While there are no strict rules, it is still important to be guided as to what you should wear when trekking the mountains. Since the terrains are expected to be challenging, the clothes you wear for hiking should provide for comfort, mobility and protection.
One of the most common items you should not forget is a pair of hiking pants. There are more than a couple of things to consider when choosing the right hiking pants and those would be the weather, the season, and the number of days you will be hiking. So what are good hiking pants?
In this article, you will find out the answers as you read the in-depth explanation and definition of the different types of hiking pants. Take note that the pants you wear for hiking still depend on your preference and need. So to help you decide what are good hiking pants, this page also included each of their pros and cons.
Standard Pants: What Are Good Hiking Pants?
Yes, standard pants could also be hiking pants. For sure, you have more than a pair of these that you often use, whether for work or for everyday activity. One advantage of these is that you do not have to buy new pants specifically for hiking.
It is not bad to wear this type of pants when hiking. Just make sure that it’s not your favorite pair for they may not look the same after you conquer dust, sand, and mud in the mountains. Aside from this, standard pants are not versatile enough to keep your legs warm or protect them from abrasions.
The word convertible implies that the pants have a dual purpose. It looks like standard pants, but it has zippers above the knee. This way, you can unzip the lower parts of the legs so they will look like shorts. In terms of versatility, convertible pants take the upper hand.
Wearing this lessens the weight of your pack while hiking. You can wear the whole pants when it’s cold and wear them as shorts when it’s hot. Or when the lower leg part of the pants gets dirty, you can simply unzip and wash them clean.
However, not all convertible pants are great for all kinds of hikers. Some prefer to wear light hiking pants than convertible pants that are sometimes thicker and heavier than usual. Others find it inconvenient that they have to take them off and on when unzipping and zipping the lower part, not to mention that they have to remove their hiking boots to do so.
If you find the convertible pants inconvenient, you may opt for roll-up pants. This pair of pants allows you to roll up the bottoms, making them look like capris. Some are designed for you to button them up. Either way, the roll-up pants are another way to cool off without having to remove anything.
Their weight is the same as standard pants, too. While you can also roll up standard pants, a pair of roll-up pants is said to hold the cuffs better; in other words, there is less hassle. You can wear them as they are when you need warmth and protection, then roll them up to cool off. The possible disadvantages of these pants are that it can only be rolled up to your knee. Thus, it may not be as comfortable as shorts.
Which style should you choose?
Earlier, it we said that the answer to “what are good hiking pants” depends on several factors. Now, you will learn what those factors are in order to choose the right style.
Before packing your things, make sure that you have checked the weather or climate of your hiking destination. This highly determines what type of clothing you should wear. If you are going to the mountains in winter, then you should wear a pair of pants that are long and thick enough to keep you warm. You might want to wear shorts in summer but if you need to protect your skin from the sun, then wearing pants is ideal.
Fit and mobility
When conquering a difficult terrain, you would want pants that allow mobility yet not be too loose. It should be just the right fit so that you can move comfortably.
DWR coating and UPF rating
Good hiking pants have a durable water repellent (DWR) coating for repelling water and have a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating for sun protection.