Have you ever had the surreal feeling that when you leave the house in the morning you’re not properly dressed?
Naked from the waist down? No?
Maybe it’s just me.
But that’s the exact same feeling you’ll get if you’re out on the hiking trails and you’re not wearing the right attire.
Luckily for you, I’ve decided to review the top 17 men’s hiking pants of 2021 with a handy buyer’s guide and FAQ section thrown in for good measure.
So, check out all this awesome gear below. You’ve no excuse to get caught with your pants down again.
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- TOP 17 Best Men’s Hiking Pants of 2021
- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
- Toomett Men’s Outdoor Quick-Dry Hiking Pants
- White Sierra Men’s Trail Inseam Convertible Pants
- 5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Tactical Pants
- The North Face Men’s Straight Paramount 3.0 Pants
- Mountain Hardwear Men’s Hardwear AP Pants
- Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants
- Columbia Men’s Royce Peak Sun Pants
- prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pants
- Outdoor Research Men’s Voodoo Pants
- Arc’teryx Men’s Gamma LT Pants
- Fjallraven – Men’s Keb Trousers Long
- Jack Wolfskin Men’s North Pants
- Helly Hansen Men’s Vanir Hybrid Hiking Pants
- Magcomsen Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Pants
- Nonwe Men’s Outdoor Quick Dry Hiking Pants
- Asfixiado Men’s Convertible Hiking Pants
- What Should You Look for When Buying Hiking Pants?
TOP 17 Best Men’s Hiking Pants of 2021
Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
Review: When it comes to versatility, you won’t go wrong with Columbia’s Silver Ridge pants.
Aside from being convertible to short pants, Columbia’s Omni-dry Technology keeps you cool and dry, while Omni-shade Technology helps protect you from those nasty UV rays.
Made from a mesh, nylon and polyester mix, these pants offer an impressive seven pockets, which means you get plenty of storage options in this lightweight and practical design.
- Excellent value.
- Choice of colors.
- Loads of pockets.
- Leg zipper’s a little too bulky for some.
Toomett Men’s Outdoor Quick-Dry Hiking Pants
Review: These Toomett hiking pants are made with 100% quick-dry polyester. They’re designed as a comfort fit, with an elasticated waist and zip-off pant legs to convert the pant into shorts.
Water-resistant and breathable, they incorporate five zippered pockets – two hip, two cargo and one to the rear.
Omni-Wick quickly moves moisture from the skin into the fabric keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your hike.
- Great price.
- Zips reach a little too low.
White Sierra Men’s Trail Inseam Convertible Pants
Review: Made from 100% nylon incorporating UPF sun protection, this convertible hiking pant from White Sierra is a comfort fit with elasticated waist.
The material is Teflon coated to improve waterproofing, while it’s also travel-friendly being a quick-drying fabric.
There are multiple pocket options – with the rear and cargo pockets offering velcro closing tabs. The cuffs around the ankles also have velcro tabs for extra comfort.
- Versatile and lightweight.
- Relaxed fit.
- Excellent price.
- No zippered pockets.
5.11 Men’s Taclite Pro Tactical Pants
Review: Made from a combination of 5% polyester and 35% cotton, these pants incorporate a rip-stop fabric to ensure they’re tough and durable on the trails.
They’re also treated with a Teflon finish to improve the weatherproofing, while having double-layered knees and a stretch waist for both added durability and comfort.
The pants offer a large amount of storage space with eight pockets, including one for an external knife. Handy for survival equipment out in the wilds.
- Loads of features.
- Durable construction.
- Great pocket options.
- Might be on the baggy side if you prefer a more defined fit.
The North Face Men’s Straight Paramount 3.0 Pants
Review: It wasn’t going to take long before The North Face showed their…face. These Paramount 3.0 pants are a step-up from the previous version.
Made with a fusion of elastane, nylon and polyester, they’re a well-designed but simple convertible hiking pant that will be ideal for lighter hikes or when you don’t have much gear to carry.
- Simple, stylish design.
- Trusted name in hiking gear.
- Poor storage/pocket options.
Mountain Hardwear Men’s Hardwear AP Pants
Review: Made from multiple fabrics – elastane, cotton, nylon and canvas, these regular-fit pants are relaxed without feeling too baggy.
The stretch-canvas helps with breathability and keeps your skin feeling comfortable, while the two hip pockets and two rear pockets provide your storage options.
The pant cuffs can be rolled up and secured – revealing a hidden reflective strip that will help you stay visible in low light.
- Excellent stretch.
- Nice choice of colors.
- No cargo pockets.
- A bit bland for my tastes.
Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants
Review: These ultralight Ferrosi pants have plenty to offer in terms of mobility and comfort.
Designed for a variety of outdoor activities, the Ferrossi’s legs can be rolled up to help air you out when you’ve exerted yourself.
The quick-drying material is form-fitting, and pockets are small enough to ensure the pants don’t run too bulky.
This is one of the must-haves if you’re into ultralight or casual hiking and surely one of the best backpacking pants out there.
- Form-fitting – provides good mobility.
- One of the lightest hiking pants you can find.
- Great weather resistance.
- Small pockets.
- Lightweight fabric not as rugged or durable as other products.
Columbia Men’s Royce Peak Sun Pants
Review: A second entry for Columbia with these 100% nylon hiking pants with zipper closure and a classic fit.
They also feature Columbia’s unique Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection, while affording Omni-Shield technology for weatherproofing and durability.
It doesn’t get as dirty as other pants – resisting the intake of liquids while drying quickly and ensuring you keep as clean as possible.
- Name to trust.
- Quality construction.
- Relaxed, classic fit.
- No cargo pockets.
prAna Men’s Stretch Zion Pants
Review: Prana Stretch Zion pants are soft and slightly stretchy, ensuring a good fit.
They also leave enough room inside for thicker underwear, which is a great help when hiking during cold weather.
A versatile hiking pant, whether you’re trekking on a rainy day or during the warm season, they will keep you comfortable.
They have an adjustable waist strap, single cargo pocket and roll-up leg snaps all in a travel-friendly, quick-drying, water-repellant package.
- Incredibly versatile.
- Comfortable even during cold weather.
- Suitable for casual use.
- Small crotch zipper.
Outdoor Research Men’s Voodoo Pants
Review: Made from 88% nylon and 12% elastane, Outdoor Research’s Voodoo pant not only have a cool sounding name – but they’re also water resistant, wind-resistant, breathable and stretchy.
The quick-drying, soft-shell fabric is travel-friendly and kind to your skin if you do get caught in a downpour.
Features include front jean-style pockets, one zip back pocket, one jeans-style back pocket, a zip cargo pocket, and articulated knees for ease of movement.
One of the best men’s hiking pants that you can buy.
- Stylish, versatile design.
- Quality construction.
- Excellent wicking tech.
- While being super-lightweight – they’re not as durable as other hiking pants.
Arc’teryx Men’s Gamma LT Pants
Review: Arcteryx Gamma LT Pants are easily the best hiking pants in terms of water resistance, so it’s no surprise they also feature in the best rain pants for hiking review. Check that out if you’re looking for something more weatherproof.
The Gamma LT Pants aren’t just resistant against the weather; top-notch stitching and excellent overall construction quality mean these are also one of the most durable hiking pants you can find – particularly impressive considering the material is relatively thin and lightweight.
- Excellent weatherproofing.
- Not as versatile as convertibles.
Fjallraven – Men’s Keb Trousers Long
Review: Swedish company Fjallraven have made these tough, durable hiking pants from their own patented G-1000 material, which has then been coated with a wax finish for added protection against whatever the outdoors can throw at you.
Deep, versatile pocket options hold your stuff even when sitting down – ensuring nothing is going to ride up and fall out.
There’s a zippered opening from the knee to the hip to increase ventilation, while the design through to the features is just a generally well-thought-out package.
Top drawer from Fjallraven.
- Quailty construction.
- Practical design.
- Loads of features.
- Excellent weatherproofing and durability.
Jack Wolfskin Men’s North Pants
Review: German company Jack Wolfskin produce some top quality outdoor gear and apparel, so naturally it was only fair they should find one of their products in this review.
I’m a big fan of these pants, made from organic cotton and polyester, they’re quick-drying while being wind and water-resistant, tough and durable.
Six practical, deep pockets feature – thoughtfully located where you can get the best use from them. Up there with the best hiking pants for me out of any in this review.
- Comfortable, smart design.
- Tough and durable.
- Great pockets.
- Good price.
- A zippered pocket would have been nice.
Helly Hansen Men’s Vanir Hybrid Hiking Pants
Review: Helly Hansen is another top quality outdoor gear manufacturer, based out of Norway and producing some of the best weatherproof apparel on the market.
This softshell hiking pant is made from a variety of materials that create a durable, stretchy and water-resistant product – suitable for multiple outdoor activities.
These pants are excellent for improving mobility while being tough enough for you to really put them through their paces on the trails.
- Extremely versatile.
- Durable build.
- Name to trust.
- Excellent weatherproofing.
- On the expensive side.
Magcomsen Men’s Outdoor Lightweight Hiking Pants
Review: Made from 95% polyester and 5% spandex, these durable, stretchable hiking pants are suitable for three-season use.
They feature an elasticated waist, reinforced knees with ripstop material, four reinforced, zipper pockets, and a belt included.
They’re excellent at wicking away moisture from the skin and versatile enough for any outdoor pursuit. Not a bad price to boot.
- Tough, durable design.
- Excellent features and pockets.
- Belt included.
- Sizing can be an issue – make sure to check thoroughly before ordering.
Nonwe Men’s Outdoor Quick Dry Hiking Pants
Review: With a partial elasticated waist to improve fit and made from 88% nylon and 12% spandex, these Nonwe men’s hiking pants are super comfortable.
They’re weather-resistant, breathable and quick-drying to ensure they are travel-friendly.
With zipper pockets at the side and back, button closure and zipper fly, and a drawstring hem to turn them into shorts just below the knee – they’re an affordable and versatile hiking pant that you can rely on.
- Good features.
- Drawstring hem.
- Multiple uses.
- Cargo pocket is a little small.
Asfixiado Men’s Convertible Hiking Pants
Review: Made from easy-care, 100% nylon, these hiking pants are a fast-drying, convertible design that features Taslon fabric for maximum protection from UV rays and Omni-Wick technology that wicks moisture away to keep you cool and dry.
It’s a classic fit, with elasticated waist and multiple pocket options – including velcro and zippered cargo compartments. They even come with a belt included.
- Versatile use.
- Outstanding price.
- Belt included.
- A little noisy while walking.
What Should You Look for When Buying Hiking Pants?
Not all hiking pants are made equal.
There is no “absolute best” pair of hiking pants, because there are so many variables and it greatly depends on how often you hike, the weather, and your own, personal preferences.
But bear the following factors in mind when choosing the best hiking pants of 2021 – and you’ll surely get the right pair for you.
It doesn’t matter what kind of hiking you prefer: you will end up scraping and scratching your pants on different surfaces at some point.
Whether it’s trying to climb up steep slopes or maybe an occasional trip while on a trail, you’ll need hiking pants that will keep damage to a minimum.
One of the most important things you should consider when purchasing hiking pants is long-term durability.
Something that will be able to last for months or even years with regular use is always a solid choice.
They’ll all give out someday and eventually need replacing – even the very best of the best. But you’ll save yourself money in the long run if you get a pair that’ll take a beating right off the bat.
What’s the point of choosing the best pair of hiking pants if they don’t fit you?
That may seem like an obvious consideration, but hiking pants are different from the pants you wear every day.
What exactly is a good fit for hiking pants?
If your hiking pants are too tight, they can restrict your blood circulation and general movement throughout the hike. This isn’t a very comfortable experience.
On the other hand, owning a pair that’s too loose and you’ll be equally as miserable while simultaneously increasing the chances of tripping over yourself or getting snagged on a part of the scenery.
Experts recommend hiking pants that are slightly form-fitting but don’t “hug” your legs too tightly.
Some pants are stretchy or gusseted in key areas (such as the groin or the knees) to allow better movement. Keep an eye out for pants with these features.
You also have to pay attention to the sizing of each pant. Different outdoor clothing brands have different sizing methods.
When choosing certain brands, you may have to pick a size that’s a little over your actual measurements to give yourself a bit of a size allowance.
Refer to customer feedback about the sizing of the pants so you minimize the risk of running too small or too large.
You can’t wear pants to go hiking if they’re going to absorb too much water.
Leave those denim jeans at home.
The best hiking pants won’t keep you from sweating, but they will prevent the moisture from clinging to your skin and making you feel really uncomfortable.
This can also help minimize odors since your sweat won’t be trapped in your pants for a long time.
Another side benefit of getting moisture-wicking pants is that it will improve your movement even when it’s hot or raining.
It might not be immediately apparent, but you’ll soon notice the effort hiking in drenched clothing carrying unnecessary moisture weight.
When you’re out there on the trail, having versatile gear and apparel is a good idea as you never know what Mother Nature (or life in general) is going to throw at you.
This rule also applies to hiking pants – if you’re feeling too warm, you may want to change to short pants, but carrying extra clothing means you’re carrying a heavier backpack.
Convertible hiking pants feature zippers just above or below the knees which can be opened to help air you out in warm, stuffy weather.
They can even be removed completely to turn your garment into summer shorts.
This is also a great feature if you need to clean your filthy lower legs up should the occasion arise.
Rollup pants are also an option. Instead of having removable sections, the legs can be rolled up and secured for a similar effect.
While they’re not as versatile as fully convertible pants, they’re certainly better than not having the option at all.
Anyone who’s read my ramblings on hiking pants before will know how much I love pockets.
I think good pockets in useful positions are an essential part of a hiking or travel pant – especially if they’re secured with good zippers or velcro.
They’re ideal for storing important documents, maps or other useful equipment when you’re out and about – either hiking the trails or exploring a new city on foot.
And if you’re doing the latter, you might want to consider checking out jackets and pants with hidden pockets – just for some extra security and peace of mind.
Either way – pockets in hiking pants – good. Limited or no pockets in hiking pants – bad.
The price you pay for decent hiking pants will vary immensely.
Unfortunately, this is usually down to the branding. The better the brand – the more expensive the hiking pant.
And while I always say buy the best you can afford – some cheaper brands can be every bit as good if you want to save yourself some coin.
Remember what I said before – consider how much use you’re going to get out of the product and invest accordingly.
A $250 pair of hiking pants to walk the dog in the park is a bit excessive.
Do You Need Hiking Pants?
No, you don’t.
You’re more than welcome to wear whatever you like when you’re out walking the trails – and I’ve seen everything from high heels to tuxedos out there.
However, I wouldn’t advise that.
Investing in a decent pair of hiking pants will make your outdoor experience that much more pleasurable.
They’ll keep you warm (or cool) and dry, sheltered from a sudden wind and protected from bumps and scrapes along the way.
And with multiple pockets, you can carry any important documents, equipment or gear that you might need to hand.
You don’t NEED hiking pants.
But it’s a very, very good idea to have them.
What Kind of Pants Should I Wear Hiking?
Choose a pair that obviously fits comfortably. You need something that won’t restrict your movement in any way.
You should go for hiking pants that are of lightweight but durable construction. Free to move and travel with ease, while resisting damage, rips, and tears that can often occur during outdoor activities.
Weatherproofing is also important – look for products that are going to stand up to the elements – at the very least for a short time if you get caught in a sudden storm.
And don’t forget about wicking. Breathable pants that take moisture away from your skin are essential if you want to minimize chafing, stinking the place to high heaven and jock itch.
If I see you out there in denim you’ll be in big trouble.
How Long Should Hiking Pants Be?
How long is your leg?
Find that out – and then you’ll have an idea how long hiking pants should be.
Just like normal pants – they should come down to just on or above your ankle – depending on what you find comfortable.
And they need to be able to fit easily over whatever boots or footwear you’re wearing – if you’re wearing a high top that comes up over your ankle.
Measure your inside leg (or get someone to do it for you) and go from there.
And always make sure you double-check measurements before ordering online. It’s not the same as being able to try the garment in the store fitting rooms.
Are Cargo Pants Good for Hiking?
So long as they are lightweight, breathable and weather-resistant, I really don’t see why you can’t use cargo pants for hiking.
But make sure you take those three factors into consideration – many cargo pants can be heavy-duty, and while ideal for work or tougher jobs and situations, they are simply too durable and too weighty for distance hiking.
They have the bonus of being a packet with pockets.
I like pockets.
What Makes Nylon a Good Material for Hiking Pants?
Nylon is a very effective material for hiking.
As you can probably tell, many of the hiking pants in my review will contain a large percentage of nylon – or at least it is included in a blend of other fabrics.
It has several key advantages that make it the material of choice for many manufacturers.
It is also environmentally friendly – as it can be reused and recycled easily.
All of those factors make nylon an ideal material for hiking pants.
Are Cotton Pants Good for Hiking?
As previously mentioned, hiking pants should be highly adept at drying quickly, offering good temperature regulation, excellent wicking properties, be lightweight and have the ability to minimize odors.
Cotton does none of these things.
While it is highly breathable, soft and comfortable on the skin, when it comes to hiking, it’s pretty much useless and should, therefore, be avoided if possible.
Sorry cotton – you’re great at many things, but you suck at this.
What Sort of Footwear Should I Use With My Hiking Pants?
Good hiking pants will be designed to work in tandem with your hiking boots.
Aside from that, the type and style of footwear you don with your hiking pants is really up to you.
But I would advise that you check out the best hiking boots for men and take your pick from some outstanding hiking gear.
So long as you’re comfortable and practical – you can wear whatever you please.
But it’s always nice to look really cool on the trails, too…!
There we have it – your definitive guide to the best hiking pants around.
Of course, this review is not exhaustive, and I would like to invite you to let me know your favorite pair of hiking pants – or favorite brand – in the comments below.
Maybe there’s something I missed off that you would like to draw my attention to for future articles?
Don’t be a stranger, but in the meantime – happy hiking!
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