Choosing Hiking Pants

Many factors involved in selecting ideal hiking pants as well as it comes down to personal taste. If the hike will be of short duration in safe terrain, the type of clothing and gear you choose is of less importance. For longer hikes, however, these choices can sometimes be a matter of survival.  It is a good idea to choose hiking pants that are durable and can provide protection against environmental elements, dries quickly and are highly breathable.

Consider Convertible Pants

When choosing your gear for hiking you should purchase pants that are adaptable to both day and night. Temperatures at night can often plummet, and you should be sure your clothing offers ample protection. If the climate you’re hiking is warm enough to wear shorts, it is a good idea to get a decent zip off pants instead of ordinary hiking pants. This will let you convert them into shorts when you don’t need that extra protection on your legs and you will feel more comfortable. You can convert them back into a pants fast when ever you need that extra protection against cold, sun, abrasion or insects.


Your hiking pants should be not too firm and not too baggy. If too firm, it restricts some of your movement and it may cause chafing, if too baggy, it will be uncomfortable on longer hikes.

Test the fit of the pants while standing, sitting, and squatting. If they are uncomfortable in any of these positions, it is a good idea to select a different size or style.

Look for pants that have some stretch in the material, such as a percentage of spandex added, which will allow easy movement and a comfortable fit. Pants with articulated knees and gusseted crotches can be the most mobile and comfortable while hiking.


Look for a pants with attached webbing belt – this helps to adjust the fit and also belt can be useful to attach some items like knife or first aid kit to it.

Also you might want to look for pants with useful pockets which helps storing some small items you use often, like map or energy bar. Ideally at least two of the pockets will have zips.


Durability of construction is a very important factor in choosing hiking gear. When in the field, your hiking pants will take a lot of battering and it’s important for them to be tough, highly breathable and quick drying. Good quality hiking pants will have an inseam with double stitching for seams exposed to a lot of stress. Pockets and center back seams are also areas that absorb a lot of stress and consequently should be reinforced. Though natural fibre fabrics often offer a greater degree of comfort, synthetic fabrics are typically much better suited for hiking apparel.

You should look for hiking pants made of fabric that will resist moisture and tears. Wearing water-resistant clothing will help to protect you from the elements and the risk of developing hypothermia in miserable weather conditions.

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