Your passionate bent on hiking demands you to gear up correctly. Walking your way to the Cadillac Mountain or to the Templeton for long indicates you to fit in ultralight clothing. That is because you definitely don’t want to add up to your already heavy backpacks. A great comfortable pair of pants grants versatility to perform adventurous activities, freedom of mobility and sturdiness. Such power makes you question about the material of the pants. They are made out of lightweight nylon which defends you from any environmental condition. Be it wet or windy. The material allows enough breathability and arrives with articulated knees and zip-off legs. Thus, the pair of pants and shorts moves with you. Hence, gear up with an ultralight pair of pants that knows your every move!
- 1 Hiking Pairs: The Fundamentals
- 2 The Rain-Gear: Waterproof Hiking Pants
- 2.1 Hiking Pants: Men
- 2.2 Hiking Pants: Women
- 3 The Snow Pack: Winter Hiking Pants
- 3.1 Insulated Pants:
- 3.2 Waterproof Pants:
- 3.3 Softshell Pants:
- 3.4 Winter Hiking Pants: Men
- 3.5 Winter Hiking Pants: Women
Hiking Pairs: The Fundamentals
The pairs are crafted with a varied proportion of elements. Some pairs bear a maximum of nylon and a little of spandex, while others are a blend of elastane and polyester. Authentic hiking pants are of ultralight nylon softshell that defends your legs from both windy and wet weather conditions. They also render durability and sufficient breathability, of course. Entire nylon made pants are less stretchable and hence are suitable during summer and rain.
Most pants weigh very light while others are moderate. But when you carry extras, I suggest you choose the lighter ones. When you plan to hit the Alpines, you must carry some extra weight. Apart from that, I always recommend traveling light.
As a hiker, I never over-stuff my pockets leading to excessive weight. That is because it disables and restricts proper movement. But, pockets are necessary to organize a handfuls of immediate necessary items. However, some pants hold thoughtful storage options. Yes, thoughtful since they are placed wisely, where you can slide hands carelessly. Also, to keep your immediate essentials from falling, the ziplock is common in every pair. This is what I love about them. The little details they focus on for convenience and comfort makes me want to wear them even on the streets!
Design: Articulated knees and Gussets
Another of their thoughtful creations is the charm of their design. Articulated knees of the pants, when not worn, have a bended knee caricature. That is, they normally have a bend at the knee area which is an obvious indication of its advanced level of motion. The gusset is a fabric which runs along the stitch of the pant’s inner thighs. It modifies the look and camouflages the stitch. Thus, the design itself is an art crafted for convenience.
Never has anyone put so much effort in making regular casual pants as that of the hiking pairs. However, if a pant fits loose or you have an in-between size, that too is taken care of. The integrated belts built in the pants back you up adjusting the fit. Thus, you can tighten the belts to get them fit you perfectly.
Not all hiking pants are waterproof, obviously, provided what is your requirement. For a summer trip to the Mansfield Mountain in Vermont for instance, you do not need the pants to be waterproof. Just a basic water resistance would work fine. If you spill water on your bottoms, you can easily wipe it off. The water droplets that fall on the material, clearly ball-up and slide off when slanted. However, the rainy season hike brings you challenges making the waterproof pair of bottoms an obvious essential.
How Thick and Durable?
The hiking bottoms range from thin summer-ready ones to thick softshell pairs. Some pants are developed mainly for any single weather. While others are designed to confront multiple conditions. But sometimes they don’t serve as great as the ones made for particular seasons. Some pairs are for light winter wear and they are semi-thick allowing comfort and just the right amount of warmth. However, moving on to the durability, such pants are tear-resistant. Their subtle and polite design deceive you since they are immensely strong and tough. Don’t mind brushing against rocks or squeezing through narrow rocky walls since they actually don’t tear at all. Such is their score in the durability test.
Convertibility: Do They Metamorph?
Yes, most of them does. Most of the hikers prefer the convertible game over the simpler ones. The convertible counterparts relieve you from carrying too many extra shorts. It limits the carry-along shorts to a minimum depending on the days you spend. Such a two-in-one style enables the bottoms to metamorph into shorts at a zipper junction near the knee area. However, I, personally, prefer the non-convertible ones over the convertible bottoms since I find the zip-offs quite annoying. But, that doesn’t indicate the other zips as non-cooperating. I like to carry separate bottoms which I can use as per the situation demands. Also, the zipper ones add weight and hence they are bulky. I prefer either the simpler ones or the roll-ups. The roll-up pants are new hiking trends since they don’t let you bear the hassle! Their hidden and low-key zippers provide you with enough ventilation.
As I have discussed earlier, the pants fit just fine. Neither too tight nor too loose but just the right fit. And if in case you fall in-between sizes, the integrated belts save you! Some prefer baggy fit while others want it slightly tight while others want something different. Such are the varied range of styles and fit. Moreover, all deploy different comfortability levels.
The Rain-Gear: Waterproof Hiking Pants
Since all hiking freaks find life in challenging forecasts, the proper clothing alternatives for varied weather conditions exist, of course. The rain fails to upset bold plans if you prep up with just the essential clothing and gear. Apart from carrying the key items like tent, ziploc bags, trash bags and waterproof cases, there is a prime concern you must consider. Of course, you put your rain jackets on but most just wear any waterproof bottoms. For proper movement, tough and challenging rainy weather and ease of work, you must choose from the best waterproof hiking pairs. They allow you to freely move around, bend, jump and weigh ultralight! Hence, sort through the best of them.
Hiking Pants: Men
The best of hiking brands don’t distinguish between sex by compromising the quality, but the design. In fact, they modify the material according to the comfort that men and women demand. However, I made a list of the best hiking pants which I have handpicked after heavy research and survey.
Marmot PreCip Pant
This authentic rain-defense pant is entirely made up of nylon with a NanoPro waterproof membrane. The Marmot PreCip hails from the same family as does the popular rain jacket which shares its name. Now, you can wear this over your flexible and breathable hiking bottoms since this doesn’t provide much room for breathability. Also, the baggy fit allows you to slide the other pant underneath. You can definitely put them on bare bottoms as well but only if you don’t plan to wear it for a day-long. It weighs 9 ounces so comparatively it is light. However, unfortunately, the integrated belt is not present. The Marmot Precip costs pretty reasonable provided the waterproof NanoPro membrane that keeps you 100% dry and compliments your tough hike throughout.
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible
The Columbia Silver Ridge is a 100% nylon, similar to the Marmot PreCip, with polyester mesh panels. The pair weighs around 12.6 oz which is slightly below semi-heavy but doesn’t let you feel the weight. Also, it features the integrated belt that lets you the perfect fit if you fail to get a pair of your exact size. Another satisfying point about this pair is the pocket section. It holds plenty of pockets and the placement of them are wise. For this, I remind you again to carry only the immediate essentials and don’t add unnecessary weight. That is because the extra weight bars proper movement. The Ridge is very thin as well. Also, the convertible pair has the roll-up feature with the low profile zipper.
However, for a rainy or even summer backpacking in a far-off trail, the Silver Ridge is the real deal. It has an exceptional breathable quality and has a quick-drying ability. Adding to this are the pocket sets. You definitely will not run out of space and storage. But, however, the thin part is of concern since it is vulnerable to tear and scratch. Hence, I suggest wearing this at less tough roads. However, the overall performance of the Ridge is promising and the price for this is a steal!
The North Face Paramount Trail
The Paramount Trail by North Face is one of the most durables of this list. Now, this is something already expected, given its name. The North Face, which ranks among the topmost sports brands, launches varied hiking products every year. Crafted from 100% nylon, the pair weighs 15 oz. Also, the convertible piece arrives with the built-in belt so that’s a relief! Those who prefer the baggy fit design, take this home since you would need it on rainy days. The Paramount Trail keeps you full dry and you don’t have to stress and complain about its uneasiness. The material doesn’t let you feel any discomfort while you walk through the forest. It talks full protection and acts as an excellent rain-defense. The price is reasonable and if you wish for a generous fit, then I suggest this just should be your ultimate choice.
Marmot Arch Rock
The remarkable feature of the Arch Rock is its ultralight quality. Walk the way you want since this pair knows your every move. It renders excellent breathability and also comes at an attractive price. The belt isn’t present but that isn’t a drawback since the fit is fine. Also, the features it bears, the cost of the Marmot Arch Rock is quite a bargain. It can get you through the wet landscape and you feel zero discomfort. Thus, it guides you through without any trouble.
However, this is also a summer-friendly wear. Talking about summer, it is temperature-radiant. Even in the roughest temperature of Utah, You will not sweat or feel irritation in your legs. The Arch Rock is for multi-seasonal use extending to a maximum of 3 seasons. The price is the best attraction along with its lightweight quality. I am bent towards this particular product and suggest you take it home if it suits you.
Montane Terra Pack
The remarkable thing about the Terra Pack is its ultralight weight. Weighing just 8.4 oz, the pair arrives with the integrated belt inside so no worries there. I have enough to say about this pair of bottoms since it is so thoughtfully crafted. It has all the qualities you seek for. With excellent breathability, flexibility, and stretchability, you can check the blank boxes beside its name. It is the versatile-most pair of pants that I have ever come across.
Also, the pant has a customizable fit and thanks to the elasticized waistband. Made of 96% nylon and 4% spandex the clothing is the lightest. You must be wondering why I’m excited about this. That is because I own a pair of the Montane Terra Pack and I write after I have used it! Yes, ‘with’ since you don’t just walk, it walks with you. Such is the comfort of wearing this pair. Also, the DWR coating easily removes the light rain as well as snow. The design is also very much desirable since it isn’t baggy nor is it tight. It is the perfect fit since it falls in just the correct way. That is the beauty of it. Now, this is a hiking pair of pants that knows you. Yes, I give a thumbs up!
PrAna Stretch Zion
The PrAna Stretch Zion is the most versatile and appealing. The design and color make it look very attractive and sophisticated. It has a subtle and low-profile look that it deceives when it comes to performance. It defends any rough scratch or difficult situation where you think it has given up. There is a dual access cargo pocket that is zippered. Even a superior level of motion is backed up with the same excellence as it does with the tiniest challenge.
The Zion proves its versatility in every way. For long trips, the reliable shell fabric and the DWR coating keeps it going. You’d be perfectly satisfied with all these features. Also, there is a varied range of colors for you to sort through. This is a remarkable piece that can do all. However, only the breathability can be the problem as it doesn’t provide enough of it. However, the overall performance makes me rank it 9 on a scale of 10. Of the best pairs, this is one of the best hands down!
REI Co-op Screeline Technical
Yes, the popular brand that manufactures one of the best tent kits, REI has arrived with a spectacular change. With its introduction, all the dissatisfaction of the earlier product is washed away. The Cordura panels around the knees and buttocks hold itself strong even to the toughest treatment. Also, the Co-op has the integrated belt attached with it. Even without it, you can get the best fit that you want to be delivered.
The material renders breathability in abundance. What I find the best and attractive is the material that is of a strong built and can deliver excellent endurance in the roughest conditions you throw yourself at. Consisting of 94% nylon and 6% of spandex, it clears the flexibility and breathability test. Now, your rainy plans are sorted as this little material renders devilish power. Moreover, the price is actually an immense bargain since the performance is the best that a pant, designed for hiking, can deliver.
Hiking Pants: Women
Some ladies prefer the tights over the semi-baggy ones similar to the men’s design. Now, this take various forms from the yoga stretchable pants to the different hiking-friendly tights.
PrAna Halle Pants
Many women favor a relaxed wear at their bottoms and the PrAna Halle delivers just the exact expected comfortability. I suggest tucking the ends in your hiking shoes for further convenience. Yes, convenience and comfortability are what it focuses on. The semi-baggy fit doesn’t hinder proper movement since it is designed in such a way that it promises easy mobility. Also, it stands strong even during the toughest and sharpest movements. Another important and beautiful feature is the pocket placements. The hand pockets, stash pocket and the back patch pockets are at the upper legs. As I said before, this is the detail which I look for while buying a pair. That is because I prefer sliding hands in the spacious pockets carelessly or when I’m in a hurry. I definitely won’t turn or twist to find the right angle to put my hands in the pockets. Backpacking trips are adrenaline adventures and hence the gears and clothing are designed and crafted artfully. Therefore, such pants are the best kind of bottom-wear ever made.
However, reverting back to the Halle, the durable and strong Zion fabric grants a two-way stretch. It dries very easily since it features a durable water repellent shield that doesn’t allow water to soak through. Also, it separates the water into droplets and falls off when slanted. However, the fabric is a 97% nylon and 3% spandex. The mid-rise pair is easily rolled up to metamorph into a ¾ pair. Also, the price is just an add-on benefit since it sells at a highly sensible price. Such a great bargain also compliments the strong performance delivery. Hence, this should make ladies decide.
Athleta Headlands Hybrid
The Headlands Hybrid is a hiking-specific prototype. The yoga-pant-manufacturer giant arrived with the hybrid to add to their stretchable pants collection. It comes with 4 pockets, 2 zippered while the remaining 2 are open stash pockets. What I find attractive in the clothing gear is its ability to balance out breathability and toughness. The nylon and spandex blend of the fabric renders flexibility and resistance from water. The combination is the desirable one since it has enough waterproof quality as well as stretchability. That is because in general, most entirely-waterproof bottoms aren’t stretchable and hence they have to be baggy as a compensation for motion freedom. But, the Headlands pair has no reason to requite. However, the length ends immediately above the ankles and this design is what most ladies love.
However, if you aren’t among them, you can definitely cover that up with a pair of high-ankled backpacking boots. The Athleta’s fabric is as strong as to shock you of its durability. Even if you cross a heavily branched lush area or pass a narrow rock-walled path, you won’t find any scratches or damage. Such is the power of the material. Also, the pocket distribution is in abundance. The total number of pockets are 6 of which 4 are zippered.
However, since they aren’t as baggy as the previously discussed ones, their pocket sizes are relatively small. That is considerable given the shape and design since it leaves less room for storage. But, you won’t be devoid of storage. Moreover, this limited storage teaches you to carry only the minimal since you don’t want to fit excess weight in your pants. It actually feels soft and good while wearing, therefore,a beautiful fit. Now, I hope you don’t expect all the best things to come cheap. Since it is worth a price. The best comes expensive so if you still want to stick-through, I’d say this doesn’t disappoint you.
REI Co-op Screeline hiking Tight
REI has grasped the ladies’ attention with the Screeline tights. It is one of the rare pairs that is well crafted with huge features. This fully functional cloth, made of 86% polyester and 14% of spandex, the pair weighs an ultralight 10 oz. The storage deployment system consists of two large pockets. However, the pockets might just be a drawback since they aren’t as practical as a standard backpacking bottom wear. REI, being one of the toughest competitors in the market, stands proud in introducing the Screeline. The pair comes with the right amount of flexibility and moves with you! However, all this comes at a highly economical price cheaper than most on the list. I like the fact that REI has fitted all the possible demands within just the right price!
Oiselle Hawkeye ¾ Tight
The ladies’ bottom wear demands styling and most women seek fashionable gears. The Oiselle Hawkeye offers just that. Its tightness is extremely comfortable and soft thereby highlighting the feminine leg shape. Made of 90% nylon and 10% spandex, the Hawkeye backpacking pair’s remarkable feature is compression. The upper section of the bottom wear deploys excellent support which qualifies it for runners and athletes. It prevents you from all injuries. While the lower section of the pair is more breathable offering smooth movement and keeps you away from sweating. Also, the ¾ length adds to its beauty but to some, it may be problematic since the rain can easily sweep into the bare space. For that, the long hiking boots come in handy.
However, it isn’t as hiking-centric as it doesn’t render the best durability. For the exposed ankle area you might need gaiters as well. So that might be worth some expense. However, it is great and remarkable for not-as-challenging trails. Also, it arrives at an almost reasonable price. Even though it is cheaper than most products, the features are not enough. However, the convenience of the motion freedom towers everything. Trails that are of minor challenges are the Hawkeye’s best-friend! Hence, they are for mild adventures.
Patagonia Pack Out Tights
Since I have listed only the best of the backpacking bottom wears, the Pack Out pair of tights is one of them. I own a pair of these and I’m still in love with both the design and the build. It has an artful fit which seems as though it is crafted by wise men. Also, the performance and features are promising. However, modeled for running and yoga activities, the Pantagonia Pack Out is the best backpacking tights. This entirely-functional bottom wear is an 87% polyester and 13% spandex mix which allows enough stretchability and fantastic comfort. No worries about it getting torn since the material has the required strength to avoid that.
Also, the pocket storage is generous and just the two of them are sufficient for you to fit your phone and in your purse. Hence, it presents you with just the storage you need without exceeding any weight. The footwear weighs around 10.8 oz which is light enough. Its performance covers an immense number of features. Durability, strength, breathability, storage and stretchability everything in a single pair. Hence, you can get all this in just the right amount of money. All these facts are too good to imagine. The multi-functional tights are hence my essential carry-along!
The Snow Pack: Winter Hiking Pants
Trekking to the Mount Ellinor, Washington or the Bruce Canyon in Utah is great, but doing it on winter gives you the kicks and adds to the fun and boldness! But before you equip yourself with the essentials to eliminate the cold you feel. Along with the insulated jackets, headgear, poles and others, you need to select the best backpacking pants suitable for a winter trek. The bottom wear needs to be warm so that you don’t cripple even at a single point. If you choose a light winter trail, choose the bottom wears accordingly. Heavy or semi-heavy depends on the weather and the season you choose. The 3 kinds of trekking pants that exist are the insulated, waterproof and softshell in nature.
Insulation is one of the powerful aspects that don’t let you know its presence but astonishes you. That is because it leaves you wondering as to how such a thin and light pair of pants provide such warmth eliminating the coldness. They also replace the traditional heavy and bulky pairs wearing which adds further weight. The material employs water-repellant feathers to shield you from the cold temperature. But, you may prefer something that isn’t vulnerable and doesn’t lose warmth during snow or rain. Synthetic insulation enters as a killer alternative rendering protection with the same confidence. With the introduction of the insulated counterparts, it is evident that technology seeped through clothing as well. Of course, now into many more things, but none could think of it earlier. However, these technological innovations are what you need to gear up properly in the winter.
Now, when I say winter, this obviously means dew drops and precipitation. You definitely require pairs that possess the waterproof quality. If you are wearing warm clothes but it rains a little and you feel cold since water has seeped through. That never happens since the winter hiking bottom wear brands don’t deploy the products in the market without this feature. Keeping you completely dry, they also provide a number of benefits. Such waterproof quality is featured in those warm winter backpacking pants.
Crafted with an exceptional woven fabric, the softshell pants are designed to compliment your extended motion range. Such pants defend you against moisture and break up wind. They protect you from the cold and aren’t at all similar to snow pants. Also, they are extremely comfortable and feel good when worn.
The three species sometimes come mixed in a single product allowing you to enjoy the grandeur of nature. Experience the organic environment and absorb in every new survival lesson. Sharpen your trekking skills, face new and interesting challenges and keeping updating your skills. Focus on these things that bring organic growth in you. Such aesthetics come smooth when you don’t have any reason to cripple up in the cold. Hence, equip with the right sets.
Winter Hiking Pants: Men
You may have heard your backpacking partners talk about wearing layers. Either that or you already know what it is. Let me throw light on it for some who are beginners. A three-part system which encompasses a base layer which draw precipitation away. The mid-layer cheats the cold wind and finally the shell layer retains the moisture and wind out. The idea is to add and remove layers all throughout your backpacking trail. That is to generate warmth and keep you comfortable without sweating or overheating.
REI Activator V2 Softshell Pants
The REI Activator holds a highly durable and smooth nylon exterior which layers quite easily. The water-resistant fabric together with the water repellant feature doesn’t allow light rain seep through. The pockets are of easy access drop-in and perfect for storing multi-tools. The zip back pockets hold essentials securely. The articulated knees and the center gusset offers free movement. The remarkable feature is the wind resistance, it saves you from the wind up to 35 mph.
Thus, it cheats the cold winds and keeps you warm without making you sweat. The fit is a proper one since it isn’t too baggy nor is it too tight. Keeping in mind the mobility, it fits right in-between. The exactness is the aesthetic you feel when you wear it. However, talking about the price, all winter backpacking gears come at great price. When compared within the snow-defense-clothes, this pair demands just the right amount of money for such a performance.
Marmot Precip Full Zip Shell Pant
Apparently, Marmot has a huge hold over the sports market stretching on to manufacturing winter protections as well. The PreCip comes in a single color and that is jet black. The design is similar to that of a raincoat. The pair is also very light and renders improved mobility. Also, events like cycling, climbing, running or any tough situation doesn’t show any scratch on the material. Such is its durability. The pocket placements are practical and offer significant storage. The waterproof feature which the NanoPro fabric deploys, act as an excellent defense in the rain, snow, and wind thereby proving authentic waterproofing. Thus, it eliminates precipitation and provides great defense from the snow. Thereby, it allows you to focus on the landscape and withstand cold conditions.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Pants
The Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is a mid-rise pair whose primary fabric is Nylon. The moisture wick technology is fed fully in the material. It also bears internal pockets which are for your convenience. However, it weighs extremely light even lighter than the ones worn in summer or during the rain. The weight is 7.8 oz which is comparably very low than the others mentioned above. The bottom wear is best for mountaineering and Alpine adventures. Moreover, it has its insulation technology as well. The insulation is of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down 800-Fill RDS Cert/Fluorine Free. Also, the hidden quilt pattern traps heat for extra warmth. However, this highly functional layer comes quite expensive. Yes, but this is only a fair amount provided the all-around performance it delivers.
I always suggest the Ghost since I have a very memorable experience in the Canyon when it was immense cold. I felt it would be warm, of course, but I didn’t feel the comfort. When I wore it for the first time at such a low temperature, I felt extremely comfortable. For a second, it made me want to stay there and enjoy the coziness. It keeps you warm and in such a weather you don’t generally sweat. Apart from my other winter gears to protect myself, the legs reached a different level of comfort. It lets you execute the activities fairly well and you don’t cripple-up in cold. Hence, I suggest the Whisperer since this light-weight material astonishes you by its promising performance. This one is a highly reliable keeper.
Winter Hiking Pants: Women
The trekking feature for women are available with extra protection and the shift in design doesn’t indicate its compensation with other features. I listed the few best warmers of winter for you to sort through.
REI Co-Op Acme Pants
Acme pants considerably thrive in all circumstances except humid and high heat situations. The REI Co-op Acme is for backcountry skiing, mountain biking and other challenging adventures. The Schoeller Dryskin grants distinctive breathability and eliminates sweat forming while vigorous acts. It also renders a remarkable abrasion as well as water resistance. Also, it is a windcheater to 16mph. The crotch gusset enables unconfined motion range while the articulated knees pumps mobility and reduces bulkiness.
The storage is immense: the reverse-coiled welded zippers are on the hand pockets as well as the thigh pockets section. There also exists two rear zip pockets as well. However, talking about the weight it is a little heavier than the rest but compared to the traditional ones, it is very light. Weighing about 1 lb and 1 oz, the REI acme softshells deliver performance in cold weather. Also, consisting of 80% nylon, 10% polyester and 10% spandex, the Acme proves flexibility and comes at a very reasonable price.
The North Face Women’s Freedom Insulated Pant
The remarkable feature about the freedom pants is the standard and regular fit. Most ladies wish such pants over the skinny ones for proper movement. The Freedom renders a superior level of comfort and deploys warmth. The product technology is of The North Face Heatseeker and The North Face DryVent. It is favorable for mountain skiing as well as snowsports. This eliminates water collection and gives enough breathability. It also has StretchVent gaiters along with gripper elastic and the insulation is 60g heatseeker. This mid-rise cost is very expensive given the brand name: The North Star. If you bias over the brand and also take the remarkable features under consideration, this is definitely for you.
Columbia Women’s Bugaboo Omni-Heat Pant
The Bugaboo mid-rise pair is primarily nylon-made entirely thereby indicating its waterproof quality. Now, I know that an entire nylon made pair doesn’t give you the best flexibility. But, the Omni-heat does. Apart from that, its Omni-heat thermal reflector and Omni-tech waterproof technology say it all. This is enough for your winter plan since it gives you the warmth you want as well as does let dew or precipitation soak through. Along with that, it is mainly Skiing and Snowsport friendly. The expense isn’t much but still is costly but this doesn’t disappoint at all. Thus, the ultimate bottomwear you ladies can opt for is one of the best backpacking gear.
Gear up for your bold getaways and sharpen your trekking skills. The hiking bottom wears developed are not just mere technology since it is a perfect blend of an artful touch. Also, added with a thoughtful touch. Hope, this article gives you productive advice and present the best options so that you are satisfied with only the best.