When you are looking for the best hiking pants available on the market it is important to make sure that you find something that is going to be able to withstand the elements or you may run into problems with tearing or ripping of your pants. It is especially important to make sure that you buy the proper size of hiking pants otherwise you aren’t going to be able to have the agility that you want to have when you are out on your hike.
Top Hiking Pants Comparison Chart
It is especially important to also make sure that your pants aren’t too long for you otherwise you may end up tripping on them and hurting yourself when you are out on the trail. It can be rather difficult to narrow down the pants that you like and figure out which ones are the best quality. Luckily for you we have created a guide and a list of the top ten hiking pants on the market to help you narrow down your options and realize the kinds of features that you should look for in a good pair of hiking pants.
Hiking Pants Buying Guide
Price is one of the most important starting points for any buying decision that you have to make. It is important to make sure that you are buying yourself something that is of a good quality before you fork out extra money than you would on a regular pair of pants. It is important to remember that price is generally a good indication of a product’s overall quality but it doesn’t necessarily mean that every time you see a high price on a product it is going to be a good one. Remember that a premium brand is going to come at a cost just because of the name on the clothing and this is important to remember because competitive brands may offer a similar quality product at a much lower price tag but without the recognized name.
The warranty that comes with a good quality pair of pants is almost as important as the price of the pants themselves. A warranty can cover you for things like defects, damage and even stains depending on the company that you are dealing with and the policies that they have in place. If the company wants to charge you extra money for a warranty it is important to remember to look at the finer details of the agreement to make sure that coverage is actually worth the premium price tag. It is also important to make sure that you have a look at the seller’s return policy in order to make sure that you can return the product if you run imp things like size issues or color issues shortly after receiving the product.
Pants are measured in a very easy way that allows the average person to be able to check their pant size relatively quickly in order to buy proper fitting pants. When you look at a pair of pants you are going to notice that there are two different numbers located on the pants that should look something like: 30×34. These numbers refer to what size of pants you are wearing. The first number refers to the waist of the pants. In order to measure your actual waist grab yourself a string or a flexible tape measure and wrap it around your waist at the skinniest point where your pants normally sit. Cut the string and measure how long it is or keep your finger where either side of the tape measure meets up in the middle and see what the number is. The second number refers to the length of the pants. In order to properly measure the length you need for your pants, you will have to measure where your legs meet down to your feet. Remember that size can have a huge influence on the durability of your pants because pants that are too loose they could easily get caught on things and they are going to rub in areas that you don’t necessarily want your pants rubbing.
It is always important to remember that your favorite brand may not have the pants that are going to offer you the most comfortable, long-lasting fit. It is difficult to find a pair of pants that offers everything that you are looking for which is why a lot of people like to stick to their favorite brands. A well-known brand is certainly going to cost you more money than an off name brand is, even though the off name brand may even carry a higher quality product. It can be difficult for some people to buy something that isn’t made by their favorite brand, but just remember that you may even find yourself a new favorite if you are willing to look.
Not only do pants come in different sizes but they also come in different types. Size of the waist, as well as the length of pant legs, do not always make for a well-fitting pair of pants and you will often have to look to try and find something that not only suits your personal preferences but also that suits your individual body type. You will find that almost all pants have a label on them to inform you as to what kind of a fit they are. Generally speaking, you will find about five different kinds of fittings available. These fittings won’t always be labeled under the same name but generally, you will be able to tell since the name will be quite close. Skinny is the first type you will find and generally, these types of pants will have very skinny legs throughout the design resulting in a very tight fit. Slim pants are the next thing that you may come across and these are pants that have a fairly narrow leg but not as narrow as a skinny pair. Regular or straight pants are going to be average in terms of leg size throughout the design and have a fairly large leg opening compared to skinny and slim pants. Another type that you will come across is a relaxed pair of pants. A relaxed pair of pants is going to have a loose fit around your legs as well as your waist and offers more room all around which is great for people who have a bit of weight on them. The last type that you are likely to find is a loose pair of pants that is going to have a very expandable, stretchy waist and extremely wide legs; these pants are suitable for fitting almost all body types.
One thing you will notice with hiking pants is that they are made up of all kinds of different materials. Depending on the price that you pay for your pants you will find a great deal of difference in the materials that are used as well as the quality of how that material is held together. Pants will generally be made from a material such as nylon, spandex, cotton, polyester, elastane etc. None of the materials are necessarily worse than others as long as the company that manufactured the pants performed good quality stitching of the materials. Certain materials definitely have perks over other ones and some of them have a few faults that you should be aware of. Cotton is known to shrink when you put it through the wash which is important to keep in mind. Spandex is known to be a stretchy material which is partially why it was named close to the word expand. Nylon can be water repellent so long as the manufacturer stitches everything properly and it is also good at deflecting UV rays. Polyester is lightweight yet durable. Something made out of an elastane material is basically the same as a spandex material and is going to be rather stretchy. It is always a good idea to make sure that you read the label when you are looking at buying yourself a pair of pants so that you know what sort of a situation you might run into.
Best Hiking Pants Reviews
These are a very stylish pair of hiking pants that are available for a very reasonable price tag. These pants are made out of a spandex and Chinlon material which makes them rather stretchy and allows them to fit more people. The pants come in a straight design and actually feature zip off legs so that you can change these pants over into shorts if you find that you are getting too hot. The pants are somewhat water resistant and have a variety of pockets that you can use to store your hiking gear inside. When they are in stock these pants come in five different color options to suit a variety of personality tastes.
- Adjustable waist allows these pants to fit more people
- A variety of pockets including: two front pockets as well as back and side pockets that close with Velcro for a secure fit
- Straight type pants appeal to broad audience
- Machine washable
- Somewhat water resistant
- Velcro pockets may rip pants over a prolonged period of time due to excess force
- Velcro can be uncomfortable to touch especially over long term use
Columbia’s trail pant is truly an exceptional piece of clothing. Made with 96% Nylon and 4% Elastane, they’re made for serious comfort and movement. Columbia calls it “active functionality”. It offers a body-skimming fit with a 2-way stretch, articulated knees, and a mid-rise waist.
As far as durability in the elements, the Columbia trail pant is endowed with UPF 50 sun protection and water repellency qualities. With extra features like two side zip security pocket with mesh pockets, the value starts to build. Add to those features the fact that this pant includes articulated knees, gusset detail, and leg hem cinches to add to the level of overall comfort and user (wearer) experience.
We can sum up this pair of pants by calling it the best of comfort and style for hiking.
- Super comfortable stretchy fabric
- World’s top name brand for outdoor clothing
- Price point may be a bit higher but not by much
Urban Shmurban! Why on earth these have the name “URBAN” attached to them is beyond me. Okay, fine, we know that nylon is the typical material of choice since they are light and durable, but we really like these pants, though I would be mindful of how serious your hike is. For example, if your hike is a serious alpine multi-day adventure, I’d stay away from denim. If it’s really hot outside, I’d also stay away from it. However, if your hike happens in an environment with moderate temperatures, and you’re just heading down a local park trail or an afternoon outing at the National Park, I’d consider denim anytime! It’s comfortable, stretchy, durable, and it can work in other contexts that a gore-tex pant would not (ie. out to dinner in town). It works especially well for professional users in an urban or populated setting because of their denim material and casual appearance. Its lightweight and breathable materials provide an increased comfort during prolonged use in a magnitude of different climates. I’d give them a serious try if versatility means anything to you.
- Very versatile
- Average price tag isn’t out of reach for most people
- Tons of storage pockets
- Lightweight and yet really durable
- adds more warmth than most other lightweight hiking/tactical pant options
- Cotton may shrink a bit during a machine wash
- Won’t dry as fast or be as light as a nylon or quick-dry pant
- Might be too warm and cozy for hotter climates
Born of yet another top name brand in the outdoor clothing industry, The North Face gives us the Paramount Trail Convertible pant, and we’re happier for it!
Featuring 100% nylon with a DWR (durable water repellent) exterior coating, these pants also contain 50+ UPF protection from the elements of sun and rain. There’s a zip closure pocket at the back and on the right. There’s a “Velcro” closure cargo pocket on the right leg and a zip cargo pocket on the left leg. The cuffs feature a zipper that allows for easy roll-up.
The fit of the pants are slightly relaxed so they gently drape off the body for optimal comfort, while at the same time, offering a 10-inch convertible short if needed!
- Water resistant nylon fabric material
- Three different style options are available to suit a wide range of personality types
- Belt buckle, deep pockets and waist band are some very nice features that you aren’t going to find too often on pants of a lower price tag
- Machine washable saves time and therefore is cost effective
- Converts into shorts which allow you to remain comfortable regardless of weather conditions
- Iconic name brand
- High price tag (over $60) may be out of reach for some hiker’s
These pants are available for a very low price tag and have an extremely stylish, simple design. The pants come in four different colors to help appeal to a wider span of people. These pants are made out of a nylon material which helps to make them water repellant and allows them to protect your body against harmful UV rays. The pants are actually capable of protecting at up to 50 UPV which is as good as many of the sun screens that are available on the market. Although these pants are available for a relatively cheap price tag they do incorporate some nice features such as articulated knees which is essentially extra material that allows for more flexibility at your knee join. You will find other things like a removable belt as well as front and side pockets incorporated into the design of these cost friendly pants.
- Sun protection of up to UPF 50
- Adjustable, removable belt comes with the pants
- Articulated knees allows for extra maneuverability
- Nylon material helps to make these pants more water repellant
- Four different style options that you can choose from to suit your personality
- More design options are available on many of the other pants on the market
Having a look at women’s hiking pants there are a lot of options to choose from; these pants are available for an average to low price tag and offer a design that is built for comfort. These pants offer a 100 percent polyester design with a string closure so that you can do up the pants as tight as you want to. The bottoms of these pants have adjustment options on them so that you can make them shorter if it turns out that you bought pants that were a little bit too long for you to wear. These are loose pants that have an elastic waist, wide legs and are completely machine washable.
- Drawstrings allow you to tighten and untighten your pants quickly and efficiently
- Machine washable design
- Elastic waist and wide legs allow you to be nice and relaxed
- Adjustable bottoms allow you to make the legs shorter if you buy something that is a little bit too long for your preferences
- Waterproof fabric will help keep you nice and dry regardless of the weather conditions
- Only comes available in black
- Not a tight fit like some people like
If you are looking for something that will keep you a little bit warmer in cold weather conditions then these pants may be meant for you. These pants are lined with a fleece lining that is great for cold weather conditions especially because the design is quite weather resistant as well. The design is available for a lot to average price range and comes in three different styles in order to suit your own personality tastes. The pants have a total of six different pockets that are built into the design which makes these pants very handy for storage purposes.
- Two zippered front pockets, 2 pockets on the back as well as the sides make these pants ideal for carrying your things around
- Elastic waist and belt loop design allows you to use your favorite belt and make these pants as tight or as loose as you desire
- Three different style options to choose from
- Fleece lining is extremely comfortable and warm to wear
- Exterior of the pants is great for bad weather conditions; the pants cut wind, help to resist against water, dry out fast when they get wet and they aren’t loud when you are moving around in them
- Back pockets offer Velcro closure which isn’t that comfortable to sit on
- Average to a bit above average price tag may be a little high for some people
These pants are available for an average price tag and offer a very simple, effective design that can be really great for hikes. These pants come available in six different style options and are largely made out of nylon with a bit of elastane in them for some more flexibility. These pants offer a very secure string and zipper closing method and are also machine washable which is quite nice especially if you are using them on a long hiking trip. Thanks to the nylon that these pants are made from, these pants offer UPV 50 sun protection as well as a water repellant design that is great for poor weather conditions.
- Six different style options available gives you lots to choose from
- Nylon fabric helps to make these pants water resistant as well as protects you from harmful UV rays
- Comfortable, flexible design incorporates a string and zipper to keep these pants nicely secured
- Machine washable
- Simple design that includes front pockets for helping to store your gear or your hands
- Some people may not be able to afford the price tag
These are a very nice pair of pants that are available for a pretty affordable price tag. These pants are cut off a little bit below the knee so they are definitely not the best type of pants to be used in cold conditions. The pants are made up from a nylon based material which allows for the pants to protect you from up to 50 UPV courtesy of the sun. The nylon also helps to make these pants water repellant and comes in a straight leg design in order to appeal to a broad spectrum of people. These pants do contain a secure pocket with zipper closure and the pants come available in three different design options to suit your personal tastes.
- 50 UPV sun protection
- Straight leg design will fit most people
- Secure zipper pocket to contain your favorite hiking items
- Light weight design is ideal to keep you cool in hot weather
- Not good at all for hiking out in the cold weather
- Could have more pockets
These pants are available for a slightly lower than average price (compared to the others on our list) but the comfort just may exceed some of the higher-priced offerings.
These hardwearing pants are made of a middle-weight softshell fabric that provides excellent breathability and also protection from the elements (yes you can have both of those qualities at the same time). Excellent stretch is provided courtesy of spandex fibers within the fabric recipe. There are articulated knees for freedom of movement and two zippered hand pockets. More zippers come by way of the zippered thigh pocket and rear pocket.
You can widen the cuffs with the elastic for more versatility and usefulness and the adjustable and detachable belt (made of “DURAFLEX”) adds even more useful features to this already impressive collection of features.
It’s made of 91% Nylon and 9% Spandex.
- stretch fabric
- Lots of storage in pockets
- Made for tough wear not just comfort for hiking
- Could come in more styles (or at least more colors)
- Priced a bit higher than even some Columbia models
Conclusion & Recommendations
Buying a pair of pants may seem like an easy task to some people but there are a lot more to pants than you may think. Things like the material they are made of, fly, zipper, belt loops, shape and size can all vary a great deal depending on the brand of pants that you buy. It is important to think about the kinds of hikes that your pants are going to endure so that you can buy the right pants for the conditions in your local area. Remember that you are going to want to pay attention to the climate as well as the duration of most of your hikes so that you can remain as comfortable as possible for as long as possible while you are wearing your hiking pants. Best of luck finding the best hiking pants! We really hope that this list helped to point out some of the things that you should be looking for or helped you find a pair that you think will work well for you. Happy hiking!