This review discusses the best hiking pants currently on the market.
The right hiking pants are your legs’ first line of defence against the elements.
Whether you opt for something convertible or not, certain factors should not be omitted. Choosing which pants to set off in should definitely be a mindful decision, and we’ve got some pointers for you to help with that.
We have included our favorites for both genders, as well as the budget conscious. We also review a fleece lined option, for colder weather adventures. We’ve got you, and your legs covered.
The prAna Stretch Zion Pant sports both, good looks and great function. With a casual fit, it looks good both on and off the trails. While they are not fully convertible, having the option to roll up the hems and keep them in place with snap fasteners is very handy when traversing shallow streams and muddy terrain. A great addition to your hiking ensemble.
Take a look at the comparison table below before moving on, it might help you make a quick decision based on the most important specs.
prAna Stretch Zion
Best for Men
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex
Best for Women
97% Nylon, 3% Spandex
BenBoy Outdoor Fleece
Best for Cold Conditions
100% Soft-shell Polyester
Free Soldier Fleece Lined
Best for Cold Weather
94% Polyester, 6% Spandex
White Sierra Trail Convertible
We give the prAna Stretch Zion pants a 5 out of 5 and this puts it on top of our list of best hiking pants.
Made from prAna’s innovative ‘Zion’ fabric, a nylon and spandex blend, this offers the durability you would expect and need from nylon, and the stretchiness of spandex, resulting in a product that’s comfortable; soft against the skin; yet lightweight and strong.
There’s another added benefit to selecting the Stretch Zion pants though. prAna are all about sustainability.
The company’s goal: creating clothing that respects the planet and its people.
And so, you too can join the movement and do your bit when you add these Stretch Zion Hiking pants to your wardrobe.
We like the prAna Stretch Zion Pant as it sports both good looks and great function. With a casual fit, it looks good both on and off the trails. While they are not fully convertible, having the option to roll up the hems and keep them in place with snap fasteners is very handy when traversing shallow streams and muddy terrain. A great addition to your hiking ensemble.
With prAna’s track record as a leading apparel manufacturer, we love that prAna has a great range of hiking pants for women too.
prAna are known for producing top quality garments sustainably, so Tilley LTM6 pants are not only packed with functionality, they are also the greener option, and you can wear them, knowing that your choice, is making a difference.
We have selected the Halle as the top pick for women. Made of the ‘Zion’ nylon and spandex blend, you have a fabric that’s soft to the touch, but durable enough to endure a day out on the trails and all that it entails. The prAna Halle is DWR treated and is factored for up to UPF 50 sun protection.
The Halle is mid-rise, ensuring you can bend and move around without any embarrassment of the pants riding too low and being too revealing. It also features a flattering bootleg cut with a relaxed fit.
This Halle is a great example of clever design. With the boot leg cut, not only is it more flattering, the wider hem also hangs over your hiking boots rather than bunching up around the ankles. The pants can also be rolled up and clipped into place to become a cute, but still functional pair of capris.
The BenBoy Outdoor Winter Hiking Pants is waterproof; windproof and fleece lined making it the perfect choice for winter outdoor adventures like skiing, snowboarding and hiking.
Featuring a lightweight polyester shell that’s won’t pill, and a soft fleece inner that’s treated for static, these pants are sure to keep you comfortably warm and dry.
The BenBoy pants are a slim fit, allowing a warm yet non-bulky or restrictive feel. With clever construction tricks like a gusseted knee and additional darts in the knee area, mobility is not an issue. Available in a variety of colors including a bright pink for good visibility in the snow, these Women’s Cargo Fleece pants is our top choice for women in the cold weather gear category.
Warm weather apparel often equals big bulky gear, but with the BenBoy Fleece cargo pants, this is not the case. In these you are free to move around, while staying warm and dry.
These fleece-lined pants from Free Soldier are a great alternative to wearing multiple layers when the temperature drops. We like that they are still lightweight enough to not feel restrictive.
With its water repellent outer shell and a soft fleece inner layer, this is the perfect example of function meets comfort.
The outer layer shrugs off the rain, snow and wind, while the inner layer holds in your body heat. It’s also warm and soft against the skin, making it that much more comfortable to put on.
With 4 colors and two length options to choose from, these fleece lined hiking pants will be a great addition to your hiking gear.
For cold and wet adventures, these fleece lined pants will keep you warm and dry. They are loose enough to wear a base layer underneath if necessary, but under most conditions, these are more than sufficient to keep you comfortable, without feeling clammy.
With the focus on affordable quality, White Sierra makes good quality outdoor apparel for the weekend enthusiast and the everyday outdoor fanatic.
The Trail Convertible Pants fit this bill perfectly and it is an award winning product. With a classic design, It is fully convertible and made from Teflon coated Nylon.
These pants will shrug off dirt and repel water. They are fully machine washable and dry quickly, perfect for multi day use.
Featuring a clever expandable leg opening, and lots of usable pockets, these pants are a great choice, packed with features but without a hefty price tag.
The White Sierra convertible hiking pants is a timeless classic with smart features. The expandable leg opening makes it possible to convert the pants to shorts without having to take your boots off. Available in a range of colors, it’s possible to have a few of these in your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Below are the features you should keep an eye out for when exploring which trekking pants suits you best.
Nylon is the most common fabric used in hiking pants, as it offers great durability while allowing the skin to breath. Lightweight, it is usually blended with something like spandex that will give stretch, which is great for fit, and mobility. The elasticity added by spandex also allows the fabric to hang better, and be more wrinkle resistant.
Also consider the weather, a thicker fabric or one that is fleece lined will provide better protection from the wind and generally keep you warmer.
Most fabrics undergo various treatments to prevent rips; shrug off water; offer UV protection or even repel insects. These are definite plusses and you should look out for them.
Terms often used include: DWR - Durable Water Repellent; TEFLON coated - for shrugging off dirt; Omni-Wick - moisture wicking, ripstop - a technique applied during weaving that strengthens the fabric, making it more resistant to ripping and tearing.
With the unpredictability of weather, having the option to convert your pants into shorts is a handy 2 in 1, saving you packing space. Bear in mind though, that once you’ve unzipped them, you have to carry them around, and try not to lose them.
A roll up pant is convenient when you don’t necessarily want to wear shorts, it just keeps your pant hems out of the water and mud in wetter terrain.
If the construction of the pants includes articulated knees and a gusset built into the crotch, it increases the range of mobility when walking and bending. This is especially useful when climbing.
We’ve all experienced the frustration of needing something on the trail, and then realizing it’s in your pack.
When it comes to pockets, more is not necessarily best though. Look for pockets that are deep enough to be useful. Also they should have zip or hook and loop fasteners to make sure the contents don’t fall out.
When trying on pants, also load up the pockets and test the fit and comfort once the pockets are filled.
Most hiking pants will have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating which means water will bead on the surface rather than soak through.
This is in most cases sufficient to keep you dry and comfortable without having to add an additional outer shell.
We are all built differently so having an integrated belt is very handy allowing you to adjust the fit as needed without having to worry about packing a separate belt.
Manufacturers often offer a range of fits to suit individual preferences. A relaxed fit is looser and more casual; it also offers the ability to wear a base layer under your pants if necessary.
A slim fit will create a sleeker silhouette, but your ability to move around might be restricted somewhat.
We recommend you try out what’s available to see what suits you.