There are quite a few things to consider when buying your best hiking trousers, and the first one is a directive. Please don’t hike in jeans! The reason for this plea is to make your hiking as comfortable as possible. Jeans are thick, heavy and not flexible enough for miles and miles of walking.
If it rains and they get wet…you’re stuck with even heavier and uncomfortable legwear than when you started out. Water will just sit in the cloth and feel just awful! They may also chafe in areas most sensitive and cause horrible rubbing. So, let’s go for a lightweight, easy-dry, flexible pair of strides like any of the ones below.
The top 5 trousers happen to be made by Craghoppers. This company specializes is walking and hiking trousers, and if you are doing a more rocky and rugged hike, they make a range endorsed by the one and only Bear Grylls. These are even stronger and padded than the normal Craghopper styles.
First of all, the material. Your trousers should be made of at least a Solar Dry Polyester fabric. The Kiwi range includes the SmartDry Nano finish that used technology that lets water and spills just run off. You will be amazed at how quickly these trousers dry.
Craghoppers Kiwi Classic hiking trousers
The most popular pair of trousers among hikers is the Craghoppers Kiwi Classic. They are water and stain repellent and have 9 pockets where you can store things like your mobile phone and map. They have the Solarshield and smart dry technology (fast drying and protect from UV damage), elasticated waist with the belt and, as all Craghoppers trousers are guaranteed for life…for life! They are available in the US and in the UK so check the link below which will redirect you to your local Amazon store (link will open in the new window). And another good thing about Craghoppers Kiwi Classic is that these walking trousers are inexpensive.Click here to check the price
Craghoppers NosiLife convertible trousers
2nd most popular Craghoppers is the NosiLife convertible trousers which feature the NosiLife treated Solar Dry Material. It’s said that the treatment lessens mosquito bites by up to 90%. They also can be zipped down to a pair of shorts. Reviews say that they are lightweight and comfortable.Click here to check the price
Good for outdoor activities in summer – Columbia Royce Peak pants
No 3 in the Top 10 is made by Columbia. I own a pair of Columbia Royce Peak and wear them probably the most out of my 4 sets. They are lightweight and really great for hiking in the summer. Many times I’ve been soaked to the skin, but when the rain relents, they dry very quickly and never seem to go out of shape or show signs of wear, thanks to the Omni-Shield and the Omni-Shade. I’ve had this pair for just over a year now, and it was money well spent.Click here to check the price
Best women’s convertible hiking pants
Next, at No 4, is the Women’s Craghoppers Convertible Kiwi trousers, Exactly the same as the men model but a little lighter at 450g and with 2 fewer pockets. They are made of the same Solar Dry Polyester that is splash-resistant and again, comes with a lifetime guarantee. This pants can easily and quickly be transformed from trousers to shorts.Click here to check the price
Good hiking shorts by Craghoppers
Number 5 in our list is the hiking shorts Craghoppers Kiwi. The Craghoppers still manage to find room for 8 pockets and this shorts made of the same material as the all Kiwi range. Comfortable to wear and durable (they has double seat) and also, they dry quickly.Click here to check the price
Walking trousers the Regatta Action
Number 6 are the Regatta Action trousers. Made from a hard wearing Polyester material, with double seat and plenty of pockets. They are very popular in the UK among the hikers and have many good reviews. Regatta Actions trousers made of polycotton fabric with durable water repellent. Other great features is the elasticated waist, belt loops and the knee patches. Also, they are cheap which is good.Click here to check the price
Bear Grylls walking pants for hiking.
The number 7 on the list is another Craghoppers style, but this time they’re a pair of Bear Grylls Originals. I bought a pair of the Bear Grylls originals and boy they are tough! I save them for hiking when I have to do a fair bit of scrambling or rock leaping. These are made of the same strong Polyester water repellent material as most Craghopper styles and come with 6 pockets. Lightweight, durable, comfortable and recommended by me and tested by Bear Grylls! 🙂Click here to check the price
Good hiking pants from the North Face
Number 8 are the well made North Face Paramount Peak II pants. This is the convertible hiking pants and the North Face best sellers. The Paramount Peak II trousers are midweight and durable and can be easily converted to shorts. They are made of abrasion-resistant 70D 168 g/m² 100% nylon fabric with water-repellent coating. They also provide sun protection UPF that helps wick moisture away. A friend of mine wears nothing but North Face gear and he is very happy with it.Click here to check the price
Why are hiking trousers good?
If you’re starting out in hiking, you will need a decent pair of trousers. Please don’t go hiking in jeans, they are too thick, hold moisture, aren’t flexible enough, chafe and are too heavy. No, you need a pair of strides that fit the activity and there are hundreds of styles out there that will meet your needs.
Manufacturers have jumped on the hiking bandwagon and seen the niche in walking trousers. Years ago trousers were not that important to the hiker, the emphasis was on boots and jackets, but your legs would get wet and trousers would rip in inappropriate places when reaching for that big step! Nowadays, the material used for hiking trousers has come a long way. The fabric has changed making them a lot tougher lighter and more water resistant.
It’s important to buy trousers that are not loose, but not tight. Too loose and they flap about in the wind and if the cuff of the leg is too wide, you get mud and grit entering the boot or shoe at the top. Too tight and they restrict your movement and can become dangerous if you’re trying to stretch across a drop.
The trousers should have plenty of giving. You should be able to bend down, squat and stretch in them without the feeling of tightness. The waist ideally should be elasticated with good strong rungs for a belt. The bottoms should be able to just go over your boot to help stop mud getting on your socks and into your boot; otherwise, you may need to buy gaiters.
Some trousers have a strengthened pad to the knee area and around the pockets. This extra knee padding helps with scrambling and rock climbing and gives more protection than ordinary trousers.
Hiking trousers can be made of a polyamide material which makes them water resistant and quick drying, They can also stretch and have the anti-insect treatment applied to them. Try to go for a well-known and well-reviewed pair.
Pockets are important too it’s good to have more than 4 pockets.
There are also trousers that can double up as shorts. They can be zipped off easily and rolled away into your backpack. Most only have 2 sections, but there are some with 3 so you can have trousers, short shorts and long shorts in one go.