Are you looking for the Best Hiking Pants? Look No Further!

You can’t just go on a hike and wear your gym clothes! Hiking and fitness are two entirely different things. There are clothes appropriate for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, camping, and other field recreations.

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In this article, we’ll help you know the things to look for in a good pair of hiking pants and also a round-up of the best hiking pants in the market.

Things To Look For In a Hiking Pant

What makes up good hiking pants? There are many things you should consider, but there are the most basic things like the fabric it’s made of, it’s fit, and the frequently ignored factor – the color.

1. Material

Hiking pants usually come from various synthetic fabrics that purposely keep you dry. Cotton in an exception because it absorbs sweat, retains moisture and heavy when it’s wet.

Hiking pants made from nylon, silk, polyprene, and spandex are the ones you should look for. They are quick-drying, doesn’t retain moisture, lightweight and very comfortable.

2. Fit

It's good to have a slim fit type of pants, which is not too tight. It should have an allowance of a few inches to avoid movement constrictions and allow air to circulate. On the other hand, if it’s too baggy, it may frequently flap, which is very irritating for long hikes or walks.

I find pairs with articulated knees very advantageous because it is flexible on the knees and it stretches prettily. It's extremely useful when climbing terrains and crossing rivers because you’ll need to bend your knees a lot.

3. Color

We usually purchase hiking pants with colors that go with our style. However, we should choose a color according to the weather. Neutral colors like white, beige, and other light colors tend to reflect away the heat, thus keeping your body cooler and sweat less.

In contrast, dark colors such as black, camouflage, and green absorb UV. Consequently, it keeps the heat inside of your pant thus making you sweat more.

As a general rule of thumb, you should wear light colors on summer hikes or whenever it’s sunny outside and dark ones for winter or cold weather hikes.

The 5 Best Hiking Pants For Men and Women

For Men

1. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

The Columbia brand is a frontrunner when it comes to hiking gears and equipment for a long time. It’s a go-to brand by hikers and non-hikers alike. I recommend purchasing from this brand if you want a quality and long-lasting hiking clothing. You can also wear it to different outdoor activities, so it better be durable.

The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants is not your typical hiking trousers. It can be converted to a breezy short if you want to cool down after a long day’s hike or if you plan to walk on lower altitudes. You can unzip the pants at its knee area to convert it into a short.

Moreover, it’s made from nylon which is water-resistant. A water-resistant hiking pant would be very advantageous when crossing damp places and waterways as leeches, and other small blood-sucking organisms can easily crawl into your legs and cause harm.

Also, it features a straight-leg design which I think is stylish and casual. Another notable feature of this hiking pant is the Omni-Wick Advanced Evaporation Technology, which efficiently draws away moisture from the cloth, resulting in a dry and light feeling. Are you impressed?

Well, don’t get impressed yet because it has another remarkable benefit – the Omni-Shade UPF 50 Sun Protection! Just when you thought UV protection only comes from sunscreens, you’re wrong. The Columbia Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants can absorb and reflect UV radiation, protecting your skin from its harmful effects.

Just a heads-up: make sure to order one size larger than your actual size as their sizes run small

PROS:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Convertible – can be worn as pants or shorts
  • ​Water-resistant
  • ​UV-resistant
  • ​Breathable
  • Does not retain moisture

CONS:

  • Not windproof
  • Few storage pockets

2. 5.11 Men’s Tactical Pro Pant

The 5.11 Men’s Tactical Pro Pant boasts of the heavy-duty Taclite fabric, which soldiers and battlefield men’s uniforms were made of, as the primary material found on their product. It's also mixed with polyester and cotton for a comfortably feeling.

This hiking pant is very durable, comfortable, and lightweight. It does not wear out that quickly because of the sturdy fabric. Don’t doubt on the toughness of this air because it’s guaranteed that this one will not succumb on harsh, unmaintained, and vegetation-dense hiking trails.

The stitching of this pair is unparalleled – it has a Triple-stitch reinforcement all over and a great bar tacking at the seams too. Personally, I’m pretty amazed at the excellent craftsmanship of this hiking pant because it’s one of a kind.

Additionally, the hiking pant also features a Teflon fabric which prevents stains, fluids, and soil particles from sticking into your pants, always making it look fresh from the laundromat. Its gartered waistband also gives for a comfortable fit.

Aside from the advanced features of the hiking pant, it also has simple yet beneficial aspects such as deep oversized flap pockets for multiple storages of things, one strap-and-slash pocket for your pens, knives, and other tactical gadgets, and lastly, a D-ring to hold and secure your keys.

PROS:

  • Very durable (extensive stitching) and lightweight
  • Stain-proof
  • ​Waterproof
  • ​Breathable
  • ​Lots of useful and tactical pockets, and a D-ring
  • Ensures excellent and comfortable fit
  • UV-resistant

CONS:

  • Not windproof

Unisex

1. Singbring Outdoor Hiking Pants (Unisex)

If you feel more comfortable wearing full pants or you’re not into the short style, you better opt for the Singbring Outdoor Hiking Pants. It will save you a lot of bucks since it’s unisex, meaning you can let your partner or siblings wear it, so you won’t have to buy them another pair (just kidding!).

Kidding aside, this hiking pant looks great and edgy. What I like about this pair is that it doesn’t sport that neutral beige and moss green color which I find dull-looking. It comes in five colors – Navy, Black, Red, Green, and Gray. Another thoughtful addition is the bright yellow strips on the side pockets.

Furthermore, it’s made from a soft polyester fabric that will surely keep you warm on windy hikes and even while digging in the snow. The fleece part of the hiking pant which is sewn across the knee area also helps retain the body heat inside the pants. The hiking pant also features a gartered waist, ensuring a perfect fit, as well as a single back pocket for extra storage.

Overall, this pair is a very versatile one. You can use it for mountaineering activities, running exercises, skiing, gym clothing, and other outdoor activities.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Ensures a good fit (gartered waist)
  • ​Windproof
  • ​Stylish
  • ​Unisex
  • ​Breathable
  • Very versatile

CONS:

  • Not waterproof

For Women

1. Columbia Sportswear Women's Saturday Trail Pant

implicity is the beauty of the Columbia Sportswear Women's Saturday Trail Pant. It may look like your typical women’s hiking pant but do not be fooled – there’s more to it than just the look.

First of all, this hiking pant features a UPF 50 Sun Protection and advanced UV Radiation Repellency. Perhaps the manufacturers sensed us women’s fear of sunburn and red, stingy skin. Girls, trust me when I say that this is a great feature for hiking because you’ll get protection from the intense sunlight.

Secondly, it can be conveniently rolled up into a Capri pant. The fabric is very soft and easy to roll up unlike most hiking pants with a stiff material that makes folding very hard. If you’re crossing a shallow river, you might want to fold your pants, so it remains dry. It also has articulated knees, making bending and other strenuous movements smooth and effortless.

Moreover, it has a great slim fit and a casual look. It won’t look obvious that you’re out to climb some mountains when people see you wearing this pair. It looks like your typical gym pants!

PROS:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Casual look
  • ​Convertible
  • ​Slim fit
  • ​Breathable
  • ​UV-resistant
  • ​Water-resistant
  • Have articulated knees

CONS:

  • Not too stretchable (except for the knee part)
  • ​Few storage pockets
  • Not windproof

5. Makino Women’s Hiking Pants

Now, you’ll look like you’re going to hike some peaks with the Makino Women’s Hiking Pants. It has an authentic outdoorsy look and feels! It’s quite colorful, too. They have ones in blue and purple colors which are too cute for hiking.

The Makino Women’s Hiking Pants features a water-resistant polyester fabric, which is very lightweight and breathable. The fabric is also wrinkle-free (no one would notice if you use it three times in a row. Kidding!) and feels snugly too. It also has a thin structure with an elastic waist for a personalized fit.

An excellent feature of this hiking pant is its very quick drying. What’s more, it doesn’t retain moisture- your sweat will be gone before you even take notice of. It also has an Omni-Shade UPF 30 Sun Protection feature for shading your skin from harmful UV rays.

With its slim pockets for stashing your keys and small necessities, it will also serve as your perfect gym and recreational pants.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Stylish
  • ​Wrinkle-free fabric
  • ​Slim fit
  • ​Breathable
  • ​Quick Drying
  • Water-resistant

CONS:

  • Few storage pockets
  • Not windproof
  • Not stretchable (except for the waistband)

There five products we have reviewed are guaranteed the top-rated ones in the market. But for me, the best pair for men is the 5.11 Men’s Tactical Pro Pants while for women, it will be the Columbia Sportswear Women's Saturday Trail Pant. Their performance on the field is tested and unparalleled. They are both very versatile, extremely durable, lightweight, UV and water-resistant.

The 5.11 Men’s Tactical Pro Pants is a more advanced type of hiking pant. Aside from its essential features that make it an excellent pair, it is also stain-proof, has multiple oversized pockets and a D-ring. Those advanced features take care of even our smallest worries which obviously sets it apart from the rest.

On the other hand, The Columbia Sportswear Women's Saturday Trail Pant’s features such as a convertible (can be converted into a Capri pant), an advanced UV repellency, and very useful articulated knees make it an outstanding pair of hiking pants for women. Not all hiking pants for women are convertible.

Also, it’s advanced UV repellency is a striking addition since it’s already UV-resistant. Do you still remember when I mentioned that hiking pants with articulated knees are more convenient when climbing terrains and such? Yes, the Columbia Trail Pant has that feature, and it perfectly gets the job done.

    Jessica Kim

    I am an ultimate travel enthusiast and the founder of ‘Justanomadiclife.com’. I am a 26 year old-something, fun, passionate and free-spirited individual who set up 'justanomadiclife' blog as my public diary to document all of my amazing personal travel experiences which hopes to provide answers to your travel questions and (hopefully) inspire you to go places.

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