It is worth investing in some decent walking pants if you are an avid hiker – they will keep you cool, comfortable and dry.
What are the best women’s hiking pants for hiking in 2021? Our favorite hiking pants tested
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Comfortable and durable walking pants are a staple in any hiker’s wardrobe. Wondering why you can’t just wear jeans for a walk? Well, on a short, relaxed walk, you could probably do it.
But if you spend hours hiking or planning an active walking vacation, a good pair of walking pants will be the most comfortable choice – they’re designed to be light, stretchy, loose and breathable no matter what. or the number of kilometers traveled. .
Are walking pants the same as waterproof pants?
Walking pants are worn next to the skin and usually aren’t waterproof, but waterproof pants are easy to wear over if a storm is looming. That said, some walking pants are water repellent, which is enough to withstand a light rain. If they do get wet, a good walking pant usually dries quickly, which is also useful when traveling with a limited wardrobe.
What to look for in walking pants?
Think about when you’ll be wearing your new pants. On summer walks, look for pants that use breathable fabric to keep you cool. In winter, a thicker, insulated pair will be the best choice.
There are also different styles on sale. Thin, stretchy walking pants are often referred to as tights and instead feel like you’re wearing leggings – a good choice if you don’t like larger pants that can snap in the wind.
Do walking pants look – good – cool?
Previously, walking pants got pretty low marks in terms of style, but that’s changing fast – we’ve included some stylish chino-style pants that would work anywhere from the mountains to the office. Many pairs of walking pants can also be converted into shorts by unzipping the lower sections, which is handy in changing weather and a good choice for saving space on backpacking trips.
What do you need hiking pants for?
We always rate pants with reinforced knees and ankles (the former for sitting on rough terrain, the latter for wearing it with crampons), plenty of pockets and a slightly stretchy fabric, for added comfort and freedom of movement. .
Try on pants in person if you can – they should be stretchy enough to allow you to squat and be comfortable around your waist. If these are zipper pants, check that the zippers do not rub against your knees.
Fjallraven Keb fitted trousers
When the going gets tough, pull on some Fjallraven Keb Walking Pants.
These sturdy walking pants double as work pants with reinforced panels at the knees and back, making them ideal for camp setup and for gardening and outdoor work as well as for hiking.
The Kebs have roomy pockets and useful ventilation zips, and are available in straight or curved versions.
Beautifully done and worth the investment if you spend all of your time outdoors.
Arc’Teryx Alroy Trousers
Do you feel the heat? The Alroy pants from Arc’Teryx were the coolest, most breathable pants we’ve tested – if you’re going for a hike in a tropical climate and still need to protect your legs from bugs and the sun, this is is a great choice.
We also liked the five large pockets, the lightness of the fabric and the stylish neutral colors, which make the Alroy suitable for everyday use as well as for hiking. The only thing to watch out for is the size – we recommend taking one size down in the Alroy, as the waistband is on the wide side. A short version is also available.
Quechua Trekking Zip Off Trousers
Our best on a budget at just under £ 25, these simple but comfy walking pants offer good quality without the hefty price tag, and also pack up in shorts – everything we’d expect from the cheap and cheerful brand of Decathlon, Forclaz.
In the test, we liked the Trekking pant’s stretch panels for ease of movement, and the lightweight fabric is cool to wear and dries quickly if you encounter the rain.
Zip-up shorts are comfortable and flattering – these versatile pants would be a great spare to take on the go for a summer trekking vacation.
Jack Wolfskin Overland Zip Off Trousers
Why buy walking pants when you can also wear shorts?
If you are looking for great quality in zip pants, Overland by Jack Wolfskin is a good investment.
The pants feature good zip pockets and a comfortable high waist, and have a water repellent finish that resists light rain. It’s quick and easy to remove the pant hem when you’re on the go – great if you’re heading out on a cool morning but the weather warms up halfway through the hike.
These pants are also PFC-free (or polyfluorinated chemicals, which are harmful chemicals sometimes used to waterproof clothing), so they’re an environmentally friendly choice.
Fjallraven Abisko tights
If you’re looking for thin, stretchy hiking tights rather than loose walking pants, read no further: Fjallraven’s Abisko tights are popular for a reason. These legging-style walking pants may be close to the body, but they’re so comfortable and stretchy you’ll immediately forget you’re wearing them – ideal for long days of trekking.
The Abiskos stay in shape wash after wash, have a large map pocket and zip pocket, fit snugly under raincoats, and have thick butt and knee panels that are perfect when sitting at camp after a hike. They can be expensive, but you are paying for lasting quality.
Craghoppers Pro Stretch Trousers
As the name suggests, these pants are super stretchy – ideal if comfort is high on your shopping list. This stretch is also great for going fast on hikes or mountain climbs, and the Craghoppers Pro Stretch Pants will follow you without hampering your range of motion.
We love the zipped pockets, the fitted cut and the water-repellent finish, which will repel light rain. The fabric of the Pro Stretch is thin and breathable, so these pants are ideal for summer use. At under £ 30, that’s a steal, too.
Acai Skinny Outdoor Trousers
A favorite of the Instagram hiker community, Acai’s slim pants are designed to appeal to walking fashionistas – they look great, with a comfortable high waist and flattering back pockets, are available in no less than 12. Smart neutral hues, they would double as regular leggings or even work pants when you’re off the beaten path.
There’s enough stretch so you can move freely in the skinnies, and the fabric is reasonably breathable as well. A good pair to choose from if you don’t like the wider fit of traditional walking pants.
Revolution Race Nordwand Trousers
Revolution Race prides itself on the versatility of its Nordwand pants, believing it to be suitable for “hiking, climbing, fishing, hunting, camping, mountain biking and dog sports”.
We should agree – these tough yet flexible pants are a great choice if you want to invest in just one pant for all your adventures.
The stretch panels at the knees and at the back make the Nordwands comfortable even over long distances, and they also fit snugly at the bottom of the base layer – doubling like this, the Nordwands also work for winter.