Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors. There are endless places to explore when you strap on a backpack and head out into the wilderness. When you are preparing to go on a hike, even an afternoon hike at a local trail, it’s essential to have the right equipment to ensure your hike is safe and enjoyable. You’ll want to be sure to invest in a high-quality pair of hiking pants to ensure you are protected from the elements, and that you remain cool and comfortable during your hike. We’ve rounded up the best hiking pants to help you decide which pair is right for you.
Best Hiking Pants
|Our Rank||Model||Material||Waterproof||Comes With Belt|
|1||Helikon-Tex Outback Line, OTP Outdoor Tactical Pants||93% Nylon / 7% Spandex / DuPont Teflon Coating||Moisture-wicking||No|
|2||Huntvp Men's Tactical Pants Outdoor Lightweight WR Hiking Mountain Pants||Nylon / Cotton Blend||Water-resistant||No|
|3||FREE SOLDIER Men's Tactical Pants||50% Cotton / 50% Nylon||Waterproof||No|
|4||HARD LAND Men's Waterproof Tactical Pants Ripstop Cargo Pants||65% Polyester / 35% Cotton Twill||Waterproof||No|
|5||TBMPOY Men's Outdoor Quick-dry Lightweight Waterproof Hiking Mountain Pants||85% Polyamide / 15% Spandex||Moisture-wicking||Yes|
Top Rated Hiking Pants
Made from 93% nylon and 7% spandex, these pants are designed to breathe and move with you. The elastic-like fabric makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors, and the breathable material keeps you cool and comfortable. These pants are ideal for hiking because of their slim fit so that excess material doesn’t get caught around your waist as you move. There is a 2-inch adjustable band in the waist for when you need to add layers and make room in your pants for those layers, but they still sit nicely against your body to keep you comfortable. There are 2 large front pockets sewn into these pants that are great for everything from your map to food to a knife. The lay-flat design means that you won’t be carrying the added weight on your sides, making it easier to lift your legs for steep hikes. There is added fabric to the knee area to prevent wear and tear on your journeys. Available in several colors including green, black, khaki, brown, gray and more, there is a color for everyone and every need. These pants aren’t waterproof, but they do work to wick the moisture away when they get wet, so you aren’t being weighed down by excess water on your pants.
- Teflon coated materials
- Patented design
- Adjustable waist
- Not fully waterproof
These hiking pants by Huntvp offer style and flexibility in a military-inspired pant that provides a great deal of durability and strength for the avid hiker. The build and construction of these pants feature high-quality zippers and high-density metal alloy buttons that will stand the test of time.
Made from a durable, ripstop cotton blend, these pants will keep you feeling dry with water-resistant treatment and design. The elastic stretch waistband ensures the pants stay put while hiking and it provides a great deal of comfort while on the move. The elastic waistband design also helps to reduce friction when carrying a backpack for added comfort on the trail. These pants are available up to size XL, but be sure to measure before you buy because they are made a little smaller than some other pants. The form-fitting design will keep your pants from shifting while you hike. These are an excellent option for any hiker at any level. They are also great for camping, fishing, and layering in the winter months.
- Water resistant
- Nylon/cotton blend
- High-quality construction
- Great design
- Elastic waistband for stretch and comfort
- Made smaller than other pants so be sure to measure before buying
If you are in the market for a pair of high tech hiking pants, the Free Soldier tactical pants might be right for you. This 50/50 cotton/nylon blend features heavy duty zippers, a number of deep pockets, and hanging clips on the side of the pants for all of your tools and gear that you want to grab in an instant. The pants are scratch-resistant, waterproof, tear-resistant, oil resistant, and great for four seasons of wearability. They are also coated with Teflon and offer a great deal of breathability and comfort. The pockets are big enough to carry large items such as flashlights or other large tools. They are perfect for hiking, but you’ll get a lot of use out of them on the construction site, while camping or hunting, and they are great for everyday wear as well. With stylish 3D tailoring, these pants look cool, and the attention to detail means you’ll have these pants for years to come. The pants come in several colors including green, black, brown, and camouflage. Great for serious hikers with a lot of equipment to carry.
- Durable design and build
- High-quality materials
- Waterproof, oil proof, and scratch resistant
- Great for four seasons of wear
- Made from lightweight material to keep you cool
- Loads of storage pockets and MOLLE system for hooking tools on the pants
- We can’t find anything wrong with these pants – they are great!
These tactical hiking pants from Hard Land are waterproof and weather resistant. They are great for all kinds of weather use. They won’t fade, shrink or even wrinkle so they are great for everyday wear in addition to your jaunts in the woods. You can also get yourself a pair of these hiking pants for camping, fishing, and hunting. Made from a polyester and cotton blend, they’ll keep you warm in the cold weather and cool in the warmer weather. The zippers are made from high-quality materials, and there are multiple pockets and D-rings for your gadgets and tools. The belt loops are oversized to support the weight of a tool belt or large tools while working or hiking. The waistband sits flat, which will help keep you comfortable when you are carrying a large backpack. There is a place for all your tool, snacks, and even magazines in these great hiking pants. Available in navy blue, black or green, and up to size 46 waist, you can be sure that these pants will stand the test of time.
- Good range of sizes for all body types
- Weather resistant
- Polyester/cotton blend
- Available in 3 colors and a variety of sizes
- Could use more deep pockets
If you are looking for a rugged and reliable pair of hiking pants check out the TBMPOY Outdoor Mountain Pants. They are made of 85% Polyamide and 15% spandex giving you lots of flexibility and durability. There are multiple pockets: two at the knees, one back pocket, two slanted side pockets and more. This pair of pants comes with an adjustable belt, which is a nice added feature since belts are expensive on their own and this one is designed to stand up to the elements and hiking. The waist is adjustable and has a nice bit of stretch to it, and there are “knee darts” sewn into the fabric to allow the pants to move freely while providing an excellent fit. These pants are great for camping, hiking, hunting, construction and more. They aren’t waterproof, but they are water-resistant and offer a quick-dry technology that helps you recover quickly from spills in puddles and while wading through streams. They are rated for 3 seasons, so you’ll need a thicker pant for colder months. Otherwise, these are great hiking pants for any level of hiker.
- Multiple pockets
- Lightweight fabric
- Durable construction
- High-quality zippers
- Comes with belt
- Adjustable waist
- Not rated for cold weather
Hiking Pants Buying Guide
Go For Pants, Not Shorts
Experienced hikers will tell you to always opt for pants over shorts when hiking because they protect your legs better. Pants that are designed for hiking will keep you cool in the warmer weather and warmer in the colder weather. Plus, it’s easy to layer lightweight hiking pants for more frigid weather hikes. Pants help protect your legs from the sun, bugs, and numerous branches and twigs you are going to come in contact with on your travels.
Some people prefer hiking pants that have zip-off legs; the idea is that you can prevent your pants from getting wet if you have to cross a stream, or you can quickly switch to shorts if the weather takes a warmer turn. Zip-off pants are no better or worse than regular pants, but it will be a personal preference as to whether or not you will want to buy this kind of hiking pant.
One thing – actually multiple things that are necessary on a hike is pockets. You want as many pockets as possible in your hiking pants so that you can access items quickly and easily on the trail without having to remove and open your backpack all the time. Map pockets, knife pocket, and pockets for snacks and sunscreen are essential. Make sure the pockets are deep enough to prevent things from falling out as you move along the trails.
Some hiking pants are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about staying wet for long when you cross a stream or step into a puddle. Waterproof and water resistant are two different concepts: waterproof means the water won’t penetrate the fabric, so you stay very dry, but water resistance means the material will eventually become saturated with water and you’ll stay wet longer.
The best hiking pants are made from lightweight nylon, cotton, or spandex material that dries quickly when wet and keeps you cool in warmer weather. For cold-weather hikes, fleece-lined hiking pants are ideal because they help to keep the warmth in without making you feel too uncomfortable. Many of the best hiking pants have nylon/cotton blends that have excellent cooling effects while hiking.
If you hike all year round, you’ll want to invest in several pairs of hiking pants that will perform well for the type of weather you will encounter. For extreme climates – hot or cold – you’ll want to invest in the best hiking pants you can afford so that you stay comfortable and dry wherever you are hiking.
Some people will care about the color of their hiking pants, and some won’t. Just know that the lighter the color of your hiking pants the more dirt and dust they will show. Lighter colored pants will keep you cooler in the warm weather though, so keep that in mind as you shop for your perfect pair of hiking pants.
You might be tempted to get a loose-fitting pair of hiking pants, but the more fitted the pants are to your body the better the material will perform. Wide-legged hiking pants just get in the way of your movements, and the added material only weighs you down as you hike. Pants that move with your body are best so when you try them on, be sure to do a couple of different moves, including squats, to see how your pants hold up. Another thing to consider is if the waist lays flat around your body. If you are carrying a backpack and the waist of your pants bunch up as you move, your backpack may rub against that excess material and cause you a great deal of discomfort.
When it comes to choosing the right hiking pants for you, don’t skimp on the important things like durability, construction, and weather-resistance. You want a pant that can take you from hot to cold, and keep you comfortable no matter what activity you are doing. Hiking is made even more enjoyable when you have the right equipment and are prepared for taking on the elements. Get yourself a pair of hiking pants today, and you’ll be glad you did.