Best Hiking Pants Reviewed & Tested
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Let's take a moment and go through some of our pant choices. The full pant is just what it says it is, a full legged pant that is designed to be comfortable, unrestricted, and hard-wearing. They are easy to pull on and off with a useful closure around the waist, some are drawstring, others button and some offer a combination of zippers and buttons. It is advisable to look for the mesh vented pants in areas liable to heat build-up, for instance in the crotch or even behind your knees. These are great when the weather is warm.
If it’s cooler, then a more appropriately designed pant will be the way to go. These are often slightly thicker and can come treated with a water-repellent coating. They can protect you from moisture and also reduce abrasions on your legs, whether these standard pants are either designed as hot weather or cold weather pants; they will provide you with just the right amount of protection and ventilation for maximum comfort.
A variation on the standard pant design is the easily convertible pant. These have a handy zipper partway down the leg; allowing the bottoms to be removed when the going gets hot and you want more ventilation. This type of pant is quite useful when you’re on a long hike because it is two different pairs of comfortable legwear in one. They can also help wade through shallow water.
If you don’t want the slightly heavier convertible hiking pants, there are also handy roll-up designs on the market. These often have buttons and snaps which allow you to roll them up as high (or low) as you choose and are even more comfortable than the zippered convertibles because you don’t need to remove any footwear when shortening or lengthening them.
When you think of good clothing materials to go hiking in, you probably first think of cotton. It’s light, comfortable and soft to wear - all good points, but cotton can soak up moisture and sweat, which not only makes it heavier; it can lead to uncomfortable chills when the temperature drops. Synthetic materials are by far superior for the production of hiking pants, they will be soft, lightweight and will often benefit from being moisture wicking - keeping you more comfortable for longer. Techwick is a great material for this purpose and has the versatility of being suitable to use as a base layer as well as a stand-alone product.
Another great material is Merino wool. This is produced from Merino sheep and has most of the benefits of synthetic materials. It also has an excellent wicking quality that will reduce both moisture and odor; that has to be a benefit when you’re out in all weathers working up a sweat. This too is suitably used on its own or as a base layer when your hike is in colder temperatures.
There are also some pants these days that have built-in bug resistance, and that's something to think about. We're not sure how adventurous you might be in your hiking, but if you're heading out into the wilds, this might be more than just a good idea. And even if you're messing around in the backyard keeping the bugs at bay is always a good idea.
Here are a few pointers that can make the difference between a comfortable or uncomfortable hike. It’s probably better to choose a suitable form fit for your hiking pants if you choose tight pants there is a risk of chafing, and they can restrict your free movement which can only be a negative on a good hike.
Loose-fitting hiking pants can also be less advisable to wear due to the excess material. They will be more substantial, they may catch on plants and rocks and can soak up and hold moisture which will eventually end up making you cold and potentially spoil your hike. An excellent benefit to look out for when you’re searching for the ideal pair of hiking pants is the addition of spandex to the material base. The spandex will give more comfort over extended use because it allows for some stretch in the pants, this is useful especially for hiking because you will probably hike up and down terrains and the give provided by the spandex will give you more of a free climb up or down.
One thing that you should think about is making sure there's a smooth waist to any pants that you buy, especially if you're planning on taking a backpack with you. That last thing you want is the bottom of your pack, rubbing against bunched up or uneven material on the waist of your pants. That's going to hurt, a lot, and the farther you go, the more it's going to hurt.
Best Hiking Pants
1. prAna Stretch Zion Pant
These prAna Stretch Zion pants are designed to get outdoors. The designated rise is just below the waist with a standard, roomy fit and adjustable waistband, roll-up legs with snaps and a cargo pocket. These pants will serve you well out on the trails no matter what kind of weather or obstacles come your way. And, they will be comfortable the whole time.
Water-repellent and abrasion-resistant fabric
These pants are made with tough fabric. They have to be if they’re going to be on a list for being the best for hiking. These pants from prAna are treated to be water-repellent so that when it rains or you come in contact with water, you won’t be uncomfortable in wet pants. Likewise, when you’re traversing through the brush, these pants won’t tear or fray by catching on branches or bushes. Last snippet about how these pants are treated to serve you: they also are rated with UPF 50+ sun protection.
Ventilated and breathable
When you’re out hiking, you want to be comfortable and cool; especially if the temperatures begin to spike. These pants feature a roll-tab with snaps on each leg so that you can convert them into a short length to get some air. Also, these hiking pants have a ventilated gusset.
Cost And Value
Roll them up, pack them up, take them anywhere. These prAna stretch hiking pants are easy to wear wherever you are looking to hike. Because they are so well-designed, they are a bit pricey. But, we think the price is worth it. Also, the price range does vary depending on size, style, and color. Still, these pants are going to be a great addition to your hiking gear.
2. Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants
The Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants are some of the ultimate hiking and trekking pants out there. When it comes to a rugged pair of pants that move with you, you can’t go wrong with a pair like these. So, if you are looking to up your gear for rugged hiking, mountaineering or hunting, consider this pair of pants.
These pants feature reinforcement at the rear and the knees, which makes them extra durable. That is why these pants are perfect for rugged activity. These places on the pants are areas that see a lot of wear and tear and with other less durable pants might rip under activity. The Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants can take the beating.
These pants allow you to wear them as long pants, convertible pants or rolled up. Depending on your activity or the temperature, you can customize the fit of these pants to keep you comfortable, protected or freed up to move better.
Cost And Value
These pants are definitely pricey, but they are also definitely worth it. They have a lot of features for storage, solid closure and are overall made really well so that you don’t have to worry about needing to replace them often. The durable fabric, versatility, and style make them worth the investment in your hiking gear pack.
3. Match Wild
Bringing a bit of balance to the list is Match Men’s Wild Cargo Pants, a fantastic overall choice. Their fit is natural, leading to better customer experience.
The Most Colors Available
Variety is what makes this one of the best choices for hiking. There are over 40 colors to choose from, all with their own specific details.
Unique Cotton Design
These pants are 100 percent cotton unlike most of the other pants on our list that are synthetic or a blend of fabrics. We have our issues with cotton but there's no beating the warmth and comfort of 100 percent cotton.
Cost And Value
The price remains low for this specific model of pants and is a good reason why it is a customer favorite. With good value, to begin with, you can expect to come back for some more pairs with different colors.
4. Columbia Silver Ridge
Columbia makes the list again, this time within the top three. Their convertible model lives up to its name and is one of the more stylized options for hiking pants.
The Best Looking
No other pair of pants on this best hiking pants list can compare to the looks of the Silver Ridge Convertible. They have plenty of color choices to cement the look which promotes purchasing multiple pairs at once.
Added Sun Protection
These 100 percent nylon pants allow the manufacturers to add UPF 50 sun protection which gives these pants even more value than just as a solid hiking pant.
Cost And Value
The price goes from low to mid-high depending on the size and color, making it the most expensive but not by a lot. For both cold and hot climates, this is the ultimate value for customers.
Available in black and black/red, these pants will surprise a lot of users that are used to traditional hiking pants. No matter what your size, they go on smooth and offer next-level protection when outdoors.
Great Size Choices
From small to 4XL, there is a size for everyone. And for additional help, the sizes also come with weight recommendations.
Sure to Keep you Warm
These pants are made of 75% synthetic material designed to hold in heat. In addition, they are thermo lined and water-repelling, making them the perfect pant for a cold damp hike.
Cost And Value
No matter what size or color you use the price will be low. With a little bit of experimenting buyers will find this is a very comfortable pair of hiking pants.
6. Arctix SnowSports
One of the premier high-end brands comes from Arctix with their SnowSports Cargo Pants. There are more than enough features to make this one of the best and to keep customers coming back for more.
Keeping the elements out of your pants is important during harsh temperatures. So when it is cold outside you can depend on these pants to keep you warm.
These pants come with a great little feature of boot Gaiters with grippers. This helps keep the warm air in, and the wet out.
Cost And Value
With all of the options considered, it comes in low and can end up being mid-high priced when you look at the deeper end. For cold climates, there will be a lot of use for these types of hiking pants.
7. CQR Assault
There are sixteen total colors that can be bought, and they all look great. But the strength of these hiking pants is not in the myriad of colors and is more about their strength.
Not just the pants, but the buttons and zippers are made to withstand damage. They are made of high-density metal alloy so will be the last thing on the pants to give you problems.
Easy to Clean
These pants are made with Duratex which made to repel the dirt, damp, and all kinds of messes that you'll come across during a hike. The pants themselves are also a comfortable 65% polyester 35% cotton mix.
Cost And Value
Low priced, buyers won’t have any issues paying for multiple pairs of these. The value will depend on how accurate the sizes are for your particular body.
8. White Sierra Trail
Hiking pants don’t have to be all utility, so it’s nice when companies add in a little flair. White Sierra went the extra mile with this pair by giving users a lot of choices with their purchase.
Available colors are bark, caviar, stone, dark sage, sage, and deep lichen green. They are all vibrant in colors and perfect for buyers that desire good looking hiking pants.
These pants are designed to keep all the bad stuff from negatively affecting your hike. Not only are they packed with UPF Sun protection but they are fully water repellent.
Cost And Value
Depending on the color and size, buyers will be looking at a low to average price. Since they are convertible pants, the value is big.
9. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants
These Outdoor Research Ferrosi convertible pants are about to be your go-to pair all-year-round. Cooler months? Keep them as pants. Warmer months? Zipper off the bottoms with the zip-off feature and now you have a reliable pair of shorts. Because these pants are comfortable, stretchy so that you can move and are convertible, they are the ideal travel pants, hiking pants, and everyday-wear pants.
These pants feature stretchy material that is designed to let you move. These pants won’t hold you back. Whether you are interested in hiking, walking or running, these are pants that will move with you. The stretchy fabric is also breathable and abrasion-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about being too rough. These can withstand the beating.
Versatile for hot days
Again, the zip-off feature makes these pants ideal for when the weather gets hotter. Simply zipper off the bottom portion and now you have shorts. Also, these pants have a UPF 50+ sun protection rating.
Cost And Value
These are another pair that the price range depends on the size and style that you choose. However, we still believe that they are a great investment because of their versatility, durability, and construction. These pants will be great on your next hike, walk or if you simply want a comfortable pair of everyday pants.
10. Columbia Royce Peak
Combining some of the finest elements in hiking pants have helped the Royce Peak model become popular over the years. It is built to last and has a design that makes sense in everyday casual wear.
Using a combination of 96% nylon and 4% elastane, the overall comfort level is great. This is one pair of hiking pants that you won’t need to worry about failing the longevity test.
You may not think that you're going to need UPF sun protection with a pair of hiking pants but we for one appreciate Columbia's commitment to keeping us safe and comfortrable.
Cost And Value
Depending on the size, the price will be somewhere between the low and average range. Due to the quality of the materials, there is plenty of value in purchasing this product.