What are the best hiking pants for women? This article shares our favorite women’s hiking pants to tackle the trail. Your comfort and mobility on the trail can significantly impact your enjoyment, and I always like to ensure I have the proper gear.
Our recommendations on the best hiking pants for women are from an endless amount of time in different pants. The goal was to find a pair of pants that would serve many climates, whether hot, cold, dry, or wet. Check out our post on the best hiking leggings if you prefer more lightweight pants. Another helpful post is my post on my favorite women’s hiking clothes.
The Best Hiking Pants For Women
Price: $85 | Weight: 12.2 oz | Fabric: Nylon/Spandex
- Strong Material
- Capri Roll-Up Snap Feature
- Breathability in Hot Temperatures
- Mid Weight Fabric
- Dumb “Female” Pockets
Prana’s Halle pants blend nylon and spandex with excellent moisture and temperature management. It’s a durable pant that feels highly versatile despite its design as a climbing pant. We appreciate the pants’ features, such as the zippered side cargo pocket and integrated waist tightener.
Although they’re flexible, do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking. The pants look pretty good as everyday pants that can go anywhere after stepping off the trail. Paneling in the crotch gives them a slim cut while offering a full range of mobility.
The material in the pants is very comfortable and is a nice blend of durability and water resistance. However, the fabric is a little too hot for warm conditions, and there are more water-resistant hiking pants. If you need hiking pants for a warm or wet climate, you may want to consider another pair of hiking pants. prAna’s Halle pants excel in cool environments for a hiker after versatile pants.
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Outdoor Research Ferossi Pants
Price: $80 | Weight: 9.5 oz | Material: 86% nylon – 14% spandex | Belt: No
- Decent Pockets
- Lightweight Material Feels Less Durable
- Slightly Loose Waist
The Outdoor Ferossi pants are an exceptionally lightweight pair of hiking pants for women. The uber-comfortable pants resemble softshell pants with excellent water resistance 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.
Thanks to the lightweight material, the pants pack down small and don’t weigh down a backpack. These pants are tough to beat if you’re looking for on-trail performance. However, due to their lightweight material and performance focus, they aren’t as well suited for travel or errands around town.
Like prAna Halle, the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and side pockets. The pockets are a bit smaller, but I appreciate the horizontal zipper. They are a fantastic pair of pants that provide the best 3-season performance in a pair of hiking pants.
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Arc’Teryx Gamma LT
Price: $189 | Weight: 10.9 oz Material: 84% nylon / 16% elastane Belt: Yes
- Water Resistance
- Lacks Back Pockets
It’s easier to find lightweight hiking pant that feels like a good match for summer hiking than robust pants for changing conditions in the mountains. During the winter and more serious mountain summits, we turn to the Arc’teryx Gamma LT. It’s an exceptional softshell pant that is comfortable and offers reliable protection from the elements.
The material blend has excellent breathability and mobility that allows for great comfort. The cut is terrific with these slim pants to look flattering with enough room to layer thermals for cold weather hiking or alpine adventures.
Including a reliable belt that uses a simple clasp to help hold the pants on hikes after repeated days of use. They have three zippered pockets, two in the front and a side pocket. They lack back pockets, but we rarely find them useful with a backpack on our back.
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Columbia Saturday Trail pants
Price: $55 Weight: 12 oz | Material: 100% Nylon | Belt: Yes
- Lacks Stretch
The Saturday Trail Pants are a good pair of hiking pants for an incredible price. They offer solid UV protection, good moisture management, and ventilation. The full nylon blend is somewhat obnoxious with the classic swishy sound made by older outdoor pants. It also makes the pant slightly restrictive regarding mobility since they lack good stretch.
Nevertheless, if you need technical pants that can handle many temperatures, these are solid and some of the best convertible pants on the market. As with most products from Columbia, expect a reliable 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. These pants are beloved for a good reason.
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Arc’teryx Essent High Rise Legging
Price: $89 | Weight: 6.2 oz | Fabric: Stretch Nylon Interlock
- Excellent Durability
- Great Movement
- Effective Temperature Management
- Sizing Issues
The Arc’teryx Essent Leggings are the best for hot and rough days in the mountains. Arc’teryx makes ultralight leggings for climbing, but they offer excellent performance as a pair of hiking leggings. The ultralight material stands out, and the leggings pack down small for multiday adventures.
These pants are made to stretch for climbing moves and are ready to deal with rock with abrasion resistance. The nylon interlock material is durable and has excellent abrasion resistance despite its lightweight nature. Arc’teryx took great care in the material selection and design, and it shows. The pants also feature two pockets that are great for storing a phone or small essentials.
The Essent is a revised cut that addresses the problem with the previous version, the Oriel, which featured a low-rise cut. The new high waist cut keeps the pants secure for a comfortable fit. However, sizing issues remain as Arc’teryx sizing feels less inclusive for those with curves. They offer a 26″ and 28″ inseam if you’re after the perfect fit.
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Fjallraven Keb Trousers
Price: $225 | Weight: 19 oz | Material: G-1000® Eco: 65% polyester, 35% cotton | Belt: No
- Cotton Performance
The Fjallraven Keb Trousers are a kickass pair of pants, but they have limited use for all-around hiking pants 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 rugged hiking pants with a lot of function, look no further than these pants.
These pants are for hardcore adventures and time well spent outdoors. An eco-friendly and rugged heavy canvas blend is the standout feature here. Combine that with many pockets and active paneling that moves with the leg for excellent performance.
The pants are full of excellent features, but temperature management is the most surprising. Thanks to four zippered vents, they manage temperature exceptionally well. Another great feature is the adjustable cuffed pants legs that are great for protection.
If you think it will be a cold day, you can easily pair these with thermals for winter adventures. They’re just a reliable pair of pants that are the most comfortable hiking pants I’ve ever worn. Best of all, these pants have fabulous rugged good looks.
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Patagonia Quandry Pant
Price: $79 | Weight: 9.1 oz | Material: 95% nylon – 5% spandex | Belt: No
- Hidden Drawcord
- Silm Cut
- Lightweight Nature
The Patagonia Quandry pant is a lightweight women’s hiking pant that feels at home in many environments. Patagonia markets that pants as a cross between hiking and travel pants 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 to the prAna pant, but a lighter version. So it’s better 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 from sustainable materials. The fabric has a DWR that does an adequate job of repelling water.
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Coalatree Trailhead Pants
Price: $89 | Weight: 10.9 oz | Material – Nylon/Spandex Belt: Drawstring
- Very Lightweight
- Super Comfortable
- Very Breathable
- Style May Not Work For All
- Loose Style Does Not Feel Techincal
Coalatree creates eco-focused outdoor apparel that we’re learning to love. As far as comfort, these are among the best on this list, and the only drawback is the price. The pant’s material is a lightweight blend of Bluesign Nylon and spandex.
They’re super comfortable, and the combination of nylon and spandex allows them to stretch in any way you can move. The drawstring makes for an easy adjustment, and the spandex does an excellent job hugging your hips.
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REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants
Price: $69 | Weight: N/A | Material: Cotton/Poly | Belt: No
- Warm In Hot Temperatures
- Mid Weight Fabric
REI-Co-ops outdoor products usually offer a lot of value, which is certainly the case with their Trailsmith Pants. I 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 wear these around or out to dinner and not feel ridiculous. Made from a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, they move freely, but the fabric feels thick and durable.
That durability plays out in looks through the double-layer reinforced knees that are great for performance and style. They have a natural retro look which I love. My only complaint is that the pants are warm for hot weather, and the pockets are a little more than jeans. Either way, they’re a great pair of hiking pants.
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Big B Hiking Pants ($89)
Price: $69 | Weight: | Material: Cotton/Nylon/Spandex Belt: No
- Fun Colors
- Small Pockets
Women’s apparel company Title Nine makes these mid-rise hiking pants perfect for any outdoor adventure. Made out of their “Brash” material, with six pockets for styling, these pants hold up well to the elements. They are lightweight, so great in the summer when you want to keep cool, but they are also weatherproof in case of rain.
I love the fun colors they come in, as they stand out often while hiking. I went with the blue color for my last trip around Switzerland (photo above), and wore them almost every day!
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What makes the best hiking pants for women?
There are several vital 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, so most of the pants on this list are technical hiking pants for women designed for the outdoors.
Comfort & Mobility
Say whatever you want about pants, but they are not great for hiking if they’re not comfortable. A pair of hiking pants needs to be worn comfortably for days. 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 significant 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 most significant negatives.
It follows in line with comfort and mobility, but if a pair of pants are heavy and restricting, they’ll affect their performance on the trail. It also plays an essential role in multi-day hikes if you like to carry a second pair of pants when every ounce in your backpack counts.
Antimicrobial resistance is what keeps pants fresh for multiple wears in warm weather. Cotton is terrible at holding up long-term for numerous days without a wash. Since you aren’t guaranteed to wash your clothes every day, nor should you, we look for pants with good antimicrobial properties.
These pants are for everyday hiking, so they should act accordingly. A pair of pants will have to see everything thrown at them. Women’s great hiking pants stand up against movement, dirt, sand, and mud and 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 using pockets, belts, and paneling to provide excellent hiking functionality. 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 fine line created from a pocket.
While this doesn’t significantly impact performance on the trail, you still want a decent-looking pair of pants. You aren’t embarrassed by those trail photos or can run around town after the hike.