The Best Hiking Pants of 2018   Recently updated !


Montane Terra Pants

Montane Terra Pants

Hiking pants protect your legs against the weather and surroundings (rocks, vegetation etc.), and are therefore very useful for different outdoor activities. They differ from regular pants in materials and design. Hiking pants are quick-drying, moisture-wicking and very sturdy. Furthermore, they also provide good freedom of movement and are therefore comfortable to wear on steep uneven terrain.

Here we selected and reviewed the best hiking pants to make your buying decision a little easier. The hiking pants in this selection are best for moderate and warm temperatures (spring, summer and fall) because they are made of relatively thin fabrics. If you are looking for warmer winter hiking pants, check out our review of the Best Softshell Pants instead. Softshell pants are perfect for winter conditions because they provide insulation as well as protection against the elements – they are windproof and water-resistant. If you often hike in rainy weather, you might also want to check out our review of the Best Waterproof Pants where we listed pants that are worn over regular hiking pants for protection against the rain and wind.

We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.
This selection includes primarily men's products. For women's products check out the Best Hiking Pants for Women.

1. Buying Hiking Pants – What is important?

Material:

Nylon is the most common material for hiking pants because it is very durable and abrasion-resistant. Furthermore, nylon is quick-drying and moisture-wicking. However, some hiking pants are made of polyester instead of nylon. Polyester has similar qualities to nylon but is less sturdy. Neither nylon nor polyester don’t offer good stretch if they are not blended with stretchy fibers such as Spandex, which also ensures recovery performance .

Some brands use high-performance materials which were carefully developed in labs. An example of such a material is Invista’s Tactel (often used by British brand Montane) which is super light but offers great tear resistance and durability. Hiking pants made of such materials are usually slightly pricier.

Hiking pants are often treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) on the outside to repel water (rain) rather than absorb it. DWR doesn’t decrease the breathability of pants or make them bulky. Therefore, there is no reason to avoid DWR treated pants.

To learn more about the various materials used for hiking pants, check out the pants section in our article What to wear for hiking.

Pockets:

Pockets allow you to quickly access and store small items which you often need. Therefore, hiking pants should have several pockets. The pockets should be easily accessible and deep enough (or zippered) to prevent items from falling out while you are hiking.

Weight:

Hiking pants should not be heavy as lightweight pants are more comfortable to wear and provide better freedom of movement.

Articulated Knees and Gussets:

Hiking pants with articulated knees provide better freedom of movement, especially when you are walking uphill. A gusset is a triangular or rhomboidal piece of fabric inserted into the seam in the crotch of the pants. A gusseted crotch additionally improves the range of motion. Many hiking pants feature articulated knees and gusseted crotch.

Integrated Belt:

Some hiking pants come with an integrated belt. An integrated belt is usually very slim so that it doesn’t bother you while you are hiking. Such a belt is especially useful when you are carrying a backpack because it fits nicely under the hip belt. If the pants don’t come with an integrated belt, you can always buy a low-profile belt separately.

2. The Best Hiking Pants Review

Best Hiking Pants

Best Hiking Pants

The Best Hiking Pants – List

  1. prAna Stretch Zion
  2. Montane Terra Pants
  3. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible
  4. Outdoor Research Ferrosi
  5. Arcteryx Lefroy

Comparison:

Feature/Product prAna Stretch Zion Montane Terra PantsColumbia Silver Ridge Convertible PantsOutdoor Research Ferrosi Arcteryx Lefroy
Material97% Nylon, 3% SpandexTactel (Nylon)Nylon, Omni-Wick Mesh Panels 86% Nylon, 14% Spandex86% Nylon, 14% Spandex
Pockets52+1 653
Wind/Rain Protection DWR Tactel ///
Convert to shorts NoNoYesNoNo
prAna Stretch Zion

prAna Stretch Zion

1. prAna Stretch Zion

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Travelling

 

The prAna Stretch Zion hiking pants are light and relatively thin. Therefore, they are perfect for hiking, trekking or mountaineering in summer, spring and fall. The prAna hiking pants are made of nylon to provide great durability and abrasion-resistance. As Spandex fibers are added to the fabric, they also provide good freedom of movement and stretch. The fabric also features a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coating and thus the pants provide basic protection against rain. The prAna pants feature an adjustable waistband, ventilated inseam gusset and 5 pockets – two back pockets, two deep hand pockets and one side pocket. The side pocket can be accessed from the top as well as from the side.

Women's Version: Available - prAna Women's Halle Pants

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Functionality
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Cons:

  • /

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Where to buy?

Also available at:

REI | Campsaver

 

Montane Terra Pants

Montane Terra Pants

2. Montane Terra Pants

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Travelling

 

The Montane Terra pants are a little thicker than the prAna Stretch Zion pants above and therefore warmer and suitable for a wider range of conditions. Nevertheless, the Montane pants are super lightweight – they weigh merely 12 ounces. They are made of Invista’s Tactel fabric which provides great breathability and tear resistance while still being super light. The material is also pleasant to the touch (it feels like cotton) and dries eight times faster than cotton. The Montane Terra pants feature articulated knees, snap fasteners and easily accessible pockets. The articulated knees provide great freedom of movement, while snap fasteners allow you to set the size of the leg openings so that they fit perfectly around your footwear. The pants are equipped with 2 zippered hand pockets. An additional zippered pocket for storing valuables is placed inside the right hand pocket. The Montane Terra pants are, due to great functionality and durability, a great choice for dedicated mountaineers and hikers. They also come with a low-profile belt.

Women's Version: Available - Montane Women's Terra Ridge Pants

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Comfort
  • Material
  • Freedom of movement
  • Snap fasteners
  • Zippered pockets

Cons:

  • /

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

3. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible hiking pants are super light and thus perfect for hiking in warmer climates. They are made of nylon and equipped with Omni-Wick mesh panels (57% recycled polyester, 43% polyester mesh) for better breathability. The nylon part is very thin but as it is reinforced with interwoven threads at regular intervals (ripstop), it provides good durability. The nylon part also offers great protection against the sun (UV radiation) as it utilizes the Omni-Shade technology. The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants convert to shorts (as the name suggests); the lower legs can be zipped off and stored in the side pockets or a backpack when the temperatures get high. The leg zippers are covered with fabric on the inside, so they do not rub or chafe your skin. The Columbia pants also feature an elastic waistband and 6 pockets – two hand pockets, two back pockets, one zippered side pocket and one Velcro side pocket. The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants come with a minimalistic belt and are best for those who need a pair of light quick-drying pants for hiking, trekking and other outdoor activities in warm conditions.

Women's Version: Not available - see the Women's Hiking Pants instead.

 

Pros:

  • Price
  • Weight
  • Breathability
  • Quick-Drying
  • Convert to shorts
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Not suitable for colder conditions
  • Not as durable as other pants in this review

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

4. Outdoor Research Ferrosi

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Travelling

 

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi hiking pants are very comfortable. They are made of a super lightweight fabric which is a blend of nylon and Spandex fibers. In spite of its light weight, the fabric provides good durability and abrasion-resistance. It is also very stretchy and therefore the pants offer good range of motion. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants feature two hand pockets and a zippered thigh pocket. They are best for those who need a pair of pants for a broad range of activities. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants are suitable for technical sports such as mountaineering and via ferrata trails as well as for less demanding activities like travelling. The only downside is that they have relatively shallow pockets.

Women's Version: Available - Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Pants

Note: Women's version might slightly differ from the men's version.

 

Pros:

  • Design
  • Comfort
  • Freedom of movement

Cons:

  • Shallow pockets

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

Arcteryx Lefroy

Arcteryx Lefroy

5. Arcteryx Lefroy

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Climbing
  • Travelling

 

The Arcteryx Lefroy hiking pants are lightweight, quick-drying, stretchy and very durable. They are made of mixture of nylon and elastane (86% Nylon, 14% Elastane). The pants are equipped with articulated knees and gusseted crotch for comfort and freedom of movement. They also come with an adjustable integrated belt which fits perfectly under the backpack’s hip belt. The Arcteryx Lefroy pants feature a front fly with zip and snap closure, two mesh lined hand pockets and a zippered thigh pocket. They are perfect for technical activities (mountaineering, via ferrata etc.) as well as for hiking and backpacking. The only downside is that they are slightly pricier than other pants in this selection.

Women's Version: Not available - see the Women's Hiking Pants instead.

 

Pros:

  • Pockets
  • Breathability
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Price

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Where to buy?

Also available at:

Campsaver

Video

3. The most attractive product in the review

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4. Questions and Answers

Are cotton pants suitable for hiking?

Cotton pants are not suitable for outdoor activities because cotton absorbs a lot of moisture and thus dries slowly. Wet clothes do not only increase chafing, but also conduct heat much faster than dry clothes. Therefore, you quickly lose warmth if you wear wet clothes.

Are hiking pants waterproof?

Regular hiking pants are not waterproof because waterproof pants do not provide the same level of breathability as non-waterproof pants. For hiking it is vital that you have breathable pants, otherwise you will anyway soak in your own sweat. Waterproof hiking pants are, however, available, but these are usually worn over regular hiking pants and only when the conditions require so (heavy rain or wind).

Are jeans good for hiking?

No, jeans are not good for hiking because they are restrictive, heavy and absorb a lot of moisture while only drying slowly. For hiking you need quick-drying clothes. Note that wet clothes increase chafing and conduct heat much faster than dry clothes, meaning that you will quickly get cold in wet clothes.

Are shorts good for hiking?

Shorts are good for hiking but only on relatively well-groomed and technically undemanding trails where protection against vegetation and terrain (rocks, cliffs etc.) is not required.

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