Hunting pants are not just about the camo. A great pair of hunting pants match the environment in which you choose to pursue wild game. Rain pants don’t make sense in the desert, but they make sense in the Pacific Northwest. Insulated pants might work for a late-season elk hunt but would likely be too hot for the rut.
Below are our top choices that cover a wide variety of needs. These are the pants that we and our hunting partners wore in the field last season. They’re the hunting pants we’ll wear again this year.
It’s worth noting that one pair of pants might get through 95% of your season. Another might be utilized for a very specific need on a hunt. Whatever way you slice it, there are pants for every hunter and every budget on this list. When it’s time to narrow things down, take a look at our comparison chart and FAQ section to help with your decision.
The Best Hunting Pants for Men in 2023
Hunting Pants Comparison Chart
Why You Should Trust Us
We hunt a lot. Our primary author of this article, Sean McCoy, hunts from early September through February each year. He pursues elk, mule and whitetail deer, pheasants, grouse, ducks, and geese. He also hunts spring turkeys each year. He’s been hunting since the mid-1980s and values high-quality gear that will last through many seasons of use. He still has and occasionally uses a pair of wool hunting pants made in the 1930s and passed down to him by his great-grandfather.
Beyond many days in the fields and mountains each fall, McCoy tapped into our team of experts for their takes on hunting pants. That means talking with fellow hunters as well as brand representatives to learn about new technology and design in hunting pants. We distill all that down to help provide the best advice we can, which is exactly the same as we would share with our best friends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frankly, no. Muted greens, grays, and browns are great. But a camo pattern does come in handy in a few situations.
The most camo-necessary situation might be turkey hunting. These birds have literal eagle eyesight. It’s wise to cover everything from your hands to your face in a landscape-appropriate camouflage.
Archery season is the other hunting opportunity where good camo can play a strong hand. I personally feel the more blended, the better when at close range. But neutral solids can also work just fine.
The other great side to camo for hunting clothes is that it really does hide stains. If you plan on being successful, you can also plan on staining every piece of clothing you’re wearing. If you don’t want to stain your favorite pair of hiking pants, get a pair of camo pants to get you through the hunting season.
The answer is yes. I’ve been hunting in my grandpa’s 80-year-old Woolrich pants for a lifetime. They’re low on scent, high on warmth, easy to fix, and durable. I was stoked to see First Lite come out with the Obsidian pants, as wool just has a special place in my heart, and it’s worth the money to pay a bit more to outfit yourself in the stuff.
However, if you’re pressed for cash, go to your local Goodwill, thrift store, or pawn shop. Sift through clothes until you find a heavy pair of wool pants. Get them. Wear them. Love them.
If you’re spending any amount of money on hunting gear, it pays to take good care of it. Wool certainly needs a gentler hand. And you’d be surprised how much body scent synthetics can retain even after going through your normal laundry routine.
Thankfully, there are simple options that can easily fold into your laundry routine. One option GearJunkie likes is Active Wear Detergent, and you can read founder Stephen Regenold’s review on it here.
Two other options come from Nikwax. Nikwax Wool Wash is a machine-friendly option for your merino and other wools. And Nikwax Tech Wash does the same for your synthetics.
Remember to use scentless products to knock out any chance that big ol’ whitetail deer catches a Cotton Fresh breeze and decides to book it from your deliciously scented location.