Whether you’re pounding across pavements or hiking up mountains, a good pair of hiking pants is an essential part of your wardrobe. The best brands are harnessing innovative technologies, cutting-edge fabrics and eco-friendly processes to create hiking pants for women that are flexible, durable and robust.
A trip to the ‘Great Outdoors’ requires some thoughtful planning. Walking for any significant length of time in jeans or leggings may seem like a good idea at first, but faced with downpours, sweat and brambles they just won’t cut it. Hiking pants need to be tough but flexible, fast-drying but comfortable, lightweight but substantial – and reasonably stylish too. You’ll also need to consider additional features, such as pockets, knee zips and wind-resistant lining. There are hundreds of brands now producing hiking pants for women, but there are big differences between them. We’ve rounded up the top options based on comfort, durability, value for money and style.
Patagonia offers a range of at least a dozen different hiking pants. Every single one of them is durable, stretchy and breathable. The Quandry Pant is particularly popular with serious hikers, made with lightweight nylon and elastane that manages to offer both protection and unconstrained movement. They also boast a DWR (durable water repellent) finish and an impressive 50+ UPF sun protection. At $110 they’re not cheap, but you can be confident they’ll last you a long time. For those looking for more of a hybrid trouser that won’t look out of place in the city, The Women’s Skyline Traveler Pants have a slimmer fit, with the same stretchy and durable credentials as the Quandry.
Find out more at Patagonia.com
For an affordable and reliable pair of hiking pants, Alpkit is hard to beat. The brand was born out of a passion for the outdoors, with a mission to create more accessible high-performance gear. That means you can pick up a pair of pants for $40 and not have to worry about replacing them any time soon. The Kraft Women’s range is crafted out of an organic cotton canvas, which is soft against the skin but tough against abrasions too. The semi-slim cut is great for bouldering and biking, while the articulated cut means they’re roomy enough to wear all day – very happily.
Find out more at Alpkit.com
REI, or Recreational Equiptemnt Inc, are experts in life outdoors and have been serving the international community of hikers and bikers and everyone in between since 1938. Multi-purpose pants – where half the leg can be zippered off to create shorts – are highly divisive but few could fail to be won over by the REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants. The stretch fabric provides comfort and a wide range of movement, the colour-coded thigh zippers mean you won’t be getting your legs mixed up when converting the shorts back to pants, and the lightweight nylon is super fast-drying.
Find out more at Rei.com
One for serious outdoor enthusiasts, Fjallraven is a Swedish brand that hails from the town of Örnsköldsvik, between mountains and forest – so they know what they’re talking about. The brand is committed to making nature more accessible, offering hiking pants that are simple, practical and eco-friendly. There’s a staggering range of pants, from waterproof shells to heavy-duty mountain gear. The award-winning Keb trousers feature an attachment zone for suspenders, ventilation zippers and openings for knee pads for maximum movement on the mountains.
Find out more about at Fjallraven.com
Founded by climbers and mountaineers, Berghaus is a go-to brand for outdoorsy types. The brand offers some of the best hiking pants on the market, that slip on over your normal pants. The Gore-Tex Paclite feature a totally waterproof membrane that will keep you dry, even in a torrential downpour. The pants are tear-resistant and rip-stop too. Considering they’re designed to slip over your normal pants, they’re impressively slim, lightweight and guarantee plenty of movement too.
Find out more at Berghaus.com