TOP 5 Best Hiking Pants

TOP 5 Best hiking pants

Are you looking for the best hiking pants? In this blog post, I will break down the top hiking pants on the market.

Before I get started with our blog post detailing the best hiking pants, I’ve included links in the description for each product mentioned. So make sure you check those out to see which is in your budget range.

Top Three Picks

Our Pick

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Runners Up

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Budget Pick

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Popular among the outdoors crowd for their comfort and versatility, The prAna stretch Zion pants wear well just about everywhere. Technically designed as a climbing pant, their flexibility and feature set, including a dual-access zipper cargo pocket, makes them an excellent choice for hiking and backpacking. You get superior range of motion thanks to a gusseted crotch and stretchy fabric and I really like this semi-slim cut that moves with you. To dial in the fit, a low-profile waistband adjuster is located to the right of the top button.

The stretchy water resistant fabric resembles a lightweight soft shell making it a bit more substantial than standard-fare hiking paths. This added thickness does make them run a little warmer during summer backpacking. On the flip side, the trustworthy shell fabric along with its DWR coating, excels at longer backpacking trips where toughness and the ability to handle inclement weather is a must. (and I’ve even worn them snowshoeing) Finally, I’ve also tested the women’s version of the pant, and the Halle, which has the same durable construction but with fewer features and a bit more of a casual slant.

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For casual hiking and even summer backpacking, you won’t find a better deal than the Columbia Silver Ridge pants. Despite the inexpensive price tag, these pants perform Ill with breathable and quick drying fabric (this also makes them popular among travelers). And with two deep and easily accessible cargo pockets and a zippered security pocket, you won’t be lacking in storage. So what are the shortcomings of the Silver Ridge? Despite being tough for the price, the material won’t last forever and is thin for serious alpine use. In addition, the zippers certainly aren’t the smoothest I tested and zipping the legs back on takes a bit of practice. But for hikers and travelers on a budget, the Columbia Silver Ridge pants are the best value on this list. The convertible version is their most popular model, but you can also pick up the Silver Ridge Cargo.

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Kuhl clothing has a distinctive look often with contrasting stitching, but it’s the durable fabric that won the Renegade Convertibles a spot in this list. The thoughtful mix of materials and solid construction makes the Renegade impressively tough, and the generous amount of stretch is a nice upgrade from another cool hiking pant I’ve tested the, Liberator convertible. The fit of the Renegades is a little baggy for our tastes, but those that like a relaxed cut should find them perfectly suitable.

As with the Liberator, the Renegades convertible design is among the best. I particularly like its low-profile styling that does a decent job of disguising the zippers. If you’re the type that likes to carry a number of gadgets in your pockets, or will be using the pants for travel. The Renegade offers a ton of storage options in addition to the standard two front and rear pockets, you get cargo pockets at both sides that have another set of compartment pockets inside for stowing valuables. This may be overkill for those who prefer to hike without being weighed down, but I appreciate the unobtrusive design nonetheless.

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Comparison table

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Arc’Teryx’s Lefroy pants are a great match for summer heat, but on a trek through Peru Cordillera Huayhuash, I turned to the more serious Gamma LT. What sets this soft shell pant apart is it’s fantastic stretchiness, durability and weight. I wore it all day in the alpine for nine days while hiking, setting up camp, filtering water cooking and lounging and it came home looking like new. Moreover, the Gamma LT’s high-quality soft shell fabric was stretchy enough to layer comfortably over thermal pants in the cold evenings and retained it shaped through it all.

At $189, the Gamma LT is far and away the most expensive pants on our list. For most three season backpacking trips, you can spend significantly less and be just as pleased with the performance. I also found that the metal fastener on the integrated belt can cause some discomfort underneath the hip belt of a pack, although this likely won’t be a problem for everyone. All in all the Gamma LT isn’t an all around pant like our top picks, but for alpine adventures when you need to step up and toughness and weather protection without adding much weight, it’s a terrific option.

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Seattle-based Outdoor Research knows a thing or two about rough weather. So it’s no surprise that the Ferrosi is it go-to pant for 3-season hiking. Despite being relatively lightweight, the Ferrosi’s nylon shell as a sturdy and high quality feel. The fabric is excellent for temperature regulation: it’s tough enough to cut the wind and shed a light rain but breaths when the thermometer starts to climb. It’s worth noting that the Ferrosi got a light update fairly recently, including a horizontal zipper on the thigh pocket (it used to be vertical) and no zippers on the rear pockets, but the formula largely remains the same.

From our experience, the Ferrosi and prAna Stretch Zion/Halle are the two leading hiking pants for most conditions. If you plan on using these pants purely for trekking, I give the nod to the OR. If you add climbing to the mix or want to pant that you can Iar all around town and for travel, the stretchy prAna is a better option. Additionally, the Ferrosi strikes us as a little too simplistic-I’d like to see it include a belt like the Stretch Zion, and the OR’s on the small side. Again, however, for back country purposes, the Ferrosi is one of our all-time favorite designs.

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New Releases 

So that sums up our top hiking pants. I hope you enjoyed. Until next time, have a great day.