TOP GEAR PICKS

Best Hiking Pants for Women: Hike in Comfort and with Style

Couple Hiking in the Summer

Do you ever feel uncomfortable hiking in jeans or heavier fabrics? Then you need some hiking pants that can protect you from the elements. The option for outdoor equipment continue to increase, and the hiking pants aren’t an exception.

There are numerous varieties including pants that roll up to capris, and those that convert to shorts. Also, some pants are made of water-repellent materials, and there are others that offer protection from the ultraviolet rays.

Choosing the best hiking pants for women, for your outdoor needs, will depend on different factors, from the environment you intend to explore, to your personal preferences in terms of style.

A woman in hiking pants on a forest road

You also need to know that the models that are sold as outdoor pants, are light-to-medium weight, making them ideal for the spring, the summer, and the fall weather. However, it’s important to remember that the actual conditions and temperatures of the area you will explore, will greatly depend on its locale and elevation.

For instance, if you reside in the Pacific Northwest, weather resistance pants should be a priority for you. Alternatively, if you will be hiking in the desert southwest, then you should go for something that has excellent breath-ability.

All these considerations and more will be explored in this guide, but first, we look at the features that are most important before we go to the product reviews!

Product NameWeightDimensionsFabricFeaturesPrice
prAna Regular13.4 oz16 x 11 x 12 inNylonRoll up, articulated kneeCheck price on Amazon
Singbring Outdoor14 oz16 x 12 x 11 inPolyesterAdjustable waist, waterproofCheck price on Amazon
Fjallraven Vidda Pro15.2 oz15 x 12 x 12 inPoly-cottonDurable, lots of pocketsCheck price on Amazon
Arcteryx Parapet8.8 oz16 x 12 x 12 inNylonLight, quick dryingCheck price on Amazon
Columbia Trail Hiking11.2 oz17 x 11 x 2 inNylon, elastinUPF 50 protection, security pocketCheck price on Amazon
Outdoor Research Ferrosi11.4 oz16 x 11 x 12 inNylonAbrasion resistantCheck price on Amazon
Nonwe Cargo8 oz16.5 x 12 x 12 inNylon, spandexAdjustable waistCheck price on Amazon
White Sierra Inseam10 oz17 x 12 x 12 inNylonConvertible, UPF protectedCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

When looking to buy a pair of hiking pants, it’s advisable to look for styles and models that meet your preferences. Apart from that, you should consider choosing the pants that can withstand the conditions of the area you will be hiking. Here are some other pointers worth having in mind.

Types of Pants

Standard

The non-convertible or standard models are usually designed to be worn as long pants. While it’s possible to roll the pants upward to increase the flow of air, without a means to secure the roll, they might require frequent adjustments due to their inability to stay up.

These kinds of pants are versatile and can be used for different applications, but are less versatile when considering changes in weather conditions.

Woman wearing a form-fitting-hiking-pants

Since they cannot be converted to shorts, it’s advisable to carry a pair of shorts when going into the back country, although this may end up increasing the weight of your pack.

These types of pants may present fewer features, but are simple and lightweight since they lack extra zippers and button that you find in the convertible pair. If you are planning to hike in tick country, in cooler weather, or are in need of sun protection, the standard pants are an ideal option to select.

Roll Up

These types of pants allow you to securely affix the lower side of their legs in a cuffed manner. This helps in keeping the ends of the shoes and ankles to allow for ventilation to the entire leg and feet.

While it’s possible to roll up any leg, they do not always remain in that position, especially when you are wearing a soft material without many structures to it. Securing a roll involves many techniques, most of which incorporate long material tabs inside the pants that get exposed when you roll them.

A woman rolling up her hiking pants

The tabs are designed such that they snap onto added components fitted outside the pants. You may think that these lengthy, movable objects floating inside the material fabric, are annoying, but this is never the case for most roll-up pants.

However, if you are highly sensitive to objects such as these, other options that utilize small loops of bungee cord when securing the roll are available. You may also decide to go with the convertible options, which are ideal and convert into shorts rather than rolling up.

Zip Off

Many hiking enthusiasts love the versatility of putting on layers with numerous functions. Clothing that can be used for different purposes simplifies the layers which you need to pack.

Zip-off pants are versatile in that they allow you to switch between shorts and pants depending on the environmental conditions and weather. The zip-off pants also have a definitive feel and look to them.

A woman adujsting her zipp-off hiking pants

These models are quite useful and function extremely well during outdoor expeditions. Although they have a few limitations, they are ideal for use in hot and cool conditions since you can easily convert the pants into shorts.

Sizing and Fit

It’s important that the fit of your hiking pants is unrestricted and comfortable while allowing for a wide range of motion. Mobility and stretch are beneficial, as you don’t want your outdoor clothing to limit you.

Your outdoor gear, including the kinds of clothes you have, should enhance your outdoor experience, and finding the right fit and size for pants will enhance the enjoyment and comfort of your hike.

A woman wearing a hiking pants relaxing on top of the moutain

When choosing a pair, it’s imperative to choose to err on the side of “too loose” as opposed to “too tight.” If the pants restrict or pinch you in any section, this will only be compounded by a mile.

This also offers you the option of putting on a base layer during the cool mornings and evenings. Whether you select a pair that is tapered or has wide legs, it’s essential to ensure that the pants have articulated seat and knees to assist with mobility.

Tear and Abrasion Resistance

Materials that are abrasion and tear resistant are the next phase of the high-tech fabrics. While backpacks and tents are made from ripstop nylon, these materials are just making their way into the world of apparel.

Woman-wearing-REI-Sahara-Roll-Up-Convertible-Hiking-Pants

While no one prefers hiking in parachute pants, the latest material fabric such as those used on Prana Convertible, are adding the ripstop feature to a comfortable material.

The abrasion resistant materials resist wear and piling due to surface friction. If you are planning to hike in places with numerous rough rocks, spiky plants, then these kinds of fabrics are worth the transfer of extra cost to the overall price.

Sun Protection

While all attires offer some level of protection from the rays of the sun, there’s so much variability in what can penetrate the clothing. A plain white cotton shirt allows about twenty percent of the UV radiation to pass through it, implying that you can get a sunburn even when you have your clothes on.

Many manufacturers are designing UV protection factor clothing (UPF) that provides a great amount of protection from the harmful radiation. Such a rating allows you to know the amount of radiation that can penetrate a material.

A group of hikers climbing the mountain in the autumn time

For instance, a UPF of 25 allows only 1/25th of the sun’s radiation through or four percent, and a UPF of 50 only allows 1/50th or 2 percent. The higher the rating, the better the protection offered by the clothing layers.

Whether or not the UPF is necessary depends on some factors, including the environment, the coloration of your skin, and the risk factors. If your plan is to be on the water, or hiking over snow in high elevation, or anywhere where UV radiation reflects back at you, then a UPF rated attire makes sense.

If you have fair skin or your skin burns easily, you will benefit from UPF clothing. These types of clothing are ideal for anyone looking to limit their exposure to the damaging rays of the sun.

Top Products on Today’s Market

We have arrived at the section of the article where you can see for yourself what is on the market currently. These hiking pants are some of the best out there and we hope one or two pairs work for you!

PrAna Regular Pant
prAna W4HA

Price: Approx. $70

Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 12 in

Weight: 13.4 oz

Specific features: Roll-up leg feature, hidden zip stash pocket, stretch Zion fabric, articulated knees

Best use: Hiking, trekking, desert bouldering, traveling

Description: With moisture managing, durable, water resistant, and reinforced at the knee section, the versatile PrAna Regular Pant is designed for desert bouldering, mountain hikes, and any other thing you can throw at it.

The good thing about these pants is that they can be used for different outdoor functions, including walking your dog in the rain. You will be surprised to find that the pants are water resistant and can protect you against any form of humidity.

They are light and do not stick to your skin, they keep off the rain, and are comfortable to wear all day long irrespective of the weather condition.

Furthermore, the pants feature a drawcord inside that makes them an excellent fit around the waist, so you don’t need to worry if you happen to shed off some weight.

Concerning their size, the Halle pants you may order a size down, meaning that if you are a size eight, a size six could also fit you perfectly. However, if you find that they don’t fit you as you expect, then you can stick to your normal size.

As mentioned, the nature of these pants including their weight and material, makes them ideal for outdoor application. So, next time you are thinking of acquiring some hiking pants, the prAna Women’s Regular Inseam Halle Pants is your best bet.

PROS:

  • 4 color choices
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Articulated knees

CONS:

  • Sizes run big for some
  • Do not breath well for some
  • Not for super hot days

Related: You will need some comfortable underwear while you hike. The ExOfficio Give-N-Go Bikini Briefs come in various colors and are brief style so they give you coverage.

Check the price on Amazon

Singbring Outdoor Pants
Singbring KL7OUC 

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 14 oz

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 11 in

Specific features: Soft shell polyester, waterproof pants, zippered front pockets, adjustable waist

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: The Singbring Outdoor Pants are not the ordinary expensive pants, but you can be amazed by how well they are designed. You can enjoy the versatility presented by these pants, once you go on a hiking escapade.

The Singbring are basic hiking pants that are made to offer the comfort you deserve when on the outdoors. They are made from water-repellent material to help keep you dry while on the hike.

The stitching is meticulous and strong, similar to the way EMS’ hiking pants are made. With the nature of their material strength and the stitching design, you are assured that these pants will serve you well while in the outdoors, and that they’ll not tear at the sides or behind.

The pockets of the Springbring pants are deep, making it possible for you to slide your phone inside. The zippers feature a metal tassel that adds to its outstanding design.

The Springbring will not likely go over any high hiking boot, but the mid-hiking boot can be well covered. The nature of their design makes them snug and comfortable to wear.

Apart from the belt straps, everyone prefers hiking pants, which have an elastic band. The elastic band offers a perfect give, is comfortable, and is not too tight or itchy when you are wearing a base layer such as the waffle-knit legging.

PROS:

  • Not expensive
  • Various colors
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • Sizes run small
  • Seams come apart
  • Waterproof doesn’t hold

Related: Since your pants are waterproof, your jacket should be too! The Diamond Candy Softshell Jacket is about $40 and comes in four colors, plus it has a soft shell.

Check the price on Amazon

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers
Fjallraven Vidda Pro

Price: $100 – $170

Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 12 in

Weight: 15.2 oz

Specific features: 60% polyester/40% cotton, multiple pockets, repellent wax, durable trekking trousers

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: The Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers are made from a tough and durable, water and wind resistant G-1000 with double fabric and reinforcements on the knees and back. These trousers feature a regular fit and low waist with articulated knees.

The pants also feature seven pockets along with an axe pocket, a map pocket, and an inner safety pocket. They also incorporate adjustable placket ankles to give you that extra comfort during movement.

In addition to the above, the pockets help in distributing the weight of your pack items so you can concentrate your center of gravity to the best position when hiking. The hips and seat of the pants are roomy to allow for ease of movement.

Their materials are tough enough to offer the durability you desire while in the outdoors. Overall, those who have these pants agree that they are comfortable, while expensive. They love the durability and the many pockets, as well.

PROS:

  • Lots of pockets
  • Lots of color choices
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Very expensive
  • Not a lot of stretch
  • Might not fit well for some

Related: If you are concerned for your garments as far as water resistance, then Fjallraven Greenland Wax is a great choice for you! This bar is made of beeswax and paraffin to give your clothing a coating of water resistance!

Check the price on Amazon

Arc’teryx Parapet Pant
Arc’Teryx 12471

Price: $70 – $100

Weight: 8.8 oz

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 2 in

Specific features: Breathable, lightweight, quick-drying, 100% nylon

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: The Arc’teryx Parapet Pant is a versatile, lightweight hiking pant that is made from the durable TerraTex fabric. This pant has been redesigned for the spring with an updated style and fit.

Among other outdoor applications, you can use the Parapet for trekking, walking, and hiking. This pant has been upgraded with a contemporary style, making it possible to easily transition from global travel to mountain terrain, and casual wear.

The TerraTex, a comfortable blend of nylon, makes it suitable for the summer weather. The fabric offers sun protection and can dry with ease when exposed to the sun or the wind.

The Parapet stays cool and is highly air permeable. Elastin fibers are also included to increase the stretch performance, and the nylon offers durability without any stiffness.

The nature of its design makes the Parapet ideal for the women in motion. Its freedom of movement is enhanced by the careful articulation patterns in the knee and seat section.

The ergonomic trim fit reduces excess fabric and bulk without restrictions, and the wide waistband provides a clean appearance and is very comfortable, even with a hip belt included.

Two back pockets and the hand pockets hold smaller essentials such as cash and keys. Two large pockets on the thigh section are discreet, but feature, volume pleats that help in creating additional rooms for travel documents, maps, or your smart phone.

PROS:

  • Dry quickly
  • Breathe well
  • Durable, made of nylon

CONS:

  • More expensive than some
  • Can rip if stressed too much
  • Run big

Related: Make sure you have a comfortable jacket with your hiking pants. The Arc’Teryx Alpha SL Jacket is made in the USA, made of nylon and comes in several colors of your choice!

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Trail Pant

Columbia 157986

Price: Approx. $70

Weight: 11.2 oz

Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 2 in

Specific features: 96% nylon/4% elastane, Omni-shade UPF 50 sun protection, 2-way comfort stretch, zip-closed security pocket

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: Combine comfort and performance when you put on the Columbia Trail Pant when on the trail. Made of elastin materials and nylon, these pants feature Omni-Shade™ and Omni-Shield™ technologies to protect you from the sun as well as the pesky bugs.

The articulated knees and the gusset detail, makes it possible for you to move comfortably when on your expedition. You can also switch up these pants by rolling up their legs to change into capris.

Furthermore, with excellent sun protection, stretch, and water resistance, the Columbia Trail Pants keep you secure and comfortable during the active outdoor escapades, from travel to the trail.

Therefore, if you are going on a backpacking tour or any expedition, make sure you make the Columbia Sportswear Women’s Saturday Trail Pant a part of your outdoor gear.

Overall, while a little expensive, users like these pants mostly because of the UPF 50 sun protection. It keeps their skin from getting damaged and therefore they can spend more time outside.

PROS:

  • UPF 50 rating
  • Many colors to choose from
  • Durable, made of nylon

CONS:

  • Somewhat costly
  • Some say they are too stretchy
  • Snags can occur

Related: The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot are some great hiking boots you can wear with your new hiking pants! These are durable, made of leather, and have a clam shell lacing system.

Check the price on Amazon

Outdoor Research Ferrosi PantsOR Ferrosi 

Price: $60 – $90

Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 12 in

Weight: 11.4 oz

Specific features: 86% ripstop, zippered thigh pocket, snap and zipper fly with ribbon drawcord, wind and abrasion-resistant stretch-woven

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are made from soft, durable, and comfortable stretch-woven fabric. These pants are ideal for all your outdoor expedition since they are designed to match your movement while at the same time shielding you from the weather and the wind.

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are airy as well as supple against the skin, but offer the right respite from the chilling winds and can withstand long hours or days on the rock or the trail. These pants are excellent when paired with hiking boots or climbing shoes.

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi are comfortable and have a nice style. They are designed from sturdy and lightweight fabric that have a good stretch.

As is the case with many pants, these models do not gape at the waist. Besides wearing the Ferrosi for everyday applications and travel, you can also wear them with their legs cinched when hiking in the summer, to keep flies and bugs away from your ankles.

PROS:

  • Made of durable nylon ripstop
  • Thigh pocket is zippered
  • Wind, scratch and abrasion resistant

CONS:

  • Too long for some
  • Too baggy
  • Sit below the waist

Related: While hiking, consider using some walking poles. The BAFX Hiking Poles have a great grip, are strong and durable and they are made from light aluminum so they won’t be heavy.

Check the price on Amazon

Nonwe Cargo Pants

Nonwe ZHP3BM

Price: $25 – $65

Dimensions: 16.5 x 12 x 12 in

Weight: 8 oz

Specific features: 88% nylon and 12% spandex, straight leg, multi pockets, zip fly with button, partially adjustable waist

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: The Nonwe Cargo Pants are a warm weather favorite. They are water resistant, lightweight, and quick drying. Featuring a partially adjustable waist and numerous pockets, the Nonwe Cargo Pants are ideal for all your outdoor expeditions. The pants are 12% Spandex and 88% Nylon, and therefore have a soft feeling to them.

On the downside, the nylon would make the Nonwe Cargo Pants very hot on a sunny day since nylon isn’t breathable. That is why it’s recommended to use these pants as rain gear. However, the Nonwe Cargo are comfortable, quick drying, and lightweight, making it suitable for all your hiking and backpacking expeditions.

Also, the waist is elastic making them ideal for a variety of waist sizes. One of the greatest advantages of the Nonwe is the fact that the pants come with six pockets.

The front (two upper thighs) pockets are strong and deep enough for storing your bulky wallet. Apart from that, there’s a Velcro pocket to the right of the pants and zippered mid-thigh pocket to the left, as well as two Velcro pockets on the back.

PROS:

  • Several colors to choose from
  • Affordable
  • Quick drying and light

CONS:

  • Needs more room in the crotch
  • No frills
  • Too short for some people

Related: To store the items you need while hiking, get a backpack! The Venture Pal Lightweight Backpack is made for women and contoured to fit the female shape. It has several pockets and zippers for storage and is colorful, too!

Check the price on Amazon

White Sierra Inseam Convertible Pants
White Sierra X9505W-STN

Price: $30 – $60

Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 12 in

Weight: 10 oz

Specific features: UPF sun protection fabric, travel-friendly quick-dry fabric, teflon fabric protector, convertible pants

Best use: Hiking, climbing, traveling, camping, mountaineering, fishing

Description: From the scorching deserts to the sunny river banks, to the mountain trails, the White Sierra Inseam Convertible Pants easily transforms from pants to shorts when you need them to. The pants feature lightweight nylon Sierra woven fabric that is quick to dry.

They are lightweight and can easily be utilized for all your outdoor applications including hiking and trekking. The UPF sun protection fabric helps to protect you from the scorching daylight heat, so your skin doesn’t tan in the sun.

Users state that they enjoy hiking in these pants mainly because of the sun protection. The UPF rating keeps the skin from being damaged through the clothing. They are waterproof and convertible, so they are great for most types of weather.

Overall, these pants are a winner for the women! They offer style, choice of colors and are comfortable. Users don’t have to worry about getting wet with these hiking pants.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Several colors
  • UPF protected

CONS:

  • May need to order up a size
  • Tight in the thigh
  • Snug in the waist area

Related: Keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable with some good hiking socks. The Merino Wool Antimicrobial Crew Socks are made of Merino wool and come in a 4 pack for under $30.

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

Before choosing your hiking pants, the aspect mentioned above are crucial and worth noting. It’s also important to note that climbing pants are in a different category, although it’s possible to enjoy climbing and hiking together.

A woman wearing a pair of best-leggings-on top of the moutain

Some aspects that are significant in climbing pants are the same for the hiking pants, such as breathability and mobility. When picking your pants, you should ensure that there are no restrictions on your movements.

Also, consider pants with pockets placed lower on the leg and those with options to convert or roll-up for flexibility and versatility. Do not forget to choose pants that can withstand long periods of roughness, can handle additional weight, and are easy to dry.

Do you think there are great products we missed? If so, let us know by posting your comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Heather Williams

    I’m looking for pants to layer over my leggings on colder days. One of my biggest problems with leggings has been the lack of pockets, so I want to fix that problem with pants. The Columbia 157986 Trail Pants seem to be a good choice. Would they fit over skintight leggings? It seems likely but if anyone knows already please share!

    • John C. Porter

      Sure thing! Just make sure you are comfortable!

  • Taylor Wolcott

    Shopping around for a gift and came across the Singbring Outdoor Pants. They look great, nice and comfortable. The pockets are also a huge plus. My girlfriend would like that they look tight and fashionable, and come in her favorite “wine red” color. Thanks a lot for the useful recommendations!

    • John C. Porter

      You are welcome, friend!

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