Hit The Trail With The Best Hiking Pants Of 2022

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Hiking pants provide warmth, comfort, protection from the underbrush, freedom of movement, and additional storage options. The right pants wick away moisture, allow excess heat to escape when the weather is warm, and help retain heat when the mercury dips.

Whereas in the past, you had one choice for hiking pants, today they come in a variety of materials, including spandex, nylon, poly blends, and wool. It’s best to own a couple of different pairs of hiking pants for varying conditions.

In this review and buying guide, we’re going to take a look at what we consider to be the best hiking pants on the market and what makes them great. We’ve also addressed some FAQs and features to look for to help you make the right decision.

The best hiking pants

Editor’s choice: NORRONA falketind Pant

norrona falketind pant

  • A versatile pair of hiking pants for hiking, climbing, scrambling, and more
  • Made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials
  • Multiple pockets
  • Reinforced knees and seat
  • Extremely durable

The NORRONA falketind Pant came in as our best hiking pants due to their durability, versatility, and awesome features. They come in both men’s and women’s models, but I tested the women’s version for this review.

I took these pants on several hikes, a scramble, and a couple of off-trail scouting adventures. I even spent several days bouldering and rope climbing in these pants. I found them to be extremely durable. They tolerated abrasions from rocks, trees, and thorny plants quite well. I didn’t push the limits of their mobility much, but they are long pants with a thick durable fabric, so there is a slight trade-off mobility-wise, but it is minimal.

I found the slim fit to be comfortable and attractive. They feature a zippered thigh pocket and two hand pockets. Instead of an integrated belt, there is a custom-fit waist system that uses velcro for a secure fit.

This hiking pant also features an eco-friendly construction using Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified fabric, a fabric made with recycled fibers, and a PFC-free DWR coating for water resistance. Lastly, there’s an adjustable lower leg with a zipper and gusset to let the pants breathe.

See NORRONA falketind Pant on Moosejaw

See NORRONA falketind Pant on Backcountry

Best all-around women’s: PrAna Halle Pant

prana halle pant

  • Trouser-like pants for both active or casual wear
  • Roll up pants, secure the legs with a button closure
  • Stretch Zion fabric
  • Five total pockets
  • DWR finish

Our runner-up is from the outdoor and yoga brand, PrAna. When I started climbing, these came highly recommended. I’ve owned at least four pairs of these pants and used them for hiking, climbing, and scrambling. The only time I ripped a pair was with a thirty-foot fall on slabby terrain.

While there is no men’s Halle pant, the PrAna Zion and Brion are comparable.

These durable, convertible pants have two hand pockets, one zippered pocket, and two back pockets. When it’s warm out or you need to cross a stream, you can roll up these pants and secure the legs with a button. I love the stretch fabric and these pants perform well in all kinds of temperatures and situations.

See PrAna Halle Pant on Backcountry

See PrAna Halle Pant on Amazon

Best women’s zip-off pants: Stoic Zip Off

stoic zip off

  • Pants zip off into shorts
  • Moisture-wicking stretch polyester
  • Integrated belt
  • Belt loops
  • Drawcord hem

The Stoic Zip Off are versatile pants that are perfect for hiking or casual wear. I love the zip-off legs and how cute these pants are as shorts. As pants, the area on the leg with the zipper is quite pronounced and a bit jarring, taking away from their visual appeal, but that is my sole complaint.

I wore these camping, rock-hounding, as casual wear, and while hiking and they held up well, were quite stain-resistant, and always comfortable. To switch from long pants to shorts, there’s an obvious zipper above the knee.

In front, there are two open, large hand pockets, but these are the only pockets. There is also an easy-to-use integrated belt to get a customized fit. The drawcord hem allows you to adjust the cuff to keep out debris. These pants are perfect for summer hiking or shoulder season adventures as long pants.

See Stoic Zip Off on Backcountry

See Stoic Zip Off on Amazon


Loaded with features: 5.11 Meridian Pant

5.11 meridian pant

  • Front pockets, back pockets, and cargo pockets
  • Vents for breathability
  • Hand-washing required
  • Extremely durable
  • Articulated knees
  • Slim-fit

The 5.11 Meridian Pant is a slim-fit pair of full-length hiking pants that are excellent whether you are climbing, scrambling, or hiking. Our tester wore these pants for an alpine rock climb that required a brutal 4.5-hour hike on both ends. In total, our tester spent 30 hours in these pants that day and they stood up to the test. He liked the slim fit and found that it wasn’t restrictive. He was also a fan of the many pockets.

The one downside was that the fabric dye requires hand-washing. All in all, this is a sturdy and durable pair of pants. We love the pockets, venting, and small technical features that make these pants stand out.

See 5.11 Meridian Pant on 511tactical

Best women’s tactical hiking pants: 5.11 Shella Pant

5.11 shella pant

  • Polyester and elastane construction
  • Six total pockets
  • DWR finish
  • Reinforced belt loops
  • Extremely comfortable

The 5.11 Shella Pant offers a similar form-flattering cut to the PrAna Halle. There are functionally minimalist hiking pants for those seeking quality materials and build, with only essential features. I found these pants to be one of the most comfortable I tested. I could move easily and never felt like the pants were in my way. Most hiking pants tend to restrict me at the hip, but not these! Whether hiking, climbing, or coaching, these pants were soft, comfortable, and functional.

Some of my favorite features are the simple and unobtrusive pockets. There are two hand pockets, two zippered back pockets, and two cargo pockets on the thigh. The fabric is a mostly polyester mix with elastane and a DWR finish for water resistance. These pants will be fine in light rain, but I don’t recommend them in a downpour. The belt loops are reinforced, so you can hang small items off them using a carabiner if needed.

See 5.11 Shella Pant on 511tactical

Best hiking leggings: IceBreaker Fastray Tights

icebreaker fastray tights

  • 97% merino wool
  • Incredibly insulating
  • Stash pocket large enough for a phone
  • High-rise waist
  • Body contouring details

I think at this point, the debate over whether leggings are pants is over, and the answer is clear. Leggings are pants.

Leggings can be great for hiking as they are stretchy with lots of room to move. The IceBreaker Fastray Tights are excellent hiking pants that offer some insulation and excellent mobility. I love these for shoulder season days and hikes where I’m unlikely to be scrambling or rubbing my leggings against rough rocks.

The high waist gives them a form-hugging and flattering fit. There’s also a gusseted crotch for mobility and airflow. While most leggings don’t have pockets, these feature a thigh stash pocket large enough for a phone. They are 97% merino wool, meaning they are super soft but also incredibly warm. You can wear them on their own or pair them with another pair of hiking pants for particularly cold days.

See IceBreaker Fastray Tights on Icebreaker

Most stylish: Buck Mason Trail Roam Pants

buck mason trail roam pants

  • Cotton and nylon construction with a DWR finish
  • Elastic waist with drawcord closure
  • Great for relaxed hiking days
  • Four total pockets
  • Loose fit

The Buck Mason Trail Roam Pants come from the new Buck Mason Trail Roam Collection. They feature a cotton nylon blend with a DWR coating that our tester mentioned was perfect for the outdoors. The back pockets are closed with buttons and there are two hand pockets on the front. The waist is elastic with drawcord tightening.

Our tester wasn’t thrilled with the overall fit of the pants, as the hips are quite baggy. The loose fit is great for ventilation and comfort. However, it could be an issue outside of low-exertion hiking. On the plus side, these walking pants come with a durable water-repellent finish that offers decent (though not totally waterproof) protection from the elements. And thanks to their cotton blended nylon construction, they’re some of the lightest hiking pants around.

See Buck Mason Trail Roam Pants on Buckmason

Best jogger: Mack Weldon Atlas Jogger

mack weldon atlas jogger

  • Great for the gym or home
  • Premium stitching
  • Zippered pockets
  • Soft lining

The Mack Weldon Atlas Jogger is a warm, soft, and cozy pair of hiking joggers, perfect for shoulder seasons and winter. Our tester was blown away by the softness of the interior fabric and intends to wear them daily in the fall and winter as temperatures drop. Most joggers and sweatpants have loose pockets. Happily, these feature zippered pockets.

Premium stitching, soft lining, and all-around great casual hiking pant from a high-quality brand. Given the longevity of other Mack Weldon products that our tester has owned, they expect this pair to last for years.

See Mack Weldon Atlas Jogger on Mack Weldon

Budget buy: BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Hiking Pants

benboy women's outdoor hiking pants

  • Made of polyester and spandex
  • Fitted with multiple zipper pockets
  • Water-repellent and windproof
  • Comes in a slim-fit design

Hiking is not the most glamorous activity but there is no need to look drab. Here is a stylish pair of pants that are also some of the best budget hiking pants. The all-around design features an adjustable waistband fitted with a built-in belt. There are patchwork knees that come hand-in-hand with the steric knee darts. There’s an array of zippered cargo pockets located in the thigh area.

Another selling point is their ability to withstand all sorts of weather conditions. They come in a waterproof design and are lined with fleece, so expect to be warm and toasty throughout your hike. This lining also makes them excellent for snowy hikes and mountaineering.

See BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Hiking Pants on Amazon

Warmest pants: Columbia Rebel Roamer Pant

columbia rebel roamer pant

  • Made of nylon and taffeta
  • Both waterproof and breathable
  • Fitted with numerous zipper pockets
  • They are true to size

Nylon and taffeta are not a mix you come across very often. Together they ensure that the wearer has maximum mobility and comfort for any activity. These pants feature Omni-Tech technology, a unique seam-sealed waterproof makeup that is coupled with unparalleled breathability. This pair of pants keeps the moisture out, be it a heavy downpour or a splash of mud.

They have two zippered security pockets at the sides and two rear pockets. And because of the unique design, these pants are completely true to size.

See Columbia Rebel Roamer Pant on Amazon

See Columbia Rebel Roamer Pant on Columbia

See Columbia Rebel Roamer Pant on Moosejaw

Most sun-protection: Columbia Men’s Rapid Rivers Pant

columbia mens'rapid rivers pant

  • A combination of cotton and elastane
  • Omni-shade technology with UV protection
  • Fitted with two side pockets
  • Machine washable

You will probably be surprised at how many articles of clothing simply hang there like a second skin without bringing anything to the table. That is where the Columbia Men’s Rapid River pant stands out. Using what they call Omni-shade technology, the material guards the wearer against harmful UVA and UVB rays. It goes a long way to prevent sunburn or sun-related skin damage. This is thanks to the tight weave construction coupled with UV-absorbent yarns.

They feature two handy side pockets and there is a semi-elastic waist and gusset attachment. These pants come in an active fit, so expect a bit of stretchiness.

See Columbia Men’s Rapid Rivers Pant on Amazon

See Columbia Men’s Rapid Rivers Pant on Columbia

See Columbia Men’s Rapid Rivers Pant on DicksSportingGoods

Best men’s zip-off pants: Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge

columbia men’s silver ridge

  • Durable 100% nylon construction
  • Convertible hiking pants with zip-off legs
  • UPF 50 fabric offers UV protection
  • Side pockets, security pocket, and mesh pocket bags
  • Nylon webbing-style belt included

In our opinion, these are some of the best-looking outdoor pants and they’re every bit as comfortable as they are attractive.

Men’s Silver Ridge convertible pants are lightweight wonders that keep you warm, dry, and comfortable regardless of conditions. They’re cut to accommodate hiking boots, so you can pick up a pair for your next mountaineering adventure. But they also convert easily to shorts with zip-off legs. We love the integrated belt and the breathability that a gusseted crotch offers. These convertible hiking pants are surprisingly effective against the wind and offer lots of pockets with both flaps and zippers to hold your emergency kit, including a cargo pocket for your phone.

Sее Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge on Amazon

Sее Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge on Columbia

Sее Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge on Moosejaw

Most tactical pockets: CQR Men’s Tactical Lightweight Hiking Pants

cqr men’s tactical lightweight hiking pants

  • Stretchy pants for freedom of movement
  • Durable polyester construction
  • Eight tactical pockets
  • Reinforced seat and knees

They call them “tactical pants,” but we’ll call them what they are: hiking pants. Their 65% polyester rip-stop Duratec fabric takes whatever the trail can dish out and emerges unscathed. There is an elasticized waistband and they’ve included a mighty eight cargo pockets. This makes these pants a great pair for day hikes or longer excursions.

They are lightweight and breathable, easy to clean, double-stitched, and stain-resistant. They dry quickly when they get wet, provide a full range of motion, have reinforced seat and knees, won’t bind when you sit, and can be worn over polypro long underwear or under wind pants. Whether you’re heading for the summit or to the campsite for the weekend, these are the kind of all-purpose outdoor hiking pants you’ll want.

See CQR Men’s Tactical Lightweight Hiking Pants on Amazon

See CQR Men’s Tactical Lightweight Hiking Pants on Walmart

Best for scrambling: Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant

outdoor research men's ferrosi pant

  • Stretch fabric for freedom of movement
  • Abrasion resistant fabric
  • Great for hiking or climbing
  • Articulated knees
  • Relaxed fit pants
  • Five total pockets

The Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant is a versatile hiking pant loaded with features. These soft-shell pants are ideal for rock climbing and hiking. They offer a relaxed fit, a ripstop construction as well as wind and water resistance. They are also available in a women’s version and come in many different colorways and sizes.

Some features we love on these pants are the zippered thigh pocket that remains accessible even in a harness, the articulated knees and stretchy fabric for movement and durability, and the adjustable cuff to keep out debris. In total, you’ll find five pockets and a durable polyester ripstop construction that is quite abrasion-resistant.

See Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant on Backcountry

See Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant on REI

See Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant on Amazon

Why trust us

I’ve been hiking since I was a child. As an adult, I started hiking and backpacking as often as I could before I found rock climbing which became my primary sport. This experience has left me well-versed in technical apparel and how it serves and fits outdoorsy users.

Who this is for

This guide is for anyone looking for high-quality hiking pants. Whether you’re in the alpine, the forest, or the desert, we have a wide variety of options. Many of these pants were tested while rock climbing, so you can be sure they have excellent durability.

How we picked

Selecting the best hiking pants began with our favorites. Then we took suggestions from our community and looked at best sellers. We also wanted a group of pants for a diverse group of people, terrains, and conditions: we have a relaxed fit and more form-fitting options, budget hiking pants, and some on the pricier side. We also looked at heavier options for winter hiking and lightweight hiking pants for summer hiking. We’ve got roll-up pants and some with zip-off legs, some that are great for everyday wear, softshell fabric pants, rain pants, and even pants with sun protection.

How we tested

My partner and I took on the testing for all the tested hiking pants in this guide, but many of our outdoorsy friends have these versatile hiking pants in their closets, so we also sought their opinion. We have a broad network of climber, hiker, and backpacker friends and their opinions and experience helped us shape this guide. Each pair of tested pants was put through the wringer while we hiked and climbed.

hiking pants

Features to look for in hiking pants

Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when searching for the right hiking pants.


You’ll want your hiking pants to wick away moisture, breathe, and keep you warm. As such, a nylon soft shell that protects you from wind and light rain is preferred by many people. You might also consider spandex as it is a stretchy fabric that will allow an excellent range of motion. When the weather begins to get chilly, though, you should seriously consider wool. Merino wool will wick away moisture while also preventing odor buildup and keeping you warm.


Most hikers have only the pants they’re wearing when they hike, so they don’t worry much about the weight. However, if you want to go the extra mile and stow a second backup pair in the pack, you’ll definitely need to consider the weight. As a general rule, you’ll want that backup pair to tip the scales at less than one pound and there are plenty of hiking pants out there that fit the bill.


Some people believe in the virtues of spandex outdoor pants, which is great. For our money, though, we want pockets. You can put your survival gear like the tactical flashlight, compass, multi-tool, etc in your pants pocket, and they’ll be immediately accessible in any situation.

Water resistance

Although you won’t find hiking pants that are completely waterproof (true waterproof hiking pants would have almost no breathability), it’s typically not necessary. The important thing is that they’re water resistant and can dry quickly. The hiking pants listed will do a decent job drying out if they get wet in a downpour or crossing a stream.


In colder months, breathability also means letting in cold air. In warmer months, breathable pants can be the difference between a happy hike and heat exhaustion. You may need a more breathable pair of hiking pants for summer and weather-resistant pants for winter.


To keep your hiking pants where they belong, you’ll want either a built-in belt, a drawstring, or belt loops for your own belt. Some outdoor pants come with a belt included.

Make and price

Some people will want to stick to brands they have experience with or have at least heard of. For other people, who makes their hiking trousers is entirely irrelevant. We look for quality, features, and price. One of the great things about outdoor pants is that you can get an excellent pair that will last you for years (including some brand-name hiking pants) for about the price of a large pizza.

Types of hiking pants


Traditional hiking pants are full-length pants with a variety of features like belt loops and pockets. They won’t usually have features like zip-off legs, roll-up legs, or anything else. These pants can be lined for warmth.


Convertible hiking pants may not be the most stylish hiking pant available, but they are quite helpful in changing weather conditions and when it comes to stream crossings. Long days outside often boast changing conditions. What may start as a chilly morning could be a blistering afternoon. Instead of sweating, take off some layers and wear your pant with zip-off legs.


Most pants without a fitted cuff at the bottom can be roll-up pants, but some pants feature designs that secure the rolled-up fabric, making them specialized. These convertible hiking pants are great for water crossings and varying temperatures, but some folks get annoyed by the bouncing or excess fabric.


Softshell pants are best for chillier days. These pants provide additional insulation, wind, and water resistance. Softshell pants are a great choice for mild winter days or fall.


Tights often provide excellent moisture wicking and breathability while offering top-notch freedom of movement. Many of us love how comfortable tights are and I’ll often use them for short to moderate hikes or anything non-technical. The downside of tights is the lack of pockets and durability.

best hiking pants

Hiking pants FAQ

Q: Should hiking pants be loose or tight?

When it comes to the fit of your pants, they should be comfortable and not do anything to impede your movement. In all likelihood, you’re not taking another pair of pants hiking with you, so you have to make sure the ones you have aren’t irritating. Here’s how you can test your pants before you ever venture into the woods with them.

Squat – Do a full squat and hold it. Are the pants pinching you anywhere? If they are, that pinching effect will likely develop into a problem long-term. Are they riding up to mid-calf on you? They should stay within a few inches of the top of your hiking boot, or they’re too short. Is your butt still in the pants? If you’re displaying double moons, it means the pants are too flimsy, or another size may be warranted.

Sit – If the pants are tight or uncomfortable when sitting, you should try another pair. You may need another size or another design.

Raise one knee at a time – Raise each knee as high as possible. Did your pants stay on? Did they split in the crotch? Did they prevent you from lifting your knee as high as you wanted to? If the answer to these questions is “yes” try another pair.

Q: How to choose appropriate hiking pants?

Beyond the above considerations, some other things you should look for in hiking pants are durability, breathability, quick drying, a belt or drawstring of some kind, and weight (lighter for summer, heavier for winter hiking). If the pants meet all of those criteria and also speak to you from a design and color standpoint, then they’re likely just right for you.

If your hikes include lots of scrambling, a more durable pant is needed. I do a lot of hiking to approach alpine rock climbs and look for pants with reinforced knees that can tolerate scree fields.

Q: What are the best makers of hiking pants?

We’re partial to the Columbia brand. However, NORRONA topped our list for its durability. We also love the versatility of PrAna products. Their men’s pants tend to hold up longer than the women’s versions though. The SITKA Ascent Pant impressed us and nearly stole the top spot.

Q: What’s the best material for hiking pants?

The best hiking pants should be made of lightweight material that is breathable and effectively wicks moisture away while retaining heat. For cold weather hikes, you can’t lose with wool, but there are also several synthetic alternatives available if you find wool irritating or heavy.

Remember, the fact that it’s cold out doesn’t necessarily mean you need heavier pants. Wind pants that prevent the cold wind from penetrating to your skin may be enough. Either that or leggings made of spandex, polypropylene, or nylon worn under the pants. If the weather turns warmer, you can always remove layers to adjust. Because you can hike in so many different environments and with a wide variety of difficulties, you should first assess your personal needs.


  1. What to Wear Hiking – REI Co-Op

Tuesday Kirby Kahl

Tuesday Kirby Kahl is a native Texan now residing in Portland, OR. In addition to her work as a writer, she’s a competitive climbing coach for youth and adult athletes. When she’s not working, you’ll find her rock climbing, exploring, skiing, and paddle boarding all over the Cascades. When at home, she’s usually tending to her collection or houseplants or painting with a cup of tea in hand.