Best Hiking Pants

Hiking Pants - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Hiking Pants

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Hiking Pants buying guide

Falling and getting bruised is part and parcel of every hiking trip. It's your responsibility that you should look after your safety. A pair of comfortable hiking pants is the way to go when hiking is what you are planning.

These pants are unlike the ordinary ones made of natural materials which you wear regularly. Those pants look fashionable but are not manufactured to save you in the alpines from the mighty bears and the thorny bushes.

There are many variants available to you, but you have to search for the best out of them all. This process is tricky and throws many challenges at you. Which color to choose for? Which material is excellent?

How comfortable should it be? How much protection is offered? These questions often crop up while you are searching for that "suitable match."

We are here to help you find your perfect hiking partner. So, we have presented the best buying guide that guides you throughout to help you get the perfect one from that big pile.

Still, want to change your decision and skip this page? We recommend you not to choose that path; instead, give it a read. We are sure that you will be tempted to know more and get yourself a long-lasting, comfortable pair of hiking pants.

What are Hiking Pants, and why do you need them?

While hiking in the wild surrounded by thorny bushes, abrasive rocks, and unknown trails and troubles, you should be equipped with the best possible gears.

A good pair of shoes, a sturdy backpack, and some friends are the staple of this adventurous outdoor activity, but your outfit is no exception.

To stay safe and return to your home without getting injured, you need to emphasize on your clothing as well because your clothes are the only barrier between the rugged terrain and your sensitive skin.

When clothing is concerned, hiking pants have to be discussed. These pants are specially designed to safeguard you from the troubles and injuries that are in store in your hiking path.

These pants are made from superior fabrics that are incredibly lightweight, abrasion-resistant, flexible for utmost comfort, and many more benefits.

These versatile pants protect you from harmful elements and ensure that your trip doesn't experience any hindrance. Investing in these pants is worthwhile, and you will know the reason as this article progresses.

If you are new to the world of hiking and want to stay safe and secured, this article is meant just for you. So, keep all your work aside and keep reading to unfold the hidden benefits of these life-saving pants.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Hiking Pants

Size and Fit

If you wear an ordinary pair of denim for hiking, you will find that the fabric has torn apart after a couple of movements. This situation can be embarrassing, which would be the last thing you want to happen at the beginning of your trip.

This situation demands the pants with the correct size and fit. Hiking pants are incredibly comfortable and offer excellent mobility. Since hiking requires a lot of movements up and down, back and forth, you will need pants with great flexibility and stretchability.

These pants are the ideal choice for situations where you have to be on your toes all the time and climb big mountains or rocks. While choosing for one, check the fit and size of the pants you are opting for. Ensure that it's not too tight or baggy.

A decent amount of bagginess is preferred to maintain flexibility, but an excess is a strict no-no. You will also find variants with articulated knees and long rise at the crotch to offer required mobility. These features help in reducing the chafing and the material to rip off.

Weight

The choice of these pants' weight majorly depends on the weather and season you are hiking in. Since every season has its requirement, to match the needs and provide you an outstanding hiking experience, you should search for a suitable variant.

Listed below are the different seasons and their requirements which govern your choice of pants. Hence, pay attention to the needs and then start your search.

  1. Summers

Summers mean hot scorching sun and sweat all over. Since you will be hiking directly under the bright sun, you need to focus on your pants' weight. Lightweight pants are preferable in summer because they don't put much weight on you and are breathable.

High breathability makes them much more comfortable as the sweat gets soaked and evaporated while you stay dry all the time. Despite lightweight and breathable, these lower garments don't compromise quality and thus keep you protected.

  1. Winters

Hiking in the winter season is the opposite of what you experience in the summers. No sweating, no exhaustion, just cold winds, and freezing temperature outside. Since, in winter, if you stay under the open sky for long, you may risk your health.

To keep you safe and healthy, you should look for those options that keep you warm and protected from the biting cold. However, when the pants are constructed with insulating materials inside, they tend to add weight to the trousers.

This addition can make your pants a bit bulkier, but to stay safe and sound, you can sacrifice comfort while hiking and climbing.

Color

You must be aware that dark colors attract the heat from the sun more while, on the other hand, light colors reflect it. This principle is also applicable while searching for the perfect pair of hiking pants.

If you plan to hike in the summers when there is intense heat outside, opt for the ones that feature lighter shades. These shades don't absorb heat and so keep you cool. Hence, you won't sweat much and will stay comfortable throughout the day.

Winter hiking requires pants with darker colors so that they can absorb the sun's heat and keep you warm while you are out. It also helps you to minimize the number of clothes you are carrying with you on the trip. Since dark colors don't get dirty too quickly, you can wear them for two to three days before changing.

Materials

The material your pants are made of enhances their durability, quality, performance, and comfort. While hiking, you are surrounded by danger from all sides, and to stay protected, you need to invest in a protective piece of clothing.

The material should be abrasion resistant, tough enough to withstand rugged use, and protect you from all the possible dangers that might hurt you.

Hiking pants are breathable, dry quickly, and absorb all the moisture and sweat generated inside. Besides, these pants are weather-resistant, which makes them incredibly durable. These characteristics in these pants are imparted by the materials used to manufacture them.

These materials are mentioned below for your convenience. Hence, before you opt for any pants, ensure that they suit the environment you will be hiking in and are comfortable.

  1. Polyester and nylon

Most of these pants are made using synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, making them durable and have excellent breathability. You will find pants made either of any one material or combining both.

To increase comfort and enhance your experience, even more, these materials are blended with spandex or elastane. Along with polyester and nylon, these two materials make the pants stretchy, enabling you to move with ease and climb up.

Pants made of these materials are ideal for use in summer months, where you are more likely to sweat and want to wear something breathable to wick the moisture and keep you cool.

Besides, drying is another factor that makes these materials outstanding in the summers as these dry very quickly and is water-resistant.

  1. Cotton and wool

Cotton and wool are widely popular for their insulating properties. This unique property is the reason why your grandma gifts you with hand-knitted woolen sweaters and scarfs each fall. So, if you plan hiking in the winters, opting for these pants made of cotton or wool will be a smarter choice.

These materials are not suitable to be worn in the summer months, mostly cotton, because it soaks the sweat but makes your pants damp instead of drying quickly.

Types of pants

There are typically two types of these pants designed to match the hikers' needs. These two variants of the hiking pants are listed below. Before opting for any one of them, emphasize the details and their pros and cons to conclude your hunt.

  1. Convertible pants

These pants consist of zippers at the lower end, which can be unzipped to roll your pants up to 2/3rd parts of the entire length. By rolling it upwards, you can convert your trousers into shorts. This conversion gives this pair of pants its name' convertible.'

This design enables you to convert the trousers into shorts to stay comfortable when the temperature rises. The reverse is useful when you experience a drop in temperature. Besides, they are more flexible and allow you to indulge in many activities.

Due to the extra fabric needed for both the styles and the number of zippers included, these pants weigh more than the other types.

  1. Standard Pants

The first feature of this pair of pants is, they cannot be converted and have no zippers. This design gives them a more casual appeal, which allows you to use them for many activities other than just hiking.

They have zippers that are adequate to help you remove the pants without removing your hiking boots. They are lightweight and very comfortable and can also be worn in any casual gathering.

Waterproof

Hiking pants are water-resistant and not waterproof, which means that they can withstand light showers and prevent water from penetrating inside for a brief period. To enhance the water resistance, these pants are coated with a layer of durable water repellent (DWR).

DWR makes small beads of the water when it falls on your pants and helps them roll down and drip without penetrating inside.

Water-resistance also helps to make the pants more breathable and moisture-wicking. It also helps them dry in no time and keeps you comfortable. Other variants also include waterproof rain pants that can be slipped on your pants while it's raining heavily.

Bug Resistance

These pants have resistance to bugs that shield you from the poisonous bugs and save you from mosquito-related diseases.

Since you will be staying in the wild, you will always be surrounded by these harmful insects, so it is essential to stay prepared. This feature is an add-on to your outfit and not a cent percent effective way to stay at bay from the tiny enemies.

You should also carry bug repellents to stay more protected and return home safely. However, you should not overlook this feature while investing in these pants. Even if it helps you in a limited way, it works wonders when complemented with other repellents.

Wind Resistance

When the wind blows strongly, there are chances that the clothes you are wearing may rip off. If your pants rip off during hiking, it's embarrassing while at the same time it is unsafe. Your clothes play a significant role in shielding your body against adversities and keeping you safe.

These pants, being made of synthetic material tightly woven together, form the best wind resistant pants.

These pants survive the wind test and help keep you safe and enable you to enjoy your hiking trip. Now no more worrying about getting sick or your clothes getting blown away. You can fearlessly move ahead and reach the pinnacle.

Breathability

While hiking, you tend to sweat a lot, which makes you uncomfortable. The significant places of accumulation are behind the knees and the crotch areas. Sweat invites skin irritations and bacterial growth, which would be the last thing you want on your hiking trip.

To stay away from such irritations and keep yourself comfortable and dry, search for hiking pants variants. These pants are made of materials that are very tightly woven, and this lowers their breathability.

However, you can search for some crucial features in them, which enhances their breathability. These features include mesh pockets, small vents present on the crotch area, and behind the knees to let the sweat evaporate.

You can also search for options like the convertible pants to unzip the pants from the bottom and let your skin breathe.

Don't overlook this feature even if you plan to go on a hiking trip in the winter. Even when surrounded by ice all around, sweat is bound to happen, and you need some ventilation to let out the moisture and maintain adequate air circulation.

Flexibility

Articulated knees, gusseted crotches, spandex, and elastane combined material are crucial features of these pants. These features make them famous and incredibly flexible to enable you to participate in trekking, climbing, etc.

You can easily sit, squat, or move your legs in any manner you want. Flexibility is what these pants are famous for and are widely preferred.

The articulated knees adapt to your knee movements and don't hinder. Simultaneously, the gusseted crotch keeps you comfortable by providing an appropriate fit and offering a wide range of different actions.

By investing in these pants, you won't be wasting your hard-earned money. Instead, you will be buying yourself a durable and comfortable hiking experience with these pants on your body.

Pockets

Hiking is all about exploring a particular place on foot, climbing small hills, and many more. Exploration means a new site, and to make it more enjoyable and simpler, you need to have some essential gadgets with you.

GPS, Watch, Maps, Medicines (if needed), keys, flashlights, cereal bars, etc., are some items to be named, which are essential on any hiking trip. Since these are small in size and have to be in reach at all times, stuffing them inside your bag is not the correct option.

A bag holds many items inside it, and these small essentials will get lost in that messy bag. They can't even be handheld as they will either fall or hinder while walking.

Pockets are essential for storing this small stuff in reach and make them easily accessible. The more the pockets, the better it is to keep a lot of items in them. These pants have many pockets that help you to store these items while on the move.

You will find them with different closure systems. You can opt for zipped pockets, velcro closure system, etc. whichever you feel is convenient for you. Ensure that the variant you are opting for is durable and doesn't get damaged too quickly.

Features

There are some additional features that you should look for while purchasing these pants. These features are listed below to search for the variants having them and make an eligible purchase.

  1. Ventilation zips

These zips help you to stay comfortable and dry throughout the journey. When you unzip the zippers, there is a mesh present on the insides, which prevents any insect from crawling inside your pants.

The presence of the mesh allows adequate airflow and helps the moisture and heat inside to evaporate.

  1. Belts

When all your pockets are full up to the brim, and the weight is pulling down your trousers, you need something to secure it to your waist so that it doesn't fall.

These belts help you to secure your pants to your waist firmly and keep it in place. You will find variants that have belt loops to accommodate any belt of your choice. While on the other hand, many pants have a belt in them, which negates the need to purchase a separate one.

  1. Harness compatibility

If you use a harness to climb up a hill, you need to search for harness compatible pants. These pants have loops to secure the harness and help your move up safely.

Price

These pants are made of extraordinary materials, which make the pants versatile. They serve many purposes but are affordable and can be worn by all. However, the cost changes according to the pants' quality and the features it has.

If you want them only for hiking, you can look for only the basic features and buy the best quality pants for hiking at a lower cost. On the other hand, if you want them to have more features, you will have to spend more pennies on getting those add-ons.

UPF

UPF or Ultraviolet Protection Factor indicates the units of ultraviolet radiation that can penetrate inside any clothing material. It is way different from SPF or Sun Protection Factor, which affects your exposed skin.

These pants have a decent amount of UPF rating, which ensures that you will not be affected much by the ultraviolet rays while wearing them. This feature is paramount because you will be hiking in the daylight and exposed to UV rays for a long time.

UPF is an essential feature to look for in your pants, especially when you plan to hike in the summers. For your next hiking trip, don't forget to look for the UPF rating of the pants that you are purchasing.

Noise

When your pants are body-hugging, they make a swishing sound with every move that you make. This noise made by those pants is very annoying and might kill your mood while hiking.

These pants for hiking are the best in terms of noise. They don't make any sound or noise while you move and ensure that you enjoy your trip to the fullest.

You can climb, run, or move freely without worrying about any sound which may annoy you or hold you back from moving freely.

FAQs

  1. Can I wear hiking pants with other clothes?

Yes, Hiking pants are incredibly versatile and can be worn with all types of clothes with equal ease.

  1. What is the best material for a cold-weather hike?

When you are going out on a cold-weather hike, you can completely rely on wool or cotton as your hiking pants material. It will help you get a warm and insulated feel.

  1. Why are hiking pants also called performance pants?

Hiking pants are used to provide comfort and proper excellent support during different outdoor expedition activities.

  1. What are convertible pants?

Convertibles are the best multipurpose and comfortable pants that let you wear 2-in-1 hiking pants. They are great for people who like variety.

Final Verdict

Hiking pants present a simple yet effective way to enjoy excursions and long hikes. All you need is to pin the best fit.

With this guide, you can quickly funnel down the best variant. Skim through all the pointers and make an elite purchase to enjoy your trips.

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