Best Hiking Pants of 2022 (Ranked and Reviewed)

Like a good pair of hiking boots, the best hiking pants can make or break your outdoor experience. 

When you’re hiking, your legs are your body’s primary mode of transportation — and hiking pants are their first line of defence. Unlike ordinary jeans, hiking pants offer the right combination of performance and comfort. They are durable, lightweight, and preferred on the trail because it makes the constant movement and climbing more comfortable. 

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Not sure which pair is the right fit for you? Don’t fret — you’ve come to the right place. Here is a rundown of out  

Top 5 best hiking pants available in the market today

Breathable and lightweight, the MARMOT Scree Softshell Pants offers the freedom of movement and versatility to perform well in a range of different environments. The construction features a fabric blend of nylon and polyester that offers a lot of stretch for better mobility. It comes with zippered cuffs at the ankles which provides a tapered fit — reducing the chance of wind running up your legs during colder months. 

Key Features: 

  • Softshell double weave construction
  • Nylon and elastane fabric blend 
  • Water repellent 
  • Zippered cargo pockets 
  • Snap closure and zip fly 
  • Articulated knees 
  • Ankle zipper 
  • Belt loops 

Verdict: The MARMOT Scree Softshell Pants are designed to withstand the cold and wind — perfect for winter hikes or rainy day walks. This pair helps keep you dry with its water repellent fabric that prevents condensation, while articulated knees allow for more freedom of movement. 

If protecting your legs from thorns and branches on the trail is your number one consideration, then the ARC’TERYX Gamma LT Pants is your best bet. This pair features a durable construction made with a unique 88% nylon and 12% elastane fabric blend that provides an extra layer of protection against the elements. Its four-way stretch woven design allows more air flow and provides superior abrasion-resistance. 

Key Features: 

  • 88% nylon, 12% elastane
  • Durable water repellent finish 
  • Adjustable drawcord 
  • Laminated cuffs 
  • Front fly with snap closure 
  • Articulated patterning 

Verdict: The ARC’TERYX Gamma LT Pants are a functional, high-quality pair that best serves those who hike in wet weather. This pair features a tight fabric weave bolstered with an effective DWR (durable water repellent) coating that keeps your legs dry even in the rain. 

Rain or shine — THE NORTH FACE Paramount Trail Pants are guaranteed to keep you going no matter the weather. These pants have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of 40 that provides maximum sun protection, while its patented FlashDry technology that wicks away moisture and keeps you dry. This pair features a convertible design — they transform into shorts through a zipper that allows you to remove the lower half of the pants, making it the go-to choice for summer hiking. 

Key Features: 

  • Patented FlashDry technology 
  • Non-PFC DWR finish 
  • Convertible zip-off design 
  • 9-inch inseam
  • Two secure zip side pockets 
  • Integrated belt for adjustability 

Verdict: THE NORTH FACE Paramount Trail Pants are built with a relaxed fit for natural comfort. Its design features a gusseted crotch and articulated knees that provides enhanced mobility and better stretch on the trail. It also comes with a lot of functional pockets in the front and back for ample secure storage. 

Combining functionality with a stylish design, the PATAGONIA Skyline Traveller Pants can be worn both on and off the hiking trails. This pair features a recycled blend of nylon, polyester and spandex that provides ultimate stretch and comfort, as well as total mobility especially when ascending a steep trail. A durable water repellent (DWR) finish ensures that this pair resists both moisture and harsh wind. 

Key Features: 

  • Midweight fabric blend of recycled nylon, polyester and spandex 
  • Four-way stretch fabric 
  • Durable water repellent (DWR) finish 
  • Elasticized back and drawcord 
  • Gusseted crotch 
  • Cuffs with flat fronts 
  • 2 slanted front pockets, 2 welted rear zippered pockets

Verdict: THE NORTH FACE Paramount Trail Pants are built with a relaxed fit for natural comfort. Its design features a gusseted crotch and articulated knees that provides enhanced mobility and better stretch on the trail. It also comes with a lot of functional pockets in the front and back for ample secure storage. 

Prioritising mobility above all else, the MOUNTAIN WAREHOUSE Forest Trekking Trousers is your go-to choice for steep hikes that require a lot of movement. The fabric blend made of nylon and elastane provides a 4-way stretch — it stretches lengthways and widthways for more freedom of movement. Its unique design features reinforced fabric on areas that take on the most stress when you hike, particularly the crotch and knee area, for more durability and long lasting comfort. 

Key Features: 

  • 90% nylon, 10% elastane 
  • Durable water repellent (DWR) finish 
  • 4-ways stretch fabric
  • Sun protection treatment 50+ rating 
  • Reinforced fabric 

Verdict:The MOUNTAIN WAREHOUSE Forest Trekking Trousers is jam packed with a lot of mobility features — effectively making it one of the most stretchable hiking pants on the market today. Since its fabric is treated with a sun protection factor of 50+, this pair is ideal for long hikes during summer to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. 

THE BEST HIKING PANTS -- WHY BUY ONE ANYWAY?

protection-picture

1. Protection

The best hiking pants provide reliable protection on the trail and keep your legs safe from chafing, cuts, and scrapes. 

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2. Lightweight

Hiking pants are incredibly lightweight — even lighter than a pair of cotton shorts. This allows freedom and movement and better comfort on the trail.

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3. Quick Drying

Due to their nylon construction, hiking pants don’t hold or absorb water. They dry out incredibly fast, usually within a few minutes — even while you’re wearing them. 

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4. Comfort

Hiking pants usually have elastic waists and are roomy — so you never have to worry about them rubbing against your skin while you hike. 

THE BEST HIKING PANTS -- BUYING GUIDE

If you're on the market for your first pair of pants, here are a few important factors to consider:

  1. Type of Hiking Pants 
  • Convertible Hiking Pants — these are convertible into shorts through a zipper that allows you to remove the lower half of the pants. They’re more breathable especially during summer, but the added weight of the zippers make them a bit bulky. 
  • Standard Hiking Pants — these are normal full-length pants. They are ideal for colder climates and are generally lighter than convertible pants. 
  1. Material 

Hiking pants are usually made of synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Some feature a construction that’s made with a combination of nylon and spandex or elastane to provide more stretchability. 

  1. Fit 

Opt for hiking pants that fit loose around the thigh and knee areas to provide more mobility as you hike. 

  1. Necessary Accessories 
  • Pockets — choose pants with lots of large pockets which provide extra storage for maps, digital cameras, compass and other small hiking gear. 
  • Elastic Waistband — this allows you to move and flex better on the trail, while adding an extra feature of comfort. 
  • Detachable Belt — pants with an attached belt that can be easily detached allows you to easily adjust the fit. 
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