Guide to Men’s Hiking Pants: Outdoor Clothing Designed for a Purpose

If you’re passionate about hiking, the first things that may come to your mind when on the hunt for suitable clothing gear is decent shoes and a backpack. Sure, you will definitely need them, but for both freedom of movement and leg protection, you will also need a decent pair of hiking pants!

Hiking pants have come a long way since they first appeared on the market. There are a myriad of fabrics and styles available and finding the right pair can be tricky, especially if you’re new to hiking. For, that reason we have compiled the following guidelines on how to make the best selection possible.

Important Factors to Consider

Sure, you can hike in any pants you want, but for the utmost protection on the trails you should equip yourself with high-quality and durable men’s hiking pants designed with safety and freedom of movement in mind. Moreover, they are lightweight, comfortable, dry easily and of exceptionally good quality, so you won’t have to replace them now and then.

mens hiking pants

Since the hiking pants industry has gone through real improvements over a relatively short period, there are some important factors you need to take into account when looking for the ideal pair. Will you be trekking in summer or winter? In the mountains or the desert? Moving fast or taking it easy, are some of the many important criteria.


What pants are best for hiking, you may ask. Even though there isn’t a straightforward answer to this as it mainly depends on your needs and preferences, based on their design, men’s hiking pants can be divided into a couple of different categories.

Traditional Pants

These are perfect for trekking since they keep you warmer than shorts and guard against insect bites, abrasion from rocks and thorns, rain, exposure to heat and wind, and other weather-related leg injuries. They work best for trips that are both hot with a lot of sun exposure and chilly and wet.

Some standard traditional pants for hiking are suited explicitly to colder or wetter weather. The legs may typically be folded up and remain quite secure due to the elasticity of the material, even though they frequently lack a mechanism created expressly to keep them in place.

Moreover, if you look for the best hiking pants for men to wear in town or at work on casual Fridays as well, traditional pants typically offer more of an “outdoor lifestyle” appeal than other types.

Convertible Pants

Any list of hiking essentials will be incomplete without the convertible pant! Each leg of convertible pants has a zipper that may be opened to remove the lowest portion of the pant leg, which is often located just above the knee. Since this style doesn’t require carrying a second pair of shorts, it saves room in a backpack and lightens the load, which is why many hikers appreciate its versatility.

convertible hiking pants

Another advantage of the convertible is that washing the legs, which are the dirtiest portion of the garment, is simple and doesn’t require taking off the entire pair of trousers. If you only have one pair and are for a long trip, this is extremely helpful.

Roll-Up Pants

These highly versatile pants feature buttons on the lower leg or elastic in the cuff as an additional alternative to conventional pants. Both allow for a higher capris-style roll-up of the pants. These features are much easier to alter mid-activity than a pair of convertibles and can provide exactly the right amount of relief in hot weather.

Sizing, Fit and Mobility

Generally speaking, the best pairs for outdoor travels are somewhat form-fitting but not constrictive. Although some people like a looser fit, an excessively baggy pair is heavy, flaps in the wind, and gets tangled in trailside vegetation.

On the other hand, too-tight pants will probably chafe, restrict movement, and deteriorate more quickly around the knees, crotch, and glutes. The most comfortable and flexible models often have articulated knees (a fabric that is cut to fit the curve of the leg) and gusseted crotches (a diamond-shaped piece of fabric in the crotch that enhances movement and lessens stress on the garment).

It is important to keep in mind that hiking trousers tend to stretch and lose after being worn repeatedly and continuously throughout a trip, so they may feel a little baggier before being cleaned and dried again. Long-distance treks can also cause hikers to lose weight and waist-measurement inches. For this reason, if you plan to spend several weeks on the trail, we suggest selecting a model with an integrated belt, drawstring, or belt loop so you may adjust the fit.

hiking trousers

Climate and Destination

Though hiking pants men wear on the trails generally work in a variety of settings, there are some differences between those that are designed to keep you cool in dry heat and those that will keep you warm in cooler or wetter regions.

You can decide to trek in shorts and forgo pants altogether if it’s extremely hot outside. A backcountry experience, however, can be made or broken by protection from the sun’s glaring rays, the wind, and sharp vegetation. Convertibles are frequently a fantastic, flexible choice in these circumstances. Also, opt for ones made from lightweight and breathable fabrics and take their colour into account as well.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that many of the most popular backpacking destinations might experience wetter weather in the spring and fall. When combined with cooler temperatures, this creates the perfect recipe for hypothermia. You will likely desire pants with good water resistance if you find yourself in a downpour. In these conditions, reliable durable water-repellent (DWR) coatings are essential, as are nylon fabrics, which absorb water much less than cotton and dry much more quickly.

We advise carrying along a pair of rain shell pants for cloudy days and extremely damp environments. When combined with frigid temperatures, which can quickly transform an outing from just uncomfortable to deadly, this component is very crucial!