Nothing wrecks an awesome hiking trip like coming unprepared.
The hiking gear you use factors into your experience just as much as the trail does, and when referring to gear we aren’t just talking about a nifty watch and some trekking boots.
Inexperienced hikers will sometimes make the mistake of overlooking the basics.
Yes, gadgets are nice and of course, it is dire to have quality footwear but keep in mind that coming prepared for a hiking trip likely means investing in some hiking pants as well.
So before you learn the hard way, for example by getting chilled to the bone in a pair of blue jeans or walking through a patch of poison ivy with some cargo shorts on, let’s debrief and take a moment to go over what a good pair of hiking pants looks like.
As a bonus, we will even include our picks for the best men’s and women’s hiking pants.
- Read more: Top 10 Best Hiking Boots
Top Best 5 Hiking Pants (Summary)
For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
What Makes The Best Hiking Pants
The three essential components that all good hiking pants encompass are durability, comfort, and freedom in range of motion (aka mobility).
When you invest in a pair of hiking pants you want them to be able to withstand the elements. A durable pair will be made of strong, resilient fabric and likely weatherproofed. True hikers’ clothing is durable and reliable.
Defense against the weather is also a key detail when it comes to comfort. Pants that are not only comfortable to wear in the colder and wetter months, but also have the versatility and breathability to be worn in the summer are pants that you can rely on for your hiking adventures.
Versatile pants are important because although it’s good to scout the weather for your hike ahead of time, we all know that temperatures and conditions can change unexpectedly. It makes much more sense to invest in one pair of versatile pants then multiple pairs that only work for varying conditions.
Going hand in hand with comfort is freedom in range of motion. Hiking involves constant movement and can require a lot of bending, turning, and twisting as you navigate a trail. Pants that keep you bottled up and restrict your movement are just plain unsuited for adventures. You need to be able to move freely and comfortably at all times, which is why pants that bend and stretch with your body are a prime choice for any serious hiking journey.
If you can find yourself a pair of pants that are durable, comfortable, and flexible then you can also keep an eye out for a few other features. Additional pockets, reflectors, and adjustable waistlines may come in handy. Appearance and price may also factor into your decision; just make sure you don’t sell yourself short in terms of quality for a less expensive or more fashionable pair of pants.
As promised, here are the best men’s hiking pants on the market right now. They have varying benefits and some are more appropriate for certain conditions than others, but overall these are all good choices.
4 Best Hiking Pants For Men
1. Columbia Silver Ridge Hiking Pants – Pants That May Be Some Of the Most Versatile On The Market