What Are Hiking Pants?

What Are Hiking Pants?

If you love hiking, you may have looked everywhere to find the right kind of hiking pants that you can use for your favorite adventure. If you haven’t found one, here is a useful guide for you.

Definition: What Are Hiking Pants?

Hiking pants are quick-dry and lightweight pants that are made from nylon that are recommended for hiking and outdoor sports. These provide hikers a comfortable, adaptable, and useful set of pants for backpacking and hiking.
These pants also come with numerous pockets with no bulk. Some hiking pants are also considered as “convertible hiking pants,” because they can be converted into hiking shorts.

Two Main Styles of Hiking Pants

There are two main styles of hiking pants—these are standard hiking pants and convertible hiking pants. Standard hiking pants, also known as non-convertible hiking pants, cannot be converted into hiking shorts. It has zippers on the lower part of the leg, making it more convenient to pull out the pants without removing the boots.

Meanwhile, convertible hiking pants can be converted into hiking pants with the use of a zipper that zips off the lower 2/3 of the leg.

Both styles have advantages and disadvantages. For example, standard hiking pants provide a much neater, smoother appearance because it does not have a zipper on the upper leg. Having said so, it can serve as casual pants because of its cleaner look and lightweight feature.

Convertible hiking pants, on the other hand, are more advantageous for those who are regular hikers because of its practicality and flexibility. During warmer days, convertible hiking pants can be turned into hiking shorts and back to hiking pants when the temperature drops in the evening.

Things to Consider in Buying Hiking Pants

There are many things that you can consider in shopping for hiking pants. Some pants have a permanently attached belt. If you don’t plan to use it for some other purposes, opt for hiking pants with a detachable belt.

It is important for hiking pants to have elastic waistbands to provide flexibility to the pants’ waistband. The pants can be useful in spite of weight variations; and the waistband can be moved and flexed, making the hiker more comfortable in the middle of a trail. However, there are hikers who don’t like pants with elastic waistbands due to personal preferences.

There are hiking pants with two pockets or more. Two pockets on the uppermost area of the hiking pants are called hand-warmer pockets. Those one or two huge cargo pockets below the uppermost pockets can be used to store cell phones, wallet, sunglasses, and some snacks while you are hiking.

One disadvantage of hiking pants having more than two pockets is it adds more weight, and don’t look as nice as the pants with two standard pockets.

Hiking pants with cargo pockets are not as fashionable as pants with just two pockets, but if you value functionality over appearance, you can choose cargo hiking pants. So, in shopping for hiking pants, make sure that you check the sizes, bulkiness, and the location of the pockets.

The quality of hiking pants is another important consideration in shopping for hiking pants. Since hiking requires a lot of wear and tear, it is vital to buy hiking pants that can endure all the snaps and twigs along the trail.
Choose high-quality hiking pants to make sure that your button will not pop off and your pants will not be ripped off in the middle of a strenuous hike.

Aside from durability, hiking pants with good quality are made of high-quality nylon, and are as soft as a blanket when you touch it. It does not also make any sound that can disrupt your hiking adventure.
Having said all these, don’t be reluctant to spend more on high-quality hiking pants—because it is definitely worth your hard-earned money.

Hiking pants can also be waterproof or not. Waterproof hiking pants make use of a layer of Gore-tex membranes that permit the pants to breathe while repelling raindrops. Of course, waterproof hiking pants are more pricey as opposed to non-waterproof pants. If you hike during rainy days, it is recommended that you get yourself waterproof hiking pants. But if you hike during fair weather, you may find the expensive cost unjustifiable.


Hiking pants are useful gear for hikers and adventure seekers. Therefore, it is imperative to look for hiking pants that can serve their purpose well. In shopping for hiking pants, consider personal preferences, comfort, functionality, cost, and durability.

Seek the opinion of fellow hikers to solicit useful opinions as to what type of hiking pants to buy. Also, make sure to buy from a reputable store to guarantee that the hiking pants are well manufactured. Hiking pants with good quality are a wise investment, so don’t hesitate to spend a bit more for it.

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