Finding that perfect pair of hiking pants can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With this detailed review of the ten best hiking pants, you can get your hands-on, you don’t have to spend hours on the Internet searching for that right pair. It’s somewhere on this page!
We’ve included hiking pants for both men and women, so there are options for everyone. You’ll also see regular pants, as well as convertible options that can be transformed into shorts, for those hikes during hot summer months. And we’ve even included tips on how to choose just the right pair for you.
At A Glance: Best Hiking Pants
All you have to do is sit back, relax and read on to find the best hiking pants for you!
Best Men’s Option For Warm Weather
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Best Convertible Pants For Men
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Best Portable Option (Unisex)
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Best Casual Hiking Pants For Women
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Best Convertible Pants For Women
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The Rapid Rivers pants from Columbia are a great lightweight option for warm weather. They are pretty stretchy and feature an active fit, for ultimate comfort on the trails. And they have some really deep pockets that will easily fit your most essential items.
The main downside of these is that they’re made from cotton, a material that is not very water-resistant. And since they don’t have any additional water repellant coating, I don’t think they’re a great option for adventures in wet weather.
However, the fact that they’re mostly cotton is also a huge advantage because it means that they are extremely breathable. That makes them a great option for really hot weather since you’re guaranteed not to sweat a lot in the Rapid Rivers pants. And the material is very quick-drying, so even if you get these wet, they’ll dry off in a matter of minutes.
In addition to that, these Columbia pants feature Omni-Shade protection, which blocks all harmful UVA and UVB rays, ensuring that the skin of your legs is protected from sun damage at all times.
The size variety of the pants is also really good – it ranges from 30 to 54, with three different options when it comes to the length of the pants. Although that’s enough for most people, it’s still important noting that there aren’t really any plus-size options.
These pants mostly fit true to size, so you should order them in the size that you usually wear. Thanks to the elastane, there’s no way they’re going to be too tight, and they’ll even stretch out a bit after you wear them for a while. Also, the Rapid Rivers pants actually look quite dressy, and you could pull off wearing these to work or out on the town easily, without anyone wondering why you’re wearing hiking pants!
The Silver Ridge pants are a great option if you’re specifically looking for something convertible. You can take off the legs and convert this into shorts in just a few seconds, which is excellent for those summer hikes.
However, if you want pants that are suitable for both daily life and the great outdoors, these wouldn’t be my first option. The zip-off point is very obvious, and it looks a bit awkward. This is perfectly fine for the trails, but the people at the office might look at you weirdly if you were to wear them to work.
These pants are entirely made from nylon, and they feature Omni-Wick technology that pulls moisture away, in order to keep you cool and dry. They also feature Omni-Shade technology – it protects your skin from all harmful UVA and UVB rays, ensuring that you are protected even when the UV index is really high.
Another thing I really like about these is that they have a total of six pockets. You get the standard four on the hips and the bum, as well as two extra side pockets on the thighs. And they are above the zip-off legs, so you will have access to those pockets even if you’re wearing these like shorts.
The only thing that’s disappointing about the Columbia Silver Ridge pants is the size variety. It ranges from 30 to 44, which is definitely not enough in my opinion, especially since some of their other pants go all the way up to 54-56 in size. There are five different options for length though, so that’s somewhat redeeming.
The Trailhead Adventure pants are an interesting unisex option. They are regular fitting with a stretchy waist, so they can easily fit pretty much everyone. The pants are made from moisture-wicking fabric that has a waterproof coating (DWR), which makes them a good fit for adventures in both hot and cold weather.
You can’t choose the length of the pants, but it is possible to adjust it thanks to the drawstring cord on either leg. Another thing worth noting here is that some people found their usual size to be too small, so it’s recommended that you go a size up. Especially if you’re thicker in the thighs or just don’t want the pants to be skin-tight on you.
The trailhead pants are pretty durable, but not so much we’d recommend them for rock climbing. The fabric is really thin, which isn’t even a bad thing, but it just means that after one encounter too many with the rocks, you’ll start noticing the wear and tear. But they’re perfectly fine for hiking, especially with the gusseted crotch area that allows you to move freely.
One really cool thing about these pants is that they actually pack into the front right pocket, making them ultra portable. They will take up very little space in your luggage, and they weigh about 11 oz – you won’t even notice them in your bag.
The pants have four pockets total – two in the front and two in the back. The front ones are open, while the back pockets have flaps that cover them. All of the pockets are pretty deep, so stuff shouldn’t really fall out of them even when you’re moving around a lot.
The Halle pants by prAna are a great option for the ladies. They are made from the brand’s proprietary Stretch Zion fabric, which consists of 97% nylon and 3% spandex. Stretch Zion is quick-drying and water-repellant (DWR coating), making it an excellent fabric for outdoor adventures.
In fact, that was precisely their intention when they developed this rugged fabric. Stretch Zion also has really good abrasion resistance, and can handle getting up close and personal with rocks and all sorts of debris that you encounter on the trails.
In addition to that, these pants also feature roll-up leg snaps, which will come in handy when you’re trekking through harsh terrain. They feature deep pockets, as well as a hidden stash pocket on the right leg that’s great for items you want to keep a bit more secure.
The size variety of these is also really good, as they’re available in short, regular, and tall length options. But, keep in mind that these are really stretchy, and they won’t shrink at all even after you’ve washed them. You might even want to consider going a size down if you want to avoid a looser fit.
Especially since these are regular fit, so they’re supposed to be on the loose side. You could also opt for a skinny fit, but that’s going to be a bit more restrictive and not as comfortable. Also, they are low-rise pants, so really think about how they’re going to fit you. If you have wider hips, you should definitely skip them and opt for a high-waisted option!
Ladies, if you’re looking for affordable and convertible hiking pants, the Little Donkey Andy ones are an excellent option. Especially if you’re curvy, since the pants are high-waisted, which looks extremely flattering on women with wider hips.
You can zip off the legs of the pants and transform them into Bermuda shorts in less than a minute. That’s pretty convenient for summer hikes, especially since the pants aren’t very tight in the legs, for great freedom of movement.
Additionally, these hiking pants have 5% Spandex, so they are very stretchy. The fabric is also quick drying with UPF protection, but it does not have the best water resistance. That’s why these pants are not our first option for hikes in cold and wet weather.
One thing you will love about these is that you get more pockets than you could hope for. The pants feature a total of six pockets, which is absolutely amazing for women’s pants! Most of those pockets are zippered, for those items that you want to keep close by, but still very secure.
Also, it’s important to note that the waist of these is quite stretchy, so it’s going to be pretty easy to get the right fit. You only need to worry about whether or not they’re fit you in the legs, which is pretty good.
However, you can’t choose the length of the pants and that’s really a shame. The size variety ranges from S to XXL, which is quite disappointing. They do run true to size and the spandex means they should fit you easily, but I would have preferred to see several length options since you can’t really roll up the legs.
This means that if they’re too long for you, you will need to settle for only wearing the short version or having them tailored.
The Anytime Outdoor pants by Columbia are a great option for the ladies who want something really comfortable and stretchy. The pants actually feature a tracksuit shape with the elastic band at the waist, which makes them a really good option for outdoor barbecues. 😉
But unlike a classic tracksuit pant, these are made from nylon for excellent water resistance, breathability, and quick-drying features. They actually feature Omni-Shield technology for repelling water, as well as Omni-Shade for great protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. And as long as you pull your t-shirt over the waistband, they will not look like a tracksuit at all.
Additionally, these women’s hiking pants are pretty stretchy in the legs, thanks to all the elastane. That guarantees they’re not going to feel too restrictive, and that you will be able to stay comfortable while you’re hiking for prolonged periods of time.
The size variety is also really good, considering you can get these in sizes ranging from 2 to 24. And you can choose between short and regular lengths of the pants, so at least there’s some variety when it comes to that. Unfortunately, there’s no option for the really tall ladies, and that’s pretty disappointing.
Another downside of these pants is that you only get three pockets, and none of them are zippered. Also, they’re all pretty shallow, and they’re not really great for storing your phone or wallet – if you move around enough there’s a decent chance stuff will start falling out of the pockets, which isn’t really that great.
The TBMPOY men’s hiking pants are a great option if you’re looking for an affordable pair of pants. They retail for about $30, so they’re quite a bit cheaper than other name-brand pants. They’re made from Polyamide and Spandex, meaning they are stretchy, lightweight, rugged, and breathable.
The pants also have pretty good water repellency, as well as excellent breathability. They are very comfortable to wear, especially during warm weather hikes when you need something that will give you that barely there feel.
At least, that’s if you go for the pants that are labeled as “thin”. There’s also an option that’s labeled as “thick” – these pants are lined with fleece on the inside, and they’re actually suitable for cold-weather hikes. The fleece-lined option is not really quick-drying, so keep that in mind.
Also, these pants feature an elastic waist, so it should be pretty easy to get a pair that fits well. And they come with a belt – that’s a pretty convenient feature for the price, but it’s not like you’re getting an outstanding belt.
They have five pockets total, all of which feature a zipper closure. This makes them great for the items you want to have easily accessible and extra secure. You get four pockets on the sides, as well as one pocket in the back.
You can get these pants in sizes ranging from S to XXL, which is the only disappointing factor. There are no plus-size options and you can’t do anything about the length of the pants – they’ll either fit you well, or you will end up returning them. And you can’t roll up or remove the legs, so that might be an issue.
The Mier women’s hiking pants are a really good option if you want convertible pants. They are mostly made from water-resistant nylon, which is very lightweight and quick drying. And with 12% spandex in the composition, these pants are stretchy enough to keep you comfortable even on some long and difficult hikes.
These are mid-rise pants with elastic fabric at the sides of the waist, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the size that fits you well. Just check the measurement of your waist, since it is indicated which size is best suited for which waist circumference.
However, you can’t choose the length of the pants, which is a shame. You also can’t roll them up, as is usually the case with convertible pants. The upside is that you can always keep the shorts, even if you’re not satisfied with the length of the actual legs. The inseam measures 31” for the full pants, so be sure to check how that compared against your body.
One thing I really like about these hiking pants is that they feature five pockets total. There are two side pockets, two rear pockets, and one large cargo pocket on the thigh. All of the pockets are zippered, ensuring that the items you put in them will be as secure as possible. And they are all above the zip-off legs, meaning you will have access to all five pockets even if you’re just wearing the Bermuda shorts.
Another thing to love about these pants is that they feature very durable hardware. The belt buckle is Duraflex, which happens to be one of the best and most durable brands for plastic hardware. And the fly zipper is YKK – the leader on the market when it comes to high-quality zippers.
The North Face is another high-quality outdoor brand whose products rarely disappoint. We love their outdoor backpacks and jackets, so it’s no surprise we really liked their men’s hiking pants either! With a durable and water repellant exterior, these pants are easily one of the best options for outdoor adventures.
And they’re convertible pants, so you’re practically getting two items for the price of one. The zipper for the legs is just above the knees, and it allows you to transform these hiking pants into a great pair of shorts for summer adventures.
These hiking pants feature DWR coating, for excellent water resistance. They’re also lightweight, durable, and quick-drying, so there’s no doubt they’re suitable for most outdoor adventures. And with a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, you will be able to move around as much as you need, without feeling restricted by your clothing.
In addition to that, the thing I like the most about these pants is the size variety. Although the waist sizes stop at 40 (meaning no plus-size options), you can choose between several different lengths of the pants, which is really great. This really lets you get something that fits you just right, and which is ultimately going to be the most comfortable.
And since you can choose which length of the pants you want, getting the waist to fit you well shouldn’t be an issue. Especially because it features an internal drawcord inside the waistband, which allows you to stretch it out or tighten it up as much as you like.
These pants have four pockets total, only one of which is zippered. The other three pockets (two on the front, one in the back) are all open pockets, so they’re not the best option for items you want extra secure and protected from the elements.
The Baleaf hiking pants are an excellent high-waisted option for the ladies. They are made from nylon and spandex, so they’re lightweight, durable, water repellant, and very comfortable thanks to that four-way stretch fabric. Also, there are elastic inserts at the side of the waist,
These pants are convertible, but you can’t take off the legs entirely. You can roll them up though, and transform these into capris – a pretty useful feature in case you find that the length of the pants isn’t quite the right fit. This might happen, since you can’t actually choose a specific length.
The breathable fabric of the Baleaf women’s pants also features UPF protection, ensuring your skin is safe from those nasty UVA and UVB rays. The pants are also quick drying moisture-wicking, making them a great option regardless of the weather outside. Maybe don’t wear them if it’s really cold though, since they’re so thin and lightweight I’m afraid you’d turn blue pretty fast.
Another thing to love about these hiking pants is that they have five pockets total. Three are on the front and two are in the back – the back pockets feature Velcro closure, while only one of the front pockets has a zipper. The other two are open, but they’re deep enough that items shouldn’t fall out.
In addition to that, it’s also important to note that these hiking pants have articulated knees, for great freedom of movement. The last thing you need is pants that don’t let you hike the way you want to – that’s not something you will experience if you end up getting the Baleaf hiking pants!
Hiking pants are almost always made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, with a smaller percentage of either elastane or spandex that makes them stretchy. The reason for this is because synthetic materials are a lot more rugged and durable than natural materials like cotton.
Nylon will not get torn if it gets caught on a rock or a branch, which is what makes it suitable for all sorts of outdoor expeditions. Also, nylon, polyester, and other polyamides are a lot lighter than cotton and have much higher water resistance – features that are very important in good hiking pants. And these materials are quick-drying, while cotton retains water for a really long time.
Imagine falling tripping over a rock and falling in a stream while you’re out hiking – would you rather be wearing lightweight pants that will absorb very little water and dry off quickly or something that would get drenched, become really heavy and would take forever to dry?
However, cotton is by far the most breathable out of all these materials, so it’s actually a good option if you need pants specifically for warm weather. And with the right technologies, it can have pretty good water resistance!
In addition to that, you should also pay attention to the amount of the stretchy element in the composition of the pants. The higher the percentage of elastane or spandex, the stretchier the pants are. If it’s a really high number, then it might be a good idea for you to go a size down when you order because the pants are going to be very stretchy anyway. Especially if you are usually between sizes or struggle to get something that’s just the right fit.
Do you want just normal hiking pants or pants that have zip-off legs so that you can transform them into shorts?
Convertible pants are a lot more versatile, and they are a really good option for hikes during warm weather. And you’re getting better value for money, since you’re getting a pair of pants and a pair of shorts for the same price.
But they’re also going to be heavier than the regular pants because of the zippers. And they’re a bit less durable, since there are more elements on the pants that could malfunction or stop working. It’s enough that just one zipper tooth is accidentally deformed, and you won’t be able to put the legs back onto the pants again.
Also, do you want to wear these pants exclusively for hiking, or do you want to be able to wear them to work? If it’s the latter, I would recommend sticking with the basic pants. With convertible ones, the zipper line is clearly visible, and it makes it obvious that they are sporty outdoor pants.
It is obviously important that you get hiking pants that fit you just right, but it can be really difficult to ensure that when you’re shopping online. This is why it’s important to know your measurements, and double-check which size would fit them best.
This is particularly important for pants that have no or a very small percentage of a stretchy element in the composition. With a pair of hiking pants that has 10%+ of elastane or spandex in them, even the wrong size could fit you fine because they’re so stretchy.
But the more important factor is the length of the pants. Get something that’s too short, and your legs will not be properly protected from the elements. And if you get something that’s too long, you’ll have to get the pants tailored. If you don’t, they will drag on the ground and might cause you to trip over when you least want to.
If you usually struggle to find pants that are the right length for you because you’re very short or very tall, then your best bet is to shop for brands like Columbia. They offer pants in several different lengths, which makes it a lot easier to get something that fits well. They are more expensive, but in my experience it’s usually better to spend more money on something that fits you like a glove than to settle for an awkward fit.
The cheaper brands just have the basic sizes and they rarely offer different lengths, so it is going to be a gamble whether or not they will fit your body properly. And I’ve indicated in the cons boxes if this is the case with a particular pair of pants, so you can know which ones to skip.
Not sure which of these hiking pants are the best pair for you? Go with one of our top three choices and you won’t have any regrets!
The best hiking pants for men are the Columbia Silver Ridge ones. They’re lightweight, breathable, water resistant and pretty versatile, considering you can remove the legs and wear these as shorts. The pants have a total of five pockets, all of which remain accessible even after you’ve removed the legs. And they feature Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Shade and Omni-Wick technologies, which will keep you dry and protected from the sun at all times.
My favorite option for the ladies is the Little Donkey Andy convertible pants. They’re high-waisted with elastic inserts at the sides of the waist, so they will good on nearly everyone. And they have six pockets total, which you will be able to use even if you’re wearing these as shorts. The pants are lightweight, breathable and quick-drying, and they also feature UPF 50+ protection.
If you just want hiking pants that are lightweight and portable, go with the Coalatree Trailhead Adventure pants. They’re a unisex option, so they’re a good fit for everyone, especially with the loose legs and the elastic waist. The pants pack into their front pocket and weigh just some 11 oz, making them the best pair you can throw in your carry-on. And they’re quick drying and water repellant, with drawstring at the ankles that lets you adjust the legs for the perfect fit!
You can see the prices and more photos of all of these pants if you head over to Amazon. And if you’re looking for other must-have hiking gear, don’t miss out on our related posts!