all sorts of ways.

Articulated knees and the gusset detailing add to your mobility for the maximum comfort and movement you can get. The mid-rise waist has a double snap closure with a zippered fly, as well as belt loops for those who like the extra support around their waist.

The Omni-Shield repels water and stains for a clean, dry pair of ladies hiking pants at the end of the day. These hiking pants also feature the Omni-Shade, which gives you UPF 50 protection from the sun.

Versatility is also key in the best hiking clothes, which is why these pants can be converted into a pair of capris to keep them dry when crossing a stream, or just to keep you cool on those warmer days on the trail.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 1 Hidden Zippered Pocket on Right Thigh

Best For: Spring and Summer, Hiking, Camping

Marmot Women’s Scree Pant

These slim hiking pants will make a great addition to your women’s hiking clothes. The softshell double weave uses a combination of nylon and Elastane Stretch material to give you easy movement while you climb to new heights. But this fabric is also light, so it won’t weigh you down, no matter how long you’re out on the trail.

This pair of women’s trail pants are warm enough for cooler days but are still breathable to reduce sweating in warmer temperatures. They repel water as well, so even a rainy afternoon won’t soak you to the skin.

The elastic waist is comfortable, stretching with you when you need it. It uses a snap closure and a zip fly and has belt loops if needed. There are two zippered hand pockets and one zippered thigh pocket, so there will be no risk of bouncing your belongings out of your pockets on a rugged hike.

There are also zippers on the ankles for a bit of extra ventilation on those warmer days. With 8 colors to choose from, you should have no trouble finding a pair that matches your style and other hiking gear for women.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 90% Nylon, 10% Elastane

Weight: 15.2 ounces

Pockets: 2 Zippered Front Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Ski Tours, Alpine Climbs

Fjallraven Women’s Vidda Pro Trousers

Though they are a bit on the expensive side, the Vidda Pro ladies outdoor trousers have numerous features that ensure they are well worth the cost. The G-1000 Original material consists of polyester and cotton, which blend together to make a durable pair of hiking pants that will last for years.

Since the rear and knees of any pair of pants are usually the first to tear, Fjallraven has reinforced these areas for added strength and abrasion resistance. They are also coated with a water repellent wax to keep you dry throughout your trip.

The ankles are equipped with elastic strap adjustments and press buttons to turn your pants into a pair of capris. Six pockets are located on the front and sides of your pants, including a map and an axe or knife pocket. You’ll never have to leave your essentials behind when you’re wearing the Vidda Pros.

There are numerous colors to choose from, as well as both regular and short lengths. You’ll always have the perfect size and fit in your fashionable hiking clothes.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 60% Polyester, 40% Cotton

Weight: 15.1 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 4 Thigh Pockets

Best For: Spring, Summer and Fall, Trekking

Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Pants

If you need a lightweight pair of quick dry hiking pants for your outdoor adventures, the Ferossi pair from Outdoor Research may be one of the best hiking pants around. It features 90D stretch woven ripstop fabric that is a rugged as it is comfortable.

This material is highly breathable, resists wind and water, and dries fast after any damp encounters. It stretches as you move, so you won’t have to stop to adjust your pants whenever the elevation requires a bit more bending or climbing. There is also a UPF 50 coating to protect against sun damage.

With 5 pockets, you’ll always have room for your smaller items, such as your phone, map, or music player. The waistband is Brushed Tricot-lined, with dual snaps, a zipper fly, and a drawcord for that extra snug fit. The waistband is also harness-compatible if the need should arise.

As well as being excellent for climbing and other outdoor activities, these soft shell pants look stylish and have a comfortable fit that may just make them suitable for almost any occasion.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 86% Nylon Ripstop, 14% Spandex

Weight: 10.3 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Slash Pockets, 2 Back Zippered Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Climbing

Best-Lightweight-Hiking-Pants

Your hiking pants will be one of the lightest pieces on your hiking gear list, especially when you consider the weight of your backpack when it’s filled with essentials such as a backpacking tent, sleeping bag, and cooking gear. But this doesn’t mean their weight should be ignored.

If you’re traveling over long distances of uneven terrain or climbing a difficult rocky mountain slope, you want to make sure you’re as light as possible to ensure you’re going to reach your destination. A pair of the best lightweight hiking pants you can find will help you achieve your goals, and keep you comfortable while you’re doing it.

Plus, if you tend to sweat more or just prefer cooling clothing, a pair of lightweight pants will pay dividends and keep you comfortable.

The beauty of lightweight pants for hiking is that the material is thinner, making them easier to pack if you need to bring extra pairs with you for trips that last more than a day. They still give you the same freedom of movement that other hiking pants offer, and have the same benefits of wind and water resistance. They just take up less room.

Mnay lighweight hiking pants also double as great travel pants—extremly packable, lightweight, and quick dyring.

Best Lightweight Hiking Pants

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating

Lightweight Hiking Pants

Arc'teryx Lefroy Pant
86% Nylon, 14% Elastane9.9 oz$$$5
Montane Terra Pack Pant
100% Nylon Tactel8.35 oz$$4.5
Marmot Arch Rock Pant
94% Nylon, 6% Elastane10.1 oz$$4

Arc’teryx Lefroy Pant

The Arc’teryx Lefroy men’s lightweight hiking pants are ideal for technical hiking and trekking adventures for all types of warm weather conditions.

They are made from Aequora AirPerm, which is a combination of durable nylon and stretchy elastane. This gives you strength and mobility on any adventure, even leisurely ones closer to home.

These light hiking pants also feature articulated patterning and a gusseted crotch that allow you to stretch your legs in any direction without hindering you in any way. Arc’teryx has even incorporated a waistband that is designed perfectly to ride nicely under your backpack.

Since it is highly unlikely that you won’t be sweating while you hike and climb, these pants are also breathable, letting the moisture out instead of holding it in. This helps to regulate your body temperature so you won’t overheat during your trip.

Other features include a snap closure with zippered fly, an integrated webbing belt for a secure, yet comfortable fit, and three pockets to hold your smaller essential items.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 86% Nylon, 14% Elastane

Weight: 9.9 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Summer, Hiking, Trekking

Montane Terra Pack Pant – Best Travel Hiking Pant

These lightweight pants for travel from Montane are made using their unique Vector Lite fabric. This is made using 100% nylon material that has been infused with stretch properties for ease of movement. The pants also dry fast and are extremely durable to ensure countless uses on the trail.

These pants feature a UPF 50 coating as well as DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, giving you some protection against both the harsh sun and the light rain. When you’re in these pants, you’ll be ready for almost anything Mother Nature has to throw at you.

Articulated knees increase your mobility, and the active cut of these lightweight pants lets you step as high as you want during your climb. The waist is pre-elasticated with a fine brushed microfleece inner lining at the back for a soft feel against your skin. The closure system includes a pressed button stud and button with a removable belt.

These pants are perfect for packing in your bag or backpack for easy travel, without taking up too much space or adding unwanted weight.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 100% Nylon Tactel

Weight: 8.35 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 1 Zipped Security Pocket Inside Right Front Pocket, 1 Zippered Back Pocket, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket on Left Side

Best For: Summer, Trekking, Travel

Marmot Arch Rock Pant

The best lightweight hiking pants don’t just keep you cool and dry, they also save you room when you pack them for traveling to your destination. The Marmot Arch Rock ultralight hiking pants pack small, but don’t skimp on the features you’ll find in any other trekking pants on the market.

The fabric is made of abrasion-resistant nylon and stretchable elastane. This makes your lightweight outdoor pants durable while still giving you the mobility to tackle all the twists and turns of the terrain. There is a DWR finish to keep you dry in wet weather, and UPF 50 protection against those harmful UV rays.

A gusseted inseam and articulated knees increase your range of motion if you should happen to run into any uneven elevation that requires a lot of leg stretching. The reinforced hem keeps your ankles from fraying after long hours scraping against rocks and other debris.

The DriClime interior waistband wicks moisture away from your skin to reduce irritation if you start to sweat. With 5 pockets, you’ll have more than enough room to store those essential items you need close at hand during your trip.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane Stretch Dobby

Weight: 10.1 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Slash Pockets, 2 Back Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring, Summer, and Fall, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking

Best-Convertible-Pants-for-Hiking

 

 

 

Though they have all the same features of other types of hiking pants on the market, the best convertible hiking pants have one thing the others lack. This key feature is versatility in all temperatures.

Even though you head out the door when it’s cool out, the temperature will likely change as the sun gets higher, beating down on you and heating you up. The beauty of hiking convertible pants is that with the tug of a zipper, you can turn them into a pair of hiking shorts.

The reverse is also true, allowing you to put the legs back on if the temperature should drop or if a storm threatens. This versatility alone makes convertible pants for hiking and trekking one of the top choices for warmer outdoor adventures.

Best Convertible Hiking Pants

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating
The North Face Men's Paramount Peak II Convertible Pant
100% Nylon13.76 oz$$5
prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pants
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex18.41 oz$$5
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant
100% Nylon16 oz$$4.5
Mountain Hardwear Mesa Convertible Pants
10.6 oz$$4

The North Face Men’s Paramount Peak II Convertible Pant

The Paramount Peak Pants by The North Face was one of their best hiking pants available, which is why they updated them for an even better pair of men’s convertible pants. This includes giving you larger pocket space to carry all your smaller essential items, even a hefty smartphone which may not fit in a regular sized pocket.

The pant legs unzip at the knees, like all other men’s zip off pants, but these have the added feature of color coded zippers to make it easier to put them back on the right leg if the weather cools.

Nylon faille fabric is woven with DWR to keep moisture from soaking into your pants during a light rain. This material is also abrasion-resistant and lightweight, keeping them intact and comfortable all day long.

The relaxed fit, elasticized waistband, and low-profile buckled belt all add to the perfect fit of these convertible travel pants. They are also UPF 50 to protect you and your pants from the damaging rays of the sun.

 

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 100% Nylon

Weight: 13.76 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Pockets, 2 Velcro Thigh Pockets, Cell Phone Pocket

Best For: Spring, Hiking

prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pants

These convertible cargo pants from prAna are made using their original Stretch Zion fabric, which consists of nylon and spandex for a wide range of movement. These are then woven with a quick-dry all-weather finish to repel moisture and keep you dry in damp weather.

The inseam gusset allows for more mobility, especially when you need to stretch those legs up when climbing. This gusset is also ventilated for added breathability when you start to sweat.

And if the weather turns hot, just unzip the pant legs, tuck the extra pieces in your pack, and carry on in your new pair of lightweight shorts. Or, you could also roll them up and use the snaps instead, which is especially handy when you need to cross shallow waterways.

For protection from the sun, there is a UPF 50 coating on these pants. They are abrasion-resistant, so scrapes against rocks or trees won’t tear them to shreds during even the most rugged trip.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex

Weight: 18.41 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Pockets, 2 Flap Thigh Pockets

Best For: Spring and Summer, Climbing, Travel

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant – Best Convertible Hiking Pants

Not everyone can afford the high prices of some of the best hiking pants on the market. Thankfully, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant have a low price, but still keep all the features and benefits of other lightweight convertible pants.

They start with durable nylon Silver Ridge ripstop fabric that is durable and strong for those long days on the trail. Then the Omni-Shade feature is added, which gives you UPF 50 sun protection.

The Omni-Wick technology is also included, which quickly wicks moisture away during a light rain or when you’re splashing through some watery areas you encounter on your path.

Other features of these Columbia convertible hiking pants are a partial elastic waist, gusset detailing for increased mobility, and mesh pocket bags to keep your belongings from soaking in water while you walk in the rain. The hook and loop and zippered closures also keep your stuff secure.

With eight colors and multiple sizes to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding the right pair of men’s convertible pants in fit and style.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 100% Nylon Ripstop

Weight: 16 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Hook and Loop Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket, 1 Hook and Loop Thigh Pocket

Best For: Summer, Hiking, Climbing, Backpacking

Mountain Hardwear Mesa Convertible Pants

The Mesa nylon convertible hiking pants from Mountain Hardwear are lightweight, durable, and great for days when the weather changes more than the trail does. Just zip off the bottoms and tuck them away when the sun’s out, and slip them back on and zip them up again when clouds roll in or the sun goes down.

The relaxed fit of these convertible travel pants gives you room to move, and the full-length inseam gusset lets you stretch your legs as much as you need to when taking large strides over widely spaced rocks or climbing to new heights. The articulated knees give you a wide range of motion, adding to the comfort of your walk.

The fabric’s UPF 50 protection shields you from harmful UV rays when you’re out in the open. The waist is chamois-lined and seamless to reduce irritation when you are wearing a backpack. An integrated belt lets you tighten them as much or as little as you need for a secure fit.

A drawcord on the cuffs allows you to tighten them, keeping rocks and other trail debris from getting into your boots. Numerous pockets keep your smaller items secure and close at hand.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 100% Nylon

Weight: 10.6 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 2 Back Pockets, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Summer, Backpacking, Hiking, Casual, Travel

Best-Winter-Hiking-Pants

When you think the best winter hiking pants, a picture of thick, bulky pants probably comes to mind. But these are no good for hiking or climbing since they don’t give you the range of motion you need to handle uneven terrain. They are also too heavy, weighing you down far too soon and ending your day early.

That’s where the best softshell pants come in. These are lightweight and easy to move in, whether you’re walking, climbing, or skiing. These types of winter pants are also resistant to moisture and the wind, which is essential during the colder months.

You can also get insulated pants, which are also water and wind resistant but add a bit more warmth to give you the best winter hiking pants you can get.

Best Softshell & Winter Hiking Pants

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating
Outdoor Research Cirque Pants
50% Nylon, 43% Polyester, 7% Spandex20.5 oz$$$5
Marmot Scree Pant
90% Polyester 10% Elastane Stretch17.3 oz$$5
Arcteryx Gamma MX Pant
85% Nylon, 15% Elastane17.3 oz$$$4.5
Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pant
95% Polyamide, 5% Elastane28 oz$$$4.3

Outdoor Research Cirque Pants – Best Winter Hiking Pants

The best hiking pants for winter aren’t just for one person, they should be able to meet the needs of everyone. That’s why Outdoor Research has created the Cirque pants, which come in both men’s and women’s winter hiking pants sizes. Both have the same features to keep everyone in your party comfortable during your cold weather adventures.

These softshell pants have a 90D stretch double weave for increased resistance to wind and weather. They are made using a combination of nylon, polyester, and spandex, which keeps them light but strong. This also gives them a bit of stretch, making it easier to move, which is essential on slippery surfaces.

There are reinforcements on the insides of the ankles to reduce wear, and zippers on the outside for ventilation. This also gives you more room when you’re putting your boots on, allowing you to zip your pants legs over them. Then you can pull the drawcord tight to keep the snow and dirt out.

Multiple zippered pockets give you ample room for your belonging. There is a brushed tricot-lined waistband, adjustable tabs, belt loops, and it is also harness-compatible.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 50% Nylon, 43% Polyester, 7% Spandex

Weight: 20.5 ounces (Men’s), 19.5 ounces (Women’s)

Pockets: 2 Zippered Front Pockets, 1 Zippered Back Pocket, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Winter, Climbing, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing

Marmot Scree Pant

This Marmot softshell pant is lightweight and versatile, making them a great addition to any cool spring activity or summer alpine adventure when warmth is as important as mobility.

The nylon and elastane stretch material adds enough durability to withstand abrasions and tears, while still giving you the ability to stretch as needed during a climb or when skiing down a dangerous Black Diamond run.

This fabric is also water repellent, which is essential when trekking through the snowy areas or if it should happen to rain during your trip. But it is also breathable to keep your sweating to a minimum.

The reinforced rear and knees keep those areas intact, no matter how many times you tumble during your initial training on the slopes. The knees are also articulated for easy bending. Ankle zippers make it easy to slip the legs of your warm hiking pants over your boots for a secure fit.

There are multiple pockets, all equipped with zippers to keep your stuff inside instead of losing it on the trail or slopes. The Scree model comes in both men’s and women’s softshell pants, so everyone will have the right fit.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane Stretch

Weight: 17.3 ounces

Pockets: 2 Zippered Hand Pockets, 1 Zippered Back Pocket, 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Skiing, Climbing, Hiking

Arcteryx Gamma MX Pant

The best hiking pants for winter are only good if they can handle all types of weather. This is because winter can be fickle, cold and wet at one time, and then clearing off and heating up later the same day. That’s why the Gamma softshell trousers have the MX rating for mixed weather.

These warm pants for cold weather are lightly insulated to keep you warm but are also breathable so you don’t overheat and start to sweat. The outer fabric has been DWR treated to resist light moisture, though it won’t be able to handle a heavy rain. When if wears off you can also refresh the coating with a quick DWR spray.

The Fortius 2.0 material is made of a mix of fabrics that is strong enough to resist abrasions but still stretches to give you a wide range of motion. The gusseted crotch increases your mobility as well.

Other features that make this one of the best hiking pants for winter activities are the drawcord adjustable pant cuff, the reinforced instep patch, the laminated, soft-brushed finish on the waistband, and the integrated webbing belt. These winter pants come in both men’s and women’s sizes.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: Fortius 2.0 (85% Nylon, 15% Elastane)

Weight: 17.3 ounces

Pockets: 2 Zippered Hand Pockets, 2 Thigh Pockets (1 Zippered)

Best For: Fall and Winter, Backcountry Skiing, Ice Climbing, Alpine Climbing, Hiking, Trekking

Haglöfs Rugged II Mountain Pant

Winter hiking pants need to be tough, especially if you’re spending your time on challenging adventures that may be as rough on your hiking gear as it is on your body. That’s why Haglofs created their Rugged II Mountain Pant.

These are made using Climatic Polyamide and hard wearing poplin stretch woven Elastane fabric. This makes them strong enough to handle any type of wear without restricting your movement. The 4-way stretch face and polyester knit backer add to your mobility.

These cold weather pants also have triple stitching on all the main seams, with double stitching on the rest of them to reduce tearing. Reinforcements on the rear and knees keep these well-used areas intact. The lower leg insteps have also been reinforced to reduce wear at your ankles.

You can adjust the ankles using the buckle for the perfect fit, and there are even gaiter hooks on these cold weather hiking pants for those who want the extra protection. Velcro adjustments at the waist allow you to tighten this area as needed. The DWR finish is Fluorocarbon-free and keeps you dry in damp conditions.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 95% Polyamide, 5% Elastane with Polyester Knit Backer

Weight: 28 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Hand Pockets, 1 Zippered Back Pocket, 2 Zippered Thigh Pockets, 1 Cellphone Pocket Inside Right Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring, Fall, and Winter, Climbing, Alpine, Hiking, Camping

Best-Waterproof-Hiking-Pants

In a light rain, water resistant hiking pants are fine, but they won’t keep you dry if the weather gets worse and turns into a downpour. These types of pants won’t be able to handle the extra water. That’s why you need the best waterproof hiking pants when you know you’re going to be dealing with these types of conditions.

But these types of pants aren’t just for rain, they can also keep you dry during any winter activities where you’ll be trekking through snow. You never know how deep it will get, so you want to make sure you’re protected.

You’ll also want to sit down once in a while, and in a pair of waterproof pants, your rear areas will be as dry when you get up as they were when you sat down.

Best Waterproof Hiking Pants

NameImageMaterialsWeightPriceOur Rating
Marmot PreCip Pants
PreCip NanoPro8.9 oz$$5
Outdoor Research Helium Pants
Pertex Shield+5.6 oz$$4
Marmot Minimalist Pant
GORE-TEX® Paclite®10.3 oz$$$5
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants
Dry Q Active Stretch9.5 oz$$$4

Marmot PreCip Pants Best Hiking Rain Pants

If you plan on traveling with the whole family, Marmot has you covered. Their PreCip waterproof pants come in sizes for men, women, and even children, so everyone will stay dry in wet weather, no matter how many puddles the little ones find along the way.

The NanoPro fabric is made of 100% nylon ripstop. This makes them durable enough to last throughout your trip. This material is also breathable, so you’ll stay as dry on the inside as the pants are on the outside. The seams are all taped for extra protection against moisture.

There is a drawcord on the inside of the elastic waist, giving you the perfect fit every time you put them on. Zippers on the ankles give you some ventilation, but also have snap tabs to hold them closed so they won’t come open while you hike.

Three zippered pockets keep your belongings dry and secure. If you’re in need of a great pair of waterproof shell pants for all the members of your crew, the Marmot Precip Pant may be a good choice.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 2.5 Layer PreCip NanoPro

Weight: 8.9 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Zippered Pockets, 1 Zippered Back Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Backpacking, Hiking, Mountain Travel

Outdoor Research Helium Pants

These lightweight waterproof pants weigh in at only 5.6 ounces, so whether you’re wearing them or carrying them in your pack, they won’t add too much extra weight to your gear. In fact, they have a zippered back pocket that also doubles as a stuff sack, making these pants even more portable for any type of travel.

These waterproof pants for hiking have a laminated construction with fully taped seams to keep the water out of every inch. They are totally windproof as well, while still remaining breathable for the ultimate comfort during your travels. The gusseted crotch gives you extra mobility.

The waistband is elastic with a drawcord for extra security. Ankle zippers give you a bit of ventilation during the warm, dry times. There are also internal loops on the hems for an instep lace.

Other interesting features include a carabiner loop and reflective logos to keep you visible to those around you. Best of all, these lightweight rain pants for hiking come in both men’s and women’s sizes, making them a great addition to your hiking rain gear.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 2.5 Layer Pertex Shield+

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Pockets: 1 Zippered Back Pocket

Best For: Lightweight Backpacking

Marmot Minimalist Pant

These lightweight rain pants for hiking are easy to compress for traveling, so you can slip them into your pack and pull them on if the weather turns nasty on the trail.

They are made of 100% polyester for a durable pair of pants that won’t tear at the slightest tug or scrape. The Gore-Tex Paclite membrane keeps the water out, keeping you dry even during the heaviest rainstorm. All of the seams are fully taped for even more protection.

There are two hand pockets, both of which have water-resistant zippers to keep your smaller items dry. Articulated knees keep your movements smooth, even when traveling on uneven terrain.

You can open up the ankle zippers for a bit of ventilation when the weather warms up, or leave them zipped up with the snap closed to keep them secure during your travels.  These Gore-Tex waterproof hiking pants come in sizes for both men and women.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 2.5 Layer GORE-TEX® with Paclite® Technology

Weight: 10.3 ounces

Pockets: 2 Front Zippered Hand Pockets

Best For: Spring and Summer, Multi-Sport

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants

Athletic activities don’t stop just because the rain starts to fall, which is why Mountain Hardwear’s Stretch Ozonic Pants are one of the best hiking pants for those who love to stay active.

In fact, their unique Dry.Q Active Stretch Technology keeps the water out while you continue your adventures, no matter how strenuous they get. This material has 4-way stretching capability, which combines with the articulated knees for easy movements. It is also breathable, banishing the moisture on the inside as well as repelling it on the outside.

These outdoor waterproof pants are also strong and durable, resisting abrasions in even the toughest conditions. There are full-length side zippers to make it easy to slip your waterproof clothing off when the skies clear, and then put them back on again if the clouds come back.

The elastic at the back of the waistband gives you a secure fit and the integrated belt lets you adjust the size as needed. Loops at the leg cuffs allow you to fasten your pants to the bottom of your boot to keep debris out during your travels.

You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon

Tech Specs

Materials: 2.5 Layer Dry Q Active Stretch

Weight: 9.5 ounces

Pockets: 1 Zippered Thigh Pocket

Best For: Spring and Summer, Backpacking, Hiking

best-hiking-pants-reviews

Guide to Finding the Best Pants for Hiking

Why Should You Get Hiking Pants?

If you plan on doing some hiking, trekking, or mountaineering, wearing the best hiking pants you can find can only benefit you during your adventures. This is because hiking clothes are designed to give you increased mobility for a wide range of movement.

These types of pants are also meant to increase your comfort on the trail by incorporating features to keep you cool and dry. There are lighter pairs for the warmer months and winter hiking pants for cold weather activities.

Most importantly, these types of pants are more durable, which is essential when traveling over rugged terrain that could snag or scrape your pants. Hiking pants will resist these types of abrasions, ensuring they will last for numerous outdoor trips.

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How Are Hiking Pants Different Than Your Everyday Pants?

There are a few ways the best hiking pants are different from your regular day-to-day pants. Though they may use the same material types, the fabric of hiking pants is woven to be much stronger and more durable. There is usually some sort of stretchy fabric woven in as well to increase your range of motion.

Articulated knees also increase your mobility. Your regular pants also don’t have reinforced knees, rears, and ankles.

Since you’ll be sweating while you hike and climb, hiking pants also need to be breathable. You most likely won’t be spending too much time in the rain in your regular pants, but you need fast drying pants that resist moisture on the trail.

Extra pockets, removable legs to create hiking shorts, and insulation for the colder weather are all features you’ll find on the best hiking pants that your normal ones lack.

Advantages of Wearing Hiking Pants

There are quite a few advantages to wearing the best hiking pants on the trail that you won’t get with any other type of pants. These include:

  • Water resistance or proofing
  • Wind resistance or proofing
  • Articulated knees and gusseted detailing for more mobility
  • Reinforced knees, ankles, and rear to keep these well-used areas intact after long hours on the trail
  • Breathability for added comfort
  • Durable, stretchable fabric for a wide range of motion when hiking or climbing
  • Quick drying material in damp weather or conditions
  • A wide range of styles, including convertible, ultralight, softshell, and insulated to keep you prepared for all types of adventures
  • Extra pockets to keep your essential items close at hand at all times

How To Pick the Best Hiking Pants – Everything You Need to Know

When & Where Will You Be Hiking?

There are a few things to consider before you head out to buy the best hiking pants for your next outdoor activity. Not all pairs are equal, so you need to check out the features to decide if they are right for your chosen trip.

For instance, you don’t want to buy insulated winter hiking gear if you’ll be traveling in the hot summer months. You also don’t want convertible hiking pants for alpine climbing since that feature will be useless to you in snowy conditions.

As well as the temperature you’ll most likely be experiencing, you also have to consider moisture. If you are traveling through a rainy area, waterproofing should be a priority. Rocky areas will need a more durable pair of hiking pants with reinforcements in the most used areas.

best-lightweight-hiking-pants-for-men

Material

When it comes to material, there are a few to choose from when it comes to hiking pants. One of the most common is nylon, since it is durable and strong, resisting abrasions.

Polyester is also used quite often. It doesn’t have quite as much strength as nylon, but it does dry quickly for a more comfortable trip. This material also doesn’t absorb as much water, wicking it away instead.

Most of the best hiking pants on the market also incorporate some type of stretchy material into their products. Spandex and elastane are the most used. Their presence gives you a bit more mobility since the pants will stretch as you move instead of binding you up.

Fit: Articulated Knees & Gussets

As well as the stretchy materials, articulated knees and gussets are also included in the features of the best outdoor pants to add to your mobility. The articulated knees mimic the natural movement of your knees. They create a bend in that area of your pants to keep your forward motion as normal as possible.

A gusset is a piece of fabric that is cut into a diamond shape and attached to the inner thigh on each side of your pants. This material takes the place of a standard seam. It gives you a wider range of motion since the fabric extends the width of your pants in those areas. When you move and bend, there is less restriction for easier movement.

All the best hiking pants manufactured will incorporate both of these designs to keep you moving comfortably throughout your day.

hiking-pants-gusset-and-pockets

 

Pockets

When it comes to pockets, there are a few important details to remember when searching for your hiking and backpacking clothes. The first thing to look for is depth. The deeper your pocket is, the less chance the items inside will slip or bounce out while you walk or climb.

If the pockets aren’t as deep as you like, make sure they at least have some type of closure. Zippers are best for security, but Velcro or hook and loop closures can also keep your stuff tucked in where it belongs.

How many pockets to get is entirely up to you. If you only plan on carrying a couple small items, one or two pockets are more than enough. But if you plan on carrying a wide variety of items, such as maps, phones, compasses, and knives, the more pockets the better. A few different sizes may also be a good option for those varying items.

Durability

Though you may be comparing two pants that look the same and are made with the same type of fabric, this doesn’t mean they are equal in durability. Lighter materials tend to tear more easily than thicker weaves, which means they won’t last as long in more rugged areas.

That’s why you want to make sure abrasion-resistance is one of the features of your new pair of hiking pants. Ripstop fabric is a good choice, though it isn’t perfect. It could be punctured on a sharp rock, but this type of material won’t let that hole turn into a long tear.

Remember, the more rugged the area, the higher durability you need. The best hiking pants will be strong enough to last through all types of terrain.

softshell-hiking-pant-features

Water Resistance

Water resistance is essential when out on the trail since you never know when the weather will change. If it starts to rain, the best hiking pants will keep you dry until the clouds move on and the sun comes back out.

Of course, water resistant rain pants for hiking won’t be able to handle a heavy downpour. If you’re in an area that is known for this type of weather, you’ll need to upgrade your water resistant pants for waterproof ones. But keep in mind these types aren’t always as breathable, so you may be a tad warmer when wearing them.

When looking for water resistant pants, check for DWR in the features list. This stands for durable water repellent, and it is a coating on most of the best hiking pants on the market. These types also dry quickly, so if you do get a bit wetter than planned, you won’t have to deal with it for long.

Weight

The best pants for hiking don’t have to be the lightest available to be comfortable to wear throughout your trip. In fact, they range from an ultralight 5 ounces to almost 30, depending on the type of material used. Even extra pockets can add to the weight of your hiking pants, but the extra couple of ounces probably won’t even be noticeable.

The only reason you may need to find the lightest pair you can is if you plan on packing one or two in your backpack for a longer trip. If you are going to be carrying your equipment with you for days at a time, the extra weight in your pack will start to hurt over time.

If the best hiking pants for you have to be ultralight, there are many brands available to meet this need, but unless you’re packing them for a long walk, it isn’t something to worry about.

softshell-pants-for-hiking

Warmth

If you plan on spending your time in warmer climates, a lightweight pair of convertible pants for hiking will be ideal. But in colder areas, or when heading up to higher elevations, you will need a warmer pair to keep you from shivering while you climb to those new heights.

Insulated hiking pants are available to keep you warm while alpine or ice climbing. They are also great for skiing and snowboarding since are lighter and easier to move in. Softshell hiking pants are also great for colder weather because they keep the moisture out while still giving you a wide range of motion.

Remember, you don’t need a bulky pair of ski pants to stay warm. The best hiking pants for cold conditions will do so, without hindering your movements.

Stretch

When you’re hiking and backpacking, you’re bound to end up covering some uneven terrain along the way. The best hiking pants won’t restrain you when this occurs. Instead, they’ll give you increased mobility during your trip for added comfort.

The manufacturers of these products have taken this into account by adding some stretchable material into their products. This allows your pants to move with you as you bend and stretch your way across any obstacles in your path.

This is also why gusseted detailing and articulated knees are added to many of these brands. The easier it is to move, the more likely you are to wear these types of pants on your adventures and recommend them to your friends.

Convertible Pants

Convertible pants are an excellent way to get two sets of bottoms all in one package. They start off as pants, but if the weather warms up, they have the ability to turn into a pair of shorts in a matter of seconds.

These types of hiking pants have a zipper incorporated into the pants around the knee area. All you do is unzip it, pull the bottom portion off, and tuck them away in a pocket or backpack. Many of them are even wide enough to be removed without taking off your shoes or boots.

When the weather cools off again, just slip the bottoms back on and zip them up for a whole pair of pants.

Some convertible pants have replaced the zipper with Velcro for an easier removal. The downside is that these can be pulled loose if they get caught on a tree branch or other protrusion. But if you like the ease of use, this type may be the best hiking pants for you.

Color

Most of the best hiking pants on the market come in a variety of colors, but these are usually darker tones. You may be able to find a lighter yellow, white, or even a pink pair if those are the styles you are looking for, but black, grey, or blue are the most common.

Many of these types of pants also come in two-tone shades if you prefer that. Some have incorporated reflective logos and detailing onto the legs and rear. This keeps you visible to the other members of your group, which is especially important if someone wanders away and night is falling.

hiking-pants-built-in-belt

Other Features

There are a few other features you can look for in the best hiking pants. They aren’t essential, but they may come in handy, depending on your needs and the area you plan on using them in.

Though many brands have belt loops around the waistband, you may forget to pack one along. Having a built-in belt can ensure you’ll have the most secure fit you can without having to worry about carrying extra items. An incorporated drawstring cord can also come in handy for the same reason.

Sun protection is also a great feature to have. Believe it or not, the sun’s rays can penetrate some types of clothing, exposing you to UV rays and even giving you a sunburn through your clothes. Some brands have designed their clothing to prevent this from happening.

Look for the UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, on the label. This rating will let you know what percentage of radiation is getting through. For instance, UPF 50 lets through 1/50th of the radiation, which is equal to 2%. The higher the UPF rating is, the more protection you get.

Price

Hiking pants can be quite expensive, ranging up into the hundreds for a decent pair. The material used, the water and wind proofing treatments, the number of pockets, and all the detailing goes into the amount you’ll be spending.

But don’t assume you need to ignore any bills for a couple of months to get the best hiking pants you need for your next trip. You can find a decent pair for under $100.00, and if you have the time, you can even wait for a sale to save even more money.

Whether you’re on a budget or have money to burn, you’ll always find a pair that meets your needs.

finding-the-best-hiking-pants

The Bottom Line

Now that you know what to look for in the best hiking pants for any of your chosen activities, you should have no trouble finding the perfect pair to meet your needs.

Whether you plan on hiking on a well-groomed trail or heading out into the wilds, a great pair of hiking pants can make your day go that much smoother. And they may even come out looking as good as they did when you started your trip.

If you are looking the best all-around men’s hiking pants, I’d recommend looking at the versitile Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pant.

For women’s hiking pants, the Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Pant live up to their hype and are a proven favorite as far as comfort and durability goes.

If you prefer to spend your time traveling over rougher terrain that requires the maximum amount of durability in your hiking apparel, Haglofs Rugged II Mountain Pant lives up to its name. The durable material, double and triple stitching, and multiple reinforcements will ensure your pants last through numerous hard adventures.

For those planning on traveling to wetter climates with the whole family, the Marmot PreCip Pants have sizes to fit everyone in your little group. And though the little ones won’t need much encouragement to splash through those puddles, you’ll have no problem with it either since these waterproof pants will keep them dry. You may even want to join them.

You can also read our guides to the best watches for hiking, the best waterproof backpack covers and other recommended travel products here.

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