Best Hiking Pants – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024

When it comes to hiking in different weather conditions and terrains, you probably need to look at different pants for every occasion. Always remember the layering rule for packing for your trek: pack base layer pants, rain-proof pants and some fleece-lined pants for trekking any serious mountain.

But finding hiking pants which can work in different temperatures without using a layering system - even better. Below are some of the best hiking pants that do just that and more. 

Best Hiking Pants (Top Picks)

Best Overall (Men)

prAna Stretch Zion Pants

prAna Stretch Zion Pants II Dark Iron 38 36

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Best Overall (Women)

Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo

prAna Women's Standard Halle Pant, Coal, 4

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Top Hiking Pants (Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 20 hiking pants for this article. Below are the best hiking pants that made our short list.

  1. PrAna Stretch Zion Pants - Best Overall for Men
  2. Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo - Best Overall for Women
  3. BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Fleece
  4. Free Soldier Men’s Fleece Lined
  5. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants - Best Value

Read our complete buyers guide for the best hiking pants.

Best Overall Hiking Pants

1. prAna Stretch Zion Pants

prAna Stretch Zion Pants II Dark Iron 38 36

4.3/5 Overall Rating

Made from prAna’s innovative ‘Zion’ fabric, a nylon and spandex blend, Stretch Zion 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 of 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.

Available at:

Main Features
  • ‘Zion’ Fabric with water repellant finish
  • Ventilated inseam gusset
  • Roll-up leg snaps
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Cinch Belt System with adjustable waistband
  • Mesh pockets and angled dual-entry cargo pocket for easier access
What we like
  • Comfortable
  • Very durable
  • Quick-drying and machine-washable
  • Crease resistant
  • Water repellant
  • Available in many different colors and lengths
What we dislike
  • Sizing and length discrepancies between colors
  • Pockets are quite shallow
Key Takeaway

The prAna Stretch Zion 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.

2. Tilley Endurables LTM6 Airflo

prAna Women's Standard Halle Pant, Coal, 4

5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Stretch ‘Zion’ DWR treated fabric
  • Button front fly
  • Articulated knees for mobility
  • Rollup leg feature (mid calf)
  • Hidden zip stash pocket
  • Relaxed fit with boot leg cut
  • Midrise
  • UPF 50 Sun protection
What we like
  • Comfortable
  • Three inseam length options available
  • Drawstring for adjustable fit
  • Warm and breathable
  • Quick-drying
  • Wide arrange of colors
What we dislike
  • Hand wash only
  • Small pockets
  • Baggy
Key Takeaway

These Tilley LTM6 pants are 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.

3. BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Fleece

BenBoy Women's Outdoor Waterproof Windproof Fleece Slim Cargo Snow Ski Hiking Pants,Black Small

4.5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Available at:
Main Features
  • 100% Soft-shell polyester& antistatic-treated
  • Multiple pockets with zip closures
  • Adjustable waistband with belt
  • Gusseted knee for ease of movement
  • High waisted to allow bending without worrying about showing off your underwear
What we like
  • Very warm
  • Great moisture-wicking 
  • Slim fit
What we dislike
  • Most of the pockets are very small with finicky zips
  • Due to slim fit, not possible to wear base layers unless you size up
Key Takeaway

Warm weather apparel often equals big bulky gear, but with the BenBoy cargo pants, this is not the case. In these you are free to move around, while staying warm and dry.

4. Free Soldier Men’s Fleece Lined

FREE SOLDIER Men's Fleece Lined Outdoor Cargo Hiking Pants Water Repellent Softshell Snow Ski Pants with Zipper Pockets (Army Green 36W x 31L)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

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.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Anti Static fleece lining, with superior moisture wicking
  • Outer surface is a Polyester / Spandex blend, treated to repel water
  • 5 pockets, all with secure YKK zipper closures
  • Front zip fly
  • Side elastic waistband for better fit
  • Belt loops but no integrated belt
What we like
  • Solid construction
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Great water resistance
  • Durable
What we dislike
  • No articulated knee
  • Take a while to dry
Key Takeaway

For cold and wet adventures, fleece-lined pants from Free Soldier 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.

5. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Pant, Delta, 30W x 30L

4/5 Overall Rating

With the focus on affordable quality, Columbia makes good quality outdoor apparel for the weekend enthusiast and the everyday outdoor fanatic.

The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants fit this bill perfectly and it is an award winning product. With a lightweight and comfortable design, they are the perfect choice for hiking!

The unique Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric offers maximum protection against the sun, and Omni-Wick technology pulls moisture away to keep you cool and dry.

These durable cargo pants have one zip-closure security pocket and side pockets that use a hook and loop closure. It also features mesh pocket bags for extra convenience! They are a great pants choice and they don't break the bank.

Main Features
  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 Fabric
  • Omni-Wick technology removes moisture
  • One zip-closure security pocket
  • Machine washable
  • Pockets with hook and loop closure
  • Mesh pocket bags
What we like
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
What we dislike
  • Sizing a bit on the small side
  • Pockets are small
Key Takeaway

The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants is a timeless classic with smart features. Available in a range of colors, it’s possible to have a few of these in your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Hiking Pants - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

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.

Convertible vs Non-Convertible

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.

Articulated Knees and Gussets

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.

Water Resistance

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.

Integrated Belts

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.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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