7 hiking pants for the ultimate outdoor experience

Protect yourself against branches and bugs by setting out with the right hiking gear.

Best Overall

Wrangler Relaxed Fit Hiking Pants

Wrangler Relaxed Fit Hiking Pants

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Best Value

Baleaf evo hiking pants

Baleaf Evo Hiking Pants

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Honorable Mention

BenBoy Waterproof Cargo Hiking Pants

BenBoy Waterproof Cargo Hiking Pants

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If you’re an avid hiker, then you know just how important it is to find the right gear. Just like good shoes protect your feet from the elements and a hat keeps the sun’s glare at bay, hiking pants keep your legs comfortable during those long rucks through the wildness. After all, when you’re climbing hills and avoiding roots, you’re bound to perspire. Hiking pants are designed to offer adequate ventilation while remaining strong enough to stop twigs and thorns from pricking your skin. From storage opportunities in the pockets to durable fabric that’s built to weather the elements, hiking pants have a lot to offer. In order to reap all these benefits, it helps to find the right set of pants for your particular hiking style. The good news is that there are a ton of options out there. We’ve tracked down the best hiking pants to help you thrive on even the toughest trail. 

Wrangler hiking pants

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Baleaf evo hiking pants

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BenBoy hiking pants

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Mocoly hiking pants

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Unionbay cargo pants

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TBMPOY hiking pants

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Singbring hiking pants

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Why you should trust us

Backed by five years of product review experience, I focus mainly on outdoor gear, survival supplies, and automotive items. Using my academic background in the sciences and three years as a news correspondent, I conduct thorough research and offer objective, reliable reviews. My work is featured on Narcity Media, Car Bibles, and The Drive. Some of my most recent pieces for Task and Purpose include reviews of hiking watches, tactical backpacks, and hydration packs.

Types of hiking pants

While all hiking pants have a few things in common, there are different types, each suited to a different environment. Waterproof pants are better for hikes on trails that go near water and for those who prefer to hike to their fishing hole. These pants are also usually better insulated, making them better for cold-season hikes. On the other hand, lighter options like cargo pants focus more on breathability and providing a high level of UPF protection. All types of hiking pants need to provide abrasion resistance and a reasonable level of protection from the wind. 

Key features of hiking pants

  • Protection: The basic purpose of hiking pants is to keep you safe from your environment. This means that the pants need to be thick enough to stop your skin from getting scratched. Windproof material stops your skin from getting irritated. Waterproof pants keep you warm, protecting you from health concerns. A good set of hiking pants should have all of these protective features. 
  • Storage: When you’re hiking, you are away from standard amenities; and, as such, need to bring the essentials with you. As a result, your hiking pants need to be able to accommodate storage. Cargo pants focus on storage in pockets, located on the front, sides, and often the back. Without these pockets, be sure that the belt loops are strong enough to support supplies on a carabiner. 
  • Breathability: Hiking is physically engaging; and, as such, results in perspiration. While your body may get warm, it doesn’t mean that the surroundings aren’t cold. The pants’ fabric needs to be able to wick away moisture. This prevents it from drying on your skin which can both cause discomfort and risk your body temperature dropping. 
  • Closure: Since you will be moving around a lot in the pants, they need to provide a tight hold around your waist. This is especially important if you are using the belt loops to support storage. Some pants have an elastic waist. If the pants do, be sure that it is reinforced with a cord. For pants with a zipper and button closure, reinforcing the pants with a belt assists with securing them. 

Benefits of hiking pants

Whether you’re hiking for exercise, recreation, or simply to get from place to place, a good set of pants is really helpful. For starters, the pants keep you warm by acting as a barrier against the wind and insulating against cold temperatures. Hiking pants are too thick for bugs to sting or bite your skin. They come with pockets that let you keep important supplies close. Perhaps most importantly, hiking pants are durable. They are made to resist abrasion and have reinforced seams to let you move comfortably without the fabric wearing down. 

Hiking pants pricing  

You can find a good pair of hiking pants for approximately $50, depending on the style and the size of the pants. Naturally, the more features the pants have, the higher the price tag will be. Options on the lower end of the price spectrum tend to be basic — while they are sturdy and breathe well, they may not be waterproof. Pricier options tend to be thicker, have more storage, and be more resistant to wind and moisture. The good news is that there is an option for every style and budget, so take a look at the list above and get ready to take your next hike to the next level. 

Hiking Pants Pricing  

With any type of pants, the price tag will fluctuate depending on the size. That said when getting pants, you can pay anywhere from $25 to $100. Depending on your budget, you can expect certain standard features.

  • Under $50: You can get a solid pair of hiking pants in this range, depending on the style and size. Most in this category are sturdy, though may not be waterproof or have a lot of pockets. 
  • Between $50 and $100: Hiking pants in this range are durable, and you can expect quality material, multiple pockets, and reinforced seams. 

How we chose our top picks

Hiking pants have a lot of responsibility. They must breathe well, move comfortably, and keep the thorns, branches, and bugs away from you. By considering what hikers need from their pants, we whittled down the options to find those with the best features. We looked at the different textiles used to make pants, using them to determine ventilation, comfort, and durability. Shortlisting the top selections, we compiled a list to represent hiking pants for all environments. The result is a series of budget-friendly hiking pants, with a suitable option whether you’re hiking mountain trails or going for a desert stroll.

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Corrina Murdoch is a contributor to Task & Purpose and a dedicated freelance writer and editor. Her work has been featured on platforms such as Narcity Media, Loans Canada, and The Drive, and she uses her passion for the written word to inform readers on a wide range of topics