When you think about hiking gear, you probably don’t think about hiking pants. But hiking pants are super important. They carry gear and food. They keep you dry (and warm or cool, depending on the season). They let you move freely. They put up with a lot of abuse.
We give a lot more attention to boots and backpacks. Maybe even hiking poles. And yet we still don’t give pants for hiking much thought.
Best Hiking Pants
This is called the Everywhere Pant for a reason—you can use it for anything, anywhere you want. 10 pockets hold, well, pretty much everything. The nylon and spandex construction gives you just enough stretch to stay comfortable while you’re hiking and backpacking without being too stretchy.
The 686 Everywhere is also packable so you can stash it in your bag without taking up a ton of room. It even has a 40 UPF to keep you protected from the sun. If you only own one pair of pants for hiking and backpacking, this is a great choice. [Purchase: $89.95]
It may not have the ten pockets of the 686 Everywhere, but Patagonia’s Quandary Pant still has two hand pockets, two rear pockets, a coin pocket, and two zippered thigh pockets: plenty for hiking and backpacking.
This 95% nylon Patagonia hiking pant is made for versatility. Tough enough to take on the trail, but comfortable and stylish enough to hit the town after you’re done. 50 UPF keeps you protected from the high-altitude sun, too. [Purchase: $79]
Do you miss zip-offs from the 90s? Have no fear! Columbia has your back with the Silver Ridge Convertible Pant. One part trail pant, one part 10″ short. Nylon ripstop puts up with tough trail days, and hook-and-loop pocket closures stay shut when you want them to.
Columbia’s Omni-Wick materials are great at keeping you dry on even the most humid hikes, and UPF 50 stops sunburn in its tracks. There’s nothing you can’t do in a convertible pant like this one. Making this one of the best budget hiking pants on the market. [Purchase: $60]
While the Adapt Pant is marketed “tactical,” and not “hiking,” it has all the features you want from a great pair of pants on the trail. UA Storm materials repel water without sacrificing breathability. Zip cargo pockets store food and gear.
Under Armour’s micro-mesh construction makes these very comfortable, and articulated knees won’t reduce your mobility when you’re scrambling over rocks. Thanks to 4-Way Stretch Air Vent Fabric these are one of the best waterproof hiking pants. The Adapt has a straight fit, which is a bit more relaxed than the slim 686 Everywhere. [Purchase: $80]
The Enduro Pant is very similar to the Adapt; the main difference is a looser fit. Ripstop fabric makes these more durable for challenging hikes, too. But that toughness doesn’t compromise your ability to move around; four-way stretch fabric keeps things loose.
And for our open carry hiking friends, the Enduro even packs offset belt loops to make room for your holster. [Purchase: $75.00
Arc’teryx makes serious gear for serious outdoors people. And the Gamma LT Pant is no exception. This softshell pant keeps you protected from light weather without being too heavy. Moisture resistance combines with breathability for an all-around pant.
The integrated webbing belt makes it easy to get the right fit. Arc’teryx’s straight leg fit is very slim and good for not getting caught on flora. Add zippered pockets and you have a pant that will put up with your toughest hiking and backpacking trips. [Purchase: $189]
If you’re looking for all-day comfort on the trail, you can’t go wrong with Walter Sky. This pant is designed to fit and feel like a jogger without sacrificing durability. This is a highly breathable Jogger Pant, making it great for long summer hikes where you want to stay cool without exposing more skin to the sun.
A water- and oil-repellant finish protects you from the elements, too. And you can comfortably carry your EDC essentials in the inner and outer pockets. The outer pockets are zippered, making it even harder to lose your phone on the trail. [Purchase: $128]
Support a local company! Mountain Khakis is based right here in Jackson, and they build pants that put up with Wyoming outdoors. The Original Trail Pant is 75% cotton and 25% nylon for a more natural feel. But the accents packs nylon and spandex so you aren’t constricted.
The straight fit of this pant will appeal to people looking for a slightly less athletic fit than the Under Armour pants. But reinforced heel cuffs angled pockets, and 50 UPF make them perfectly at home on a trail day.
As the first bluesign-certified pant on this list, the Mirik Pant will appeal to the environmentally conscious hiker. And part of Sherpa Gear’s proceeds to go the children of Nepal. What more could you ask for?
The Cotton-nylon-spandex blend of this pant is more balanced than some of the others on this list, providing a great blend of comfort, stretch, and durability. The straight leg is fitted for a tailored style, and it protects from both water and sun. [Purchase: $79.95]