The Best Hiking Pants for Women With so many options, we researched more than 60 hiking pants, picking 12 models and testing them ourselves. The roll-up leg and water resistant material make them a perfect choice for days out on the trail or water.
They don't convert to shorts or roll up well to a cropped length and are better for cold and damp weather than blazing summer temps. They are also expensive, costing twice as much as most of the other options in this review. But if you need a highly technical pair for Alpine conditions or cooler weather hiking, they are worth every penny. Arc'teryx Gamma LT - Women's. Looking for a cozy pair of technical pants that you can hike a trail in, scramble up a boulder, stretch out on a yoga mat, and still look put together enough to stop by the grocery store on the way home?
The Mountain Hardwear Dynama is the pair for you! The material on the Dynama is buttery soft and very stretchy, and we loved doing just about everything in them. They are breathable as well, thanks to the thin material, but that also makes them more of a warm weather pant than a cool weather one. They tend to stretch out a bit over the day and have no internal drawstring or belt loops, so this is one we'd recommend sizing on the tight side so that it doesn't end up by your knees midday.
The soft material is also prone to pilling. It didn't happen right away, but after about six months of regular wear, they weren't looking so nice anymore. Even then though, they were still comfortable. Mountain Hardwear makes a whole line of clothing in this soft fabric, including short and capris, a skirt, and an ankle pant. If you hate stiff and "swishy" pants and want something soft for all-day wear, the Dynama is hard to beat.
We liked the new Progressor slightly less than the old version, which we'll explain below, but we still think it's a good option for those who don't like wearing full pants on the trails. Maybe you like to run part of your hikes, maybe you can't stand the swish-swish of nylon rubbing against nylon, or maybe you like the compression that tights give you. Whatever the reason, if you do like to hike in tights but don't want to trash another pair of yoga pants, the Progressor Hybrid Tight are a great choice.
They have abrasion-resistant panels that give them better long-term durability than your standard yoga tight, and they at moisture-wicking and breathable. These new panels that weren't on the previous version are a great idea, but end up feeling a little weird. The panels stretch differently than the main material so that with every step you can feel part of the tight stretching and part of it resisting your movement.
The panels sit on the rear and front of the tights, which is great from a durability perspective but it also ends up making them harder to put on. While they are breathable, they're still a little warm for a hot summer day. But for colder days, trail runs, or anytime where you feel like wearing leggings instead of pants, the Progressor is an excellent choice. The North Face Progressor Hybrid.
While zip-off pants are more versatile, the pesky leg zipper can impede mobility and feel uncomfortable. Enter the Women's Prana Halle. Our Top Pick for Mobility matches your every move, no matter the terrain or sport. Designed with climbers in mind, they climb and hike well, and they are stylish enough for casual wear.
The relaxed fit and articulated knees allow for a wide range of movement, and the mid-rise waistline relieves the worry of revealing your backside when bending over or climbing. Prana Halle - Women's. The options for outdoor gear continue to multiply, and hiking pants are no exception. You can find pants that convert to shorts, or roll-up to capris, or both! And there are ones that repel water, or are highly breathable, or provide ultraviolet ray protection.
Selecting the right pair for you will depend on a variety of factors, from the main environment you plan to hike in, to your personal preferences over pant length and style.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, then a pant with great weather resistance should be your main criteria. Conversely, if your main hiking destination is the desert Southwest, then something with great breathability is preferred.
We explore all these considerations and more in our Buying Advice article, and you can also check out our Dream Backpacking Gear List if you need to get fully kitted up for a big trip. You might also like our Introduction to Layered Clothing Systems article for more information on the other layers you'll need to consider when heading out into the backcountry.
Keep reading below to see how we scored the different models for each of our testing metrics, and why we consider these different criteria important for a hiking pant. We always want to be sure that we are getting a good value for what we pay for when we spend our hard-earned money on new outdoor gear.
Spending a little bit extra might get you more features, like zip-off legs, or a more water resistant material. The chart below shows the overall scores of each model graphed according to their retail price. As you can see, the Gamma is almost off the chart, but the other models are similarly priced.
The best value options lie on the right side of the chart but not too high, like the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch and the Mountain Hardwear Dynama. When it comes to hiking pants, we think that their comfort and mobility is one of the most important purchasing criteria. When wearing something for days on end, if it pinches, pulls, or impedes your movement in any way, it could impact your enjoyment of your trip.
We go to great lengths to make backpacking "comfortable," with inflatable sleeping pads, padded backpacks, and appropriate footwear, and the clothes you put on your body should receive just as much attention to detail and comfort.
Whether you are hiking or running in your pants, or sitting in a canoe, rock climbing, or traveling to a remote location, you'll want something that accommodates your moving body and is not constricting. That can be a tall order to fill!
These hiking pants' comfort and mobility ratings were often influenced by fit, fabric, and construction details. While it is hard to evaluate for fit, as people have different proportions or shapes, we tried our best by putting the various models on several women in the same size range to see if we experienced similar issues, say with legs being too tight. For example, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants are cut with a narrower leg , and the convertible zipper lies very tight around the leg just above the knee.
This impedes the Ferrosi's mobility both with and without the legs attached and was a noticeable issue for everyone that tried them on. The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant felt a little constricting there as well.
The North Face Paramount 2. We added some "different" types of hiking wear into the mix for our updated review as well, including some tights and a pair of softshell pants. Another fit issue to consider is where the waist of the pant sits in relation to your body. While a lot of this is a personal preference high vs. Too high at the natural waist and there is too much extra material that can bunch up under a hip belt. Too low and your hip belt is pushing your pants down over your rear.
Most hiking pants that we tested in this review were cut to fit right across the hip bones, which we preferred. The high-cut pairs in this review include TNF Paramount 2.
Fabric was another significant factor in a model's comfort and mobility. Whether you're hiking, bending over to retrieve gear from a pack, high-stepping, rock climbing or doing summit yoga poses, you need something that will stretch and move with you. All of the models in this review have some stretchy fabric in the blend usually elastane or spandex.
You'll want to make sure there is some mixed in there, though, and you can test the material out yourself with a little "squat test" when trying them on. Does the material pinch or stop you in any way? Can you even get down low in them? Testing that out alone in a dressing room could help you decide. As for construction, there are small details in the way a pant is made that can improve mobility, such as a gusseted crotch or articulated knees, like on the Prana Halle.
This pair is made for rock climbing and all of the weird ways you might move your legs, such as high-stepping or drop-knee techniques. We wore the Halles on a variety of boulders and climbing routes, and never felt restricted in them.
We also liked the movement we achieved on the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch pant. While the legs on this one have a tapered fit, the seaming at the knees gives them a slightly pre-bent shape, allowing for full range of motion when hiking.
The material on this pair is also soft and stretchy. Another detail that aided in comfort was the waistband. The Marmot Lobo's have a fleece-lined waist, which was comfortable against our skin and reduced chaffing.
An internal drawstring is always nice too, like on Royal Robbins Jammer II , as it lets you tighten the pants and not have to worry about wearing a belt, which is usually not that comfortable under a backpack. Versatility is an important factor to consider when purchasing a pair of hiking pants, particularly when heading on out on multi-day backcountry trips.
If you only have one pair of pants with you, they'll need to be able to handle a variety of weather conditions, from hot to cold, and sun to rain. Even on a day hike, conditions can quickly change, from cool at the trailhead to hot on the hike, and cold again up at the summit.
Most of the pants featured a tight, nylon weave that severely limited direct air transfer — good for wind protection, but not as efficient for breathability. To test venting and breathability, we mostly relied on our time field testing.
Much of this time was spent wandering around in the sun in the desert, perfect for understanding how well a pant will breathe while exerting oneself in the sun.
Other times we hiked uphill, as one usually does in the mountains, building up the heat and sweat needed for some serious study.
Not content with these "uncontrolled" tests, we also decided to test all the pants in a controlled situation. We took them out to a steep hill in the sun, worked up a sweat, and ran up the hill as fast as we could in each different pair of pants, paying close attention to how hot and uncomfortable each pair felt, especially compared to the others.
While we found it impossible to quantify the results of this test numerically, we easily noticed what models felt cooler than others. Perhaps not surprisingly, the pants made of the lightest and thinnest fabric did the best job of breathing, while the pants with the most mesh and zippered vents cooled us off the quickest and prevented us from getting too sweaty in the first place.
The OR Ferrosi were the lightest, thinnest, and by far the most breathable pants in this test, making them a primo choice for wearing in hot climates. On the other hand, the REI Co-op Screeline was the clear winner in the venting department, thanks to its generous mesh vents, especially behind the knees.
The KUHL Kontra Air was right behind, using a combination of a ton of venting as well as a thin and light cotton blend fabric. The KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible also had a ton of vents, not to mention the ability to simply convert them to shorts, should the desire arise. The pants that we found to be the hottest, interpreted here as the least breathable, were also the thickest and heaviest and had the least vents.
With its extraordinarily dense and heavy G fabric and no vents, the Fjallraven Vidda Pro was a pant designed exclusively for cooler weather. On many hiking adventures, you will travel light, sometimes only having the luxury to take what you are wearing when you walk out the door.
Whether you are going for a day hike or planning an extended backpacking trip, you will be happier in a single pair of pants that work across a range of conditions and temperatures. The ideal pants can protect your legs from most conditions all on the same hike. A pair of super versatile pants should have no problem handling situations ranging from intense sun and heat, wind, rain, cold, or brush along the trail.
The convertible feature helps with a pant's versatility. If it is too hot or you become too sweaty, that problem can be quickly solved by unzipping the bottoms and turning them into shorts. In general, pants that were convertible scored higher for versatility. Another less critical aspect of versatility is whether the pants excel at other activities besides just hiking. For instance, on a long thru-hike, you may find yourself swimming, stretching out with some yoga, climbing a tree for any number of reasons!
How well you can do these things in one pair of pants affects how we scored them for versatility. While these pants are designed for hiking, pants are pants, and it is nice to be able to wear them around town during our regular lives if need be, and this factor also contributed slightly to a pant's versatility score. Made with durable nylon and offering many venting options, not to mention the ability to convert into shorts, we found the KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible to be the most versatile pants that we tested for this review.
They kept us cool while hiking uphill in the sun, and were also thick enough to protect us from the cold and wind. We also liked them for wearing around town or while working outside and found them to be an adequate climbing pant as well. A close second was the Prana Stretch Zion , which we found to be a warmer pant overall, but which also comes with a convertible option. Lastly, The North Face Paramount 3. Its light and the stretchy fabric was excellent against the wind and also offered superb sun protection, and it also has a convertible option.
Let's face it; if you are going out on a multi-day backpacking trip, chances are you are going to get rained on at some point. Becoming soaked to the bone is a backcountry traveler's worst nightmare, but that fear must be weighed against the alternative — carrying a lot of extra clothing and weight.
For multi-day trips, water resistance is a huge bonus for a pair of hiking pants, but it also matters if you happen to live or hike in a wet climate regularly. We used to consider wind resistance as well when assessing for a hiking pant's performance but have found that all the pairs that we tested are functionally wind resistant due to their tightly woven fabrics. Most of these pants are designed to keep you as dry as possible, but are not specialty rain layers, and are not waterproof.
This chemical coating helps the fabric shed water upon contact, preventing it from being absorbed into the material. It is worth noting that these layers break down and wear off over time, especially if you wash your pants frequently in the washing machine, so if you are heading out on a long trip with an older pair of pants, you should apply a new DWR finish before you begin.
To test water resistance, we wore these pants outside as often as we could in poor weather. Admittedly, though, our head tester lives high in the mountains of Colorado and tested these pants primarily in fall, when high pressure and sunshine tend to dominate the forecast. Testing conditions ranged from hiking in the snowy mountains which is not the weather that most people consider hiking in to sunny and dry in the desert again, no rain.
To determine how these pants performed in a rainstorm, we also conducted the shower test, where we put the pants on and jumped into the shower to see what happened. Using a misting spray nozzle to spritz the outside of the pants lightly helped us understand exactly how much airborne water a pant could effectively repel before getting soaked.
Things we looked for were how well the DWR coating worked after three months of testing and washing, whether the fabric tended to absorb water, how wet our legs got inside the pants, and how long the pants took to dry out after being hung up post shower.
The DWR coating did a great job of shedding water even after lots of abuse, and the slippery nylon fabric didn't absorb water like many of the others. It was also fast to dry out once removed from the "rain," since it hadn't absorbed much water in the first place.
The Patagonia Quandary performed nearly as well, incorporating an effective DWR coating with non-absorbent and fast drying stretchy nylon weave fabric. We were also very intrigued by the performance of the wax impregnated Fjallraven Vidda Pro pant, which eschews the now-standard chemical DWR coating in favor of a more natural and customizable wax one. The final category that differentiates the best pairs of hiking pants from the worst is their respective features. These are the little things that you love or drive you nuts.
Every pair has their own set of unique features, including the type of pockets and location, waist tightening systems, and belts, the zipper system to convert into shorts, vertical cuff zippers, cuff roll-up buttons, cuff tighteners, ventilation holes, and crotch zippers.
Some of these features were functional additions that inspired our adoration, while others were superfluous or maddening. In all cases, we attempted to rate the product based on whether the features were useful and if they worked well. In most cases, having the option to convert to shorts was useful, but we also rated this feature on how well the zippers functioned, how easy they were to convert compared to the other pants, and how they looked and felt.
We did a similar analysis of pocket layout and location, as well as for waist tightening systems. In short, the more useful and functional features a pant included, the higher the score. Products that received a lower rating either included few useful features, or the ones that were included didn't function nearly as well as competitors.
It had a ton of pocket options for those who like to have all their trail trinkets handy and organized, as well as excellent ventilation and the ability to convert to shorts.
The KUHL Kontra Air has an entirely different set of pockets and ventilation designs that also worked better than the rest. We loved the small, low profile waist tightener that allowed us to backpack and climb without wearing a belt. Pants specifically designed for hiking are the best choice for trekking or backpacking in just about any environment. The challenge comes when trying to decide which ones to buy.
While comfort is usually a top priority, the climate in which you spend most of your time can dictate what features are most important to you.
We hope that this expert review of the most highly rated and popular hiking pants on the market will help you make an optimal choice. Happy trails to you! The Best Hiking Pants for Men. Displaying 1 - 5 of Updated May In May of , we added two pairs of pants that we have been wearing and testing all spring to this already comprehensive review. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi is a user favorite that landed at the very top of the rating chart, inspiring us to crown them our new Best Overall winners.
We also added in the Prana Brion , a very simple but classy pant that is light on features but heavy on comfort. See all prices 4 found. Very light fabric is super breathable. See all prices 3 found. Very comfortable fabric and fit. Yes What we like: Extremely versatile and stylish.
Breathability can be an issue in hot weather. Popular among the outdoors crowd for their comfort and versatility, the prAna Stretch Zion Pants wear well just about everywhere. Technically designed as a climbing pant, their flexibility and feature set, including a dual access zippered cargo pocket, makes them an excellent choice for hiking and backpacking. You get superior range of motion thanks to a gusseted crotch and stretchy fabric, and we really like the semi-slim fit that moves with you.
To dial in the fit, a low profile waistband adjuster is located to the right of the top button. The stretchy water resistant fabric resembles a lightweight soft-shell, making it a bit more substantial than standard fare hiking pants. This added thickness does make them run a little warmer during summer backpacking.
On the flipside, the trustworthy shell fabric, along with its DWR coating, excels at longer backpacking trips where toughness and the ability to handle inclement weather is a must. The popularity of the Stretch Zions has spawned a huge color selection, meaning you can go with a standard charcoal or khaki or get a little weird and choose among the more colorful options. For hotter climates, prAna makes a convertible version of the Zion that zip off into shorts, and they've also recently released a straight leg model that offers a trimmer cut.
Pockets galore and a great value. Despite the inexpensive price tag, these pants perform well with breathable and quick drying fabric this also makes them popular among travelers. What are the shortcomings of the Silver Ridge? But for hikers and travelers on a budget, the Columbia Silver Ridge pants are the best value on this list.
The convertible version is their most popular model, but you can also pick up the Silver Ridge Cargo. Baggy fit and a bit heavy. The fit of the Renegades is a little baggy for our tastes, but those that like a relaxed cut should find them perfectly suitable.
We particularly like its low-profile styling that does a decent job of disguising the zippers. This may be overkill for those prefer to hike without being weighed down, but we appreciate the unobtrusive design nonetheless.
Tough, mountain-ready build with great stretchiness. What sets this softshell pant apart is its fantastic stretchiness, durability, and weight. We wore it all day in the alpine for 9 days while hiking, setting up camp, filtering water, cooking, and lounging, and it came home looking like new.
For most 3-season backpacking trips, you can spend significantly less and be just as pleased with the performance. Stretchy and a great fit. Drawcord adjustment isn't as good as a belt. A quality climbing pant often makes for a wonderful hiking trouser, and the Patagonia Quandary is a great example of this. Patagonia checks off all the important boxes: More, the fabric is bluesign approved, which means the pants are sourced from and made with sustainable materials.
Both offer good stretch and a just-right athletic fit that pleases climbers and hikers alike, although we prefer the belt adjustment on the prAna's to the Quandry's drawcord.
The Patagonia's 3-ounce weight savings and streamlined design may appeal to travelers and summer hikers, but we still prefer the more versatile Stretch Zion for most uses. Premium build and breathability. Pricey for a lightweight hiking pant. You can use this pant for hiking and backpacking and it also makes a good option for travel. The company always seems to pay attention to the small details and the Lefroy is no exception. However, these pants are considerably more expensive than other lightweight options like the OR Ferrosi and budget Columbia Silver Ridge.
Very light and packable. Button fastener fell off early in our test. The impressively low 8. The pant also has one of the more customizable fit systems with an elasticized waistband, both a button and snap closure, and a removable belt.
Along with an athletic cut and articulated knees, the Terra Pack scores highly for trail comfort for those moving fast and light.
The thin fabric makes the Terra Pack the lightest on our list, but also surprised us with its versatility. The pant showed no signs of wear following an extended trek through rough terrain, and the DWR coating shed light rain and snow. This was a letdown as we appreciated the ability to taper the bottom hem and secure it above our boots. Very tough and durable. We have a hard time getting over the cotton in the G blend. The Vidda Pro from Swedish company Fjallraven is a different breed.
And at 21 ounces, the pant is heavier than any of the options above. But for certain outdoor uses—serious bushwacking in particular—the Vidda Pro can make a whole lot of the sense. This is by far the toughest hiking pant on this list with fully reinforced knees and butt. More, the thickness of the G fabric allows you to move through brush and slide over rocks without worrying about tears.
You also get a decent amount of extra warmth and protection for downtimes and sitting around camp at night. For waterproofing, Fjallraven recommends applying their environmentally-friendly beeswax for added protection. We like the concept but it lacks in practicality. Tough construction but breathable. Disappointing fit and less stretchy than our top picks.
REI makes fantastic tents, but their clothing hasn't always been up to snuff compared to other outdoor gear brands. Enter the new Screeline Technical, which is durable and flexible in a similar way as the prAana Stretch Zion above although not quite as stretchy , making it a popular option for hiking and backpacking. The reinforced Cordura panels in the knees and butt stand up to rough treatment, and the fabric breathes well and dries quickly on the go in the summer heat.
Along with well-placed pockets and an integrated belt, the Screeline is nicely appointed for trail use. We were big fans of the original Screeline, but the updated Technical version feels like a step backward.
One of REI's old issues with apparel was fit, and it appears that this has cropped up again with this new model. The pant fits awkwardly small, and many people have had issues getting a comfortable fit even when sizing up.
With strong competitors like the Ferrosi, Stretch Zion, and Quandary all at similar price points, this is enough to push the Screeline down our list. But if the pant manages to fit you well, it offers a nice combination of toughness and ventilation. Super tough and water resistant. Heavy and overkill for most conditions. Without intending to open a new can of worms, certain types of cold weather hiking and bushwhacking beckons a more serious pant than the options above.
This pant offers an impressive mix of protection from the elements and mobility: For hiking, the double-weave stretch fabric allows for much better range of movement and breathability than you get with a rain pant or hardshell.
Keep in mind that the Cirque is a specialty pant. The pant is water resistant but not waterproof for a true rain pant see the Marmot PreCip below , meaning that it will eventually soak through in sustained downpour. And at over 20 ounces, it weighs roughly double most lightweight hiking pants on this list. But for fall, winter, and spring hiking in nasty or off-trail conditions, the Cirque can be your bomber hiking pant. It doubles well for snowshoeing and spring skiing.
Lightweight and a good price. For hiking in hot weather, the Marmot Arch Rock offers impressive temperature regulation at a decent price. See the Men's Marmot Arch Rock. Durable and includes a belt.
Enjoy Free Shipping with $50 purchase on clothing, shoes, outdoor gear and more, all Paramus Park, Paramus · Directions · () of over 3, results for "breathable hiking pants" FREE SOLDIER Outdoor Men's Lightweight Waterproof Quick Dry Tactical Pants Nylon Spandex. by FREE SOLDIER. $ - $ $ 32 $ 34 99 Prime. FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Some sizes/colors are Prime eligible. out of 5 stars The Best Hiking Pants for Men. By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor. Saturday May 12, The OR Ferrosi were the lightest, thinnest, and by far the most breathable pants in this test, making them a primo choice for wearing in hot climates. On the other hand, the REI Co-op Screeline was the clear winner in the venting department.