Exploring nature and hitting the trails is not only easier with the right gear, it’s also much more comfortable. Not only the right hiking shoes or trail runners are important, but also the type of hiking pants you wear. When it comes to the best hiking pants, there are many options on the market to suit different climates and conditions, as well as different body types, comfort levels, and personal preferences.
All hiking pants have their own strengths and weaknesses, but certain options tend to outperform in key areas that matter to most people. Double-layer softshell fabric offers insulation and protection from the cold, while polyester blends offer excellent breathability. Quick-drying fabrics, on the other hand, are designed to quickly absorb and wick moisture, whether you’re sweating on your way to the summit or repeatedly hand-washing your clothes during an extended backpacking trip.
Built-in stretch provides a snug fit so you can move fluidly, meaning your pants are less likely to snag on bushes or rocks, while convertible hiking pants (pants that convert to shorts) keep your pack lightweight, by allowing you to change your bottoms depending on the weather conditions.
We’ve compiled our Vetted picks for the best hiking pants across a variety of categories, including men’s and women’s options. Use this list as a guide for seasons to come because there’s never been a better time to get out and explore.
Best hiking pants for men
Robust and reliable pants for the trails
Best hiking pants for women
Classic, comfortable pants for different conditions
Best winter hiking pants
Lined pants that provide extra comfort in cold conditions