Apr '23

The Top Picks for the Best Hiking Pants

Table of Contents

Performance hiking pants are crucial for anyone who has experienced the discomfort of getting caught in a rainstorm, tearing their inseam while resting on a rock, or being attacked by mosquitoes when the wind calms down. However, with a plethora of options available, from casual day hikes to climbing, selecting the appropriate pair can be perplexing. To alleviate the confusion, we have compiled a list of the best hiking pants currently on the market.

Baleaf Women’s Quick-dry Water-resistant Lightweight Hiking Pants

The Baleaf Women’s Hiking Pants are not only visually appealing with a range of color options but also affordable. These pants are easy to adjust for optimal fit and comfort with a drawstring waist and elastic, as well as bungee-cord ankle ties that keep pesky bugs away from the leg openings. Additionally, the pants come with three zippered pockets that provide secure storage for your phone and keys. The fabric blend of these pants ensures breathability, while the four-way stretch maintains flexibility. The quick-dry feature of the pants is ideal for hikers of any skill level. However, due to their thinner material, they may be more suitable for hiking in warm to cool conditions rather than extremely cold temperatures. Overall, the Baleaf hiking pants are an excellent choice for casual to moderately challenging hikes due to their quality and affordable price point.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi pants offer a range of impressive features, including durability, stretchiness, breathability, and comfort. Available in six attractive colors, they provide excellent mobility for outdoor activities like hiking and climbing. The pants are made from 46 percent recycled fabric and provide superior protection against rain and wind. The versatile and understated design allows you to effortlessly transition from the trail to social engagements or daily errands. With 33 different size options available, you are sure to find the perfect fit. The pants are equipped with UPF 50+ sun protection and ample pockets to hold all of your essential items.

REI Sahara Convertible Hiking Pants

The Sahara Convertible Hiking Pants from REI are designed using a lightweight, stretch nylon fabric that is quick to dry and features a water-repellent (DWR) finish, providing a UPF 50+ rating. To ensure that you can move around freely and comfortably, the pants have a fully elastic back waistband. The front of the pants comes with a zipper fly and button closure. When converting the shorts back to pants, color-coded thigh zippers help you distinguish the right leg from the left leg. For added ventilation, there are vertical zippers from the bottom hem to mid-thigh, and you can remove the pant legs without taking off your shoes or boots – a necessity for hiking! The pants come with plenty of pockets, including front-hand pockets, back pockets, and a zippered cargo pocket, making them perfect for hikes or travel.

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Lined Pants

When hiking in cold weather, it’s important to find the right balance between staying warm and avoiding overheating. One solution is Eddie Bauer’s Guide Pro hiking pants, which feature a stretchy fleece lining to protect against biting winds while preventing moisture and sweat build-up. These pants also come equipped with a DWR coating, allowing snow, sleet, and freezing rain to slide off instead of soaking in. The women’s version is equally popular and offers a wide range of sizes, including regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes up to 24W, accommodating various body types.

Kuhl Silencr Pants

The Kuhl Silencr hiking pants offer both style and functionality, making them suitable for daily wear and outdoor excursions. Made from softshell ripstop polyester, they are lightweight and stretchy, while also durable. The pants are available in both slim fit and relaxed fit, with my personal preference being the latter.

Not only do these pants provide flexibility, but they are also water and UV resistant, ensuring you stay dry and protected from harmful rays. Additionally, they wick away moisture to keep you comfortable and allow for a full range of movement. For those looking for a more stylish option, the Silencr Rogue also offers a tapered fit.

Overall, the Kuhl Silencr pants are an ideal choice for hiking, backpacking, or casual wear. They are my personal favorite for backpacking trips and offer a comfortable and practical option for a variety of activities.


Overall, investing in a high-quality pair of hiking pants can make a significant difference in your comfort and performance on the trail. With the top 5 best hiking pants for comfort and durability reviewed in this article, you can choose a pair that meets your needs and enjoy your hiking adventures with confidence.

How to Choose the Perfect Hiking Pants: A Comprehensive Guide

Hiking is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that allow you to explore and appreciate the beauty of nature. However, it can also be a challenging and physically demanding adventure, especially if you’re not equipped with the right gear. One of the essential pieces of equipment that every hiker should invest in is a good pair of hiking pants. Hiking pants not only provide comfort but also protect you from various environmental factors such as rain, sun, and insects. In this article, we will guide you through the factors that you need to consider to choose the perfect hiking pants.


One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing hiking pants is the material. The material determines how comfortable, durable, and versatile the pants will be. Some of the most common materials used for hiking pants include cotton, nylon, polyester, spandex, and merino wool.

Cotton is a soft and comfortable material that is great for casual wear but not ideal for hiking. Cotton is not quick-drying, which means that it will absorb moisture, and once it gets wet, it will stay wet, which can be uncomfortable and lead to hypothermia in cold weather.

Nylon and polyester are synthetic materials that are lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying, making them perfect for hiking. These materials are also durable, abrasion-resistant, and can provide some level of UV protection. Additionally, some nylon and polyester pants come with water-resistant or waterproof coatings, which can be useful in wet weather.

Spandex is a stretchy material that is added to hiking pants to provide flexibility and ease of movement. Spandex is often combined with nylon or polyester to create a stretchy and comfortable fabric.

Merino wool is a natural material that is perfect for hiking in cold weather. Merino wool is soft, breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant, making it an ideal material for base layers and mid-layers. However, merino wool can be expensive, and it’s not as durable as synthetic materials.


The fit of your hiking pants is another essential factor to consider. Hiking pants should be comfortable, allowing you to move freely and not restrict your movement. They should also fit well around your waist and hips, with enough room to wear a base layer if needed. It’s also essential to consider the length of the pants. Hiking pants should be long enough to cover your ankles, but not too long that they drag on the ground or get caught in your boots.

There are three types of hiking pants to consider based on their fit: standard, relaxed, and slim.

Standard fit hiking pants are straight-legged and fit close to your body without being too tight. These pants are perfect for hikers who want a snug fit but don’t want to feel restricted.

Relaxed fit hiking pants have a roomier fit and are great for hikers who prefer a looser fit. These pants often have an elastic waistband, providing additional comfort.

Slim fit hiking pants are designed to fit close to your body and are ideal for hikers who want a more streamlined and stylish look. These pants often have a tapered leg, making them perfect for hikers who want to avoid snagging their pants on branches and rocks.


Hiking pants come with various features that can enhance your hiking experience. Some of the features to consider include:

Pockets: Hiking pants should have enough pockets to store essential items such as a map, compass, snacks, and a phone. It’s essential to choose pants with secure pockets that won’t spill your belongings when you’re on the move.

Ventilation: Ventilated hiking pants have mesh panels or vents that allow air to circulate, keeping you cool and comfortable in hot weather.

Articulated knees : Hiking pants with articulated knees are designed to fit the natural bend of your knees, providing you with greater mobility and flexibility.

Convertible: Convertible hiking pants can be converted into shorts, making them versatile and perfect for hikers who want to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Adjustable waist: Hiking pants with adjustable waists allow you to adjust the fit to your body, ensuring maximum comfort.

Reinforced knees and seat: Hiking pants with reinforced knees and seat are more durable and can withstand wear and tear caused by rough terrain.

Insect repellent: Hiking pants with insect repellent properties can protect you from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects.

Sun protection: Hiking pants with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) can provide protection from harmful UV rays, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.


Price is an important factor to consider when choosing hiking pants. The price of hiking pants can vary widely depending on the material, features, and brand. Generally, synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester are more affordable than natural materials like merino wool. Hiking pants with more features such as convertible options or insect repellent properties will generally be more expensive.

It’s important to find a balance between quality and price. While you may be tempted to opt for the cheapest option available, investing in a high-quality pair of hiking pants will save you money in the long run by lasting longer and providing you with more comfort and protection on the trail.

Choosing the perfect hiking pants can seem overwhelming, but by considering the factors outlined above, you can find a pair that fits your needs and preferences. It’s essential to choose hiking pants that are made of the right material, fit well, and have the features you need to stay comfortable and protected on the trail. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, investing in a good pair of hiking pants will enhance your hiking experience and allow you to fully enjoy the beauty of nature.


What are the best materials for hiking pants?

Answer: The best materials for hiking pants are those that are moisture-wicking, quick-drying, breathable, and durable. Synthetic materials like nylon and polyester are popular choices for hiking pants because they offer these features at an affordable price.

What features should I look for in hiking pants?

Answer: The features you should look for in hiking pants depend on your needs and preferences. Some popular features include moisture-wicking, quick-drying, sun protection, insect repellent, and reinforced knees and seat.

Can I wear jeans for hiking?

Answer: While jeans are durable and versatile, they are not the best choice for hiking pants. Jeans are heavy, slow to dry, and do not offer the same level of mobility and flexibility as hiking pants. It’s best to choose hiking pants that are specifically designed for outdoor activities.

Should I choose pants or shorts for hiking?

Answer: Whether you choose pants or shorts for hiking depends on the weather, terrain, and personal preference. If you’re hiking in warm weather or on a well-maintained trail, shorts may be a good option. However, if you’re hiking in cooler weather or on a rough trail, pants may provide more protection and comfort.

How do I choose the right size for hiking pants?

Answer: To choose the right size for hiking pants, measure your waist and inseam and refer to the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. It’s important to choose pants that fit well to prevent discomfort and chafing.

How do I care for my hiking pants?

Answer: To care for your hiking pants, follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Generally, it’s best to wash hiking pants in cold water and hang them to dry. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the material.

Can I wear hiking pants for other activities besides hiking?

Answer: Yes, hiking pants are versatile and can be worn for a variety of outdoor activities, such as camping, backpacking, and rock climbing. They are also comfortable for everyday wear.

Are expensive hiking pants worth the investment?

Answer: Expensive hiking pants may offer more features and durability than cheaper options, but the best choice ultimately depends on your budget and needs. It’s important to find a balance between quality and price and choose hiking pants that fit your budget and preferences.

Should I buy hiking pants with a slim or relaxed fit?

Answer: Whether you choose a slim or relaxed fit for hiking pants depends on your personal preference and body type. Slim-fit pants offer a more streamlined look and may be better for those with a lean build, while relaxed-fit pants offer more room for movement and may be better for those with a larger build.

Can I wear leggings for hiking?

Answer: Leggings are lightweight and comfortable, but they do not offer the same level of durability and protection as hiking pants. It’s best to choose hiking pants that are specifically designed for outdoor activities.


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