What are the best pants to go hiking in? Guys hit the trail in their jeans or track pants all the time. But denim isn’t comfortable when it’s wet and it doesn’t block the wind. Jogging pants don’t have much abrasion resistance. If you’re serious about spending time outdoors, you need the best men’s hiking pants. Here’s why.
- 1 Weather resistance
- 2 Comfort
- 3 Fit
- 4 Best Men’s Hiking Pants in 2023
Technical features like wind and water resistance are essential if you’ll be hiking in the spring, fall, or winter. UV protection is crucial in the summer and at high altitudes.
Any pair of hiking pants worth its price tag will have some degree of weather resistance. Check out the Arc’teryx Gamma LT in the reviews below. They have a Durable Weather Resistant (DWR) coating that repels water. Then, there’s the prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pant with UPF 50 against UV rays.
The good news is that weather-resistant hiking pants also take into account the need for comfort.
We all have our favorite clothes. If you think about it, it’s probably because they feel good. The same goes for hiking pants. Jeans don’t provide the same freedom of movement as climbing pants unless they have a significant amount of stretchy material like spandex.
When you’re out in nature, it’s important to have the ability to take on challenges. A gusseted crotch, for example, is handy for climbing and bouldering because it offers mobility without the fear of splitting your pants.
An elastic or drawstring waistband lets you adjust the fit. So do zippered or drawcord cuffs. Plus, convertible hiking pants help you stay cool in hot weather or get you ready to go wading.
Consider when and where you’ll be wearing the pants. Would you prefer 3-season hiking pants or a pair for either hot or cold weather? Obviously, the best men’s hiking pants for hot weather will have better breathability and ventilation.
Lastly, check out features like whether or not a belt is included and what the pockets are like. Pockets make it or break it for me. I like them deep enough to actually use and zippered closures are a bonus.
Although you could guesstimate what size you need based on another pair of pants, I highly recommend that you measure before you shop. The cut and the fabric affect the size which varies between manufacturers anyway.
At a minimum, take these 2 measurements: your natural waist just below your belly button and your inseam from the crotch to the ankle bone. Once you’re ready, here’s an overview of the best men’s hiking pants:
|The best men’s hiking pants||Highlights|
|Eddie Bauer Men's Guide Pro Pants||
|Royal Robbins Alpine Road Pant||
|Outdoor Research Men's Ferrosi Convertible Pants||
|prAna Men's Stretch Zion Pant||
|Mountain Hardwear Men's Stretch Ozonic Pant||
|Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pant||
|Little Donkey Andy Men’s Winter Hiking Ski Snow Pants||
Best Men’s Hiking Pants in 2023
Eddie Bauer Men’s Guide Pro Pants
I didn’t include the best budget hiking pants because I’m not big on putting my trust in an unknown brand when it’s a mission-critical situation. However, this brand offers great value without a flashy price tag. If you’d like a pair of practical, hard-wearing hiking pants, check them out.
Also, I had positive feedback from reviewers with big legs. They said that the stretchy fabric fits great and doesn’t bind. That’s not surprising as the patented Flexion blend provides 2-way active stretch. The knees are articulated, too.
The fabric features both UPF 50+ sun protection as well as water resistance. It comes coated with a StormRepel DWR finish that sheds rain and prevents absorption.
There’s something you need to know about DWR finishes. They don’t last forever. The more you wear and wash the pants, the more the coating’s effectiveness fades. The good news is that it’s renewable.
To wrap up, the pants have 5 pockets total. The two on the back have hook and loop closures. And the cargo pocket on the thigh has a zipper closure.
- Flexion fabric with 2-way stretch is comfortable and fits great on big guys
- Weather-resistant with DWR finish and UPF 50+
- 5 pockets, one zipped, 2 with hook and loop closures
- Suitable for spring, summer, and fall hikes
- Rain-resistant coating will need to be renewed after several washings
Royal Robbins Alpine Road Pant
Wear them on the plane to your next destination then go for a hike straight from the airport. These 3-season urban hiking pants are ready to go trekking with you. They look good enough for the office and then let you enjoy time at the climbing gym.
Part of the magic comes from the articulated knees and gusseted crotch for a good range of motion. Also, the fabric is a nylon/polyester blend with a little stretchy spandex. Nylon provides abrasion resistance while polyester makes the cloth breathable.
In any case, the material has UV protection (UPF 50+) but only basic rain resistance. On the bright side, it doesn’t wrinkle easily and it dries quickly.
The waistband has a soft lining to help you feel dry. Meanwhile, the zippered side pocket is big enough to hold a smartphone. There are also cinch cords in the cuffs to keep the bugs out.
- Ready to go from front country to backcountry nonstop
- Look nice enough for the office with features appropriate for the trail
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Quick-drying fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily
- Gusseted crotch and articulated knees for a broad range of motion
- Waistband liner helps wick away sweat
- Zippered side pocket is large enough for a smartphone
- Cinch cords at the hems
- Reviewers wished for more zippered pockets or more colors
Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Convertible Pants
What fabric is best for summer hiking and climbing? Although you might be a fan of cotton, it’s not the best choice in every situation. The synthetic fabric of these hiking pants for hot weather consists of nylon and spandex. In this case, it’s not the material but the weave that matters. If it allows for breathability, moisture-wicking, and ventilation, you’ll be comfortable.
Moreover, these men’s convertible hiking pants are designed specifically for hot weather. They allow you to zip off the legs just above the knees and turn them into shorts. But what do you do with the legs when you remove them? They roll up small to shove into one of the 5 pockets, or your backpack.
The pants have a zippered pocket on the thigh as well as zippered rear pockets and 2 front slash pockets. As you might expect, the ripstop nylon is abrasion-resistant and rugged enough to take on rock climbing.
The only downside is that this pair is too lightweight for cold or wet weather. They may also be a little stifling in hot weather with high humidity.
- The legs zip off just above the knee, turning the pants into shorts
- Ripstop nylon/spandex blend provides excellent mobility and abrasion resistance
- 5 pockets, 3 of which are zippered
- Appropriate for warm weather hikes and climbs only
prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pant
If you’re going to spend the money, these pants are good for three-season hikes and bouldering.
In the summer, you can roll them up and use the strap to secure the hems. There’s also a ventilated inseam gusset to keep the jewels cool. Plus, they have UPF 50+ UV protection.
In the spring and fall, the durable water-repellent finish keeps you dry in a sudden rainstorm. Should there be too much water, they dry quickly.
There’s a built-in belt in the waistband that makes the fit adjustable. Just as important, the pockets are usable.
- Perfect for spring, summer, and fall hikes plus bouldering
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- DWR finish and fast-drying fabric keep you comfy in the rain
- Built-in belt
- Usable pockets
- Be sure to check out the new version just in case
Mountain Hardwear Men’s Stretch Ozonic Pant
These are technical pants. They look outdoorsy. But if you’re headed out on a glacier or up the mountainside, they’re ideal.
The lightweight fabric is 40D weave for supreme abrasion resistance. What’s more, the pair has 4-way stretch with articulated knees so that your range of motion is never limited.
If you’ll be out in the wet, you won’t have to worry. The pants come with DryQ technology that allows your skin to breathe but wards off the water. The waterproof protection extends to a roomy phone pocket.
The adjustable webbing belt and elastic at the rear of the waistband make sure you get the right fit. But the most unusual feature is the side zippers. You can take off and put on the pants without pulling them down.
If you plan to wear them in winter, size up to accommodate a base layer.
- DryQ waterproof technology
- Superior abrasion resistance
- Excellent mobility with 4-way stretch and articulated knees
- Roomy pockets
- Adjustable fit with a built-in belt
- Full-length side zippers
- A bit pricey if you don’t need the technical features
Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pant
If you’ll be out and about in cool, wet weather, you’ll love these hiking pants. If you’re going to be in a colder clime, you’ll need a base layer underneath (and may need to size up).
These are softshell hiking pants that are stretchy and lightweight. They have outstanding wind and water resistance, but aren’t the most abrasion-resistant pair I’ve reviewed. On the bright side, should you happen to get them wet while crossing a stream, they dry quickly.
What’s interesting are the drawcord cuffs. They enhance the fit and keep cool breezes out. But if the weather turns warm, you can roll up the legs and secure them with the cords.
- Good wind and water resistance for cool, wet weather
- Fast-drying and lightweight softshell hiking pants
- Stretchy fabric for excellent mobility
- No rear pockets
Little Donkey Andy Men’s Winter Hiking Ski Snow Pants
Let’s wrap up with the best men’s hiking pants for cold weather. They are versatile enough for all sorts of winter sports in temperatures from 59 to 14°F.
Although they have 3 protective layers, they allow perfect freedom of movement with 4-way stretch fabric.
The inner lining is polar fleece to trap warmth. The middle TPU layer is a windproof membrane. Then, the outer layer rejects moisture to keep you dry.
It’s not hard to get a good fit as the pants come with a partially elastic waistband and removable belt. The main complaint we heard was that the leg openings struggle to fit some types of boots.
- Best for cold weather hikes in temperatures from 59 to 14°F
- Wind and waterproof with a 3-layer design
- Cozy polar fleece lining
- 4-way stretch and articulated knees for maximum mobility
- Removable belt and zippered pockets
- Check the fit if you’ll be wearing bulky boots