12 Best Hiking Pants for Men and Women

Are you looking for hiking pants for your next outdoor adventure? Read on for a comprehensive list of the best hiking pants on the market (and a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the right pair for you)!
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Best Hiking Pants

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Seasoned hikers know just how important choosing the right gear is. And buying the proper clothing is an essential part of being prepared in the wonderful outdoors. If you’re wondering what to wear hiking, then this is the post for you.

The team here at TravelFreak rounded up the best hiking pants in a few different categories to help you decide on the best pair for your specific set of needs.

There is a lot more to hiking pants than meets the eye – especially if you’re a beginner who doesn’t know what to look for. You’ll need to consider not only the material and the size but also added features like gussets, compartment pockets, zip-off legs, and much more. The perfect pair will depend on you and your style, as well as the conditions you plan to brave on your hike.

Read on for a comprehensive outline of the best hiking pants out there for men and women, with detailed pros, cons, and specs on each product.

Best Hiking Pants of 2021

Best Men’s Hiking Pants

Naturally, there are no rules when it comes to what hiking pants you buy. Men’s hiking pants can be for any gender. Just make sure you double-check the measurements before purchasing to avoid disappointment with the fit. 

Read on for a round-up of the best men’s hiking pants. 

Best Backpacking Pants for Men

1. LIVSN Flex Canvas Pants

Livsn Flex Canvas Pants

If you’re looking for pants you can wear backpacking, the LIVSN Flex Canvas pants are a superb choice. They’re versatile, functional, and durable too, made with sustainable EcoFlex Canvas fabric that won’t wear on your conscience. 

The structure of the pants is designed to pass the test of time, which means these babies are going to last you for years to come if you take good care of them. The pockets are reinforced with double bar tacks and mesh, not to mention the double stitching design throughout the pants for added strength and durability. 

LIVSN really went the extra mile with these hiking pants. The pants legs have reflective taping on them for hiking after dusk, and there’s even a leather washer behind the button for strength. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the Flex Canvas pants also have added layers of fabric stitched beneath the rear pockets to prevent wear and tear. 

Mobility is a given thanks to the flexible fabric. The waistband is contoured to the body to help the pants sit perfectly on the hips, and the knees are articulated to increase your range of motion. The crotch is also gusseted to prevent the fabric from ripping on steep climbs.

Pros

  • The fabric is quick-drying and ethically made 
  • Comes with a hidden inner security pocket 
  • Pockets are reinforced for durability 
  • Roll-up pants legs with reflective taping 

Cons

  • No DWR (durable water-resistant) finish 

LIVSN Flex Canvas Pants Specs:

Material58% organic cotton, 40% recycled polyester, 2% spandex
FitTapered
PocketsHidden security pocket, lower front pocket, thigh pockets, and rear pockets
WaistWaistband
Price$$

Best Overall Hiking Pants for Men

2. Arc’teryx Gamma LT Men’s Hiking Pants

Arcteryx Gamma LT Pants

The Arc’teryx Gamma LT pants are made of soft-shell fabric that will keep you cozy in winter and feel soft to the touch. The material has a good amount of stretch to it for challenging climbs, and the durable, water-resistant finish will keep you dry in the rain. 

These pants have plenty of mobility thanks to the adjustable belt and gusseted crotch, not to mention they’re incredibly lightweight. The zippered pockets will keep your valuables safe, and the zippered thigh pocket has more than enough room for bulky items. 

You can adjust the cuffs easily with the cord adjusters or adjust the built-in belt as needed. Another huge plus is the articulated patterning throughout the design. Where some pants in this list are only articulated in flex points, these pants offer an increased range of motion from belt to cuff. 

If you’re looking for something lightweight, stylish, and ultimately functional, the Arc’teryx Gamma LT pants are an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Brushed polyester waistband
  • Zippered fly closure
  • Adjustable webbing belt with metal buckle
  • Two zippered hand pockets; one zippered thigh pocket
  • Laminated hem 
  • Made with lightweight soft-shell fabric 

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Pants legs will be too short on tall people
  • Too warm for summer

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants Specs:

Material88% nylon/12% elastane
FitStraight
PocketsTwo zippered hand pockets and one zippered thigh pocket
WaistBrushed polyester
Price$$$

Best Budget Hiking Pants

3. prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pant

Prana Men's Zion Pants

The quick-drying nylon fabric of the prAna Stretch Zion pants makes them an excellent choice for any outdoor activity. You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but these hiking pants have plenty of give, so much so that you can even do yoga in them or a session at the climbing gym. The gussets and stretch fabric give you more than enough range of motion, making these pants super versatile for any kind of workout. 

The abrasion resistance in the fabric makes the Prana pants extremely durable. If you’re doing a tough climb on rocky mountains, you won’t need to worry about any ripping or damage. There are also dual entry cargo pockets, which are a huge help when you’re hanging cliffside and need to wriggle your phone or equipment out of your pocket. 

These pants aren’t the most stylish of the bunch. However, they’re excellent outdoor pants and offer a lot in the way of functionality. The adjustable waistband and built-in belt also help give these pants a comfy fit on the hips. 

Pros

  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Made from quick-drying fabric with DWR finish 
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Ventilated inseam gussets
  • Dual entry cargo pockets
  • Roll-up leg snaps

Cons

  • Minimal ventilation 
  • Only a few pocket zippers
  • Some users may not like the bagginess around the ankles 

prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pants Specs

Material:Nylon
Fit:Regular
Pockets:Two dual-entry cargo pockets
Waist:Adjustable
Price:$$

Best Lightweight Hiking Pants

4. Arc’teryx Lefroy Men’s Pants

These pants are lightweight, comfy, and breathable. The Lefroy pants come with articulated flex points and a gusseted crotch for added mobility.  

Arc'Teryx Lefroy Pants

The nylon and elastane Aequora AirPerm fabric is air-permeable, which means any moisture or sweat will dry up quickly. For hiking on a hot day or camping in the rain, that’s certainly good news. 

The Lefroy pants have a slim-fit design that may be too narrow for some body types, but they are undoubtedly a stylish pair of pants. The tapered style also makes these pants ideal for athletic performance as they’re not bulky or heavy. 

The pants come with five pockets, as well as a belt with a metal buckle to keep them securely on your hips. 

Another bonus with these Arc’teryx pants is that they are BLUESIGN certified. This means that the product adhered to strict ethical standards from the start of production right to the finished product. If you like to focus on environmentally friendly and socially conscious clothing, these pants are for you. 

Pros

  • Made from air-permeable fabric that dries quickly for ultimate comfort
  • Numerous pockets
  • Fashionable, tapered slim-fit design
  • Comfortable 

Cons

  • The tapered fit is too narrow for steep climbs 
  • The belt buckle isn’t adjustable enough 
  • Quite pricey 

Arc’teryx Lefroy Pants Specs

Material:86% nylon/14% elastane
Fit:Slim
Pockets:Two mesh-lined hand pockets, two rear pockets, one zippered thigh pocket
Waist:Built-in belt
Price:$$$

Best Convertible Hiking Pants

5. KÜHL Renegade Kargo Convertible Hiking Pants

These versatile hiking pants from KÜHL can be either shorts or long pants. Just zip off the pants legs at the knees, and you’re good to go. This is an excellent option in terms of functionality and packing space, saving you the hassle of taking two pairs of pants with you. The nylon fabric is more than durable enough to last a few years, which is a huge bonus, too.

Kuhl Renegade

The Kuhl Renegade pants also have a gusseted crotch for better movement, as well as articulated knees. If you’re not familiar, articulating pants basically means using more fabric on the front panel than the back. This gives your knees more room to move about, which comes in handy when you’re climbing steep hills or rocks. 

You’ll be well protected against the natural elements thanks to the tough, water-repellent fabric of the pants. Besides being practical, these hiking pants are also comfortable and roomy, with plenty of space for your valuables in their numerous pockets. 

You can adjust the ankle snaps and zips at the bottom of the pants legs as needed. This helps if you have bulky hiking boots you want to cover to protect your ankles from scratches and irritation if you’re walking in long grass. You can also open the zippers for better ventilation if you need to. Basically, the guys at Kuhl thought of everything! 

Pros

  • Pants-and-shorts combo
  • Durable fabric to protect against the elements 
  • Adjustable ankle snaps and zippers 
  • Finished with a water-repellent coating 
  • Numerous pockets 

Cons

  • Some buyers have mentioned trouble with the button coming undone on its own
  • Not the most stylish of hiking pants but extremely practical 

KÜHL Renegade Kargo Convertible Pants Specs

Material:Duralux (95% nylon, 5% spandex)
Fit:Slim
Pockets:Two front, two back, two cargo
Waist:Belt loops
Price:$$

Best Winter Hiking Pants

6. Marmot Winter Trail Pants

If you’re looking for the best outdoor pants for winter, look no further than the Marmot pants. These sleek, stylish hiking pants will keep you warm in winter without absorbing sweat. The moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabric will keep you fresh even on an arduous hike, and the brushed interiors feel soft to the touch for added comfort. 

Marmot Winter Trail Pants

For a full range of motion, the pants have a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, as well as plenty of storage space for your valuables. Beyond the functionality of these pants, the Marmot Winter Trail pants are also sleek and stylish. The dark color and slim fit are flattering, and the pants could easily pass for daywear. 

The cuffs hang pretty low on the ankle, which is certainly a bonus if you’re going to go out bushwhacking in the cold. Experienced hikers will know that a draft up the pants leg is no way to stay warm. That said, the fabric on the Marmo pants is breathable, providing plenty of ventilation and air during your hike. 

If you’re concerned about how your travel gear is made, there’s no need to worry with the Marmot pants. The fabric contains recycled materials, and Marmot is a more than reputable brand. The fabric is also durable and robust, and these pants should last you for a good few years of fun outdoor adventures. 

Pros

  • Made from breathable, soft-shell fabric that repels moisture 
  • Brush interiors are soft on the skin
  • Articulated knees and gusseted crotch for mobility 
  • Two zippered back pockets, two zippered hand pockets, and one thigh pocket 
  • Stylish and affordable

Cons

  • Not suitable for warm weather conditions

Marmot Winter Trail Pants Specs

Material:Softshell
Fit:Slim
Pockets:Zippered hand pockets, back pockets and a thigh pocket
Waist:Standard
Price:$$

Best Women’s Hiking Pants

Keep reading for a round-up of the six best hiking pants for women. The products below will cover everything from lightweight hiking pants to convertible hiking pants and much, much more. 

Best Backpacking Pants

7. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Women’s Pants 

Research Ferrosi

Lightweight, comfortable, and durable to boot, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi softshell pants are well-liked in the hiking community. While the fabric is quite thin (perhaps too thin for extreme cold), the pants are wind and water-resistant. The cuffs can also be pulled closed, which helps on windy days up on a mountain trail. 

The softshell nylon makes it easy to move around in these pants, and there’s plenty of stretch to the fabric. This makes the Ferrosi pants ideal for numerous activities, whether it’s a short day hike or a long, arduous excursion. 

If you’re looking for a reliable pair of high-quality outdoor pants for backpacking, these may be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re durable, flexible, and functional, and the material breathes well if you wear them out on a hot day. 

Outdoor Research is a reputable brand that’s super popular amongst hikers, so you can rest assured you’ll be getting the best of the best with the Ferrosi pants. 

Pros

  • The ripstop fabric helps with resistance on rough rocks
  • Wind and water resistance helps protect against poor weather conditions
  • Adjustable cuffs and drawstring help keep the draft and wind out
  • Articulated knees help with mobility and range of motion 

Cons

  • Fit around the waist is quite loose 
  • The thin fabric isn’t the best for cold winter weather
  • Pockets aren’t particularly deep; you can only store a few small items in them

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants Specs

Material:l90D ripstop (86% nylon, 14% spandex)
Fit:Standard
Pockets:Two hand pockets, one zippered leg pocket, two zippered rear pockets
Waist:Brushed tricot waistband
Price:$$

Best Overall Hiking Pants

8. Vuori Ripstop Women’s Hiking Pants 

Vuori Ristop Pants

If you’re looking for something functional and fashionable, these hiking pants might be the ones for you. The Vuori Ripstop pants come in five different colors, each as stylish as the last. They also have two hand pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered cargo pocket, so you’ll have plenty of room for your essentials. 

The ripstop fabric the pants are made of is extremely hard-wearing and durable. Keep in mind, though, that the pants are relatively heavy because of it. 

One thing that sets the Vuori pants apart from the rest is the easy transition from activewear to daywear. Thanks to the fashionable, slim design and neutral colors, you could easily do a coffee shop run after your hike without feeling out of place in your workout clothes. 

The slim fit might be too small for some, so take a careful look at the measurements before you purchase these hiking pants. 

Pros

  • Gusseted crotch for extra mobility
  • Drawcord to secure the fit 
  • Functional and versatile 
  • Zippered back and leg pockets
  • 2-way stretch ripstop fabric for rough climbing terrains

Cons

  • Slim fit and tapered leg may not suit all body types
  • The fabric has limited mobility and isn’t suitable for steep climbs
  • Fairly tight waistband and low-rise fit 

Vuori Ripstop Pants Specs

Material:98% cotton/2% elastane
Fit:Standard
Pockets:Zippered back and leg pockets
Waist:Low-waisted
Price:$$

Best Budget Hiking Pants

9. Backcountry Double Dyno Climb Jogger

Double Dyno

The Backcountry Double Dyno Climb Joggers are top-tier when it comes to comfort, providing a go-to jogger perfect for cold climates and windy days. The fabric is made out of a hybrid of spandex and synthetic materials to give it loads of mobility and stretch. These are a great pair of hiking pants for aggressive climbers who need lots of give in their hiking gear. 

There are three pockets on the pants, which is not many, but they are harness-compatible, which is harder to find in good hiking pants. The slim, active fit is functional and straightforward, and the pants come in four fun colors. 

The best part of these pants is undoubtedly the waist area. Backcountry uses an encased elastic waistband for ultimate comfort that can adjust quickly to different sizing. The crotch area is also gusseted for added range of motion, which means less wear and tear over the years, too. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great for aggressive climbers
  • Three harness-compatible pockets for your essentials 
  • Jogger cuffs for extra comfort 

Cons

  • Limited pockets and only one back pocket 
  • Fabric wrinkles easily

Backcountry Double Dyno Climb Jogger Specs

Material:65% Cordura, 30% nylon, 5% spandex
Pockets:Two hand pockets, one rear pocket
Waist:Encased elastic
Gusseted Crotch:Integrated
Price:$$

Best Lightweight Hiking Pants 

10. Norrøna Bitihorn Lightweight Slim Fit Hiking Pants

Norrona Bitihorn Pants

Another eco-friendly pair of hiking pants made with BLUESIGN certified fabric, the Norrøna Bitihorn pants are extremely breathable and lightweight. These hiking pants are perfect for the summer months when you need something light and breezy to work up a sweat in. The pocket ventilation will keep you cool, and the wind-protective coating will protect you from the elements, too. 

If you’re a serious hiker or climber, you’ll be delighted to use the gaiter hook at the bottom of each pants leg. These are used to hook your cuffs onto the laces of your hiking boots, which will protect your ankles from any long grass or thorns. There are also low-profile snaps on the waist to help keep the pants secure during your hike. 

The mid-rise, slim-fit design is sleek and stylish for men and women and can easily transition from activewear to daywear. While the Norrona pants certainly aren’t cheap, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck with the added features that make this product super durable and functional. 

Pros

  • Made with BLUESIGN certified, eco-friendly fabric 
  • Knees and pants seat come with durable stretch panels to prevent wear and tear
  • Very breathable fabric
  • Ventilation in the thigh pockets
  • Comes with an integrated gaiter hook 
  • Low-profile snaps in the waist 
  • Wind-protective and quick-drying

Cons

  • Expensive

Norrøna Bitihorn Lightweight Pants Specs

Material:Nylon
Pockets:Slim
Waist:Hand pockets, rear pockets, and thigh pocket
Gusseted Crotch:Adjustable
Price:$$$

Best Convertible Hiking Pants 

11. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge

Durable, lightweight, and roomy, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are a great go-to option for any hike. You can easily unzip the pants legs to convert them to shorts, making them ideal for overnight trips with warm days and cold nights. They also come with a zip-closed security pocket for your cellphone or passport. 

Speaking of warm conditions, you won’t have to worry much about that with these Columbia pants. The Omni-Wick fabric helps pull moisture from the skin to help you stay comfortable, not to mention the UPF 50 protective coating from the sun. The ripstop nylon also helps with abrasion on rough climbing terrains.  

In terms of mobility, the pants have plenty of give thanks to the gusset details and partial elastic, adjustable waistband. Overall, the Columbia pants have a relaxed fit, perfect for outdoor adventures in the summertime. That said, the convertible feature makes them a versatile and practical choice for tons of different weather conditions. These are easily the best hiking pants for men. 

Pros

  • Pants-and-shorts combo
  • The fabric has built-in sun protection 
  • Plenty of storage for your valuables
  • Durable and versatile hiking pants 
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No water-resistant finish
  • The material is too thin for rugged terrains 
  • Ripstop fabric can limit mobility slightly, though this isn’t a problem when worn as shorts

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants Specs

Material:Ripstop nylon
Pockets:Relaxed
Waist:Zip-closed security pocket
Gusseted Crotch:Partial elastic with adjustable waistband
Price:$

Best Winter Hiking Pants 

12. REI Powerbound Insulated Snow Pants

REI Co-Op Powderbound Insulated Pants

The REI Powerbound Insulated Snow Pants are the perfect hiking pants for tough winter conditions. With synthetic insulation, a DWR finish, water-resistant lining, and lined pockets, you’ll be warm and cozy even in the coldest of weather in these snow pants. 

There is plenty of space in the pockets for your possessions and added features make these pants highly functional. The pant cuffs come with boot gaiters that are sealed to keep the snow out, not to mention the reinforced hems to make skiing and snowboarding that much easier. The pants also have articulated knees and a gusseted crotch for increased range of motion. 

For the eco-conscious hiker, there’s no need to worry. The REI Powerbound pants are made of recycled materials that are both BLUESIGN and Fair Trade certified, which means your conscience can rest easy. 

These pants were even field-tested in Argentina and wear-tested in Washington, so you can rest assured you’ll be more than warm enough. 

Pros

  • BLUESIGN and Fair Trade™ Certified
  • Water-resistant polyester lining
  • 40g synthetic insulation for extra warmth
  • Articulated knees and gusseted crotch for better range of motion
  • Waterproof and windproof finish deflects rain and snow

Cons

  • Pricey

REI Powerdbound Insulated Snow Pants Specs

Material:Nylon
Pockets:Standard
Waist:Zipped thigh pocket, side cargo pockets, and two zippered hand pockets
Gusseted Crotch:Adjustable
Price:$$$

Hiking Pants Buyers Guide | How to Choose the Right Pair

Hiking pants are no regular trousers. They’re an essential part of your hiking gear that need to protect you against the elements, stand the test of time, and shelter you from bad weather. 

Most hikers want their hiking gear to be durable and functional, yet versatile and comfortable, too. Then there is the question of how fashionable the pair of pants is and if the fit is suited to your body type. All in all, there is a lot to consider before you buy any old pair of hiking pants to add to your activewear collection. 

To help you pick the best hiking pants for your specific set of needs, read the comprehensive buyer’s guide for hiking pants below. By focusing on the buying points we’ve outlined, you can avoid disappointment and make sure you end up with the best pair of hiking pants for your specific buying criteria. 

Without further ado, here is an A-Z buyer’s guide to finding the best pants for hiking.

Materials and Fabric

Many avid hikers are sticklers when it comes to the eco-friendliness of the products they buy. It’s no surprise that outdoorsy folk want to know their clothing brands are adhering to sustainable and ethical standards, not just in the production process but in labor practices and sourcing as well. 

If this sounds like you, make sure you read the details of the fabric your hiking pants are made of. Most hiking pants are made of a combination of nylon, polyester, or spandex, while some also include ripstop fabric to prevent wear and tear. You can check if the fabric contains recycled materials, too. 

The very best of the sustainable fabrics out there are BLUESIGN certified, as mentioned above. To reiterate, BLUESIGN certified fabrics are ethically made with a focus on workplace safety and consumer protection. If your hiking pants are BLUESIGN certified, it will say so under the product description on the given website. 

Look out for the terms “moisture-wicking” and “quick-drying” in the product description of your prospective hiking pants. This means the fabric won’t hold onto any sweat or moisture, which will keep the pants from clinging to you when you become sweaty or get wet from the rain. Moisture-wicking is particularly useful as it pulls moisture from the skin to keep you dry. 

Whatever you do, avoid cotton at all costs. This is something of a golden rule when it comes to buying hiking gear. Cotton is no match for the cold and will become super sweaty and uncomfortable when worn in hot weather. 

Mobility and Comfort

Mobility is crucial when it comes to choosing the perfect hiking pants, as the wrong pair can be a headache to endure when you’re out climbing or walking. Remember that you need as much mobility as possible, as you’ll likely be walking on steep hills and working your legs into rather odd positions as you’re hiking. 

This is where clever sewing comes into play. For example, look out for gusseted crotches in your hiking pants. In sewing, a gusset is a triangular piece of fabric inserted in the in-seam to give tight-fitting clothes more room for movement. This also helps prevent wear and tear over the years, which is a plus for durability. 

Added features like ankle straps are great if you want to protect your ankles from long grass, poison ivy, or the cold. You can use them to clip your pants cuffs to your climbing shoes, which will keep any cold air from getting into the pants, too. 

Look for articulated knees if you’re planning on doing an aggressive or steep climb in your hiking pants. This sewing technique will give you more range of motion for difficult hikes and keep your pants from ripping and getting damaged over the years. 

Another important feature when it comes to comfort is the waist belt of your hiking pants. Some people prefer a low-rise design, while others want their pants to sit over their bellies to avoid cutting into the skin. 

You should also take note of the type of waistband of the pants. An elasticated waistband may be ideal for the moment, but keep in mind that they tend to stretch over time and become ill-fitting. A better option is an adjustable waist belt, perhaps something with a metal buckle. 

Hikers generally like their pants to come with built-in belts, as well, so they don’t have to go to the trouble of finding a separate belt. This also makes packing your gear slightly easier and less time-consuming. 

Weather Protection

Any serious hiker will know that weather protection from your gear is critical. You want to ensure you’re protected from the rain, the wind, and extremely hot weather, too. Look out for ‘DWR’ in the product descriptions. This refers to a “durable weather repellant” chemical finish on the fabric that will repel moisture to keep you as dry as possible when out in the elements. 

Something to keep in mind is that DWR coatings tend to wash off over time, especially if you put them in the laundry frequently. 

Look out for hiking pants with sun-protective fabrics, particularly those that have UPF coating. UPF stands for ‘ultraviolet protection factor’ and helps obstruct harmful UV rays from coming into contact with the skin. For long-time hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, it’s certainly a comfort to know that you’re doing your best to avoid any irreparable skin damage as you age.  

Versatility 

For some people, versatility is a very important factor when choosing the right pair of hiking pants. Some hikers want hiking pants they can wear to a coffee shop without feeling underdressed, which might explain the rise of the more fashionable slim-fit designs in recent years. 

Versatility isn’t only about fashion, however. Some hikers want their hiking pants to be perfect for both winter and summer hikes, which is why there are so many women’s and men’s convertible hiking pants on the market. 

Before you buy a pants-and-shorts combo, be sure to read the customer reviews carefully to find good hiking pants. While it’s great that you can zip off the pants legs, you want to make sure the zippers are good quality and don’t get stuck frequently. 

Ventilation and Breathability

Like the weather protection and mobility features, breathability and ventilation will play a significant role in determining how comfortable your hiking pants are in different conditions. Soft-shell fabric, for example, is excellent for cold conditions but wouldn’t do for summer hikes as the fabric doesn’t breathe all that well. 

In contrast, lightweight fabrics are highly breathable, making them ideal for summer hiking trips. You’ll also want to look out for ventilation on the ankle cuffs, in the pockets, along the upper legs, and in the crotch area. Basically, the more ventilation there is, the better the fabric is for summer outdoor wear. 

Stretchy spandex fabrics are generally a good choice if you want something breathable that doesn’t cling to the skin. And, of course, quick-drying and moisture-wicking fabrics will also aid in breathability. 

Storage

Pockets are essential when it comes to finding the right pair of hiking pants. Naturally, one pocket is simply never enough to carry your cell phone, car keys, and numerous other valuables. You’ll also want to ensure that the majority of the pockets are zippered to keep from anything slipping out during your climb. 

Cargo pockets are generally a great feature as they’re deep enough to hold big items. That said, you want a good balance of small and big pockets for multiple possessions you want to take with you. 

Some pockets are accessible from two directions which can be a huge help if you’re on a steep or aggressive climb. If you’re struggling to keep your balance and you desperately need to grab something out of your pocket, it certainly helps if you can access your things from two different places. 

Hidden inner pockets are also fantastic if you want to safely store your cell phone without worrying about it falling out of your pocket. These can sometimes come with mesh, too, which adds another layer of protection. 

Additional Features

There are countless other features to consider when buying your dream pair of hiking pants. Ankle straps, for example, will keep your ankles warm and protected from nature and also help keep the pants in place as you climb. 

If you’re planning on going climbing in your prospective hiking pants, look out for zippers that are harness-compatible. This can be a huge help if you need to clip your equipment to your hiking pants, especially if you’re running out of room in your backpack. 

Roll-up snaps on the pants legs are becoming more and more popular with hiking clothing brands, too. The snaps help keep your cuffs in place when you roll them up to hike through water or wet terrains and can be a huge help in keeping your hiking pants dry.

Look out for drawstring cords around the cuffs, too. These can be used to keep air and wind from creeping under your pants legs, and no one wants that. It’s these fine details that make the best hiking pants on the market extremely functional and comfortable. 

Some hiking pants are reinforced with extra fabric and durable sewing techniques to keep them from getting damaged over the years. Keep an eye out for things like articulated patterning and reinforced flex points, as these mean your hiking pants will be tougher than most other brands and less likely to get damaged from tough climbs. 

Style

If you’re torn between two pairs of great hiking pants, an easy deal-breaker could be which one is the most stylish. Some pants come in four or five different colors, which could help you make your decision a little easier. 

Then there is the issue of fit. Slim-fit designs are preferable for some, while others prefer the tapered look or even baggy pants with virtually no contour. It all depends on how you want to look in your hiking pants or if you’re more focused on functionality than fashion. 

You’ll also need to decide between the jogger look and the traditional pants style, as the former is stretchier than the latter. At the end of the day, the decision is entirely up to you. 

Buying hiking gear only gets easier with time, as you become familiar with the brands that work best for you. If you’re looking for reputable brands to try out, you can read this post on the best travel clothing brands for men and women

Final Thoughts on Best Hiking Pants

There are countless high-quality hiking pants out there for you to choose from, offering everything from the most basic joggers to elaborate and multi-featured climbing pants. Whether you’re looking for winter or summer hiking gear, there’s definitely something on this list for you. 

Hopefully, the detailed buying guide will also help you make consumer-savvy decisions in the future when you’re on the hunt for the best pair of hiking pants on the market. If you’re ever lost, simply turn to the buying guide in this post for some tips and tricks on buying the right pair for you. 

For more inspiration on hiking gear and purchasing the most suitable clothing for hiking, you can read the additional articles below. 

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Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today. You can read more about Jeremy at his bio.

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