Sure, it’s pretty easy to understand why a trail’s rugged conditions require hiking boots, but being out in the outdoors requires more than just your standard set of clothes, too. See, while cotton-based clothing is great for wearing around the house or while you’re at work when you’re sweating and moving around, you need clothes that can help keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. This is where hiking pants are really helpful.
Hiking pants are made from highly technical fabrics that actively wick moisture away from your body, keeping your body temperature regulated while you move. Additionally, most hiking pants offer up plenty of pockets for storage of protein bars, trail mix, keys, phone, and other small items.
Considering the fact hiking clothes are in-vogue right now, you might find some good use for these pants off the trail, too. But, for now, here are the 10 best hiking pants for you to hit the great outdoors right now.
1. Patagonia Causey Pike Hiking Pants
Made to move with you and not get in your way throughout your time outdoors, Patagonia’s Causey Pike Hiking Pants are well-worth your attention. Crafted from nylon (over 50% of which is made from recycled materials) and spandex, the Causey pants stretch and move with your body while also providing sun protection. The slight-straight fit makes it so you could wear them off the trail, and few would bat an eye. Additional features include zippered cuffs that allow you to fit any size boot under them and plenty of pocket storage.
2. Fjällräven Vidda Pro Hiking Pants
You may immediately notice the two-tone color on these Vidda Pro Hiking Pants from Fjällräven. More than just a striking bit of color, the double-knee construction ensures the pants are toughest where you’re bound to see the most movement (i.e., the joints of your body). The G-1000 fabric is both wind and water-resistant, while six different pockets offer up plenty of practicality for long days outdoors.
3. Nike ACG Woven Cargo Hiking Pant
Nike’s ACG line, short for All Conditions Gear, certainly lives up to its namesake, providing durable, practical, and just cool-looking clothing that you can wear on and off the trail. These woven cargo pants really lean into the cargo part of their namesake, with two substantial front pockets that have plenty of space for all your odds and ends. An articulated knee helps you move freely, while the cotton-blended fabric helps keep you cool and comfortable, thanks to moisture-wicking properties.
4. Mammut Skytree Hiking Pant
If you love wearing joggers but want something a little more durable and trail-ready, the Skytree Hiking Pant from Mammut is just the pant for you. The elastic cuff makes it easy to slip these pants on and off and allows you to show off your favorite part of hiking boots. The water-resistant nature of the pant even extends to the zippers, allowing you to sock away a few smaller goods without worry. The drawstring waist makes the pant even more comfortable when you’re in the middle of a big climb or when you’re running around town.
5. Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Hiking Pants
Eddie Bauer’s Guide Pro Hiking Pants are good to invest in if you’re looking for a pair of hiking pants that don’t break the bank but still provide quality and features. Built with plenty of stretch material, they won’t stick and cling to you when you’re working up a sweat. Even if you are moving, however, the moisture-wicking material will help to keep you feeling comfortable. The included UPF sun protection helps make it so that you won’t get burnt on sunny days. Oh, and they come in a wide variety of colors to fit your personal preference.
6. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking Pants
I know, I know. Zip-off pants might seem super nerdy or the relic of the early 2000s, but when you’re on the trail, they’re a godsend. The ability to cool down when you’re overheated or warm-up when temperatures start to drop is one of those things that you’ll appreciate a lot more once you actually own a pair. Columbia’s Silver Ridge are the best on the market. Oh, and they’re smartly priced, too.
7. Patagonia Nano-Air Hiking Pants
If you’re one that loves to hike or be outdoors in particularly frigid conditions, you’ll want the Patagonia Nano-Air Hiking Pants. Made with 60-gram THEROLITE insulation layered under a shell lining, these pants are just as good in a 20-degree hike as they would be on the ski-slopes. The stretch fabric allows you to move while the water-resistant coating keeps you from overheating too much.
8. Goldwin Cordura Stretch Cargo Hiking Pants
Goldwin’s Cargo Hiking Pants are supremely comfortable, durable, and lightweight, thanks to their impressive Cordura construction. The rip-stop of the Cordura fabric benefits you by providing superior strength without the pants feeling like they weigh a ton. The cargo pockets themselves are right at the perfect height to easily recover stored trinkets you might need on the trail or during weekend errands. Whether you’re having a coffee at basecamp or as you roam through the city, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing these pants.
9. The North Face Paramount Active Hiking Pant
The Paramount Active Hiking Pant from The North Face is sort of like a Transformer in the sense that it’s a hiking pant masquerading as a, well, standard pant. The slim fit of the pant makes it look like any other chinos you’d find, but its inherently technical construction will work well in outdoors thanks to its water-resistant and moisture-wicking properties. We bet if you wear them to the bar, your friends will be hard-pressed to realize you may have just stepped off the trail.
10. L.L. Bean Cresta Hiking Pants
For those who need a bit of warmth in their hiking pants (but not as much as the Patagonia Nano-Air), L.L. Bean’s Cresta Hiking Pants are fleece-lined to help keep you warm. The good thing about fleece is that since it’s a technical fiber, it will also help regulate your body temperature by wicking moisture away from your body while you move. With UPF 50+ sun protection and two-stretch for good movement, they’re great for any activity where you need just a boost to get through the cold.