Hiking is made up of countless infinitesimal minute details that together create that feeling of wonder and satisfaction familiar to hikers and anyone else who has been out trekking even once. From the planning and preparation stages to the real, physical task of hiking, the small necessities are what make hiking an enjoyable skilled activity. Taking in the breathtaking view from the top of a beautiful place like Mina Sauk Falls in Missouri is the result of a process that likely started months before with no definite end-goal beyond enjoying the majesty of the great outdoors.
Maybe a hiking app helped with some of the location scouting, but that still leaves many decisions to make. What are the best shoes for hiking? Chacos, perhaps? What about the best handheld GPS devices or compression socks? Maybe an ultralight packer can go hiking without some of these specialized pieces of gear, but everybody goes hiking with pants on.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
And here’s an overview of the best hiking pants on the market today:
Pants are the great equalizer. We all put them on one leg a time, no matter how famous or how far away. When it comes to hiking pants, there are lots of useful functions that are beneficial to hikers of every experience level. The best hiking pants might be constructed with spandex or elastane, and they could well be waterproof, ripstop, quick-drying, stretchy, breathable, or abrasion-resistant.
They should have a good number of functionally designed rear pockets and thigh pockets. Some thoughtful manufacturers have even designed pairs of pants that offer sun protection for hikers. We’ve taken a look at all the best hiking pants on Amazon and written this guide so you can tackle your next trail traversal one leg at a time, not by the seat of your pants.
Best Hiking Pants- Overview
1. prAna Stretch Zion Pants
- THE ROLL-UP PANT: The Stretch Zion Pant takes every adventure head-on; Made with our original Stretch Zion fabric and featuring roll-up leg snaps, you can tackle the crag and have beers after too
prAna has designed these trail pants tough enough for a long hike and fashionable enough for everyday use back at home. They call these hiking pants the roll-up pant because they’re easy to roll up to pack into your rucksack or in case you want the lower legs to be a little higher for utility or for fashion.
The standard-sized fit of this pair of pants has plenty of room in the seat and in the thigh, where you’ll also find the prAna roll-up pants’ lone thigh pocket. They have roll-up leg snaps that function much more securely than simply rolling up the lower pant leg. The waistband is adjustable and there’s a ventilated inseam gusset, which is an insert in the inseam that provides reinforcement for the rest of the stitching.
prAna stretch zion pants are treated with DWR (durable water repellent) to be water-repellent and quick-dry, which means they can handle light rain well and will likely be fine with brief exposure in a downpour. A UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50+ has been built-in and they are abrasion-resistant so they can handle rubbing and grinding against rocks if rock climbing or bouldering is going to be a part of your hike.
This is a very streamlined pair of hiking pants, available in neutral colors but crafted without some features that would pigeon-hole them as a pair of pants meant strictly for hiking. Avid hikers might want more cargo pockets but this is a solid pair of pants for people who like to hike but may want to stop in a cafe on the way home.
- Roll-up lower leg snaps
- Extra room in the seat in thigh
- Quick-dry and water-resistant
- Gusset stitch
- Only one thigh pocket
- May run big
2. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant
- ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Columbia's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant features Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric for maxium protection against the sun and Omni-Wick technology that pulls moisture away to keep you cool...
Durability is central in the design and function of these Columbia convertible pants. Their 100% nylon construction is ripstop, which is a rough-and-tumble outdoorsy word that means tear-resistant. They handle rough surfaces well which makes them one of the best pants for rock climbing and bouldering. There’s a partial elastic waistband and a gusset detail in the crotch for reinforced stitching so they are comfy yet still sturdy.
Hikers with lots of gear will appreciate the various pockets in these Columbia trail pants. There are side pockets with hook-and-loop closure and one zip-closed security pocket for phones and other valuables. All the pockets have mesh bags on the inside.
One feature of these Columbia pants is their ability to convert into shorts with the zip-off function. Hikers in warm weather will appreciate having the option to switch into shorts in the middle of the hike. Moisture-wicking, a design function meant to allow for the quick exit of sweat and other moisture through the fabric, has been included by Columbia and will keep hikers cool and dry.
There is also sun protection factored in as well. One drawback to zip-offs like these Columbia convertibles is that they don’t have a side zipper on the removable section of the lower leg, which hikers might find inconvenient because they will have to remove their shoes in order to complete the conversion.
- Elastic waistband
- Crotch gusset
- Mesh pockets
- No side zippers on removable pant leg
- Sun protection comparatively low
3. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hiking Pants
- WATER-RESISTANT: Designed with UPF 50+ sun protection and water-resistant material, these pants offer incredible protection while on the trail or abroad. These breathable pants have drawcord cuff...
Outdoor Research has put extra effort into making their Ferrosi pants really high-performing. They’re water-resistant and wind-resistant, a nice feature that isn’t too common in the hiking pants market. Lightweight so hikers won’t feel weighed-down on the trail, these Ferrosi trousers are not strictly for trekking and wouldn’t look out of place somewhere off the trail like the supermarket or a restaurant.
That being said, they are obviously designed for utility and hiker-fashionistas may find them lacking in style. They are stretchy and made to follow the movement of the wearer for maximum range of movement. In case you’re ever caught in a light rain or a downpour in the Outdoor Research Ferrosi’s, a quick-dry feature of the material of this pair of pants means it won’t be long before you’re dry again. It also means sweat evaporates quickly out of the material, so hikers can stay cool during their trek.
In terms of pockets, these trail pants are fairly well-equipped with a zipper-close thigh pocket and two hand pockets. The back pockets are also zipper-close, as is the fly. Outdoor Research advertises these pockets as being jean-style, which is fair for how wide they are. The waistband is made of tricot, a stretchy nylon material that is lightweight and makes the waistline very comfortable. Breathable and functional, these Ferrosi hiking pants from Outdoor Research are good enough, even if they lack some useful features in other models of, say, roll-ups or convertible pants.
- Zipper-close thigh pocket and rear pockets
- Tricot waistband
- Lacking style
- Not roll-up
4. Ceyue Cargo Work Pants
- Thick are waterproof and windproof，Thin pants are not waterproof neither windproof, but they are quick dry and breathable. They are very comfortable to wear and suitable for outdoor leisure...
These polyester and spandex cargo pants are not the most inconspicuous pair of pants on the market, but they are one of the best hiking pants for their functionality. Equipped with zipper closure on the fly as well as on the rear and hand pockets, it is certainly possible to keep important items from falling out during a hike. However, there is no thigh pocket or cargo pockets at all.
Ceyue has crafted these cargo pants to be quick-dry. Unfortunately, they absolutely cannot be machine washed as it will damage them. They must be hand-washed, which isn’t a dealbreaker perhaps but is inconvenient. They’re breathable and functional overall but there is a real lack of extra design features and bonus capabilities like sun protection in this model.
- Zipper closure on all pockets
- Not machine-washable
- No cargo pockets
- Only styled for hiking
5. Singbring Outdoor Fleece-Lined Hiking Pants
- Thick & Fleece and Thin & Quick-Dry types available.Thick fleece pants are more suitable for cold weather
The best part about these trail pants is that they are both men’s and women’s pants. Unlike other pairs of pants, there is no need to buy a separate model in a women’s design. They’re made of softshell polyester which makes them pliable and stretchy but doesn’t affect their durability. They have an adjustable waistband which helps make them wearable for any hiker. Zipper-closure on the pockets means your gear won’t fall out if you’re running, rock climbing, or bouldering during the hike. The fleece lining gives lots of warmth in cold weather but maybe a bit too warm during hikes in the warmest weather.
Some additional design features are missing from this pair of trail pants, like a gusset, or a durable water repellent. They aren’t guaranteed ripstop, although they happen to be pretty tough. There is no roll-up function and no conversion option. They’ll definitely do the job on the next hike but probably aren’t a good bet for someone who will only own this one pair of hiking pants.
- Fit for men’s and women’s
- Adjustable waistband
- Fleece lining
- Geared toward colder weather
- Not ripstop
- No roll-up, not convertible
- No sun protection
- Not waterproof
6. Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hiking Pants
- GAMMA LT PANT MEN'S - Lightweight, hardwearing and highly versatile, the Gamma LT Pant delivers light weather protection, air permeable comfort, and outstanding mobility.
These heavy-duty hiking pants from Arc’teryx are not for the faint of heart. More like suit trousers in their appearance, they are certainly versatile enough to wear off the trail, but they are also durable enough to handle just about anything you could expect to encounter out trekking. They’re super lightweight and stretchy enough to move with you which is helpful on trails with lots of changes in elevation. Arc’teryx has integrated light weather protection into these trail pants which may not be as effective as a DWR finish. They’re air-permeable, breathable for cooling down and staying bother-free on the trail.
In addition to the weather protection, these Arc-teryx are abrasion-resistant as well. If you like to have the option of going off-trail, bouldering or rock climbing, these will be able to handle it all. The breathability makes these pants great for warm weather. The only drawbacks to these are the lack of cargo pockets and the fact that they are not waterproof.
- Not waterproof
- No cargo pockets
7. Fjallraven Vidda Pro
Utility is the main aim of these compartment-rich Fjallraven hiking pants. The knees and seat are both reinforced to prevent holes forming even after long term use. Fjallraven manufactures a wax that makes these pants waterproof and they come with the wax applied. The water will simply bead up and roll off, so you can give them a quick shake to dry them. After repeated wear, you may need to reapply the wax, which is sold separately, but before you go thinking this is added inconvenience, consider that in warm weather you want the pants to be as breathable as possible, which means less wax would be better. You can always apply wax when you’re going out in wet conditions.
There are tons of pockets on these durable Fjallraven trail pants. In addition to deep hand pockets, there is also a map pocket, a multi-tool pocket that’s large enough to hold the handle of an ax, and an internal phone pocket that keeps your mobile from shaking around while you work. Between all these pockets, Fjallraven has made the most time-saving and convenient pair of hiking pants on Amazon. They added a roll-up function and were thoughtful enough to add an adjustable tightener and a brass lace hook that you can fix to your shoelaces to keep the pant leg flat and prevent anything from going up the leg.
Double stitching can be found across the knees and other high-stress areas along with twin darts on the knee for extra mobility and a slit pocket on the lower leg so you can add knee pads for extra support. Solid brass buttons and a nice snug fit round out this pair of Fjallraven trousers. With all these features, tons of versatility, and a minimalist look that allows for wearing nearly anywhere, these Fjallraven Vidda Pro’s win our top pick for the best hiking pants.
- Reinforced knee and seat
- Roll-up and lace hook
- Tons of pockets
- Waxing for waterproofing
8. The North Face Paramount Convertible Trail Pants
The North Face has crafted a fine pair of convertible trail pants with this Paramount model. They have a more gentle and relaxed fit than other models which may appeal depending on personal style. They have been treated with a durable water repellent and offer 50+ UPF protection. The elastic waistband has an adjustable buckle closure in the front and there are more pockets than most other models on Amazon.
The North Face has included hand pockets, a small coin pocket, a zipper-close right back pocket and a normal pocket on the back left, a hook-and-loop closure pocket on the right leg, and a zipper-close cargo pocket on the left leg. That’s enough pockets for general use, although they could be more tailored to specific uses like the Fjallraven Vidda’s.
These Paramounts are convertible and adjustable, so you can turn them into shorts or just roll up the legs. They are fairly durable and lightweight, enough not to be a bother on the trail. There are no specific features for breathability, but outside of very hot temperatures, this will likely not create any problems. In terms of style, they don’t look out of place on the trail nor at the supermarket. Overall, a solid purchase option for hikers who just need a simple pair of pants to enjoy walking in nature.
- Relaxed fit
- UPF protection
- Elastic waistband
- Cargo pockets
- Zipper-close pockets
- No breathability features
- Non-specific pocket design
Ingenious pocket design and superior flexibility and durability make the Fjallraven Vidda Pro our top pick for the best hiking pants. The difference between these trail pants and others is immediately clear in the attention to detail in both the craftsmanship and the smaller details like the lace hook. For hikers who often go off-trail or who enjoy hiking through weeds or small plants, the adjustable lower leg will keep the pants snug on your body and prevent anything from going up the leg.
The roll-up design is in many ways even better than outright convertible pants. Since some convertibles don’t allow for leg removal with shoes on, it can be much faster to have a roll-up option like the one available on these Fjallravens. All in all, for stress-free hiking and additional conveniences that will transform your next trekking adventure, there’s nothing to disappoint in these Fjallravens. That’s why they’re our top pick for the best hiking pants.
Bonus tip: Trapped indoors? Take a look at this virtual hike through the snow!