I’ll be the first to say it: finding hiking pants kind of sucks. When it comes to women’s pants, brands rarely hit the sweet spot of function and fit. If a pair boasts technical chops, it usually looks like a burlap sack. And if it fits well, it is likely to fall apart tomorrow. We can’t win.
Or can we?
Outdoor brands have come a long way and women have more options than ever. It doesn’t matter whether you’re heading out for a quick day hike or a multi-day soul crusher packed full of Type-II fun; there is something for all the ladies on this list.
No joke: I’ve yet to meet a single woman who doesn’t love these pants. Constructed from prAna’s stretch Zion fabric, the Halle pants move well with your legs, especially if you’re a woman with muscular quads and/or wider hips (Hi! Definitely looking at myself.) Plus, they look decent so you can easily where them to a bar for a post-hike beverage without feeling like a total dirt bag.
Women love hiking in fitness tights, but standard leggings aren’t up to snuff for the rigors of burly terrain. That is where the Abisko Trekking Tights come into play. They fit just like standard tights thanks to the four-way stretch fabric, but the secret is in the reinforced butt and knees that won’t snag if you decide to cozy up and eat your lunch on a rock.
Consider the Ferrosi a one-stop-shop for do-it-all hiking pants. The nylon and spandex soft shell is durable and weather-resistant while still offering plenty of breathability for high-cardio pursuits. A horizontal zip pocket on the thigh stashes small items and the drawstring waist ensures a comfortable fit around the midsection. The style is questionable—they are definitely hiking pants—so you won’t be wearing them around town, but they will certainly do the trick on the trail.
Consider this: the Mountain Hiking pants are lightweight (seven ounces!), stretchy, and passably breathable...and they cost $15. Let that sink in for a minute. For the same price as your Triple, Venti, Half-Sweet, Non-Fat Caramel Macchiato and turkey bacon breakfast sandwich, you can snag yourself a pair of beginner-friendly technical hiking pants. The fit isn’t the best, but it works. Did we mention they only cost $15?
If comfort reigns supreme, consider the Dynama. The low-profile stretch waistband is reminiscent of your favorite yoga pants and the nylon-spandex fabric means these pants fit like a second skin. They don’t dry quickly and they certainly aren’t durable—I snagged mine while bushwhacking through some burly willows—but they aren’t trying to be a technical contender. Instead, the Dynama pant fills that sweet spot and becomes the pant you don’t want to take off at the end of the day.
If you are one of those people who can’t ever make up her mind, consider snagging a pair of the Sahara Convertible pants so you have fewer decisions to make. These lightweight, slim-fitting pants zip off just above the knees so you can transition from pants to shorts with the swoosh of a zipper. UPF 50 in the fabric keeps harmful UV rays away from your skin, and the quick-drying nylon fabric dries quick enough that river crossings won’t phase you.