What are the best hiking pants for women? In this article, we share our favorite women’s hiking pants to tackle the trail. Your comfort and mobility on the trail can have a big impact on your enjoyment.
Our recommendations on the best hiking pants for women are based on days on end trying out different pants in the mountains. The goal was to find a selection of pants that will serve a multitude of climates whether they’re hot, cold, dry, or wet. If you prefer a more lightweight pant check out our post on the best hiking leggings. These are our picks for the best hiking pants for women in 2020.
The Best Hiking Pants For Women
1.) prAna Halle ($85)
- Weight: 12.2 oz
- Material: 97% nylon – 3% spandex
- Belt: No
- Pros: Comfortable, Strong Material, Versatile, Capri Roll-Up Snap Feature
- Cons: Breathability in Hot Temperatures, Dumb “Female” Pockets
The pant is a blend of nylon and spandex that has great moisture and temperature management. They also look pretty good as everyday pants that can go anywhere after you step off the trail.
It’s a functional pant that is designed as a climbing pant so they have superb flexibility. Although, they’re flexible do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking.
The paneling in the crotch allows them to have a slim cut while offering a full range of mobility. While the material adds a nice blend of durability and water resistance. They’re just a great feeling pair of pants.
There are a few complaints with this hiking pant for women. First is it can be a little hot in warm temperatures as the material has some breathability issues. The second is just frustrating as prAna has implemented the typical little front pockets that plague many women’s pants.
You really don’t have to take my word on these pants as they’re well-reviewed across the internet with hundreds of glowing reviews on prAna, REI, Backcountry, and Amazon. They’re a great hiking pant that feels well suited to a multitude of climates and types of hikers.
2.) Arc’Teryx Gamma LT ($189)
- Weight: 10.9 oz
- Material: 84% nylon / 16% elastane
- Belt: Yes
- Pros: Comfort, Mobility, Tough, Water Resistance, Style
- Cons: Price, Lacks Back Pockets
As with many things from Arc’teryx you’re getting a top of the line product with tremendous performance. The only problem is that it comes with a pretty high price tag. It’s more in line with a softshell pant that is great for Alpine adventures and tough multiday hikes.
The material blend has great breathability and mobility that allows for great comfort. The cut is great with these pants slim enough to look flattering with enough room to layer thermals underneath for cold weather hiking or those alpine adventures mentioned earlier.
The inclusion of a belt with a simple clasp that is reliable and should hold up on hikes after repeated days of use. They have three zippered pockets two in the front and side pocket. Although an argument could be made for back pockets we rarely find them useful with a backpack on our back.
3.) Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant ($80)
- Weight: 9.5 oz
- Material: 86% nylon – 14% spandex
- Belt: No
- Pros: Comfortable, Lightweight, Decent Pockets
- Cons: Lightweight Material Feels Less Durable, Slightly Loose Waist
When it comes to function in the outdoors it takes top marks and when I’m hiking it’s my go-to pant. The pants are really lightweight but similar to a softshell pant with great water resistant and windbreaking capabilities.
With that in mind, it keeps you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. With a thin yet tough material, that packs down really small they eat up minimal room in a backpack and they are the lightest pants on this list.
Similar to Halle the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and one side pocket. The pockets are a bit smaller, but I do appreciate the horizontal zipper.
The material is very lightweight and feels great on the trail for breathability and mobility. However, off the trail, I find the thin material a little too thin and outdoorsy feeling.
4.) REI Co-op Tareen Pant ($65)
- Weight: 9 oz
- Material: 94% nylon – 6% spandex
- Belt: No
- Pros: Comfortable, Value, Roll Up, Roomy Pockets
- Cons: Little Baggy cut
I really love the material blend REI choose for these hiking pants for women. They’re also a great cut that feels flattering and comfortable. You could even wear these around or out to dinner and not feel ridiculous.
Also, top marks for including real pockets in these pants a simple feature many women’s hiking pants fail to provide.
What’s great is they’re an affordable pant that is blue-sign certified and feels tremendous when hiking. It’s great hiking pant for women that should satisfy most women’s needs on the trail.
5.) Columbia Silver Ridge ($55)
- Weight: 12 oz
- Material: 100% Nylon
- Belt: Yes
- Pros: Value, Comfort, Convertible, Belt, Performance
- Cons: Lacks Stretch, Convertible,
Whatever these pants lack in style they make up for in practicality. They offer solid UV protection, good moisture management, and ventilation. Oh, and they convert from pants to shorts with hidden zippers.
We’re not huge fans of convertible pants as they can look a little goofy and I find zippers bothersome. However, the zips on these pants do a good job of remaining comfortable and hidden.
I find the full nylon blend to be a tad bit obnoxious with the classic swishy sound made by older outdoor pants — the results of a 100% nylon material. It also makes the pant slightly restrictive as far mobility since they lack the ability to stretch.
Never the less if you need technical pants that can handle a multitude of temperatures these are solid and some of the best convertible pants on the market. As with most products from Columbia expect a solid product for an affordable price. You aren’t getting top of the line, but you’re also not paying $200 for a pair of pants.
6.) Fjallraven Keb Trousers ($225)
- Weight: 19 oz
- Material: G-1000® Eco: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
- Belt: No
- Pros: Tough, Functional, Ventilation, Mobility
- Cons: Price, Cotton Performance
The Fjallraven Keb Trousers are a kickass pair of pants, but they do have limited use for an all-around hiking pant for women. We get a fair amount of use out of our pants in the Canadian Rockies where temperatures are cool year-round. If you want tough hiking pants with a lot of function than look no further than these pants.
If you want pockets the Kebs deliver deep roomy front pockets, divided front map pockets, and large back pockets. The belt loops are also designed for a carabiner to carry a pair of gloves or gear. Temperature management is solid too despite the heavy material as four zip open along the leg to provide ample ventilation. The paneled design in the Kebs also allows for full mobility and they’ve never felt restrictive.
Tough canvas material with natural wax waterproofing is effective at warding off snow and light rain. It may not perform like the synthetic materials on this list, but what it does offer is trusted durability. On a tough hike bushwacking or sliding across sharp rocks the pants really shine.
There best suited as a backup hiking pant for those tough days on the trail or for people who live in a rough and cool environment like the PNW. We utilize our Kebs on days where we’re traveling along unmaintained trails, mountaineering, or scrambling. Consider them your tough adventure pants rather than a do it all hiking pant for women. It’s our favorite hiking pants for women on the list, but the price and limited practicality make them not for everyone.
7.) Patagonia Quandry Pant ($79)
- Weight: 9.1 oz
- Material: 95% nylon – 5% spandex
- Belt: No
- Pros: Hidden Drawcord, Silm Cut, Mobility,
- Cons: Lightweight Nature
The Patagonia Quandry pant is a lightweight women’s hiking pant that feels at home in a multitude of environments. Patagonia markets that pant as a cross between a hiking and travel pant similar to which we find similar to the prAna Halle Pant.
It manages to do a great job in this role with comfortable material, clean-cut, articulated knees, and lightweight fabric. It’s closest in comparison to the prAna pant, but a more lightweight version. So it’s the better option if you spend more time in warm weather, but the prAna feels more versatile.
We also love that the fabric is certified blue-sign approved as it sourced from sustainable materials. Fabric is then treated with a DWR that does an effective job of repelling water.
What makes the best hiking pants for women?
There are several key elements that any pair of the best hiking pants for women should check off. We need hiking pants that can check off just about every box which is why the majority of the pants on this list are technical pants designed for the outdoors.
Comfort & Mobility
Say whatever you want about pants, but if they’re not comfortable then they are not great for hiking. A pair of hiking pants need to be worn comfortably for days on end. They could be the most durable pants in the world, but if they feel like an art canvas I’m probably not going to want to hike for eight hours in them.
We also spend a lot of time moving uphill making big strides, stepping over logs, under logs, over rocks, through the brush, and even scrambling. Movement and mobility are super important when it comes to hiking pants. If the pants feel restrictive it’s probably one of the biggest negatives.
This follows in line with comfort and mobility, but if a pair of pants are heavy and restricting than they’ll affect their performance on the trail. It also plays an important role in multi-day hikes if you like to carry a second pair of pants when every ounce in your backpack counts.
This what keeps pants fresh for multiple wears in warm weather. Cotton is terrible at holding up long term for multiple days without a wash. Since you aren’t guaranteed to be washing your clothes every day, nor should you, we look for pants that have good antimicrobial properties.
These pants are meant for everyday hiking so they should act accordingly. By the time I’m done with a pair of pants, they will have seen everything that can be thrown at them. Great hiking pants for women stand up against, movement, dirt, sand, mud, and still keep me cool.
The material should be durable, wrinkle-resistant, and breathable. Most companies seem to opt for nylon or weird fabric blends.
We love the use of pockets, belts, and paneling to allow for great functionality while hiking. It also highlights one of our biggest complaints about some women’s hiking pants, those dumb little pockets that can even hold a simple pocket knife. We’re spending time on the trail no one cares about the slight line created from a pocket.
While this doesn’t have the biggest impact on performance on the trail you still want a decent looking pair of pants. It means you aren’t embarrassed by those trail photos or can run around town once you’re done hiking.
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