Hiking pants are an important part of your hiking or trekking wardrobe, especially for multi-day hikes. Finding the right pair that’s comfortable and suited to the kind of hiking you do, can make such a difference. So it’s worth spending some time considering what kind of pants to choose.
There are many factors to consider when picking out a pair of hiking pants. Here we outline some of the things to look for in each model before you make your next purchase.
1. Types of Hiking Pants
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. Here are five different types of hiking pants that would best fit your preference:Softshell Hiking Pants
Softshell pants are a jogger's favourite because they are lightweight and comfortable. They are also amazingly versatile, ideal for spring and summer weather.
This type of pants is made of a tightly woven fabric that's wind and water-resistant but not completely waterproof. They're lightweight and moisture-wicking, ideal for hiking and backpacking. On calm days, you'll want to choose a softshell with a DWR (durable water repellant) treatment to repel moisture from your body and the outside weather.
Tight Hiking Pants:
These are the closest things to jeans you'll find in the hiking world. They're very tight and look like you're ready to hit the ski slopes. But, if you're in the right location, you might be surprised how comfortable they are. Tight hiking pants are made using quick-drying nylon, which is excellent for summer hiking.
Convertible Hiking Pants:
Convertible hiking pants are very popular among avid hikers because they're made to offer versatility, shade, and coverage. You can wear them long or short, rolled in or out, allowing you to convert your hiking pants easily while in the field to match the changing weather conditions.
Roll-Up Hiking Pants:
Roll-up hiking pants are great for people who are climbing hills, bouldering, and backpacking. They have a tapered cut that's not too loose or tight, making them great for outdoor use. They are also made of a light but durable material.
These are made from 100% cotton canvas and are designed with lots of pockets to keep you organised. They are available in various colors and patterns, but you'll want to check how well they hold colour.
Cargo pants are ideal for multi-day hikes, especially if carrying an extra load. They are very durable and resistant to water, making them excellent for wet weather conditions.
2. What hiking pants details are worth considering?
Material: One phrase you will come across in terms of material for good hiking pants, and other hiking gear, in terms of material construction, is ripstop. Ripstop fabrics are woven fabrics that are made using a special technique which reinforces them.
This of course makes them tougher and more durable, a perfect fit for the kind of things you will be putting you hiking pants through on the trail!
Is there a best material for hiking pants? I can’t say there is one specific material, a mix of materials like nylon, polyester, elastane, is the way to go.
You want a strong stretch fabric that will enable you to move comfortable as you hike. You also of course want to avoid cotton as it isn’t best suited as a material for hiking pants, neither is linen.
Fit: With everything from baggy cargo pants and tapered zip-offs to hardy leggings equipped with pockets, ultimately your choice comes down to one factor: What you feel most comfortable and capable in. Getting to know your favorite fit might take some trail time to hone, so start with a looser fit to ensure mobility and function first.
Sizing: From brand to brand, sizing is anything but standardized—a size “30” might fit you perfectly in one style of pants, but not in another from another brand. Get rid of the idea that you’re a predetermined size and take your own body measurements (as defined above). Reference your measurements against a brand’s sizing chart to figure your ideal size. Pro tip: If you don’t have a flexible tape measure to assist with these measurements, use a piece of string or rope to mark your distances, then lay the string against a ruler or measuring stick.
Everyone will of course have their own preference for sizing. First and foremost you want your hiking pants to feel comfortable (of course). I think good mobility in them is very important so a certain amount of bagginess is a good thing. However, you don’t want to go overkill on this either.
You will definitely want good mobility in the crotch and knee areas. When you hike over varying terrain you will be moving those areas the most and into the widest variety of positions, so you want a bit of freedom in movement for sure.
Some pants will specifically have things like articulated knees and gusseted crotches so they can be good to look out for too, as they will offer more mobility with added resistance to abrasion.
Mobility: The point of hiking pants is to move—and to feel good while doing so. Make sure you can move comfortably in your pants. Look for articulated knees and butt areas that mimic the anatomical shape of these body parts; you’ll find articulation by looking at the fabric around the joints (hips, butt, and knees), noting any gathered stitching and/or extra space (pant leg and butt areas shouldn’t completely lie flat when placed on the ground). Too, focus on fabrics with some stretch.
3. My Recommendation
Hiking is always known as one of the most arduous activities, which requires a lot of energy and physical efforts. In addition, you need to do quite a few stretches and it is inevitable that during your journey, your clothes will be rubbed against rocks and bushes probably causing inconvertible wear and tear. Besides, during your hiking, you must break it into small parts to have some pauses and by the way, do sightseeing. Probably you will take a seat right on the place you stop like the ground or riverbank. So, your hiking outfit must be made out of scratch-resistant fabric, which not only helps keep your body perfectly protected but also allows your clothes to be in good shape and condition until the next season. Long-lasting fabric, therefore, becomes the priority criteria when it comes to choosing your hiking pants.
These pants link below are the best pants for hiking - The best hiking pants in the world can meet this requirement and let you enjoy your trip 100% because it resists wrinkles and avoids worn-out conditions:
Men's Insulated Waterproof Warm Fleece Lined Ski Pants:
Women's Windproof Fleece Lined Hiking Pants:
Men's Outdoor Snow Ski Waterproof Fleece Lined Pants:
Women's Outdoor Water Resistant Hiking Cargo Pants
4. How to care for your hiking pants?
Last but not least, you may be concerned about how to wash your hiking pants so that they are still in good shape and condition until next season. Right after you’re back home from your hiking trip, you’d better remove all your gear and get down to washing your clothes to get rid of the odor. I advise you to follow the care instructions carefully. Synthetic fabrics that are usually chosen to make hiking pants such as nylon, spandex, or polyester are sensitive to high heat, so make sure you wash them with cold water and let them dry naturally. The better you care for your clothing, the longer they can serve you.
Comfortable hiking pants are a must in every wardrobe. They are not only useful for hiking, but also for any outdoor activity. And they outlive all fashionable trends. However, there are so many different kinds to choose from nowadays that you shouldn’t simply just buy any hiking pants. Because if you choose the wrong model, a lot of the time you’ll notice that the pants are anything but functional when in use.
A good pair of hiking pants can be a real lifesaver out on the trail, and it pays to have the right type for your adventure. Whether you are in the desert heat or cold and rainy climes, there are a lot of options from which to choose. We hope that this article and our hiking pants review help you find that perfect pair.