While the amateur will probably focus mainly on their footwear, those experienced enough on the trail know that a pair of hiking pants can be their true deliverance.
Whether nylon pants, zip off pants, with articulated knees or with a belt, choosing and buying the best hiking pants is a must!
After doing LOTS of research and based on my own experience as a fairly experienced hiker, I put together this list of the best hiking pats you can get in 2018 (so far)
Before we go into details, let’s take a quick look at what we recommend:
(Check current price down below)
High-strength and density metal alloy snap button
Fabric repels liquid, dirt and other contaminants
8 Multi-purpose cargo pockets
Fade, shrink and wrinkle resistant
Do you want to learn more about hikign pants?
Here you can learn:
- What To Look For When Buying Hiking Pants
- What Are Hiking Pants And How Are They Different?
- Why Is It Important To Choose The Best Hiking Pants?
Or, you can just go straight to the reviews:
The 10 Best Hiking Pants of 2018
(Hiking Pants Women)
|Material||100% nylon woven|
Needless to say, the best characteristic of these hiking pants for women is its convertibility. This zip off pants can transform into comfortable shorts in no time. They are lightweight and made of soft material, thus ideal for hot sunny days. In fact, from mountain trails to river banks to scorching deserts, these White Sierra Point Convertible Pants are the best hiking pants for seasonal changes.
The White Sierra Point Convertible Pants is made of water repellent fabric. They perform well in wet weather and they dried easily and quickly.
Buyers claim that these hiking pants are easily transformed into shorts without the need to take out the boots or shoes first. In addition, the disposition of pockets made them practical to carry things and have them at hand quickly. Undoubtedly, versatile, stylish and practical, they are the best hiking pants for women!
What’s not so good
Even when the fabric is lightweight and the pants are comfortable, in comparison with the other items in this hiking pants review, the Sierra Point Convertible Pants have a little more heft than your average set of hiking pants. But, not many buyers seem to worry about that since the extra thickness in the fabric means that the pants are resistant and durable.
Moreover, regardless the design, zip off pants add weight and bulk and for many hiking folks it’s better just to roll up the pants if extra coolness is required. What’s more, hiking pants that are convertible such as the Sierra Point Convertible Pants, are often of baggier fit and some buyers say is difficult to find the ‘perfect fit’. So, if you’re looking for something of more next-to-skin wear, these won’t probably be the best option for you.
We would suggest you proceed with caution and although overall users of Amazon gave this product a high score , our advice is that there are better products out there, which we have covered here.
(Hiking pants men)
(Hiking Pants Women)
By far the most popular option on Amazon, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants offer great quality at the lowest price in the market. Don’t let the price tag mislead you, these hiking pants are made of good fabric and therefore they are not only lightweight but also durable. These nylon pants perform well in different conditions and they are made with breathable and quick drying fabric. Furthermore, being convertible, these zip off pants are also an ideal choice for hot temperature and humidity.
Though the fabric isn’t really water proof (just like most hiking pants), the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants are highly water repellent. That’s why, hiking under light rains won’t be a problem and the Omni-Wick advanced evaporation technology make the fabric dry almost instantly.
Another worth-mention quality is that the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants have an elastic belt in the waist and deep side pockets for those who prefer to bring things with them and avoid backpacks. So, for those on a budget to buy the equipment, these pants are the best hiking pants available in the market. Definitely, the choice for those who are just starting to go on hiking adventures!
What’s not so good
Similarly to the previous one, these zip off pants are of a baggier design and sometimes buyers can’t find the right size for them. In addition, thighs are a bit binding on high steps or long strides.
Moreover, due to their low cost, you can’t expect these hiking pants to last forever and they aren’t suitable for extreme or rough environments or activities. The zippers are a bit rough sometimes and some buyers say that zipping the legs proofs to be somehow difficult.
Cotswold outdoor (http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com) is one retailer where you can procure this product and not only that, but 70 customers have provided reviews which come in with a good score of 8.6/10 on average. The overwhelming consensus is that the product is lightweight and comfortable, with plenty of leg pockets. Overall the product gives us confidence, security and comfort, we believe users will be very happy with this item.
(Hiking Pants Men)
(Hiking Pants Women)
|Material:||97% nylon, 3% spandex|
Though technically designed mostly as climbing pants, the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible pants are a common option among hiking people due to being versatile, lightweight and comfortable. The gusseted crotch and stretchy fabric make them perfect for a superior range of motion. Ideal not only for outdoor activities like hiking but also for playing some sports.
Like a lightweight softshell, the stretchy and durable water resistant fabric perform well in either warm or cold weather. In addition, though the added thickness in the design make the hiking pants a bit warmer under hot temperatures or sunny days, just remember they are also zip off pants and can be turn into shorts easily. The zippers are a good quality with nice and reliable rubberized pulls.
While the two previous convertible pants show the same inconvenient of being baggier due to the extra zippers in the knees, the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible don’t have that problem. Buyers haven’t experienced much inconvenience finding their right fit. That’s why, despite being pricier than the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants, these prAna Stretch Zion Convertible are probably one of the best hiking pants in the market right now.
What’s not so good
There’s not much negative things to say about these pants but as it was mentioned in the previous sentence, the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible are a bit pricey for lightweight hiking pants. The other aspect that some buyers have complained is that the fabric fails to be breathable enough during high temperatures. Again, it’s worth mentioning that being convertible, the zip off legs can give that extra coolness you require in hot sunny days. Even better, prAna offers this same Stretch Zion model without the zip off legs.
Heading over directly to global.prana gives us a look at what other users have experienced. The aggregate high score is in line with our thoughts, with one customer relaying that the product is a “great fit! Most convertible style pants come in S/M/L.. and I’ve never been able to fall into this mold. These pants fit well, look good and function great.” Several consumers did make a note about the zippers, falling below or hitting the knees. One review elaborated, “While I’ve found the shorts on other brands’ convertibles to be too short, these are way too long where the pants zippers hit me on the knees”
(Hiking Pants Men)
(Hiking Pants Women)
|Material:||88% nylon, 12% elastane|
What immediately hits you is that these hiking pants are unlike many others that have come before it, in that they look and fit just like a pair of jeans, providing that sweet spot of practicality and style.
These hiking pants are very warm and wind resistant for the weight, and having enough air permeability to breathe. Moreover, unlike the previous pants, these hiking pants offer articulated knees which allows for the kind of mobility you may need in the wild.
In addition, the waist is high enough for good coverage when bending over while at the same time, a closer fitting crotch is not too tight. The hips are slim but not silly slim. These hiking pants are overall more form fitting while they still allow for movement. There are five pockets, two front, two rear, and one on the right thigh.
However, probably their top quality is the innovative design. Actually, the Outdoor Research Voodoo pants present a casual jean styling, which make them great to wear around town, or for exercise, as well for hiking or backpacking. They are definitely very versatile.
What’s not so good
What many buyers mainly complain about the Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants are two things: the pockets and the waist. So, on one hand, back pockets are fine but the front pockets are a bit shallow which makes them almost useless. On the other hand, the waist is not tight enough and you’ll probably use a belt after wearing them for a couple of days.
So, though maybe not the best hiking pants out there, the Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants remain a viable option for a considerably low price. Its high ratings on Amazon suggests that for the most part, people are pleased with this product and we would agree with that consensus. Even better, cut like jeans, the stylish design make the product stand out and provide something that other pants can’t; a close fit without that baggy feeling.
(Hiking Pants Men)
|Material:||96% nylon, 4% elastane|
Similarly to the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants, these hiking pants are a good choice for people who don’t want to spend too much money. The Columbia Royce Peak Pants perform well in cool and warm weather, and shed water and rain in a good way, too. The stretchy fabric makes them also ideal for cold temperatures and therefore you can wear them even in winter.
Considering the cost, the material is quite good and these nylon pants don’t shrink and even better, the color doesn’t seem to fade after being washed on many occasions. The Columbia Royce Peak Pants are very stain resistant. Many buyers think they are fit for both outdoor and indoor activities. One user on backcountry.com glowed that “They are fast drying, stretchy, high quality, rugged, and surprisingly stylish.” This stylish design makes them even appropriate to walk around town or go shopping like a regular pair of pants.
Comfortable for a wide range of activity, these hiking pants deliver a wide range of motion thanks to a gusseted crotch and articulated knees. In addition, cargo pockets on both sides are protected with zippers. Buyers say that after many uses the zippers quality doesn’t diminish. Ideal to carry things knowing they are safe!
What’s not so good
Buyers on Amazon have complained often about finding the right size for these pants. Indeed, another user on backcountry.com was disappointed with the purchase, remarking that “I’ve Ordered size 34 waist but the pants were like 28! I couldn’t even get em to reach my waist!! I checked the ticket and indeed it was 34!” Too tight or too baggy, the Columbia Royce Peak Pants seem not to fit well in two key areas, the waist and the knees. The length of the legs also proved to be problematic.
Another minor disadvantage is the fabric. Although comfortable and stretchy enough, the fabric don’t perform that well in hot temperatures and so the Columbia Royce Peak Pants probably won’t be the best hiking pants for summer use. It will work great in autumn and spring though!
An overall high rating on amazon.com is in line with our thinking; a good product, priced well but not without it’s flaws.
(Hiking Pants Men)
|Material:||65% polyester, 35% cotton|
As its name indicates, these hiking pants are of ‘tactical’ design because there’s loads of pockets and Velcro everywhere to hold your pocket knives, maps, coins, whatever you need. This variety of pockets include a non-flap magazine pocket for quick storage of tactical equipment, tools or cell phones; slash front pocket which are large and deep, and can be accessed even with gloves on; and a secure Velcro flapped out-pocket that offers safe storage. Velcro diagonal line shape prevents clothing from sliding down a quick connection and activity.
Moreover, unlike most items in this hiking pants review, these are not nylon pants but the water repellent fabric performs well in all environments, being not only resistant and durable but also light and comfortable. CQR Tactical Pants are constructed with a hint of military and law enforcement performance design, which make them the best hiking pants for adventurous people both enthusiasts and professionals. What’s more, the price is more than accessible for people on a budget. Many buyers on Amazon have said that the CQR Tactical Pants are the best alternative for the pricey 5.11 Taclite Pro.
What’s not so good
As expected, all the extra pockets and Velco make these pants a bit heavier than most items in this hiking pants review. Yet, they are light nonetheless. On the other hand, some buyers on Amazon have expressed that the CQR Tactical Pants are tight around the waist but baggier around the legs. Thus, finding the right fit can proved a bit tricky.
Compared with other pants, this item offers very similar if not the same level of design and practicality, but at a fraction of the cost.
(Hiking Pants Men)
|Material:||86% nylon, 14% elastane|
Finally, last in our hiking pants review we find a product justifyed on small details. Lightweight fabric makes the Arc’teryx Lefroy pants comfortable and easy to wear. Premium built, these hiking pants perform great in different conditions from cold to hot temperatures. The stylish design includes a belt and front zippered thigh pockets.
Many buyers consider these hiking pants the right choice for hiking, backpacking or even for travelling. Receiving wonderful reviews on backcountry.com, one user commented, “Stellar material. Very breathable, stretchy, and water resistant. Best pair of pants I’ve had for the summer.” The trend continues over at amazon.com, a customer stated that “Love the fit and style so much, I bought 2.”
As mentioned beforehand, the Arc’teryx Lefroy is made from lightweight and quick-drying fabric. In hot climates, the design is breathable to help your legs stay cool and it also features a TerraTex waistband, made from a slightly stiffer fabric that increase the durability of these hiking pants, even in rough environments. Several reviews on alipinetrek.co.uk listed the advantages of the product as being “Lightweight, breathable, good cut“
Though a bit pricey, these Arc’teryx hiking pants are built in quality and will last for years. Ideal for a wide range of activities, these are literally able to go straight from work to a 15 mile endurance trek without a single scratch. So, if you’re planning on a long hiking experience or on going hiking repeatedly and you can afford the extra cost, these Arc’teryx Lefroy pants might just be the best hiking pants for you. Receiving 5 star reviews across a multitude of websites (mentioned above), it’s clear this is a highly popular choice amongst hikers.
What’s not so good
One minor thing that buyers complain is the lack of back pockets or side pocket. Although the front pockets are just great, this inconvenient in the design make the idea of carrying everything on you a bit difficult. But, you can always carry a backpack anyway.
Nevertheless, probably the most important setback of these hiking pants is the price. Without doubt, the Arc’teryx Lefroy pants are the most expensive items in this hiking pants review. Many buyers on Amazon consider that paying a lot for a lightweight hiking pants is a luxury and they go with a less expensive option like the Outdoor Research Voodoo Pants or the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible.
Mike’s Top Choice
We’ve looked at several variations of hiking pants for both men and women throughout this article, but which product would we use ourselves? There are of course several factors to consider when making your final choice, do you put price as a priority? How about comfort, is that the be all and end all for you?
We’ve taken these variables into consideration and have concluded that Mike’s Top Choice belongs to the offers from prAna, both the Men’s Stretch Zion Convertible and prAna Women’s Monarch Convertible Reg Inseam. Ideal for your outdoor hiking excursions, their gusseted design provides these pants with a huge range of motion, meaning that they can also be used for other sporting activities and even work at the gym. Something that we noticed cropping up several times with many products, was that finding the correct fitting could often be a challenge. Whether the waist was incorrect, or the sizing too short, users were often frustrated that their usual size did not translate to the hiking pants. However this is not the case with the prAna products, fitting like a glove it was certainly a refreshing change on what was fast becoming the norm in this market.
If you believe in the old mantra “you get what you pay for”, this will certainly ring true with these pants. While there are other cheaper options in this review available, there is often a compromise with style, comfort or durability. This isn’t the case with the prAna pants, which is why they come in as Mike’s Top Choice.
True and passionate hiking folks know well enough that it’s essential to have not only good equipment (backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and other gear) but also the right kind of clothing.
What’s more, hiking requires a wide range of movement, and so every part of your body needs the right gear to keep you in the right track and also comfortable. While the amateur will probably focus mainly on their footwear, those experienced enough on the trail know that a pair of hiking pants can be their true deliverance.
Therefore, whether nylon pants, zip off pants, with articulated knees or with a belt, choosing and buying the best hiking pants is a must.
As part of your gear, the pair of pants you chose will play an important role in your hiking experience. They should be resistant enough for your outing, whether hiking or doing some rock climbing. They should be able to help cut wind and rain without being constricting.
It cannot be stressed enough how crucial the correct garments are!
What are Hiking Pants and how are they different?
It’s important to understand how hiking pants differ from your run of the mill household garment. Visually, here is an image that will help you understand what hiking pants are:
While you may think that the old pair of jeans you use for painting and decorating will be suitable for an outdoor excursion, this just is not the case. Instead you need a pair of pants that are going to provide you with the versatility to conquer many obstacles as you never know what you’ll encounter on your outdoor expedition. That’s what really sets a good pair of hiking pants apart and differentiates from an off the shelf fashion accessory.
You will likely find yourself treading through rivers, scaling tricky obstacles such as muddy hills and traversing over a rocky terrain. Not to mention the weather could turn as you’re half way through your day, just like that a downpour could threaten to dampen not only the geography around you, but your mood as well. Still think those ripped jeans from 1995 will do the trick?
Nowadays, the best hiking pants and the regular ones are often made of lightweight, water repellent and quick-drying fabric (the majority are nylon pants or a combination of nylon with other materials). The design makes them ideal for hiking and any other outdoor pursuits. Most hiking pants come with plenty of pockets, security zippers, and have no bulk, while at the same time remaining comfortable to wear. Even better, many hiking pants are “convertible”, which means the legs can zip off to turn the pants into shorts. A great trick for hot temperatures!
Now, how do we know which is the best hiking pants available?
Bearing in mind both experts and consumers opinions alike, here is a hiking pants review from Mike’s Gear Review. The objective is to choose the most appropriate pants without spending much money. This review includes both hiking pants for men and hiking pants for women. It also includes different designs, different materials and different brands. This article is intended to help YOU make an informed and clear decision when selecting hiking pants, which will result in giving you the best outdoor experience possible.
The review includes some details about the products being discussed and opinions both in favor and against them. The three first pairs of hiking pants are convertibles (also called zip off pants, because they include zippers to transform the pants into shorts) and the following four are regular hiking pants. All the following items are now available on Amazon.
What to look for when buying Hiking Pants
Before we delve into the products that have been selected, it’s important to note the criteria that must be considered for selecting the best hiking pants.
Crucially there are several facets to address, which include comfort, durability, versatility and what features are present.
Comfort is an enormously important aspect for hiking pants.
Imagine you are trekking through the great outdoors for hours on end, you’re going to need something that doesn’t drag you down, feel baggy, rub on your skin and generally cause irritation. Being comfortable will simply allow you to concentrate at the task at hand, whether it’s a brisk walk up an incline or skirting across rocks in a shallow river, you’ll need to have your focus on what’s important.
Let’s also not forget that many times if you engage on a hike, you’ll be doing it for an end goal; to set up camp and relax. You’ll be lounging around, enjoying nature and admiring the scenery, clearly you don’t want to be sitting in pants that chafe or make you feel uneasy. It’s about the sweet spot, not too loose but not too tight that they become restrictive.
Range of motion is also a big part of being comfortable, so it’s important to find pants that have articulated knees and gussets. This is vital as it allows a full range of motion that you can’t get with a regular pair of jeans or other pants, which along with being durable, the material should also be stretchy and breathable, allowing you to easily traverse over boulders and other common obstacles along the trail.
Moving on, durability is a high priority when selecting hiking pants. At the end of the day, you don’t want to part with your hard earned cash for a set of pants that will fall apart at the seams after one long trek, that would be frustrating and could even put you off the hobby altogether. This also means that the pants need to be weather resistant to keep you as dry as possible when things turn wet and wild!
Being truly water resistant for a summer’s hike is something that in all honesty would be impossible to achieve unless you swap out for an article of clothing specifically designed for wet weather, but there are ways that a great pair of hiking pants combat potential bad weather. Most hiking pants will include DWR in the list of their materials, which is essentially a water repellent coating that actually sheds water rather well. Similar to waxing a car, the rain or water droplets bead on the pant and roll off, which is great as you don’t want the water to remain on the clothing and drag you down and soak you through.
Versatility is a key component to consider. Essentially, you don’t want to be restricted when you’re out on your hike. If the day starts off overcast and somewhat gloomy, having the pants in their usual configuration is fine, but what if things suddenly get a little hotter, the breeze disappears and you find yourself wishing you could remove a layer or two?
Good hiking pants will be convertible, with zips that can remove the lower portion of the pant, giving you that breathing space when necessary. In addition you might find yourself wading through knee high water, so once again taking out the lower part of the clothing will save you from getting soggy and spoiling your outing.
Furthermore on the idea of being versatile, the amount of pockets and their size can also play a part in making or breaking a solid pair of pants.
Now, this may come down to personal preference, you may not want to overload yourself with numerous tools and equipment. However, a decent size pocket to fit a map, a handy pocket knife and other such materials will certainly be a consideration. If that is something that’s important, zips will be paramount in keeping your objects close to hand as you clamber over ridges and trek through the terrain, things could very easily get dropped otherwise.
So armed with this knowledge, let’s take a look at the first product.
Now you know, it’s up to you!
To sum up, you have seen plenty of options in this hiking pants review for Mike’s Gear Review. According to what you want or what you’ll use these pants for, you can choose the best hiking pants for you. Probably, you’d prefer style over practicality, price over durability, nylon pants over polyester pans, or zip off pants over the regular ones. It all depends on where you’ll wear them, how often and to do what. Maybe, you’ll start hiking and then will decide to go for more challenging activities like camping or climbing. Or maybe you want a pair of pants to go hiking sometimes but also to wear in your town and do your everyday activities.
Nonetheless, bear in mind that all items in this hiking pants review are of high quality and will perform accordingly. In addition, needlessly to say that you need to select your clothing carefully and thoughtfully because they will be as important as the rest of your gear. Now, having said that, if you can go the extra mile, the Arc’teryx Lefroy are probably the one for you. If not and you are on a budget or you prefer to spend more money on the rest of your hiking equipment, then the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are the best hiking pants for you!