The 12 Best Hiking Pants for Women of 2023

The best hiking pants are breathable, lightweight, and allow for optimal movement on the trail.

In This Article

Jump to a Section

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best Hiking Pants for Women


The quality of your clothing and gear inevitably affects how enjoyable your hike is. There’s nothing worse than finding out that your pants won’t stop riding up mid-trek or that the pair you’re sporting in the rain isn’t as waterproof as you thought. Picking a pair of hiking pants based on the conditions that you’ll be using them in is crucial, as are many other factors that all play into comfort and performance. 

With so many pant choices out there, each with different fits and features, it can be difficult to narrow down which pair is right for your hiking endeavors. To help with your search, we’ve researched dozens of options to find the best with a solid balance of breathability, style, fit, and functionality. Whether you’re tackling a frigid summit, heading out on a lengthy backpacking trip, crave pockets, or need something that goes from cool mornings to hot afternoons, there are pants on the list that’ll have you covered.

Best Overall

Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia Quandary Pants


Why We Love It
  • The combination of features makes these extremely versatile.

What to Consider
  • While they don’t come in tall sizing, they do come in regular and short.

We love that Patagonia has thought of almost everything to help keep us moving on the hiking trail. These multi-functional Quandary Pants won’t hold you back whether you encounter midday sun or some rock scrambles looking to snag a hole. With a lightweight feel and top-notch fit, comfort is at the helm of these hikers. They’re also roomy enough that if you need to add a base layer for warmth on colder days, you certainly can. They offer UPF 50+ sun protection, and the combination of nylon and spandex, more than half of which is recycled, gives our bottom half the flexibility to move and navigate the outdoors with ease.

While we wouldn’t suggest fording a river in these, a surprise rainstorm or wet spot on the trail won’t be a huge issue, as these pants are treated with a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish that keeps you dry in most conditions. The knee-level tabs allow you to transform these pants into capris if you get too hot, and five built-in pockets, including two with zippers, keep your belongings secure. For an all-around great hiking pant that’ll keep you comfortable, these tick all the boxes.

Price at time of publish: $89

The Details: 0-22, regular and short | 96 percent nylon, 4 percent spandex | 10.1 ounces | Water-resistant | 30 or 32 inch inseam

Best Budget

Baleaf Women's Quick-dry Water-resistant Lightweight Hiking Pants

Baleaf Women's Quick-dry Water-resistant Lightweight Hiking Pants


Why We Love It
  • All the adjustable cords and ties make them easily tailored to fit your body correctly.

What to Consider
  • They tend to run a little big, so you should consider sizing down.

We love that the Baleaf Women’s Hiking Pants come in a spectrum of colors and are pleasing to the eye…and the wallet. A drawstring waist with elastic and bungee-cord ankle ties make these straightforward to adjust for fit and comfort while pesky bugs are kept away from the leg openings. Keep your keys and phone safely tucked into one of the three zippered pockets. The fabric blend promotes breathability, while flexibility is maintained by the four-way stretch. They also have quick-dry capabilities, which are ideal for hikers in any capacity. Since these pants sport thinner material, they’re more suited to hiking in warm to cool conditions versus really chilly temperatures. For quality mixed with a very budget-friendly price point, the Baleaf hiking pants are a solid choice for casual to moderately challenging hikes.

Price at time of publish: $35

The Details: XS-XXXL | 90 percent polyester, 10 percent spandex | Water-resistant | 29.5 inch for small inseam

Best Fit Options

Alpine Parrot Ponderosa Pants

Alpine Parrot Ponderosa Pants

Alpine Parrot

Why We Love It
  • They have a soft fit that doesn't limit mobility.

What to Consider
  • Sizes start at 14.

These lightweight and durable hiking pants were designed for every activity level — from walking your dog to summiting mountains. Alpine Parrot offers these pants in a mountain fit, made for those with a different waist to hip ratio, and river fit, made for those with a similar waist to hip ratio, so people of all body types can find their most comfortable style. The pants can also roll up 10 inches from the bottom so you can wear them in warmer weather or when trekking through rivers, lakes, or streams. Plus, each pair includes five pockets of varying sizes and an additional key ring to keep all your essential gear organized and easily accessible.

Price at time of publish: $139

The Details: 4-30 | 94 percent nylon, 6 percent elastane

Best Trail-to-town

Columbia Saturday Trail Pant

 Columbia Saturday Trail Pant


Why We Love It
  • They pack a punch for the price point.

What to Consider
  • The front slant pockets leave us wanting a bit more in room and security.

Color us impressed with the Columbia Saturday Trail Pant’s ability to go from casual lunch in town to a rugged hike or vice versa. They offer Omni-shade UPF 50 sun protection, water and stain resistance, and two-way stretch for ultimate range-of-motion in a light fabric that won’t trap heat or moisture. Articulated knees and an added gusset will have you climbing, stretching, and reaching with support instead of push-back from your pants. 

The mid-rise waist with belt loops is ideal for almost anyone, as are the options for regular fit (32-inch inseam), long (34-inch inseam), and short (30-inch inseam). They may run a bit on the smaller side, so it’s key to keep that in consideration when ordering. If your legs get too hot on the trail, simply roll up the leg bottoms, and voilà…you’ve got capris. No need to pack a change of clothes for your post-hike beers — the Saturday Trail Pant was built for social hangs as much as summit conquers.

Price at time of publish: $60

The Details: 2-16, regular, long, and short inseams | 96 percent nylon, 4 percent elastane | 9.5 ounces per | Water-resistant | 32 inch inseam

Best Convertible

REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants

REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants


Why We Love It
  • There’s no need to take your boots off when converting these from pants to shorts or vice versa.

What to Consider
  • The converted shorts have a 4.25-inch inseam, which may not be the preferred length for some people.

Zip-off pants but make them cool. That’s exactly what the REI Co-op Sahara Guide Convertible Pants have done. These were made for hiking in warmer climates, and switching from full pant leg to shorts is a breeze with the wide-leg design and quick-use zippers. Ankle drawstrings can turn these into joggers with cinching around the bottom as well. Although they aren’t suited for hiking in cold temperatures on their own, they are roomy enough to fit a base layer underneath. 

UPF+ 50 sun protection and water-resistant, quick-dry materials keep you protected and comfortable on the trail. In addition to all of the pant features that make these comfortable to hike in, we love that they were produced in Fair Trade-Certified factories and meet Bluesign criteria, which dictates the human and environmental health impacts of textile manufacturing. 

Price at time of publish: $90

The Details: XS-XXXL | 88 percent nylon, 12 percent spandex | 12 ounces | Water-resistant | 29 inch inseam

Best Leggings

Rab Elevation Pants

Rab Elevation Pants


Why We Love It
  • They have a slim, flattering fit.

What to Consider
  • The waist might be a bit tight as they tend to run on the smaller side.

We love how the Rab Elevation Pants have managed to blend the best of both leggings and soft-shell pants into one garment. The stream-lined classic fit of a legging that also features UPF 30 sun protection and can handle light weather situations with water- and stain-repellent fabric is a win for hikers. Store your ID or keys in the zippered thigh pocket so you don’t have to worry about losing important items along the trail. 

Although these pants don’t have belt loops, a drawcord tie on the inside of the waistband allows them to be pulled tighter if needed. For everything from easy day hikes to trekking in unfavorable weather, these leggings are more durable and hardy than your average yoga legging. They'll go the distance while keeping you warm and dry.

Price at time of publish: $90

The Details: XS-XL | 89 percent nylon, 11 percent elastane | 9.4 ounces | Water-resistant | 30 inch inseam

Best Pockets

Outdoor Afro + REI Co-op Trail Pants

Why We Love It
  • They come in an extensive range of sizes.

What to Consider
  • The waistband is cinched, which might not be the most comfortable fit for everyone.

We love the sheer versatility in sizing offered by the Outdoor Afro x REI Trail Pants, with petite, regular, and tall, and an elasticized waist with a drawstring for a tailored fit. The fact that they come in more neutral colors as well as bright and fun hues like teal and papaya is an added bonus. Wear these trail to town with confidence, and with so much pocket storage, you can leave your purse or bag behind. UPF 50 sun protection and snag-, water-, and stain-resistant fabric will have these as a staple in your hiking wardrobe for years to come.

"I have these pants in the teal glaze and absolutely love them. The waistband is extra-thick and high, which creates a nice cinched silhouette that I really love, and I also get tons of compliments on the bold color. They kept me perfectly comfortable and dry on a rainy day of rock climbing. Regardless of what I'm doing, I highly appreciate a garment that's loaded with tons of pockets (someone like me who's always losing things needs them!),” shares T+L commerce editor Lydia Price.

Price at time of publish: $60

The Details: 0-16, tall and petite, 18-26W | 94 percent nylon, 6 percent spandex | Water-resistant | 25.5, 28, or 31 inch inseam

Best for Hot Weather

Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants

Mountain Hardwear Dynama2 Ankle Pants


Why We Love It
  • Incredibly lightweight and packable, they’re ideal for hikers that travel.

What to Consider
  • They run a little big, so consider sizing down.

The Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 Ankle Pants were made for hot-weather hiking. Their shorter crop happens to be ideal for petite frames as well. The sun is no match for the UPF 50 sun protection built into the pants, and they do a fantastic job at wicking moisture when you work up a sweat. The fabric stretches and moves well with you on the trail, and the wide waistband sits flat, bringing the comfort level of these pants to a new level. 

The hand pockets are deep enough that small items won’t fall out, and the zip pocket on the leg is the perfect size for your phone. They wash and dry in a jiffy as well, making them a great travel companion for those who love to explore the outdoors. Oh, and they style well for street or summit, so you can grab dinner or a drink to celebrate your hiking efforts without changing.

Price at time of publish: $85

The Details: XS-XL | 94 percent nylon, 6 percent elastane | Water-resistant | 28 inch inseam

Best High-waisted

Fjällräven Abisko Tights

Fjallraven Abisko Tights


Why We Love It
  • Unassuming pockets on the sides fit what you need while staying stylish and streamlined.

What to Consider
  • The reinforced areas of the legging might take a little getting used to.

The 7/8 length and high-waist design make the Fjallraven Abisko Tights a home run for a legging that can meet a hiker’s demand without sacrificing comfort. The high waist tucks everything in nicely so you feel supported at your core without any waistband digging in. Designed specifically for trekking with a reinforced bum and knees, they won’t wear or tear easily during your adventures, either. 

Thick material will keep you warm while still wicking moisture with the best of them. These Fjallraven tights are for those who love the flexibility of being active in a legging while providing that extra support and highlights we crave from traditional hiking pants. Although they’re considered more of a splurge, their high-quality design and durability will make them more of an investment in something you’ll have for years to come. 

Price at time of publish: $120

The Details: XS-XL | 71 percent polyester, 29 percent elastane | 8.6 ounces | Water-resistant

Best for Cold Weather

Mountain Hardwear Yumalina Fleece-lined Pant

Mountain Hardwear Yumalina Fleece-Lined Pant


Why We Love It
  • They come in short, regular, and long to fit most body types.

What to Consider
  • There’s only one pocket, located on the thigh of the right leg.

Cold weather is no match for the Mountain Hardwear Yumalina Fleece-lined Pant, specifically designed to keep you warm when the temperatures drop. The soft, micro-fleece lining combined with the shell-style pants are like a warm hug when the conditions on your hike are not, and there’s room to add long underwear to maximize their use as well. The drawstring waist allows you to cinch them a bit tighter if needed, and the four-way stretch flows with your body and won’t restrict your movements as you hike. For those who get cold easily or like to hike through the winter months, these cozy but functional pants are an easy choice.

Price at time of publish: $63

The Details: 0-16, short, regular, and long inseams | 88 percent nylon, 12 percent elastane | 5.1 ounces | Water-resistant | 30, 32, or 34 inch inseam

Best for Rain

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants

REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Pants


Why We Love It
  • They don’t make as much noise when you walk as traditional rain pants.

What to Consider
  • They are not insulated, so wearing another layer underneath is necessary.

Who said hiking in the rain had to be miserable? Not in these; stay warm and dry in the REI Co-op XeroDry GTX pants with two layers of Gore-Tex protection. Despite being windproof and waterproof, these pants offer breathability, a crucial feature when hiking and working up a sweat. We love the ankle zippers for fitting over boots of all sizes and ease of taking the pants off or putting them on. They’re roomy without feeling bulky, so you can layer up to your liking underneath and still feel comfortable. They even pack up into their own pocket, so when the sun comes back out, you can whip them off and stow them quickly. 

Price at time of publish: $149

The Details: XS-XL | Polyester and two-layer Gore-tex paclite waterproof breathable laminate | 9.1 ounces | Waterproof | 32 inch inseam

Most Flattering

Athleta Women’s Rainier Tight

Rainier Tight


Why We Love It
  • They offer a superior fit and feel.

What to Consider
  • They’re more suited for casual versus technical hiking.

We love Athleta’s Rainier tight for the plush feel and all-around flattering fit, with a high waistband, moderate compression, and 7/8 length. They hug your lower half in all the right places while being functional up to high-impact physical activity with quick-drying material. These can easily go from a morning yoga class to coffee and an afternoon hike to dinner in town. The Rainer looks good with anything from hiking boots to sneakers or sandals. Just because they’re leggings doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice storage space, either. A small drop-in pocket on the back of the waistband is ideal for your ID or credit card while side pockets with zippers can keep your phone secure on the trail.

Price at time of publish: $109

The Details: XXS-XL, regular, petite, and tall | 78 percent recycled nylon, 22 percent lycra spandex | Water-resistant | 25, 27, or 30 inch inseam

Tips for Buying Women’s Hiking Pants

Think about your storage needs

Pockets are a handy feature in any piece of clothing, but with hiking pants you really need a pocket that offers security as well. Losing your keys on the trail is not ideal, so if you’re storing them in your hiking pants pockets, it’d better be one with a zipper. When shopping for hiking pants, it’s a good idea to find a pair with at least one or two solid pockets with deep enough storage for your phone or other small but important items. It’s also key to take the placement of the pockets into consideration when trying the pants on as you don’t want to put something in there and have it rub uncomfortably as you move along the trail. You’ll also want to avoid designs that are hard to access like back or waist pockets that could be hard to reach with a large backpack on. Leggings tend to have fewer pockets than traditional hiking pants; however, it all depends on your pocket needs. You can always carry a backpack if you prefer not to have anything weighing your legs down.

Look for at least some water resistance

It’s not always ideal to hike in waterproof pants as they tend to not be the most comfortable option for a long haul, but having a pair of hikers that are made with water-resistant material is a must for people who hike even semi-regularly. That way, getting caught in a quick rain shower or a persistent drizzle isn’t a huge deal. When browsing for hiking pants, look out for a DWR (durable water-repellent) fabric coating, which will make water bead up and wick off the pants, though they won’t be completely waterproof.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What makes a good hiking pant?

    Finding the best balance of durability, breathability, flexibility of movement, water resistance, and comfort is going to ultimately make for the best hiking experience. Fabric hugely impacts the comfort, functionality, and price of hiking pants, with the best option typically being a synthetic blend of fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex/elastane. Together, they offer garments that won’t absorb water but instead wick it away. You also want hiking pants that are durable to prevent snags and tears but flexible so the pants move with you as you navigate the hiking trails.

  • How should hiking pants fit?

    We all have different body types and there are many styles to choose from, so it mostly comes down to your personal preference. Hiking pants should be comfortable enough to wear all day long (or for several days on certain hiking trips) and have a good mix of being somewhat form-fitting without restricting your movements. The waist should fall on a comfortable spot for you without digging in, and the length should be appropriate for your height so it’s neither too short nor too long. 

    If you want the ability to add a base layer underneath, it might make sense to look for a relaxed-fit pair of hiking pants that will naturally be a bit roomier. If you prefer a slimmer, more streamlined fit that a legging or straight-leg pant offers, make sure the material is flexible enough to give as your body moves. Some pants in this style will have articulated knees and gussets to help with that by adding extra fabric or seams in areas that see pulling and stretching of the fabric the most. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A hiking enthusiast herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right pants for hiking in a variety of conditions around the world to curate this list. In her own search, she’s worn a wide variety of styles to find the perfect fit for her. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best pants for every type of trail, condition, and body type. 

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Updated by
Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure
Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles