Best Mountaineering Pants

Mountaineering Pants - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Mountaineering pants buying guide

Climbing colossal mountains is a thrilling activity that allows you to connect with nature and loosen up your body and mind from the regular stress. But, this recreational activity can turn into one of your worst nightmares if you are not equipped with proper gear and equipment.

Mountaineering pants are one of the essential apparel that you should opt for during this activity. It is comfortable, durable, and protects your body from different weather elements of mother nature.

No doubt, the wonders of nature are mesmerizing, but on the other hand, you may face some of the worst weather conditions on these terrains. The mountaineering pants shield you from different injuries and provide proper support to your lower body.

However, selecting suitable pants can be a little challenging. With different sizes and models available, you have to study every element to make an informed decision.

With an extensive buying guide on your side, you can quickly evaluate all the characteristics and funnel down the best pair of pants.

To know more about the product, let us start with a quick introduction and then move further with this comprehensive guide.

What are Mountaineering Pants, and why should you opt for them?

Pants for mountaineering are a special kind of footwear that can be used for tricky hikes. These pants are incredibly durable so they can withstand the most robust weather condition. You can also use them in higher altitudes for better protection.

Wearing good quality pants, you can climb the most technical treks without worrying about your protection. They have better durability, which makes them different from regular pants.

You will have the following benefits if you buy the pants for mountaineering –

  1. Lightweight and comfort

These pants are made up of nylon. They are very comfortable and provide maximum flexibility.

  1. Ease of use

Made from nylon, these pants become dry very quickly. You can easily use them in cold and rainy situations. Also, they can be converted to shorts according to your convenience.

  1. Quiet

Because of the quality nylon, these pants do not create any annoying sound of "nylon rubbing." Thus, you can move quietly without any irritation.

  1. Pockets

These pants are designed with several large and small pockets where you can store maps, sunscreen, lip balm, etc. instead of putting them inside your backpack.

  1. Leg protection

With the hiking pants, you can protect your legs from twigs, thorns, and bugs. Also, these breathable pants help to keep your legs cool.

Hardshell Vs. Softshell

Usually, two types of mountaineering pants are found in the market, including hardshell and softshell. Both of these pants have some advantages and disadvantages. It is better to know the difference in advance so that you can get exactly what you want.

Starting with hardshell pants, it is better to mention that they are specially designed to withstand the toughest elements. People who go hiking in extreme locations know the importance of hardshell pants better than anyone. They have to deal with severe weather conditions.

Therefore, they must need hardshell pants, which are waterproof and windproof as well. These pants are also incredibly resistant to abrasion. When mountaineering in rugged areas for a long period, you should choose the hardshell pants instead of softshell.

However, hardshell pants for ice climbing are stiffer and have less flexibility, which may cause a little discomfort for the users.

In contrast, the softshell pants are more flexible, and they are not as rigid as the hardshell pants. Also, they are water repellent that helps to protect you from elements.

Though these pants are windproof, they are breathable enough to keep your legs cool. If you want to move freely with more flexibility, you can go for this option without any doubt.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate mountaineering pants


The first and foremost thing you should look for while choosing your mountaineering pants is its quality. These pants should be durable enough to handle the harshest elements.

Without choosing the right material, it will be challenging to get the pants with maximum durability.

It is recommended not to go for the cotton materials for your mountaineering pants. For such cases, cotton is considered as rotten. You will need the pants which will dry quickly in rainy weather. Also, cotton makes the pants heavier.

With a view to that, going for a durable fabric will be the best choice for your pants. You can look for some stretchable fabrics, too, for more comfort.

You should also remember that the fabric should be breathable and warm so that you can enjoy your adventure without any discomfort.


After materials, you should consider the breathability of the mountaineering pants.

Generally, softshell pants are more breathable than hardshell pants. Materials used in making hardshell pants are not permeable, so they absorb moisture for a long time. As a result, you will feel cold, which may bring problems in colder conditions.

When you are on the mountain, you should keep yourself warm all the time. Softshell pants are resistant to wind and water, but the site can run through the pants efficiently.

It means softshell pants do not absorb your sweat and help in evaporation so that you will not get a cold feeling when you have a slow pace.

Thus, you will be able to enjoy your adventure without any inconvenience.

Weather Resistance

Checking the weather rating is essential for mountaineering pants, especially if you want to buy the softshell pants. You should consider the water and wind resistance feature to get better weather protection.

Having waterproof pants means you are protected from water during your journey. Although most softshell pants absorb water for better breathability, you should go for impenetrable pants.

You will find some water-resistant pants, which means they do not function as a sponge and repel moisture effectively.

However, water-resistant pants can be a good option for shorter day trips. When you are going for long days, it will be better to have softshell pants designed with better breathability.

It will be a crucial decision to keep yourself dry and warm in cold and wet areas.


Another crucial factor that you should not forget to search for is weight. It is always recommended to select a pair of mountaineering pants which come lightweight.

The pants' weight depends on the construction materials; nylon pants will be lighter than the pants made of cotton.

Wearing heavier pants may increase warmth, but you will face difficulties when you are walking. It will hurt your movements.

During technical hiking, you must maintain your balance, which is not possible with bumpy pants. Thus, you should go for lightweight pants to make sure you can balance yourself in any complicated situation.


When you are planning to buy mountaineering pants, you should pay attention to your budget.

Generally, people need durable pants for mountaineering that are slightly expensive. But if you are a novice hiker, it will be better to invest a little more in getting the best pair of hiking pants.

With a higher price range, you will get a better opportunity to buy the appropriate hiking pants to withstand any type of severe weather.

Different types of hiking pants are available with a different price range. Also, the hardshell pants have a different price than the softshell pants. Therefore, you have to determine what you need the most and spend your money accordingly.

You should never compromise with the durability of these pants to get them at a cheaper rate. Put simply,you should select pants which are neither too cheap nor too expensive. However, make sure it fulfills all your requirements without exceeding your budget.


It is needless to mention that the mountaineering pants you choose should be durable enough to deal with the toughest elements during your hiking.

When you are spending the right amount of money on these pants for mountaineering, you will expect them to last long. Therefore, looking for the highest durability will benefit you in terms of protection, value as well as functionality.

Before paying for a pair of hiking pants, you can go through the customer reviews. It will help you to have a clear understanding of the durability of those particular pants.

Also, you will know whether they are perfect for handling severe weather or not.

So, you should check them thoroughly prior to making your purchase to make sure you can use these pants for long years without any replacement.


When it comes to picking up the high-quality pants for mountaineering, you must examine the reinforced areas with proper attention. Reinforcement stands necessary for these pants because of the durability.

If your hiking pants are reinforced near the knees and crotch area, it will increase the pants' overall durability.

Some pants are designed with double switching or even have extended panels near the knee area. It works effectively to increase the longevity of the pants. Moreover, it helps to protect the seam from getting damaged due to assorted bending.

You can also go for gussets to reinforce your hiking pants to ensure that the seat can deal with the tricky treks.

Some people prefer layered fabrics for reinforcement that ensure the quality as well as durability of the pants.


You will find some mountaineering pants which can convert to shorts. These pants are commonly known as convertible pants.

Most high standard hiking pants come with the convertible feature so that you can use them conveniently. You can wear these pants without any extra effort.

These pants are like regular pants, but they are designed with zipper ankles. You just need to unzip this lower section of your pants, and thus, they will be converted to comfortable hiking shorts.

These zipper ankles are also very useful to put inside the boots. It helps to accommodate the boot shafts by converting the pants efficiently.

Attached belt

Most mountaineering pants are designed with a good belt, but some models come with an attached belt. These belts are attached permanently.

However, it entirely depends on your preference. Some hikers prefer attached belts where others are less likely to have pants designed with inseparable belts.

Having an attached belt means you are not allowed to remove it, so you will have to carry it even if it is not in use.

These belts are tightly attached to the pants' waistband, which means you cannot detach it easily whenever you want.

Therefore, you must consider your hiking needs beforehand to decide whether you want the pants with detachable belts or the "sewn-in" belts that can conveniently serve your purpose.

Elastic Waistband

Besides the attached belts, you should also check the waistband while buying your mountaineering pants.

Not all the pants are designed with elastic waistbands, so if you think that it can be an essential requirement for hiking comfortably, you must pay attention to this feature before buying.

The elastic waistband increases the flexibility of the pants so you can wear and use them efficiently. Having elastic bands in the pants will be useful to adjust with different weights.

With each of your movements, you will feel the comfort of these pants. And isn't comfort something you intend for your hiking journey?

Though some people do not like the elastic waistband much, you should choose it according to your personal choice.

When you buy these pants, you just need to make sure the waistband type is appropriate for you and go for it without having any second thoughts in mind.


Talking about mountaineering pants without mentioning the pockets will be very unreasonable. Also, pockets have a significant role in the design of the hiking pants that you cannot overlook.

Most of the pants are designed with two traditional pockets that work as the hand-warmer pockets.

But some hiking pants have two cargo pockets found next to the hand-warmer pockets. These large pockets are handy for storing essential gadgets like phones, wallets, sunglasses, and cameras.

Some hikers also carry lip balm, sunscreen, and snacks inside these cargo pockets because of their larger storage capacity.

These pockets will indeed add extra weight to your pants and may not look good, but these issues are trivial compared to the advantages.

If your main priority is to get maximum functionality over the design, you can quickly go for these cargo pockets.

So, you should check the cargo pockets, their location, and storage space properly before taking your pants home.


Generally, mountaineering pants are made up of durable nylon material instead of cotton. It helps the pants to dry in less time.

If you are hiking in a rainy area, there will be a considerable chance of getting wet. Also, when you hike in the colder temperature, you can become wet.

So, you will need pants that can dry fast to keep you dry and warm. Because of the nylon materials, these pants become dry even if they are wearing them.

It is possible because nylon does not absorb water like cotton or blue jeans does. This is why these hiking pants are extremely preferred by the hikers when it comes to cross a stream or deal with wet weather.

In the mountains, you will get rainy weather coming together with cold temperatures. If your pants get wet and do not dry quickly, you will not be able to enjoy your trip comfortably.

Internal gaiter

  1. For winter

It is essential to have the internal gaiter for your mountaineering pants as it can remove extra snow from the pants. With the internal gaiter, you can easily keep the snow outside.

Also, they work effectively for heat retention. If you are facing unexpected blizzards or hiking in heavy powder, this internal gaiter will help you protect your legs efficiently.

  1. For summer

This internal gaiter is equally crucial for summer. You will need it to remove water, dirt, and debris from your path to walk hassle-free. But it is lightweight and able to retain heat appropriately.

However, it entirely depends on your personal preference. Think clearly whether you need it or not and get the summer internal gaiter accordingly.

Side Zips

You may wonder why you will need the side zips for your hiking pants, but it is very satisfactory to know that side zips add versatility to the pants.

Nobody will like those pants which are difficult to wear and remove. Similarly, having pants that are convenient to use will save time and increase your comfort.

You can get on or off them easily before or after your adventure. Moreover, these side zips offer better ventilation for your legs.

Some zips run from the hip up to the heel, where others start from the knee. It means you can unzip the pants for extra ventilation depending on your need, and the best thing is that you do not need to sacrifice your protection.

Hiking pants having no long side zips are designed with some other options for ventilation. It may include a unique ventilation zip or mesh-covered pockets that you can keep open as you wish.


Keep in mind that you will not be able to use your hiking pants in a polished way. It means you must be very sure about the quality of the pants.

It will help you use these pants for long distances on the trail where you will encounter thorns, rocks, twigs, etc.

You should go for the nylon made pants, which are durable as well as comfortable to use. Most of the standard quality hiking pants are soft, and they do not create much noise when worn.

Therefore, choosing high-quality pants will benefit you in several ways. In contrast, the low-grade pants are cheaper, so you have to compromise with the functionality and comfort you never intend.


Some hiking pants are protected with a Gore-Tex layer that increases the waterproofing feature of the pants.

Usually, waterproof pants are costlier than their non-waterproof counterparts. Nevertheless, you will necessitate the waterproof hiking pants if you spend a significant amount of time in wet and rainy weather. Many waterproof pants come with excellent breathability as well.

When you go on a day hiking trip, you may avoid the waterproof pants, but they are indispensable for the extreme weather conditions.

How to take care of mountaineering pants?

You want to have the best pants for mountaineering that can protect you from the harshest elements. Without proper care, it will be challenging to use the pants for a long time.

You should keep in mind that your hiking pants have to deal with different unfavorable situations. If you are not kind to them, you will not have the performance you look for.

First, you should search for the label. Different fabrics are used in making these pants. So, you need to check the method before buying the pants. Not all methods work in the same way.

There are some pants available in the market which are appropriate for machine wash. But other designs are not compatible with the spin, and they will get damaged when you put them in the machine.

You will see some ice climbing designs come with special instructions. You should follow those care instructions strictly.

If you want your hiking pants to look like new, you can go through the reviews to get some idea of cleaning and maintaining these pants in the best possible way.


1. Why do people prefer softshell rather than hardshell?

Softshell offers the right comfort to the mountaineer. They add maximum flexibility and impart an optimum rigidness. All hikers and mountaineers find them excellent in terms of readability.

2. Where are the reinforced sections in the mountaineering pants?

Mainly, these pants carry different reinforced sections located primarily at the crotch or knee area.

3. What is the optimum weight of these pants required?

As the mountaineers already carry a large backpack, it is necessary to keep them as light as possible. Thus, the mountaineering pants should weigh as light as possible. Always go for super lightweight for these pants for the best results.

4. Why are side zips necessary?

Mountaineering pants with side zips aid in hassle-free ventilation. Also, they impart versatility, which is needed, especially because the weather conditions are mostly humid and hot.

Summing Up

Now it all comes down to when you are planning a climbing expedition. With this buying guide, selecting mountaineering pants for yourself is a piece of cake.

You can quickly go through the critical pointers and make a suitable purchase. Arm yourself with an elite product and enjoy your expedition with proper safety. / - © Copyright 2020