When I’m not in my traditional hiking pants you can find me in hiking leggings. Other days I even reach for yoga pants when I know the hike isn’t that demanding and I trust the weather enough that it won’t rain.
With that in mind check out my favorite hiking leggings to tackle the mountains. And you can absolutely hike in yoga pants or buy these hiking specific leggings.
The 10 Best Hiking Leggings
1.) Fjallraven Abisko Hiking Tights ($175)
Overall Best Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Polyamide, Stretch
- Size range: XXS to XXL
- Colors available: Dark Grey, Black, Navy, Dark Garnet, Glacier Green, Deep Blue
- Pros: Reinforcement Over Rear and Knees, Map Pocket, Good Freedom of Movement
- Cons: Very Expensive, Feel Too Warm in Summer, Not Stretchy Everywhere (Reinforced Sections)
These stylish leggings from the well-known Swedish brand have a lot going for them. They’re super stretchy, breathable, fit tight to the skin (for that silhouette), they’re ultra-light, and even have some super reinforced panels. I love the fact that these have small, pretty well-hidden pockets, so you’ll always have a map, compass, or even some lip balm handy when/if you need it.
The high-waist design means you shouldn’t get any annoying gaps between whatever you’re wearing on top and the Abisko tights themselves – perfect for when it’s cold! (Though they can get pretty warm in summer). The waist can be adjusted with an interior draw-cord to make for an even snugger fit, too.
2.) Patagonia Women’s Pack Out Tights ($89)
Best All-Round Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Polyester, Spandex
- Size range: XS – XXL
- Colors available: Black, Forge Grey, Deep Plum, New Navy
- Pros: Simple Design, Versatile, Fair Trade Certified Sewn
- Cons: Stretch Out of Shape After a While, No Way to Tighten the Waist, Pockets Can Sag
A good, reliable, basic pair of hiking leggings, these are pretty much fine for everything – from running to catch a plane (we’ve all been there), to actual hiking. They’re casual, have a cute, simple design, but are still very active; tailored seams help them fit around your legs snugly, too.
They’re very streamlined and unfussy. Paired with the fairly affordable price tag, these Patagonia Pack Out Tights are the kind of thing that you can throw on and head out for a hike without thinking too much about it. They may not be technically the best, but they’ve got tapered legs and some nice little pockets to boot. They’re also Fair Trade certified, which I’m 100% into.
3.) Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings Women’s ($89)
Best Technical Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Stretch Nylon Interlock
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Labyrinth (Dark Green), Whiskey Jack (Grey), Black
- Pros: Very Durable, Very Flexible, Super Lightweight
- Cons: Not High-Waisted, Seams Can Fray, Pretty Basic Design
Designed specifically for rock climbing, these technical, outdoor hiking leggings from Arc’teryx are fittingly comfortable and durable. Because they’re built for rock-climbing, the fabric has a lot of stretch in it for flexibility and can stand up to a lot of abrasions. However, the seams have been known to fray after a while.
For those of you (like me) who like high-waisted pants and leggings for a snug fit, you’ll be disappointed with the low-rise kinda fit here. Otherwise, these are a great option for hiking leggings – and simple enough in design that they can be used in a crossover, everyday life way. I also like the two side pockets, which are easy to access and really hold on to your stuff, i.e., cellphone.
4.) Rab Women’s Skyline Tights ($85)
Best High-Performance Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Reflex Double Knit Stretch, Nylon
- Size range: 8 – 16
- Colors available: Black, Blueprint (Blue, obviously)
- Pros: Lightweight, Manageable, Removable Daypack
- Cons: Sizes Come up Small, Crotch Seam Can Mean Cameltoe, Logo is Pretty Big
Perfect for those of you who like to head out to technical terrain and at a fast pace, these hiking leggings from Rab are not for wandering. The tight-fitting material here is lightweight, flexible, and boasts wicking for quick drying – great for exploring mountainous, hilly terrain.
The durable panels that run across the knee, down the shin, and in the rear, add yet more durability, but the seams and panels make sure that these things fit snugly. That said, you could have some concerns (quite rightly) over the crotch being too tight; the central seam could seem to be in the wrong place!
The zipped ankles, on the other hand, mean that these leggings can be a little more breathable when you need them to be — an all-round good option.
5.) Helly Hansen Women’s Rask Trail Tights ($85)
Best Comfortable Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: 4-Way Stretch Technical 28g Knit with Wicking, DWR Coating
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Catalina Blue, Black
- Pros: Comfortable, Reinforced Rear and Knees, Pockets for Storage
- Cons: Not a Tight Fit, Can Be Too Hot for Summer, Only Two Colors
A super comfy pair of hiking leggings from the Norwegian brand, if you want something that’s going to be super comfortable when you’re out hiking in the mountains, then these are the tights for you. The reinforced knee and rear are coated with water-repellent fabric, making them not only durable but if you need to sit down, your butt won’t get wet.
Two zippered pockets mean anything you feel like carrying on your person won’t be getting lost. The waist isn’t elastic, but is still fitted and not overly tight. Some may find the fit comes up a little big; if you want something tighter, I’d say go down a size. Otherwise a great choice for comfortable, active leggings.
6.) Kuhl Women’s Weekndr Leggings ($89)
Best Summer Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Nylon, Spandex
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Wine, Indigo, Raven, Olive, Sea Pine
- Pros: Good Fit, Big Pocket, Breathable Fabric
- Cons: Not Warm, Not Wind Resistant, Seams Can Bunch
Leggings that you can wear in pretty much any outdoors scenario, not just hiking (like walking the dog, or whatever), these Kuhl hiking leggings are a great buy. A top choice for summer hikes in particular, these are based on a yoga style legging but are designed with hiking in mind – all the style and flexibility but with durability thrown in, too.
The big envelope pocket on the side fits a phone, map, or whatever else you might need to carry around with you. Then there’s the benefit of being able to spend a long time out in the sun: the fabric is UPF 50 sun resistant, making them perfect for heading out to dry, desert destinations – or summer months in general. I love the breathable fabric panels between the legs and lower back – definitely a plus in summer.
7.) 5.11 Abby Tights ($99)
- Fabric: Nylon/ Elastane
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Black, Cabarnet, Tundra
- Pros: Good Fit, Pocket, Breathable Fabric, Tough
- Cons: Vinyl Panels Cracking With Age
These are some of the best hiking yoga pants I’ve found to date are the 5.11 Abby Tights. 5.11 makes tactical, heavy-duty gear and that’s why I love their yoga pants. They are far from sheer and have side pockets which I like to put my cell phone in for quick photo access. These are moisture-wicking and have anti-odor properties.
7.) Columbia Luminary Leggings ($60)
Best Value Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Polyester, Elastane
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Black
- Pros: Super Affordable, Sun Protection, High Rise
- Cons: Only Available in Black, Loose in Places, Quite Thick
These leggings are designed to be used out in the wild – for sure. They’ve got high tech material going on here; this means being water and stain repellent, having built-in UPF 50 sun protection, and the abrasion-resistant fabric means they’re pretty tough and hard-wearing.
I like the fact these leggings have a thick, wide waistband – that’s comfort, though it means that you don’t have any gaps between tops and bottoms, too (that can get super annoying). There’s an easy-access hidden pocket to store a bank card, cellphone, something small like that. If you’re on a budget, but still looking for quality pants (this is Columbia).
8.) The North Face Women’s Utility Hybrid Hiker Tights ($80)
Best Versatile Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Nylon, Elastane
- Size range: XS – XXL
- Colors available: Urban Navy, Asphalt Grey, New Taupe, TNF Black
- Pros: Affordable, Cool Casual Design, Breathable Fabric
- Cons: Too Long (Depending on Your Height), Not a Tight Fit, No Drawstring
I’m into these leggings for the pure versatility of them (well, that and the price!). These are the kind of hiking leggings that can easily be used one-day sightseeing around a city, and the next day on a hike in the hills. They look the part for both and can be styled with pretty much anything.
The zippered slash pockets on the rear, side, and hip not only look cool but mean you’ll be able to carry a bunch of stuff with you (less to fuss around within your bag). These are the kind of leggings you’ll want to buy in every color once you’ve worn one! Breathable, warm, and durable on top of everything, they’re a decent part of any wardrobe – let alone hiking.
9.) Yoga Democracy Leggings ($70)
Best Eco-Friendly Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Recycled Ocean Plastics and Industry Waste (Polymide), Elastane
- Size range:
- Colors available: Artists Prints
- Pros: Eco-Friendly, Sweat-Wicking, Awesome Designs, Durable Material
- Cons: No Pockets, Better Suited For Yoga,
Sustainably made in the USA, I absolutely love that these leggings are made out of recycled ocean plastics (the Elastane, however, is still sustainably sourced from Italy). Even the packaging is made out of recycled materials.
Not only are these offerings eco-conscious, but they’re a pretty amazing fit on top of that: they don’t fall down, they fit perfectly, and are a great length.
Then there’s the high waist, zippered pocket (at the rear), and don’t forget that funky geometric print design.
10.) Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Deluxe ($110)
Best Winter Hiking Leggings for Women
- Fabric: Merino Wool
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colors available: Black & Midnight Blue
- Pros: Warmth, Quality,
- Cons: Durability
Icebreaker BodyFit 200 is a great option for something you can turn to when it’s really starting to get cold out. They provide a high level of protection from the cold, the wind, and the rain (fast drying!) – plus, they’re pretty comfortable to boot. Made from 100% merino wool for an amazing pair of quality hiking leggings.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Leggings for You
We’d like to say money isn’t everything, but it actually plays a huge part in what trekking leggings you’ll go for. The price ranges from surprisingly affordable to a more high-end investment. Not all “cheap” leggings are bad, and while you don’t need to spend a fortune for a reliable pair, it’s worth considering spending a little more for elements that will suit your activities – and for something that’ll last longer.
It’s something that’s very personal. Style is different for everybody, but the first thing you’ll judge something on is how it looks. Something that doesn’t look like you at all? Or something you could wear on the daily and on hikes? It should be a combination of style and comfort, because feeling good is part and parcel of being comfortable.
Obviously, the number one thing when you’re looking for hiking leggings – are they comfortable? Chances are you’ll be wearing these for miles (and miles) at a time, and you don’t want something that’s uncomfortable after the first 100 feet. Choosing for comfort should be high on your priority list.
Going hand in hand with comfort, how breathable your hiking leggings are will really make a difference to your hiking experience. This is something you may not think about at first, but once you’ve got a pair of hiking leggings on that aren’t breathable – you’ll know about it. We’re talking sticky and hot. And if you’re hiking somewhere that’s hot already, that’s not fun. An actual big deal.
A lot of the best trekking leggings for women have integrated pockets. Now, this may seem like a basic feature, but depending on where they sit – and how well they’ve been integrated – this can be the difference between something really annoying and something that genuinely adds to the leggings. We want easy access to things like keys and phones without getting in your way.
A key element to what you should be looking at when you buy hiking leggings, what they’re actually made of plays a big part in how good they’ll be. It will depend on where you’ll be wearing your leggings and what you’ll be doing in them. Thermal, quick-drying, stretch, form-fitting – there’s a lot to consider. It’ll add to the comfort and overall utility of the hiking leggings.
Water & Wind Resistance
How water or wind-resistant hiking leggings are is a big deal. You never know what you’re going to be getting into on a trek – the weather’s always changing, for a start. And if you’re heading up mountains, for example, you’ll want something with a bit of windproofing and wicking for water resistance, too. Once you’ve got wet legs, having the wind whipping around them is the worst feeling.
Not all leggings have these, but if you’re going on some heavy-duty hikes, they are good to have. Toughened, reinforced fabric around the knees (and on the rear) allows for increased durability, means less wear-and-tear, and – if you’re really out to invest in a pair of trekking leggings – the likelihood is they’ll end up lasting a whole lot longer.
Not something you’d think would make too much difference to the overall feel of your hiking leggings, the waistband is actually super important. Once you’ve spent a chunk of money on your new leggings, you don’t want them slipping down, feeling too tight (or too loose), or rubbing uncomfortably. Depending on what you prefer and your body type, a high waistband will feel much more secure and more form-fitting; a low-rise waistband may add more breathability, on the other hand. Choose for your body.
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