The trail is rough on your clothes, especially your pants. A normal pair of pants isn’t going to last very long especially if you’re doing a lot of mileage, and they probably won’t be that comfortable or weatherproof either.
Hiking pants are made to handle life on the trail. They’re comfortable, durable, have some kind of weatherproofing, some are even stylish. Plus they are going to last a lot longer than some regular chinos.
Finding the right pair of hiking pants for your needs can be tricky. There are loads of options with different specs and features, that it can be a little daunting to choose the ones for you. In this article, we look at some of the best hiking pants for men on the market and give you a rounded review of each, to help make your decision much easier.
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
Best On A Budget
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
Best Of The Best
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
|SEE ON AMAZON →|
prAna’s Brion Hiking Pants do a great job of merging a stylish everyday look with the features you need for hiking. The trimmed casual look means you can happily wear them out to do dinner and for an early morning hike the next day.
Made from prAna’s Stretch Zion fabric that consists of 97% nylon for durability and 3% spandex for stretch, they are really comfortable. The stretch gives you the freedom of movement for big strides and don’t be fooled by their cool look, as these pants are durable and built to last.
These hiking pants are also finished with a water-repellent coating to protect you in adverse weather and they dry quickly too. They also provide UPF50+ sun protection and keep you cool on hot summer days.
The only downside to these pants are the lack of an inbuilt belt and some roll-up snaps to help keep you cool on hot days. Otherwise, they are perfect for everyday and hiking use, plus they are pretty well priced too.
The Mountain Hardwear AP Pants are great for anyone who lives and hikes in colder climates. Their blend of materials makes quite a thick, heavy pair of pants that are great for keeping you warm in chilly climates.
the AP Pants look good and will transition from the trail to town seamlessly. They are made from a blend of cotton, nylon and elastane. They are comfy, very durable but they are a bit heavy and this is due to the use of cotton.
This means you’ll be hiking with some extra weight, which is great for keeping warm but not ideal for warm summer hikes where you might overheat.
They come with zippered pockets to keep your things safe and roll-up snaps for water crossings and added ventilation when you need it. Unfortunately, the roll-up only reaches your ankles, which isn’t quite high enough to cross a stream.
Overall a great pair of cold-weather hiking pants, but they’re a bit thick and heavy for our liking.
The Arc’teryx Lefroy Pants only really apply to those of us who take hiking seriously and want a dedicated pair of warm weather hiking pants. They are designed for use in hot climates and will keep you cooler than most other hiking pants out there.
Made from 86% nylon and 14% elastane to create Aequora AirPerm fabric, they are extremely lightweight and air permeable. This gives you awesome movability and airflow to ensure you stay cool while trekking around hot climates. The fabric is also designed to sit comfortably on your skin in hot weather and remove that sticky feeling some pants get.
Being Arc’teryx, they are exceptionally druable and made to handle any kind of technical hiking/trekking. These pants will last and they should do bearing in mind the expensive price tag.
The only downsides are that they’re not great for cold-weather hiking and they don’t have any back pockets, which might be annoying for some. Otherwise, a great pair of hot-weather hiking pants.
If you’re looking for a pair of hiking pants that are affordable and the job done, but aren’t so worried about looks, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant is right up your street.
Made from 100% ripstop nylon, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant are lightweight, breathable, and durable. The fabric feels nice on your skin and keeps you cool while you’re hiking around.
They come with an in-built belt to give you a comfortable fit and include closable pockets to keep your gear safe. They also come with zip-off legs to convert them to shorts on those extra hot days, or if you need to cross a river want to keep your pants dry.
The only negatives to these pants are that the convertible zippers do look a bit strange and certainly affect the style. And, there is not much stretch in the material and you’ll notice this when taking large strides.
Overall, a great pair of affordable hiking pants.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are built for freedom of movement. They’re super stretchy to allow you all the flexibility you need for any technical hiking.
Made from 86% nylon together with 14% spandex, the balance of durability and stretch is ideal. Not only that, but the materials are also made to be water-resistant, wind-resistant, breathable, and quick-drying. So no matter the weather, hot or rainy, these pants have got your back.
The pants are really light, one of the lightest in the line-up, and really comfortable. They come with cinch cords that allow you to set the height of the pants to your own preferred length, so you can chop and change as the trail or weather conditions vary.
The only thing lacking in these is a built-in belt but with such stretch, you’ll find a great fit with a normal belt too. They’re also not that stylish and are probably best used on the trail and not in town.
The prAna Stretch Zion Pants sit a little more on the hiking side of style but still have a good enough look to be worn around town. They are a favorite amongst hikers thanks to their durability and comfort.
Made from 97% nylon and 3% spandex, they offer the best of both worlds in terms of long-lasting design and stretchy freedom of movement. The Quick-dry Stretch Zion woven fabric is abrasion-resistant fir rough trails, breathable to keep you cool, and comes with a durable water repellent to help keep you dry and warm.
The pants feature a built-in belt, great pockets and you can roll them up with ease for ventilation or water crossings. The only downsides are that they are one of the heaviest pants in the review, and the flare at the ankle is a bit odd-looking but great for boots.
Overall a solid pair of hiking pants for men that are geared towards colder climates, and rough trails.
If you’ve been looking for a pair of dedicated hot-weather hiking pants but don’t want to spend too much on them, then Marmot’s Arch Rock Pants are a great place to start. They’re good looking too and easily transition from the trail to town.
The Arch Rock Pants are super light, one of the lightest in the review, and designed specifically for hot weather. The breathability and ventilation are excellent making these pants awesome at regulating your temperature to keep you cool and dry while hiking on a hot sweaty day.
The features don’t stop there though and also include great pockets, articulated knees, and an in-built belt.
Made from 94% nylon and 6% elastane, they are druable but not as stretchy as we’d like. You’ll find they are a tad restrictive when taking large strides or clambering up loose trails. Also, the opening is a bit small to get over your boots.
Overall a great pair of warm weather hiking pants that are very affordable and stylish.
The Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants are made to take on the toughest of hikes. Built for use on super rough trails, these pants are pretty much indestructible while having all the features you might want from hiking pants.
They are probably overkill for most, and very expensive, but if you’re planning a week-long alpine trek in the Andes, these are the pants to choose.
They’re made of an air-permeable four-way stretch woven fabric that’s weather-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and built to last. These pants are light, exceptionally durable, breathable, and give you incredible freedom of movement.
Overall they are the top pants in the review thanks to their design and materials but aren’t really needed for your standard hiking adventures.
The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible Pants are one of the most popular hiking pants around. This is mainly due to their affordability and that they get the job done for most standard hikes.
Made from 100% nylon these pants are durable. They come with great pockets, a built-in belt for comfort, and a durable water repellent coating to keep the weather out. You can also convert them to shorts if you’re overheating or need to cross a stream and don’t want your pants to get wet.
The low price does however have its drawbacks. The materials used aren’t stretchy at all and hinder your freedom of movement. They’re also very heavy and this is due to the baggy fit, which when hiking catches and swishes which becomes quite annoying.
Overall, if you’re looking for a bargain for standard hiking, these pants it the bill. But, if you’re after performance, steer clear of these.
PRICE – We tend to be willing to spend a bit more on high-quality clothing that we plan to wear a lot. Comfort, durability, and a well-designed fit usually trump cost in our books, but we recommend quality options at a variety of price points in our top picks below.
WEIGHT – Keeping weight to a minimum is important for hiking and backpacking. We tend to go for lightweight clothing that packs down small for most of our 3-season trips, but a heavier pair of hiking pants is more ideal for rugged trips and cold weather.
STYLE – It’s a good idea to try different types of hiking pants until you find what works best for your hiking style. Some folks like minimal pants that transition well from town to trail while others look for convertible pants pockets galore.
DURABILITY – Most hiking pants do a great job protecting you from scrapes and bugs, but you may want to opt for an extra-durable pair if you’ll be hiking in particularly rugged country
FABRICS MATTER – The fabrics that work best for hiking pants are synthetics that are durable and don’t absorb moisture. Stretchy fabrics like spandex/elastane that allow for easy movement are important too.
Nylon – Nylon is an exceptionally durable synthetic fabric that dries quickly. It tends to feel slightly softer on the skin than other synthetic fabrics. Because of the way nylon is made, it tends to be a bit pricier.
Polyester – Polyester is very durable (although slightly less so than nylon), and naturally hydrophobic. Polyester absorbs less water than nylon and wicks moisture to the surface more effectively where it can evaporate and dry quicker. Polyester is also less prone to pilling – pilling doesn’t affect the performance of the fabric, but can be less aesthetically pleasing.
Cotton – Cotton is soft and comfortable against the skin, but it absorbs water. Cotton dries very slowly, can stick to the skin and cause chafing when wet, and can be potentially dangerous in cold/wet climates. We generally don’t recommend cotton for any extended hiking trips.
Spandex/elastane – Good hiking pants should have some spandex/elastane content for mobility. Most pants we tested have two-way stretch, which means they only stretch one direction (typically crosswise). These pants will stretch across your thighs and knees when you have to climb over blowdowns or do boulder scrambles. Some pants have four-way stretch which means the fabric stretches crosswise and lengthwise, these pants will be overall easier to move around in and will feel less inhibiting.
Relaxed fit – Hiking pants with a relaxed fit are generally more comfortable for all day wear. The roomy fit makes them easier to move around in, and it can be easier to stay cool in pants with a little more wiggle room. The extra fabric can feel a little heavy and some people may not like the baggier look.
Slim fit/ straight leg – Hiking pants with a slimmer fit tend to be more lightweight than relaxed fit pants. Slim fit pants transition really well from town to trail, because they look more like everyday pants than hiking pants. Hiking pants with a slim fit need to have some stretch so that they don’t impede movement.
Articulated knees & gussets – Pants with articulated knees have special seams sewn in that make them easier to move around in. By comparison, when you hike with pants that don’t have articulated knees, you may feel the fabric pulling on you when you take a big step up. Similarly, gussets are an extra sewn in patch of fabric, usually at the crotch of the pants, that improves the fit and mobility.
Integrated belts – We tend to really love pants with integrated belts or internal drawcords at the waist. The ability to dial in the fit is really helpful for those who are in-between sizes. We also find that integrated belts are useful for longer where weight tends to fluctuate a little.
CONVERTIBLES VS. ROLL-UPS
Convertibles – We like convertible pants for the obvious reason – they are pants and shorts. The ability to switch between the two with one article of clothing can save weight and pack space, since you don’t have to pack multiple bottoms. That said, convertible pants tend to have a very relaxed fit that can feel a little too baggy for us. If you wear your convertibles in shorts mode more often than pants mode, you will likely notice a stark difference in color between the shorts and the pant legs as well.
Roll-ups – We generally prefer roll-up pants over convertibles. Roll-ups tend to have a more flattering fit, and transition easily from town to trail. You can quickly change the length of roll-ups without having to worry about separate pieces like convertible pant legs and without having to deal with awkward color differences between the top and bottom over time. The one big drawback is that roll-up pants with thicker fabric can be uncomfortable when rolled.
We tend not to use most of the pockets on hiking pants because items stored in them can feel bothersome and can impede movement. We generally prefer pants with fewer pockets because they look more sleek and feel more comfortable.
Back pockets – We almost never use back pockets because they’re hard to access with a backpack on and things stored there get in the way when we want to sit down.
Front pockets – Front pockets can be useful around camp and in town, but we rarely use front pockets on the trail because it’s hard to access them with a hip belt on. Also, when items are stored in front pockets, lifting your leg over logs and boulder scrambling can be uncomfortable.
Side pockets – We think the most useful pocket on a pair of hiking pants is one that sits on the side of your thigh and is large enough to accommodate a smartphone. We may store a map and sometimes our phone in this pocket for quick access. That said, when possible we like to leave these pockets empty as well (and use our hip belt pockets instead) for freedom of movement.
The best all-around hiking pants for men are prAna’s Brion Hiking Pants. These are stylish, look good, and transition perfectly from town to trail. They are comfy, stretchy, durable, and handle weather pretty well too. If you’re looking for hiking pants you can wear anywhere, these are a great bet.
The best pair of hiking pants for men on a budget are the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant. Light, breathable, durable, and comfy, these pants are great for taking on the trail. They convert to shorts, keep you cool, have great pockets, fit well, and are super affordable.
The best pair of hiking pants for men are the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants. These are made for the trail and offer supreme freedom of movement, durability, weather-resistance, and more. They tick every box (bar a built-in belt) and they’re priced very competitively too.