Choosing the right hiking pants can be a bit tricky for some beginners. On the other hand, it can be difficult for some more experienced hikers even though they know which materials work best under certain conditions. Either way, you should not oversee the importance of knowing how to choose hiking pants for these items of clothing can affect the level of your comfort and experience.
Picking the one that makes you feel comfortable while walking and trekking is obviously your top priority. However, there are other things that you should remember in choosing wearable hiking pants that will endure the rigors of any terrain. Below are some of them.
How to choose hiking pants: Pick the right style
When you are off for a week’s hike, standard pants may not be the best option. While you can always opt for your favorite pair of jeans, it is still better to have one or two pairs of pants dedicated and designed for hiking purposes only. The terrains are rough and challenging, and you would not want your favorite pants getting ripped and dirty while you are conquering them.
There are generally two more types of hiking pants that you can choose: convertible pants and roll-up pants. Convertible pants are designed to be converted from pants to shorts. They have zippers so that the bottom legs can be removed when needed.
They are more versatile than standard pants but they can be heavier and inconvenient, especially when you have to wear them on and off to convert them from shorts to pants and vice versa. Roll-up pants, on the other hand, are usually light, minimizing the weight of your pack.
Wearing these is more convenient than wearing convertible pants since you just have to roll up the pants from the bottom or button them up. However, most designs cannot be rolled up to the knees. Thus, they may not provide enough cooling effect when the weather is hot.
Choose hiking pants with pockets
When it comes to hiking pants, you can never have enough pockets. While some may say that the cargo pockets are a bit old style, they are no doubt essential for hiking. There, you can store emergency aid, snacks, smartphones, and other important valuables that can save you should you need to abandon your bag. So aside from the regular pockets on the side, look for hiking pants with extra pockets located below them.
Check the quality of material
It goes without saying that the quality of the material used for hiking pants is paramount. You do not want to have hiking pants that easily get torn or caught by branches along the way. Since your hiking pants will go through such difficulty, then you should have a pair that can take long-term abuse. This is especially true if you are planning to hike on a regular basis. So how to choose hiking pants that are durable and comfortable?
Experts will say that the best material is a soft and silent nylon. You will know that the hiking pants are made of this material when it feels so soft when you touch and make no sound. By contrast, a cheap nylon material will feel hard and loud as the fabric rubs against itself as you walk. Obviously, high-quality material will be more expensive, but spending more money will make your adventures safer and more convenient. Thus, they are a good investment.
Waterproof hiking pants are not a must have
But waterproof hiking pants can be really a good investment, especially if you are someone who hikes in any season. These pants are more expensive. So, if you are not hiking during the winter or in wet weather, it is not a must. There are also hiking pants which have a durable water repellent (DWR) coating applied on the exterior.
This allows the hiking pants to repel water for a period of time. The repellent can easily wear off when they are constantly exposed to outdoor and abrasive activities. So, reapplication is needed. Meanwhile, they are good substitutes to expensive waterproof hiking pants.
Consider the color of your hiking pants
Contrary to popular belief, the color of your hiking pants can make a big difference in the level of comfort while hiking in different conditions. Your choosing should not be based only on the style. Lighter colors like white, beige, and tan are good for the warm season while darker colors like black are good for cold seasons.