The 10 Best Hiking Pants for Women of 2022

The Columbia Saturday Trail Pant is the best quality option on the market

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With just the right mix of comfort, functionality, and durability, hiking pants are perfect for outdoor adventures, as well as traveling or casual wear. Many of the best hiking pants are made with light, stretchy materials that offer good mobility and keep you protected from water, sun, and bugs. However, you’ll need to consider what season you’ll be hitting the trails.

Reviewed & Approved

The Columbia Saturday Trail Pant is our top pick for optimal comfort, performance, and versatility. They come in a wide range of sizes and offer good protection against sun, wind, and rain. We also like the Baleaf Hiking Pants for a more affordable option.

“Lightweight materials tend to be more breathable, dry faster when wet, weigh less, and provide more flexibility and mobility, but they aren't as protective or durable as heavier material,” Wesley Trimble, hiking expert and communications and creative director for American Hiking Society, says.

To choose the best hiking pants for women, we researched dozens of top-rated brands and spoke with two hiking and outdoor gear experts for their advice on what to look for when shopping. We evaluated each pick for its comfort, performance, features, and more.

Based on our research, here are the best hiking pants for women on the market.

Best Overall: Columbia Saturday Trail Pant

4.9
 Columbia Saturday Trail Pant

Backcountry

Pros
  • Water- and stain-repellent

  • UPF 50 sun protection

  • Multiple pockets

Cons
  • Lightweight material not ideal for all seasons

The Columbia Saturday Trail Pant takes our top women’s hiking pants spot, thanks to its outstanding comfort, performance, and versatility. Constructed with water-repellent fabric, they provide excellent protection against wind and light rain but are also breathable and quick-drying in sweat-inducing weather.

The two-way stretch material and partial elastic waist allow you to move freely without distraction. With two side pockets and two back pockets, the pants have plenty of room to securely stash small items you might need as you’re hiking.

And if the weather becomes unexpectedly hot, they easily convert to capris by rolling up the legs and snapping them in place. We also like that they come in a wide range of sizes, from 2 to 24, as well as regular, short, and tall lengths.  

Price at time of publication: starting at $44

Material: Nylon, elastane | Pockets: 4 | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Sizes: 2 to 24, short, regular, tall

Best Budget: Baleaf Hiking Pants

Baleaf Hiking Pants

Amazon

Pros
  • Quick-drying and water-resistant

  • Plenty of storage

  • UPF 50+ fabric

Cons
  • Not ideal for very cold weather

For hiking and other outdoor adventures, the Baleaf Hiking Pants are a great value. The quick-drying material is breathable and has UPF 50+ protection, so they’re an excellent choice for warm weather hikes. The four-way stretch fabric moves with you for an easy, comfortable fit.

With four pockets with zip closure, they’re also not lacking in storage. The hand pockets and front and back cargo pockets offer plenty of space for your phone and other essentials you might want close by. What’s more, the pants come in a wide range of sizes and have an elastic waistband with a drawstring for an adjustable, secure fit.

Despite being high-quality and durable, especially for the price, the pants’ material is relatively thin and won’t provide as much weather protection as some more expensive options. However, if you want lightweight, water-resistant pants with generous storage and an affordable price, they’re a solid pick.

Price at time of publication: $34

Material: Polyester, spandex | Pockets: 4 | Care: Machine wash, air dry | Sizes: XS to 3XL

Best Lightweight: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Softshell Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Softshell Pants

Backcountry

Pros
  • Very breathable

  • Allows for good range of motion

  • Suitable for everyday wear

Cons
  • Not protective enough for cold, windy days

Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi pants are a lightweight option with the perfect blend of stretch, durability, and a high degree of mobility. They’re designed with a ripstop fabric that’s stretchy and unrestrictive, so they’re ideal for hiking, running, and other outdoor pursuits.

What’s more, these thin, breathable pants have drawcord cuffs so you can cinch them up on your calves—perfect for when the temperature starts to rise. And if you get a little wet during a river crossing, the fabric will be dry in no time. However, the pants’ lightweight feel makes them less suitable for cold or windy days.

With five pockets in total, there are plenty of storage options, including a zippered cargo pocket on the thigh that can fit most phones. Plus, the pants’ sleek style and comfort make them a versatile choice for traveling or casual wear.

Price at time of publication: $89

Material: Nylon, spandex | Pockets: 5 | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Sizes: 0 to 14

Best Quick-Drying: L.L. Bean Women's Water-Repellent Comfort Trail Pants

L.L. Bean Women's Water-Repellent Comfort Trail Pants

L.L. Bean

Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • UPF 50+ fabric

  • Abrasion- and water-resistant

Cons
  • Pockets don’t fit some phones

Whether you’re hitting the trails or heading out for weekend errands, these LL Bean trail pants will keep you comfortable on and off the trail. Made with a quick-dry, breathable blend of nylon and spandex, they’re lightweight and stretchy to allow for easy movement. The material is also abrasion-resistant so they can handle trail dirt and brush. Plus, the pants have a water-repellent finish so the water simply rolls off.

Despite their sturdiness and functionality, these pants are sleek and stylish enough for everyday wear. With a wide range of sizes and color choices, it’s easy to find a pair that works for you. The adjustable inside tabs allow for a custom-like, secure fit. They also have five pockets to store essentials, although they may not be roomy enough for some larger phones.

Price at time of publication: $65

Material: Nylon, spandex | Pockets: 5 | Care: Machine wash and dry | Sizes: 4 to 26W, regular and petite

Best for Storage: REI Co-op Savanna Trails Pants

REI Co-op Savanna Trails Pants

REI

Pros
  • Plenty of storage

  • Durable, comfortable fabric

  • Water-repellent

Cons
  • No drawstring on waist

If you like to have essentials in your pockets for easy access, the REI’s Savanna Trails Pants are a perfect option for your next hike. In addition to the standard two front cargo pockets with a hidden, stash pocket in the right pocket, you get a zippered pocket and a secure snap pocket in the back.

The pants offer a generous amount of stretch and articulated knees, allowing for good range of motion as you’re hiking or climbing. The combination of durable, comfortable materials and reliable design makes them ready for anything on the trails. The fabric is treated with a durable water repellent, so it sheds light rain and resists stains.

Although the waistband is elastic on the back, it doesn’t have a drawstring for those who like a very secure fit. However, the pants’ overall comfort, functionality, and performance make them a solid pick for outdoor adventure lovers.

Price at time of publication: $55

Material: Nylon, spandex | Pockets: 5 | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Sizes: 0 to 16

Best Water-Resistant: Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants

Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants

REI

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable

  • Reliable weather protection

  • Stylish

Cons
  • No rear pockets

  • Expensive

Known for their durable, high-quality outdoor apparel, Arc’teryx delivers a comfortable, weather-ready pair with their Gamma LT Pants. Their water- and wind-resistant fabric make them an ideal choice for wet-weather hikes and activities. They’re also equipped with a drawstring at the cuff, so if the weather improves, you can roll them up to keep your legs cool.

With a women-specific design and fit, these pants are made with stretchy fabric that allows for unrestricted mobility. They also have three pockets for storage, including a zippered one on the thigh that’s ideal for stashing your phone. An integrated belt in the low-profile waist allows for a secure, comfortable fit.

The main downside of these pants is that they’re pricier than many other options, but they’re a worthwhile investment for outdoor enthusiasts who want well-made, durable gear.

Price at time of publication: $180

Material: Nylon, elastane | Pockets: 3 | Care: Machine wash, hang dry | Sizes: 00 to 16

Best for Summer: Mountain Hardwear Dynama2 Ankle Pants

Mountain Hardwear Dynama2 Ankle Pants

REI

Pros
  • Lightweight but tough fabric

  • Breathable and water-repellent

  • Versatile for active or casual wear

Cons
  • No petite or plus sizes

If you’re looking for lightweight pants that are suitable for hiking, traveling, and casual wear, the Mountain Hardwear Dynama2 Ankle Pants provide a nice balance of function and style. The pants offer good stretch and an athletic fit that’s comfortable for hiking as well as everyday casual wear. For extra comfort, they have a wide, elastic waistband that provides a secure fit.

The fabric is lightweight but tough with a durable water-repellent finish and 50+ UPF rating for sun protection. Meanwhile, the pants are also very breathable, so you won’t overheat. For your essentials, two deep hand pockets and a zippered front cargo pocket provide plenty of storage space. The pants come in several cool colors and patterns, but we’d love to see a wider range of sizes, including petite and plus sizes. 

Price at time of publication: $79

Material: Nylon, elastane | Pockets: 3 | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low | Sizes: XS to XL

Best Plus Size: The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Hiking Pants

The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Hiking Pants

Zappos

Pros
  • Soft, stretchy material

  • Wide range of sizes

  • UPF 50 and water-resistant fabric

Cons
  • Not as heavy-duty as some other options

For a wide range of sizes, you can’t go wrong with The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 hiking pants. They come in extra-small to 3XL, as well as two different lengths, so it’s easy to get the right fit. Made with soft, breathable, and stretchy fabric, these pants are perfect for women who prioritize comfort and mobility. An extra-wide elastic waistband with drawcord closure keeps the pants from slipping down and enhances the overall comfortable feel.

With two hand pockets and a small, discrete zippered pocket, the pants offer some storage options, without looking like cargo pants. Plus, the UPF 50 fabric and water-resistant finish provide added protection, no matter the weather. While these pants are soft and lightweight, they’re not as durable as some other thicker options. However, for traveling, hiking in mild terrain, and even casual wear, they’re a go-to pair.

Price at time of publication: $69

Material: Nylon, elastane | Pockets: 3 | Care: Machine wash, tumble dry | Sizes: XS to 3XL

Best Convertible: Athleta Trekkie Convertible Hike Pant

Athleta Trekkie Convertible Hike Pant

Athleta

Pros
  • Versatile and comfortable

  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying

  • Wide range of sizes

Cons
  • Limited color options

  • Expensive

Convertible hiking pants that turn into shorts are versatile for those days on the trail that start cool and turn sunny and warm by early afternoon. This pair from Athleta features a convertible construction that allows three options for wear: straight-leg pants, crop pants, or shorts. For even more versatility, a bungee cord at the hem converts the straight-leg pant to jogger style.

With an elastic, belted waistband, the pants are easy to adjust for a secure, comfy fit. The ripstop material is lightweight and breathable, but also tear-resistant, so the pants can handle rough terrain. Plus, the fabric is rated UPF 50+ and dries quickly if it gets wet. All of the pants’ six pockets zip or snap shut and are roomy enough to fit a phone.

We also like that the pants are constructed with recycled nylon, so you can feel good about wearing a sustainably-made product. We only wish they came in more color options.

Price at time of publication: $139

Material: Recycled nylon, nylon, spandex | Pockets: 6 | Care: Machine wash and dry | Sizes: 0 to 26; petite, regular, tall

Best Splurge: On Explorer Pants

On Explorer Pants

REI

Pros
  • Water-repellent and moisture-wicking

  • Made with recycled materials

  • Designed for hiking in cold weather

Cons
  • Expensive

The On Explorer pants have all the features you’d want in hiking pants, including water resistance, ample storage, and comfortable, durable material. The lightweight, stretchy fabric allows you to stay agile on hikes and climbs, but it’s still tough enough to handle rough brush, dirt, and rocks. The pants are also breathable and moisture-wicking, so you won’t get soaked with sweat when the temperature climbs.

The pants’ ankles have adjustable toggles that you can tighten to keep cold wind out or loosen for a cropped look. A durable, water-resistant treatment on the fabric offers protection against light rain. Plus, they're built for hiking in cold weather, so you'll stay warm while you trek. While you’ll pay a bit more for these pants, the quality, performance, and durability are worth it.

Price at time of publication: $190

Material: Polyester, recycled polyester | Pockets: Not listed | Care: Machine wash gentle, tumble dry low | Sizes: XS to XL

How We Selected the Best Hiking Pants for Women

To find the best hiking pants for women, we researched more than 30 top-rated products across the most trusted and popular athletic and outdoor apparel brands. We consulted outdoor gear and hiking experts to get product recommendations and advice on what to look for when selecting hiking pants.

We evaluated each pair of hiking pants for comfort, performance, materials, fit, and maintenance. We also looked at other aspects, like the number of pockets, the range of sizes and colors, and special features such as water resistance and UPF sun protection.

How We Rated the Hiking Pants

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best hiking pants we researched. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These hiking pants might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.4 stars: We think these are great hiking pants, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These hiking pants are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend hiking pants with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

What to Look for in Hiking Pants for Women

Fit

A proper fit is crucial to your comfort and performance on the trails. Hiking pants should feel secure around the waist so they stay up, and the legs should be a bit flowy for optimal comfort and breathability.

“If the pants don't fit properly, they will be falling off of you, the pants will feel too tight around the legs, or the pants are not covering your whole leg or overflowing onto your footwear,” David Kilgore, On athlete and professional trail runner, says.

You should also make sure the length is suitable for your needs and preferences. “Ensure the hem of the legs doesn't drag on the ground, which will ruin the material and be a tripping hazard,” Trimble says. “I like my pants full length to help prevent bugs and debris from getting in my shoes, but other people like pants shorter to help with venting.”

Material

Polyester and nylon are common materials that wick moisture and are found in many styles of active pants. Some hiking pants are constructed with fabric blends and even different materials for various sections of the pants.

Generally, hikers should avoid pants made with cotton or cotton blends. “Cotton absorbs and holds moisture, which can create a number of issues including chafing and discomfort, and wet cotton doesn't retain heat,” Trimble says.

Some hikers prefer lightweight fabrics, but heavier-weight materials will last longer and provide more protection from abrasion. “You definitely want to have something that is going to last and not snag or get cut up by rocks when passing by,” Kilgore says. “The pants also need to be able to handle wind and rain, while still being light, packable, and breathable.”

Venting and Breathability

If you’re going to be hiking in hot weather, you’ll want pants that are breathable and well-ventilated. Look for breathable fabrics such as nylon and polyester to help reduce sweat and improve overall comfort.

“Some hiking pants are designed with mesh and other vents which is great for warmer temperatures,” Trimble says.

Comfort and Mobility

Comfort is a key consideration for hiking pants since you don’t want a pair that will pinch, irritate, ride up, or restrict mobility in any way. Look for materials with some stretch that allow for good range of motion. “Lots of hiking pants now tend to have more stretch which allows a wider range of movement,” Trimble says.

Pockets

Most hiking pants have at least one pocket to store essentials. If easy access to items such as your phone is important to you, be sure to consider the size and placement of the pants’ pockets. Look at the pocket closures, too. Some pants will have velcro or even zippered pockets, which will keep items even more secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should you wear shorts or pants when hiking?

    Choosing shorts or pants is really a matter of personal preference, but you should definitely consider the weather conditions and type of hiking that you’ll be doing. “Many hikers prefer shorts when the mercury climbs, but I prefer well-vented, breathable, lightweight pants for sun protection and for protection against bugs and abrasion,” Trimble says.

  • What are hiking pants?

    Hiking pants are designed for hiking, but can also be worn for rock climbing, backpacking, trail running, and other outdoor activities. They’re designed to allow for good mobility and to provide protection from the sun, bugs, water, and other hazards on the trail. They often have pockets and belt loops for convenient storage or to clip on gear.

  • Are compression pants good for hiking?

    Compression pants can be a suitable choice for hiking, assuming they’re breathable and stretchy. “Pants that are too tight will often limit your range of motion, and tight pants may also limit the breathability and ventilation,” Trimble says. “On the flip side, really baggy pants are likely to catch and rip on branches and brush.”

  • How much do hiking pants cost?

    Hiking pants can cost anywhere between $30-200, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to find a good pair. Our best overall pick from Columbia was just $45 at time of publish. Inexpensive options may have fewer extras like pockets or the ability to convert from a full pant to a cropped length. Pricer pairs from higher-end brands may have more substantial materials or more weather-proofing.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A certified personal trainer, running coach, gym buff, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT spends countless hours researching and testing the latest exercise apparel, shoes, gear, and gadgets. She only recommends products that she can genuinely stand behind and that she believes would be a good investment for her readers.

By Christine Luff, ACE-CPT
Christine Many Luff is a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach.