The Best Hiking Pants for 2022

hiking pants

Popular Mechanics; Courtesy FREE SOLDIER

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner planning your first woodland adventure, buying a pair of quality hiking pants is a worthwhile investment for your hobby. They’re specially designed for stretching your legs outdoors, offering both comfort and functionality as you make your way up any trail.

Hiking pants are typically made from synthetic materials like nylon, and they’re often water-resistant and offer UPF protection for long days spent out in the sun. Most also offer some sort of tear-resistance to protect you from briars and thorns that you might run into on the path, and you’re sure to find plenty of pockets to keep your phone, compass, and other essentials close at hand.

With that in mind, read on for the best hiking pants for all your upcoming outdoor adventure, plus a run down of what to consider before you shop.

Best Hiking Pants

What to Consider

Hiking pants come in several different styles, including cargo pants, convertible pants, and joggers. Cargo pants typically have a loose fit and multiple pockets, while convertible pants feature zip-off legs, making them ideal for warmer weather. Joggers, on the other hand, have an elastic band at the ankle that gives them a slightly more fitted feel. All of these styles are available for both men and women, and the best option for your hike really depends on personal preference.

You’ll also want to look at the material of the pants—most hiking pants are made from a blend of synthetic materials, with nylon-spandex blends being the most popular thanks to their water-resistance and fast drying. However, you can also find cotton hiking pants, which are often more breathable.

How We Selected

To find the best hiking pants for a variety of people, we looked at the most popular options for both men and women, including pants from top brands like The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, REI Co-op, and others. We evaluated each set of hiking pants based on its materials, features, and size range, and read dozens of reviews to get a sense how the pants hold up during use and after washing. Also, every pair of hiking pants we write about has an average customer rating of 4 stars or more.

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Best Overall for Men

Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking Pants

  • Great style and quality for a reasonable price
  • Zip-off legs and plenty of pockets
  • Wide selection of sizes
  • Some customers say they’re cut too slim

Key Specs

  • Style: Men’s
  • Material: 100% nylon
  • Features: Zip-off legs

Columbia is known for high-quality, reasonably priced outdoor apparel, and these convertible men’s hiking pants fit the bill. They’re machine-washable and made of a moisture-wicking nylon fabric that offers 50 UPF protection.

They feature zip-off legs, multiple mesh-lined pockets, and a partial elastic waistband. Another plus is that they come in an impressively wide range of sizes, including big and tall. The color selection is also considerable, with 12 options to choose from.

Overall the pants get high marks — an average 4.6 stars from more than 11,000 reviewers — though some customers say they’re cut slim, though sizing up can make them loose in the waist (and there’s no drawcord).


Best Overall for Women

Savanna Trails Pants

  • Large size range
  • Zippered stash pockets
  • Elastic waist

Key Specs

  • Style: Women’s
  • Material: 94% nylon/6% spandex
  • Features: Water-repellant; UPF 50+

These mid-rise, straight-leg trail pants for women are made from a moisture-wicking nylon-spandex blend, and the fabric is stretchy enough to allow you to move freely as you explore the wilderness.

The cargo-style pants come in three colors and sizes 0 to 16, and they offer UPF 50+ protection. The material is treated with a water-repellent coating to keep you dry if you get caught in the rain, and an elastic back waistband and bungee drawcords at the cuffs ensure you’re comfortable all day long.

Other highlights include two layers of fabric at the knees for extra durability, and zippered stash pockets for important items like keys hidden inside large cargo pockets in the front and back.

Customers say the pants run large, so you may want to size down. They’re also available in petite, plus, and tall.


Best Men’s Joggers

Men’s Hiking Joggers

  • Plenty of pockets
  • Elastic waist
  • Breathable fabric

Key Specs

  • Style: Men’s
  • Material: 96% nylon/4% spandex
  • Features: Water-resistant; UPF 50+

If you prefer pants with elastic around the ankles, you can’t go wrong with these hiking joggers for men. They’re made from a lightweight, breathable, stretchy nylon-spandex blend fabric, and feature an elastic waistband and water-resistant finish.

What’s great about these joggers is that they have a slim fit and storage like cargo pants, with six pockets. They also feature belt loops for a secure fit.

The joggers come in a few plain colors, but their size range is slightly limited, from 30 to 38 inches.


Best Women’s Joggers

Women’s Cargo Joggers

  • Large size range
  • Quick-dry material
  • Multiple zip pockets
  • Some customers say that the waistband is tight

Key Specs

  • Style: Women’s
  • Material: 92% polyester/8% spandex
  • Features: Water-resistant; UPF 50+

For women, these joggers from Libin are ideal for hitting the trails, especially in warmer weather. They’re extremely lightweight with a relaxed fit, but stretchy ankle cuffs keep them from looking frumpy.

Their polyester fabric has a hint of spandex, is water-resistant, and offers UPF 50+ protection against UV rays. The joggers have five functional pockets, including two side-zip pockets and one back zip pocket. There’s also an elastic waistband with a drawstring, though some customers say that it doesn’t give enough so the fit is snug.

The joggers come in a dozen different colors, as well as sizes extra-small to 3XL.


Best Men’s Budget Buy

Men’s Outdoor Cargo Hiking Pants

  • Water-resistant coating
  • Anti-wrinkle fabric
  • Six pockets

Key Specs

  • Style: Men’s
  • Material: 86% nylon/14% spandex
  • Features: Water-repellant; UPF 50+

For men, these cargo hiking pants are a great value, as they’re comfortable, lightweight, and priced right. They come in several colors waist sizes, and lengths, and the nylon-spandex blend fabric is scratch-resistant and anti-wrinkle. Plus, it stretches in four directions to give you a wide range of movement.

The cargo pants are coated in DuPont Teflon for water-resistance, and they also provide UPF 50+ protection against UV rays. There are two front slant pockets, two back pockets, and two zippered cargo pockets for stashing essential, and the pants even come with an adjustable belt for a perfect fit. But if breathability tops your list of must-have features, they may not be the best choice.


Best Men’s Splurge

Keb Trousers

  • Extremely durable
  • Regular and tall sizes
  • Ventilation zippers

Key Specs

  • Style: Men’s
  • Material: 65% polyester/35% cotton
  • Features: Ventilation zippers; knee pad openings; removable boot hooks

If you’re an avid outdoorsmen, these pants from Fjallraven are a worthwhile splurge. They’re made from a waxed, densely woven fabric that offers durability, protection, and a wide range of movement.

They’re also versatile, with features that make them a smart pick for those who enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities. For instance, there are hip-to-knee and calf ventilation zippers for hot days, as well as openings where you can insert knee pads.

Removable boot hooks can be used to hold the pants in place, and the leg openings can be adjusted with button straps. The Keb Trousers are available in regular and tall length, and come in four colors.


Best Men’s Convertible

Renegade Convertible Pants

  • Zip-off legs
  • Durable fabric
  • Compartment pockets

Key Specs

  • Style: Men’s
  • Material: 95% nylon/5% spandex
  • Features: Water-repellent; UPF 50; zip-off legs

The Kuhl Renegade Convertible men’s pants are ideal for hiking in the spring or fall—they can be worn as full-length pants on chilly mornings, and the legs zip for warmer weather during the day.

The pants come in four neutral colors, with waist sizes from 30 to 40 inches and in three lengths. They’re made from a durable, quick-drying nylon-spandex blend fabric with a water-repellent finish, as well as UPF 50 sun protection. There are even pockets inside the larger cargo pockets to help keep your belongings organized.


Best Women’s Leggings

Pack Out Tights

  • Stretchy, breathable fabric
  • Multiple pockets

Key Specs

  • Style: Women’s
  • Material: 87% polyester, 13% spandex
  • Features: Multiple pockets

Some women prefer tight-fitting leggings for their athleisure, and in that case, these Patagonia leggings are a top choice.

The form-fitting pants are made from a polyester-spandex blend breathable and supportive, but not constricting. Their full-length design will protect your legs against rocks and brush on the trail, and they feature two side pockets at mid-thigh and an inner zippered pocket.

The leggings come in sizes extra-small through double-extra-large, though the color selection is limited.


Best Women’s Convertible

Aphrodite 2.0 Pants

  • Light, thin material
  • Durable construction
  • Cinch-up legs
  • Only one length available

Key Specs

  • Style: Women’s
  • Material: 95% nylon/5% elastane
  • Features: Leg drawcord

For a lightweight pair of midrise, straight-leg women’s hiking pants, the Aphrodite 2.0 Pants from The North Face are an unbeatable option. They’re made from an extremely lightweight nylon-elastane-blend fabric that’s moisture-wicking and quick-drying, and it features triple-needle stitching for durability.

Additionally, a stretch drawcord at the leg opening allows you to cinch up the legs on hot days, turning the pants into capris, and there’s a concealed zip pocket on one side to keep contents secure. The pants are available in five colors, as well as sizes extra-small through extra-large, though only one length.


Best Women’s Cotton

Kanab Pant

  • Breathable and easy to wash
  • Multiple pockets

Key Specs

  • Style: Women’s
  • Material: 62% organic cotton/36% nylon/2% spandex
  • Features: Reinforced knees

Many people prefer cotton activewear because it’s breathable and easy to launder. The Prana Kanab Pant is made from an organic cotton blend that’s comfortable yet durable.

They feature knitted ankle cuffs for a jogger-style fit, and articulated knees provide greater mobility for climbing difficult routes. There’s even a double layer of fabric at the knees for added protection on the trail.

The pants are available five colors and sizes extra-small to extra-large, and they have multiple pockets to keep hiking essentials accessible. The only drawback, which may be a dealbreaker for some, is that there’s no drawstring waist.

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