Best Hiking Pants for Women   Recently updated !


ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa Women's Hiking Pants

ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa Women’s Hiking Pants

Hiking can be as simple as a walk in the nearby park on pruned paths – but if you are planning to hike for a whole day or in more rough terrain, you will thank yourself for getting a pair of proper hiking pants that will protect your legs against abrasion and harsh weather. Below we have made a selection of the best hiking pants for women for 3-season use (spring, summer and fall). For winter use you should instead look for soft shell pants.

1. Buying Hiking Pants – What is important?

Material

The most important feature of hiking pants which sets them apart from other pants is the material. Not only should it be breathable, moisture-wicking and quick-drying (which are qualities you would want from most active wear garments), but also provide decent abrasion-resistance against thorny twigs or sharp rocks. Therefore, nylon is often used in hiking pants – either on its own or mixed with more elastic fibers. You should avoid pants with a very high content of cotton as they will take too long to dry in case of an unexpected rain shower. To learn more about the materials of hiking pants, check out the pants section in our Hiking Clothing Guide.

Sun Protection (UPF)

As hiking pants will many times be the only thing covering your lower body (besides underwear) it is great if they can protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. The level of sun protection in clothing is rated similarly to sun creams, but instead of SPF it is called UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). It indicates how many percentages of UV-rays penetrate through the fabric; a fabric with UPF-30 means that 1/30 (≈6.7 %) of UV-radiation enters through the fabric, or that it protects against 93.3 % of UV-rays. The UPF-rating of a fabric depends on its fiber type (nylon, wool, cotton etc.) as well as factors such as construction, treatments and condition of the garment (brand-new or worn-out), so it is hard to assess it on your own and manufacturers do not always disclose it.

Fit

Women’s pants are often designed for appearance and sex appeal rather than comfort and functionality. When it comes to hiking pants, it is an absolute plus if they are flattering but the most important thing is that you can move around in them freely and comfortably.

Versatility and Ventilation

Some hiking pants can be converted into shorts by zipping the lower part of the legs off and while this seemingly is a very practical feature, some find it annoying to have the extra horizontal zippers and seams in the thigh area (chafing etc.). This can be mitigated by choosing pants that can be rolled up and secured with snap fasteners under the knee, so you still have the option for ventilation when it is really needed. In the selection below we included both types of hiking pants. Some models are also available in shorter versions (capri pants, ankle length) if you are specifically looking for hiking pants for warm weather.

2. The Best Hiking Pants for Women Review

Best Hiking Pants for Women

Best Hiking Pants for Women

  1. prAna Halle
  2. ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa
  3. Outdoor Research Zendo
  4. Columbia Anytime
  5. White Sierra Point Convertible

Comparison

Feature/Product prAna HalleExOfficio Bugs Away ZiwaOutdoor Research ZendoColumbia Anytime
White Sierra Point Convertible
Material97% Nylon, 3% Spandex100 % Nylon 94% Nylon, 6% Spandex96% Nylon, 4% Elastane100 % Nylon
TreatmentsDWRInsect ShieldDWROmni-Shield (DWR)DWR
UPF50305050n/a
Inseam length
76 cm (short); 81 cm (regular); 91.5 cm (tall)81 cm (regular); 74 cm (petite)79 cm for size 8 (length varies with size)81 cm (regular); 75 cm (short73.5 cm, 79 cm (XS-XL);
76 cm (1X-3X)
Sizes0-16 (US)2-14 (US)2-10 (US)2-16 (US)XS-3X
prAna Halle Women's Hiking Pants

prAna Halle Women’s Hiking Pants

1. prAna Halle

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

 

The prAna Halle pants are very popular among hikers and outdoorspeople and it is not hard to understand why as they have a flattering more tailored look without sacrificing functionality – not least due to the great material. The Halle pants are made of the brand’s Stretch Zion fabric which is light, durable, breathable, quick-drying and wrinkle-resistant as well water-resistant since it is treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellent). The pants have a relaxed fit (midrise, straight leg) with articulated knees which make them suitable for climbing as well as hiking and mountaineering. Besides two front and two back pockets, the Halle pants also have a hidden zippered stash pocket on the upper right leg. The pants can be rolled up to under the knee and secured with smartly placed snap fasteners and straps, but if you prefer your hiking pants to be convertible into shorts (zip-off legs) you might want to check out prAna’s Sage pants instead.

 

Pros:

  • UPF-50 sun protection
  • Tailored look
  • Can be rolled up to knee length and fastened

Cons:

  • /

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ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa Women's Hiking Pants

ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa Women’s Hiking Pants

2. ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa

Suitable for:

  • Hiking (including tropical regions)
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

 

ExOfficio’s Bugs Away collection is characterized by the garments being treated with Insect Shield, an invisible odorless treatment bound to the fabric fibers (not your skin) that lasts for 70 washes. According to ExOfficio, it repels a range of insects – not least mosquitoes which can carry disease in regions close to equator. This makes the ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa pants particularly suitable for hiking and travelling in these regions, but they also have design features which make them great for hiking in general. The high-rise pants can be easily converted into shorts (10’’/25 cm), have a partial-elastic waistband for fit and a multitude of pockets for storing smaller items that you want to keep close (credit card, lip balm etc.). These include a zippered security pocket on right leg, two handpockets and a drop-in gadget pocket on left leg. The ExOfficio Bugs Away Ziwa pants are also available with a petite inseam length.

 

Pros:

  • Converts to shorts
  • Treated with Insect Shield (lasts 70 washes).
  • UPF30+ sun protection rating

Cons:

  • /

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Video

Outdoor Research Zendo Women's Hiking Pants

Outdoor Research Zendo Women’s Hiking Pants

3. Outdoor Research Zendo

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

 

The Outdoor Research Zendo pants might look like a pair of sweat pants due to the wide knitted waistband and drawcord, but the pants are otherwise made of an abrasion-resistant, quick-drying and breathable blend of nylon and spandex, which is also water-resistant due to a water-shedding DWR-finish. It has what Outdoor Research calls: “movement-mirroring stretch” and indeed, it does contain more stretchy fibers (6% spandex) than the other hiking pants on this list. The material of the Zendo pants has a UPF-rating of 50 which means that it deflects all but 1/50 (≈2%) of all sun rays. When it comes to features, the Zendo pants have only two hand pockets in the front while the back has a flattering decorative seam with “Outdoor Research” written along it to on the right side. If you are in need of a bit of ventilation, the pants can be rolled up to under the knee and fastened with snap fasteners and tabs.

 

Pros:

  • Stretchy comfortable material
  • UPF-50 sun protection rating
  • Can be rolled up and fastened

Cons:

  • /

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Columbia Anytime Women's Hiking Pants

Columbia Anytime Women’s Hiking Pants

4. Columbia Anytime

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

 

The Columbia Anytime pants are made of the brand’s stretchy Summiteer Lite fabric which is treated with Omni-Shield, a water- and stain-repellant. It also offers sun protection (UPF-50) due to the use of Omni-Shade technology. The Columbia Anytime pants have a lot in common with the Outdoor Research Zendo pants above in terms of design, but are less expensive. Like the Zendo pants, they have a drawcord for adjusting fit rather than belt loops (and a belt) but also a zipper and snap opening. One notable drawback of the Anytime pants is that you cannot roll them up and secure them as there are no snap fasteners, tabs etc. You can, however, get the Columbia Anytime pants in four different versions (capri pants, ankle pants, full leg pants and a boot cut model), so you can choose a shorter model if you prefer having your calves bare.

 

Pros:

  • UPF-50 due to Omni-Shade technology
  • Water- and stain-resistant due to Omni-Shield treatment
  • Two-way stretch

Cons:

  • Rolled up pants cannot be fastened

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White Sierra Point Convertible Women's Hiking Pants

White Sierra Point Convertible Women’s Hiking Pants

5. White Sierra Point Convertible

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Backpacking

 

White Sierra is an American family-owned brand which specializes in affordable quality outdoor clothes. The White Sierra Point Convertible pants are made of Sierra Trail Cloth (100% nylon) – but woven with non-harmful Teflon Fabric Protector which makes the fabric stain-resistant without affecting the breathability and feel of the fabric. It is also water-resistant and offers some UPF-protection although it is not disclosed how much exactly. The White Sierra Point Convertible pants have two hand pockets in the front as well as a zippered thigh pocket for storing small essentials like valuables or lip balm. As the name indicates the pants are convertible into shorts – and rather short ones indeed! While the ExOfficio pants above can be turned into shorts with an inseam length of 25 cm (10’’), the shorts in the White Sierra Point pants have an inseam length of 18 cm (7’’). Sizes XS to XL are available in two pant inseam lengths (73.5 and 79 cm), while larger sizes 1X-3X only come in one (76 cm).

 

Pros:

  • Convert into shorts
  • Stain-resistant due to Teflon Fabric Protector

Cons:

  • Exact level of UPF not disclosed

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