2022-05-14 19:22:18 By : Mr. Dalen Bao

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Exploring the outdoors and getting on the trails is much easier with the right gear. This includes the right hiking boots or trail runners and, importantly, hiking pants. When it comes to the best hiking pants, in particular, there are a lot of options out there to suit different trekking climates and conditions as well as body types and comfort levels.

The best hiking pants combine stretch, durability and versatility to maximum your comfort on long ... [+] treks.

Every pair has its strengths and weaknesses, but certain options excel in key areas that matter to most people. Dual-layer softshell weaves deliver insulation and protection against the cold while polyester blends offer the most breathability. Quick-drying fabrics are great for absorbing and dispersing water to enable it to dry faster; built-in stretch allows for a snug fit so you can move with fluidity and your pants will be less likely to snag on shrubbery or rocks. Convertible hiking pants, i.e. pants that convert to shorts, let you change up your bottoms for variable weather conditions and keep your pack light, too.

Below, we put together our Vetted recommendations for the best hiking pants in a variety of categories, with options for both men and women. Use this list as your go-to guide for the season ahead. Because, it’s a great time to get out there and explore.

The Ferrosi pants are legendary in the hiking world. The term Ferrosi refers to the fabric, which is a best seller that’s breathable, stretchy, weather protective and resistant to rips and tears. The Crus Pants are the latest version of the pants, reinforced with knee panels for extra durability and made with 46% recycled material for better stretch and recovery. You can wear this pair year-round on snow, rocks, trails and wet adventures so it’s a good investment.

Designed for both serious and casual hikers, we find Kühl’s Freeflox pants to be extremely versatile. They have the right amount of stretch and rebound to fit a woman’s body well without constricting any movement or becoming baggy over time. The fabric is lightweight, moisture-resistant and quick-drying, with built in UPF 50+ sun protection, and the pant legs can be rolled up and secured with a snap to regulate temperature so you can wear these pants year-round.

The tricky thing about hiking in cold weather is that you want to stay warm but not overheat. Comfort, in this case, comes down to the fabrication and breathability of your pants. Eddie Bauer’s Guide Pro are lined with stretch fleece to combat biting winds but not trap moisture or sweat and the exterior has a water-repellent finish to handle snow, sleet and freezing rain, all of which makes this a top choice. The women’s fit version is similarly excellent and highly-rated.

While you can wear hiking shorts in hot weather, there are times you don’t want to sacrifice staying cool for skin abrasions, if you’re scrambling up rocks. That’s when you want a pair of pants to keep your knees and legs protected. L.L.Bean’s lab-tested Cresta pants are made from a lightweight yet durable nylon and have UPF 50+ in the fabric to block at least 97.5% of the sun's UV rays. The pant legs also zip off and convert into cargo shorts when you’re back on trails for easy ventilation.

L.L.Bean’s Vista cropped hiking pants offer the flexibility for keeping skin protected and covered but also cool, with the option to cinch the legs to adjust the hem. They’re also made with an abrasion-resistant ripstop fabric that wicks moisture and dries quickly and provides stretch so you can bend and move easily.

At high altitudes the weather can change quickly, which is why it’s key to have a good pair of waterproof hiking pants in your arsenal. The downside is that some waterproof materials can leave your skin clammy. REI Co-op’s Rainier pants are cut from breathable and moisture-wicking recycled ripstop nylon that shields rain and wind up to 60+ MPH. The seams are sealed for extra moisture blocking and full-length outseam zippers let you adjust your ventilation level, too.

North Face’s “FlashDry” fabric is engineered to repel moisture and speed up dry time so you can hike through wet conditions without having to turn back early. There’s also four-way stretch, a zippered pocket to keep essentials and your phone dry and drawcords at the leg openings for extra cinching to keep water out.

Convertible hiking pants save you space in your pack and eliminate the hassle of changing on the trail when the conditions shift. Mountain Hardwear’s pants are a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts since the functionality is so seamless: just zip off the legs to convert these into shorts and stow what you don’t need in the snap front pockets. The material is 100% recycled and has a DWR finish to repel water.

Columbia’s stretch convertible pants strike that important balance between being comfortable and looking attractive as both pants and shorts. They have a mid-rise and straight-leg fit with reinforced knees—which can be zipped off to convert the pants into shorts with a 10-inch inseam. There’s also UPF 50+ sun protection and leg hem cinches so you can customize the fit on the move.