The Best Hiking Pants of 2024 


Take your hikes to the next level by investing in a good pair of hiking pants. A pair of decent pants will come in handy for an array of scenarios, from backpacking trips to climbing, rock scrambles to rainy weather. Hiking pants are an essential piece of clothing and they need to be versatile. 

There are several things to look for in the perfect pair, and this guide will help you choose the right features for your needs. 

Our top pick for the best overall hiking pant is The Arc’teryx Gamma. In a classic straight-leg style for men and women, these pants offer unbeatable weather protection, but they are also made from softshell fabric, making them very comfortable and breathable. 

Other great options include the PrAna Halle II Pant for women or the Helly Hansen Odin Huginn Pants for men, both of which offer great protection in bad weather. For summer hiking, go for the convertible Sahara pants from REI Co-op, which can zip off quickly into shorts. 

In this guide, we will look at a selection of the best hiking pants for men and women available now. We’ve got a list of features to look for in the best hiking pants, then finally, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions. 

The Best Hiking Pants for 2024

Best Overall: Arc’teryx Gamma Pants – Men & Women 

Image by Arc’teryx

We think these pants are a must-have investment item for your hiking closet. The Gamma pants, made from softshell fabric, are wind and water-resistant with DWR (durable water-repellent) finish.

Their stretchiness allows for great mobility and a gusseted crotch adds extra comfort, whether you’re hiking, climbing, backpacking, or even for wearing casually.  

The bottom of the pants have an adjustable cord. You can cinch the cords to keep the pants from dragging on the ground or loosen them for more ventilation. 

There are two zippered pockets on each side and one zippered thigh pocket for storing important items. Designed in styles to suit men and women with a classic straight leg, the pants come in several attractive colors.

For Men:

For Women:

Best Lightweight Hiking Pants: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants – Men & Women

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Image by Outdoor Research

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are a versatile hiking pant that offers a simple style for both men and women. These technical pants are great for various outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, biking, and backpacking.

Lightweight and abrasion-resistant, these pants are easy to wear. They are made from stretchy ripstop, which allows a wide range of motion. Reviewers mention they are long-lasting and great value for money.

There are multiple pockets, including a zippered one on the side for secure storage. Constructed from a blend of durable materials, the fabric is quick-drying and moisture-wicking with a DWR finish to protect your lower body from the elements.

For Men:

For Women:

Best Convertible Pants for Hiking: REI Co-Op Sahara Convertible – Men & Women 

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Image by REI

If you can’t decide between pants and shorts, you can have the best of both worlds with the REI Co-Op’s Sahara convertible pants. 

Made with stretch recycled nylon, the pants are durable and water resistant. Zips around the thighs allow you to convert the pants into shorts, and leg zips allow you to make the change quickly without taking off your boots. There are six pockets in total for storing important items.

They also feature UPF 50+ to shield you from the sun’s harmful rays, which makes these pants ideal for summer hiking or warm-weather hiking.

For Men:

For Women:

Best All-Weather Hiking Pants for Men: Helly Hansen Odin Huginn Pants

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Image by Helly Hanson

The Helly Hansen Odin Huginn Pants offer great protection in all seasons. Made from stretchy and durable softshell fabric, these men’s hiking pants allow for great mobility from mountaineering to rock climbing. 

Reviewers mentioned that they loved the soft feel of the fabric, as well as the subtle pockets that are sealed and water-protected.

They will keep you dry in wild weather with a DWR coating that sheds light snow and rain away from your skin. Adjustable cuffs allow you to wear these rain pants with any boots you like, and there is an inner integrated belt to ensure the perfect fit.  

Best Budget Hiking Pants for Men: Eddie Bauer Men’s Tech Pant 

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Image by Eddie Bauer

A mix of nylon and spandex allows these comfy Eddie Bauer pants to be versatile for a number of life’s scenarios, from plane travel to hiking. With a full price tag of around $30, these are a great addition to your closet and a great alternative to jeans. 

Their classic straight-leg style is easy to wear for many activities, so no matter the occasion, you’ll always look smart enough wearing these tech pants. 

The two-way stretch fabric offers durable, breathable comfort, while it also features UPF 50+ protection and a StormRepel DWR finish. There is a zippered thigh pocket, and the rear pockets are sealed with Velcro.  

Best All-Weather Hiking Pants for Women: PrAna Halle II Pant 

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Image by prAna

The prAna Halle II pants are adventure-ready and made from sustainable materials. PrAna is known for its environmentally friendly production processes. 

The ReZion performance fabric is stretchy and comfortable, allowing for a great range of motion, whatever you get up to. The slim silhouette, featuring several pockets, is flattering and practical for women. 

Come rain or shine, these pants are adaptable. A convertible hem rolls up and securely snaps, which allows the pants to be hitched up for any river crossings you might encounter, or for when you’re hiking in hot weather and need to cool off a little.

The DWR coating allows rain to slip off the surface of the material.

Best Budget Hiking Pants for Women: Baleaf Hiking Pants

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Image by Baleaf

This style from Baleaf is worth considering if you’re looking for a great value option for your next trip. At $36.99 each, you could purchase a few pairs in several colors to go with everything in your closet.

Made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex, these pants feature four zippered pockets and a straight leg with a draw cord, so you can adjust them to suit your comfort. They are lightweight but still warm enough in chilly weather. 

The stretchy fabric is quick to dry and protects your legs from pesky mosquitoes. The elastic waistband allows for comfort on the trails. They are great for varying weather conditions and are available in a range of attractive shades. 

How to Find the Best Hiking Pants 

Choosing the best hiking pants depends on various factors, including the weather, the environment, and your style preferences. Here are some key considerations to help you find the best hiking pants. 

Material

Most hiking pants are made from breathable materials like nylon, polyester, or a blend of synthetic fabrics. These materials are strong, durable, and help wick away moisture from your skin, keeping you comfortable during strenuous exercise.

Weather Resistance

Depending on the type of weather you will be hiking in, water-resistant or waterproof pants may be a useful purchase. Look for a DWR (durable water repellent) coating or waterproof and breathable membranes, such as Gore-Tex, for wet conditions. This will protect you from rain and light snow.

Quick-drying pants are also beneficial, especially if you encounter rain or need to wash and dry your pants during your hike.

Sun Protection

Materials with an Ultraviolet Protect Factor (UPF) of 30+ will help to protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Remember to always wear sunscreen on any exposed areas of skin when you are hiking.

In warm weather, you might consider wearing hiking shorts. However, a lightweight pair of hiking pants made from breathable fabrics can be a great option and will offer you extra sun protection on your lower half.

Durability 

Hiking pants should be durable enough to withstand rough terrain and potential abrasions. Ripstop fabrics are a good choice as they are designed to be tough and long-lasting. This type of fabric can also help to protect your legs from bug bites. 

Comfort

Choose a pair of hiking pants with a comfortable fit that allows for freedom of movement. Check for features such as articulated knees or a gusseted crotch for added mobility. 

Some hiking pants come with zip-off legs, which converts them into shorts. Convertible pants can be handy for changing weather or temperature conditions.

Style and Fit 

It’s important to try on some different styles to find what works best for you. Features like elasticated waists or integrated belts may help you find a comfortable fit, but you still need to try them on to see if the pants suit your body shape.

A pair of hiking pants that look great on and off the trails will be a great investment and a useful addition to your closet. Convertible pants with adjustable or zip-off legs provide flexibility in length, allowing you to adapt to different conditions.

Ventilation

For warmer weather hikes, look for hiking pants with zippered vents to help regulate body temperature by allowing air circulation. This can be a nice feature during hot, strenuous hikes. 

Weight

For hiking, a lightweight pair of pants is ideal, especially if you plan on long-distance or multi-day hikes. Lightweight materials contribute to overall comfort and ease of movement. A lightweight pair of pants will be easy to carry when packed in your backpack, too. 

Pockets

Consider the number and placement of pockets. Some hikers prefer hiking pants with large cargo pockets for convenient storage. Sealed and zippered pockets are very useful for keeping items secure on a hike. 

Brand and User Reviews

You can’t go too far wrong with respected outdoor clothing brands, such as Outdoor Research, REI, and Eddie Bauer. Californian clothing brand PrAna also has a great reputation for durable outdoor clothing. 

Unless you are looking for an investment item, your new hiking pants don’t have to break the bank. There are good value brands out there offering excellent choices, too. 

If in doubt, always read user reviews when you are shopping online. It is a great way to find out information about the product, including how well the item washes or how long it lasts over time. Important details about the fit and sizing will also help you to make a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are hiking pants suitable for all seasons?

Some hiking pants, such as the softshell Helly Hansen Odin style for men or the PrAna Halle II style for women are designed for all seasons, while others may be more specifically suited to warm or cold weather.

Look for versatile options, such as convertible pants, or consider owning multiple pairs for different seasons.

If you are looking for warm hiking pants, check out the best winter hiking pants for 2024. 

What is the difference between softshell and hardshell hiking pants?

Softshell pants are more breathable and flexible, and they are great for milder conditions or warm-weather hiking. Hardshell pants are waterproof and windproof, which is ideal for wet and harsh weather. The choice depends on the climate and terrain of your hiking destination.

Can I use regular athletic or casual pants for hiking?

While you can use regular pants for gentle hikes, specialized hiking pants are the better option for long hours out in the elements. Hiking pants are designed for outdoor activities and will provide better comfort and performance on the trails. 

Hiking pants feature protective features like weather resistance and UPF protection. They are made from materials specifically designed for hiking to allow for breathable, durable wear.

Conclusion 

Hiking pants are one of the key hiking essentials. They will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable on long walks, providing your lower body with a protective layer against the weather, loose terrain, and bug bites. 

You will want to purchase a pair that are the perfect combination of stylish and practical. Try on several pairs to see what styles and brands you like best.  

Remember to choose materials that suit your hiking destination. That way, your pants will offer you the right kind of protection for your next adventure. 


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