The Best Hiking Pants for Men

The Ferrosi Pants from Outdoor Research are comfy, stretchy, and breathable.

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 Best Hiking Pants for Men

Columbia, Outdoor Research

Trekking through alpine forests, zigzagging across desert landscapes, or simply taking a hike on an easy trail are all great reasons to invest in a pair of hiking pants. They come in a variety of styles with lots of bells and whistles, such as multiple pocket designs, pants-to-shorts capabilities, stretchy materials, and more. What type of environment you’ll be exploring, and for how long, will help determine what type of hiking pants you should buy. For hotter climates, you’ll obviously want something breathable and lightweight, while colder weather calls for thicker fabrics that can withstand the elements. 

We’ve rounded up the best hiking pants based on price points, climate, versatility, durability, and materials. Our favorites are the Ferrosi Pants from Outdoor Research because of their great combination of comfort, stretch, and mobility. But our list includes hiking pants of all sorts, so if you’re looking for something more specific, keep reading.

Here’s our breakdown of the best hiking pants for men:

Best Overall: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research

Why We Love It: Comfort, breathability, stretch, and lots of sizes—you name it, these pants have it. 

What to Consider: There’s no built-in waist belt.

  • Available in six colors, the Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research seem to have it all. They’re durable, stretchy, breathable, and comfortable, and they offer great mobility for climbing and hiking. They’re made from 46 percent recycled fabric and do a great job of keeping rain and wind off of you. The simple, casual design is also versatile enough to wear straight from the trail into dinner with family or errands around town. The pants come in 33 different size options, which means you’ve got a great shot of finding that perfect fit. The pants also have UPF 50+ sun protection and numerous pockets to store your essentials. 

Sizes: 28 x 34 - 42 x 34 | Material: Nylon, spandex, woven ripstop | Weight: 10.7 ounces | Water resistance: Water-resistant

Best Budget: REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants

REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants

REI

Why We Love It: We love that these pants can become shorts as well, which works great for those on a budget. 

What to Consider: The pockets are a bit small.

We love these pants for the price because you’re actually getting a pair of shorts in addition to the pants. Just zip off the legs if you get too hot, or put them back on if you get chilly. They’re also great for those who aren’t yet sure whether hiking pants or hiking shorts would be better for their adventures. They come in five different colors and are made with stretchy nylon that’s not only durable for tough climbs but also comfortable enough for cozy evenings back at camp. This lightweight fabric dries quickly and is made from recycled materials. 

Sizes: 28 x 30 - 42 x 34 | Material: Recycled nylon, spandex | Weight: N/A | Water resistance: Water-repellent (DWR) coating

Best Breathable: Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Courtesy of Columbia

Why We Love It: The partially elastic waistband, matched with OmniWick technology, provides a comfortable, cool pair of pants. 

What to Consider: The mesh pockets are small and can rip if you put your keys in them.

Columbia’s OmniWick technology works to move moisture away from your skin and disperse it across the fabric for quick drying, which helps you stay moving while on the trail. The pants also come with UPF 50 sun protection, a zippered security pocket, hand pockets, and a waist belt, and they’re available in seven different colors. Wherever you are, these pants work to keep you cool while keeping moisture away. Bonus points go to Columbia for also being great about size inclusivity, and these pants come in standard sizes, plus “Big” sizes. 

Sizes: 28 x 30 - 54 x 34 | Material: Nylon, ripstop, polyester | Weight: 8.78 ounces | Water resistance: None

Best Convertible: Kuhl Renegade Convertible Pants

Kuhl Renegade Convertible Pants

REI

Why We Love It: The stretchy and breathable fabric in these pants keep you comfy and dry. 

What to Consider: Size up, as these pants run small.

Convertible pants are pants that “convert” into shorts. These ones from Kuhl zip off into a 10-inch short and are made from Kuhl’s Duralux fabric that includes UPF 50+ sun protection, is quick-drying, breathable, and is tough enough for rugged terrain. The pants have a zippered bottom cuff that fits easily over bulky boots, while two-way stretch fabric keeps you comfortable while on the go. Compartment pockets within larger pockets help keep your belongings secure and organized, while mesh pockets and quick-drying materials keep you ventilated and sweat-free. 

Sizes: 28 x 28 - 42 x 36 | Material: Nylon, spandex | Weight: N/A | Water resistance: Water-resistant

Best Durable: Prana Stretch Zion II Pant

Prana Stretch Zion II Pant

REI

Why We Love It: The recycled nylon fabric with a touch of elasticity is not only a sustainable choice but also one that works for tough terrain. 

What to Consider: These pants are not the best for hot weather.

Whether you’re trekking through rough terrain or climbing up the side of a cliff, you’ll need a pair of hiking pants that can stand up to the job. These Prana pants feature tough, recycled nylon with a touch of elastane for a durable pair of pants with added comfort. They’re also water-repellent and abrasion-resistant, and they have UPF 50+ sun protection. They even come with a zippered left-thigh cargo pocket with double entry, a concealed zipper coin pocket with an elastic key loop, and back patch pockets with a flap on the back right pocket. Fabrics are Bluesign-approved, recycled, and made in a fair-trade certified factory, and the new low-profile button closure lays flat for added comfort when you’re wearing a harness, backpack, or hip belt. 

Sizes: 28 x 28 - 42 x 36 | Material: Recycled nylon, elastane | Weight: N/A | Water resistance: Water-repellent

Best Lightweight: Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia

Why We Love It: At just 10 ounces, these pants are easy to pack. 

What to Consider: They’re best for lean to medium builds.

Patagonia is known for its top-notch outdoor gear, and these Quandary pants are no exception. They’re made from Bluesign-approved fabric that also has UPF 50+ sun protection, plus they have a water-repellent finish and some stretch to keep you comfortable. They don’t give off extreme outdoorsy vibes like some outdoor clothing, which means you can wear them to the office or while hiking. The Quandary pant has a regular rise and sits on the waist with a curved waistband that's designed to keep pants in place while on the move. There are also six pockets for all your things. 

Sizes: 28 x 30 - 40 x 32 | Material: Nylon, spandex | Weight: 10 ounces  | Water resistance: Water-repellent

Most Versatile: Royal Robbins Alpine Road Pant

Royal Robbins Alpine Road

Royal Robbins

Why We Love It: The stylish fit allows you to easily transition from the trail to your office. 

What to Consider: The pull cord on the bottom of the pants needs to be tucked away so you won’t snag it on something while walking.

Designed to be worn on the trail or on the town, these pants from Royal Robbins are as versatile as they come. They hold up well for backpacking and even climbing, and you can also bring them out for an evening with friends. They’re made with Bluesign-approved stretchy fabric that’s quick-drying and comfy, and they also have UPF 50+ sun protection. They’re water-resistant and wrinkle-resistant, and they have adjustable leg endings that fit around boots, as well as lots of pockets to store stuff. We really like the modern fit of these pants, plus the waistband’s brushed interior that creates comfort. 

Sizes: 30 x 30 - 46 x 34 | Material: Nylon, polyester, spandex | Weight: 16.4 ounces | Water resistance: Water-resistant

Best for Hot Weather: Marmot Arch Rock Pant

Marmot Arch Rock Pant

Amazon

Why We Love It: Tough nylon made with sun protection and a bit of stretch means these pants are ready for your next summer hike. 

What to Consider: They’re only available in 32.5-inch inseam in all sizes.

A water-resistant coating helps wick away moisture, while quick-drying fabric combined with UPF 50+ sun protection helps keep the heat at bay when you’re out in warmer environments. These pants have a bit of stretch to help with mobility while hiking and climbing, and the're touted as “abrasion-resistant,” meaning they can handle tough landscapes. The materials here are Bluesign-approved, and four colors are available. Roll them up in your suitcase for your next adventure, and you’ll find yourself with a breathable and lightweight pair of pants that holds up to hot and sweaty days. 

Sizes: 28 x 32.5 - 40 x 32.5 | Material: Nylon elastane | Weight: 11.6 ounces | Water resistance: Water-resistant

Best for Cold Weather: Arc’Teryx Gamma LT Pants

Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Pants

REI

Why We Love It: These pants block arctic wind to keep you warm while adventuring in chilly climates. 

What to Consider: Compared to other hiking pants, these don’t have as many pockets.

If you have an alpine climb or hike planned, the Gamma LT pants from Arc’Teryx are worth considering. Made for performance, these pants block wind, cold, and water, and provide a bit of light insulation. They’re a bit stretchy, which is super-important for mobility when it comes to climbing and tough hikes, and they’re abrasion-resistant and will hold up against crags and mountain faces. The waistband sits comfortably under a harness or hip belt, and the bottom cuffs close with a drawstring to keep snow and moisture away from your feet. Pockets are easily accessible, and three colors are available. 

Sizes: XS-2XL | Material: Nylon, elastane | Weight: 12.5 ounces | Water resistance: Water-repellent

Best for Rain: Marmot PreCip Eco Pant

Marmot PreCip Eco Pant

Marmot

Why We Love It: They’re waterproof and, at only 8 ounces, extremely lightweight.


What to Consider: The waist is elastic, so if you’re wanting a waist belt, this isn’t the pant for you.

Made from Marmot’s NanoPro waterproof fabric, these pants are great to throw in your bag in case you encounter some rain along your journey. They’re also breathable and ultra-light, meaning they won’t weigh you down if you do decide to carry them just in case. Unlike other hiking pants, the fit here is super-casual and simple. Instead of a waist belt, the waist is elastic with a draw cord, so you can cinch up the pants to your liking. There are two hand pockets and one zippered back pocket. The ankles have zippers as well, with snap tabs at the cuffs to keep your feet dry. All materials here are recycled and PFC-free. 

Sizes: S-XXL | Material: Recycled nylon | Weight: 8 ounces | Water resistance: Waterproof

Tips for Buying Hiking Pants

Think about your storage needs

When looking for new hiking pants, consider what all you’ll be bringing with you. Do you need lots of pockets to store things in? If so, you’ll want to look for a pair of pants with plenty of large, deep pockets. You might also want to look at where the pockets are, in case you’ll be wearing a hip belt or accessories. That way, you’ll still be able to access the pockets even with your accessories on. 

Look for some water resistance

Rain happens, often when we least expect it. It’s worth looking for a pair of hiking pants that offer some type of water resistance, whether they be water-repellent or waterproof. If you’re hiking in really wet environments, you’ll want to look for some waterproof pants that’ll keep moisture at bay. 

Consider the journey

Are you headed to hot, dry desert terrain? Maybe cold, alpine mountains? Take your environment into consideration when purchasing hiking pants. The last thing you want is a pair of super-hot, thick pants as you hike in triple-digit temperatures, for example.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What materials are good for hiking pants?

    Most hiking pants are made with nylon, polyester, and spandex, or a combination of these. Nylon is a tough fabric that holds up well for outdoor activities, but if you’re looking for a bit of stretch, make sure your pants also have some spandex (also called elastane) in them as well.

  • How should hiking pants fit?

    When hiking, you need optimal mobility, so look for pants that allow you to move but aren't so loose that you’re constantly pulling them up.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are experts when it comes to traveling, packing, and adventuring. They’re well-versed in travel products that actually work and make your time adventuring easier. For this article, Amanda Ogle used research and her personal expertise as a travel writer to craft the perfect list of hiking pants for your next adventure.

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