5 Best Hiking Pants For Men

If you’re an avid hiker, hiking pants are a must. Why can’t you just stick with jeans or shorts? Why get specialized hiking pants?

Well, for one thing, jeans and shorts aren’t made for hiking through the outdoors. Jeans are inflexible and uncomfortable.

We’ve all experienced a miserable sweaty-jeans hike. It’s not fun! Shorts may be more breathable, but they don’t protect your legs. Thorns, bugs, and rocks can make your excursion painful if your legs are left unprotected in shorts.

Fortunately there’s a third clothing option for hikers! Hiking pants are both protective and breathable, so you can be both safe and comfortable as you explore the great outdoors.

Before you go grab the first pair of hiking pants you find on the rack, stop and consider a few things. What sort of hiking do you plan to do?

How much do you carry when you hike? What do you find most comfortable? In this article, we’ll consider these factors and more in the search of perfect hiking pants! Read on to find the best pair of hiking pants for you.

 5.11 TaclitePranaExOfficioColumbiaMontane
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UseTrekkingWarm and cool weatherHardcore hikingWarm or hot weatherTough hiking
MaterialPolyester and cottonNylon and spandexNylonNylonTACTEL fabric
Color12 optionsEight optionsThree options16 optionsGray or black
FeaturesTeflon treatmentExtra pocketsUV protectionOmni-wick technologyCordura patches

1. Taclite Pro Pants 5.11

The Taclite Pro Pants happen to be at the top of Google’s top-rated men’s hiking pants list. Everyone seems to love these, and it’s easy to see why!

They are priced extremely well, so you won’t feel bad about grabbing two or three pairs. Wear them on the trail, wear them at home, and wear them on the road.

The 5.11 Taclite Pro tactical pants are comfortable, military-inspired trousers. They’re made of polyester and cotton ripstop fabric, which makes them both breathable and durable. As a plus, the fabric is treated with a Teflon finish to resist wear and tear.

The construction of these pants is also quite durable. The whole thing is triple-stitched for reinforcement and there is also substantial backtacking at major stress points—goodbye, torn seams.

You can depend on the YKK zippers, snaps, and clip loop. There’s also a built-in hip-mounted D-ring.

Like all good pants, these have big pockets. There are two cargo pockets plus a place to stash your cell phone (or magazine, depending on the epicness level of your excursion). There are also two slash pockets in the back, plus a knife pocket. All the hiking essentials fit in your pants! You can’t ask for much more than that.

If you want pants with good aesthetics, the 5.11 Taclite Pro pants are a great choice. These pants come in twelve colors, including a nice camouflage pattern for hunting.

Why buy these pants: The Taclite Pro pants are ideal for long treks with lots of luggage. If you need your clothes to last for a long time, these pants are just what you’re looking for. They carry a lot of stuff, and they are highly durable.

2. Prana Stretch Zion Pants

The Devil may wear Prada, but smart hikers wear Prana. The Prana Stretch Zion Pants are awesome for hot weather and tough hikes. The Zion fabric is a specially-designed textile created specifically for tough, all-purpose living.

The fabric of these pants has a four-way stretch, so you’ll be comfortable whether you’re cramped up in an airplane or stretching your legs on a long climb.

The material is made primarily of nylon, with a bit of spandex for the flexibility factor. As a plus, the Zion fabric is quick-dry and abrasion resistant.

The Prana Zion Stretch Pants are designed for ultimate breathability and comfort. A ventilated inseam gusset keeps the air flowing, and the material is also breathable.

If you need a bit more ventilation, you can take advantage of the snaps on the side of the leg. They allow you to roll up your pants at the seam to bring a bit more airflow to your body.

These pants are ideal for warm and cool weather, but you can also transform them into cold-weather pants with an extra layer below. Layer these pants with long underwear for the perfect stretchy, cold-weather hiking pants!

The fit of these pants isn’t too loose, but it certainly isn’t tight. There’s enough of a fit around the thighs to make them appropriate for town and perhaps even work.

However, they are slightly loose for comfort and flexibility. They also have an adjustable waistband, which allows you to get the best fit for you.

These pants have five pockets. There are two standard pockets in the front. Additionally, these pants have two back pockets, one with a flap and one without.

There is also a single cargo pocket. This will hold your wallet, perhaps, but you’ll have to bring a backpack if you want to carry much with you.

The Prana Zion Stretch Pants come in a variety of colors. Choose from eight neutral tones, ranging from black to tan to gray.

Why to buy these pants: These pants are perfect for being comfortable while doing heavy hiking in hot weather. While you can wear these virtually anywhere, you’ll find them particularly useful for days when you have to climb over large boulders or hike into ravines. They’re flexible and super cool!

3. ExOfficio Men’s Sol Cool Nomad Pants

The ExOfficio Men’s Sol Cool Nomad Pants are a hundred percent nylon. They’re virtually indestructible! The fabric is every hiker’s dream. The material protects your skin from UV rays, keeps away odors and promotes cooler hiking. The company boasts that you’ll be 4°F cooler when wearing these pants! How do they do it?

You might not believe us! The material includes jade dust woven carefully into the fibers. Apparently, gems aren’t just for jewelry! They can also help create the best material for hiking.

These are great pants for muggy weather. They dry quickly, and the fabric wicks away moisture. Plus, with the odor-resistant fabric design, you won’t have to worry about smelling nasty and sweaty after a long trek. Now, if only you could order shirts with this same material.

The back pockets of these pants don’t have zippers, but the leg pockets do. The ExOfficio Men’s Sol Cool Nomad Pants have two security zip leg pockets.  You can stash your ID, Passport, and wallet here for safekeeping.

Not only are these pants idea for hiking, but they look nice enough to go to work in. If your dress code is business casual, you can totally get away with wearing these as dress trousers.

The pants come in two shades of tan and a shade of gray. All three would look awesome with a dress shirt! They’re fitted enough to look nice, although they are still flexible and comfortable.

Why buy these pants: Buy these pants if you’re planning to hike in hot weather. If you sweat a lot, these pants are a must! You can stay dry and comfortable when wearing the Sol Cool Nomad Pants.

These are also great for being outdoors in rainy weather, since they dry fast. They can even stand in as work pants, if you’re not into wearing stiff trousers at the office.

4. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are the ideal pants for all-weather outdoorsmen! Rather than purchasing a pair of pants for cool weather and a pair of khaki shorts for warm weather, you can buy a single pair of Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants and get the best of both worlds.

These are not your typical hiking pants! Oh, no… these pants can actually convert to shorts! This is an awesome design for hiking in climates with drastic weather changes.

If it’s cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon, you can wear these pants to survive both types of weather in comfort. Simply unzip the lower part of the pants, and you can be wearing stylish shorts. Stash the extra material in your pack, and you’re good to go!

Unlike most convertible pants, these attach above the knee. The hem of the shorts falls at the same place as most cargo shorts. Most pants zip below the knee, leaving you with awkward capris. Don’t want to wear capris? We don’t blame you!

In addition to the awesome convertible feature, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants have a lot to love. The pants are made of 100 percent nylon for durability and value.

They are created with Omni-Wick technology, which promotes evaporation to help you stay dry during your trek.

They also have Omni-Shade technology, which provides 50 SPF sun protection for both UVA and UVB rays. You won’t have to worry about the elements in these pants!

The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants have multiple pockets. Obviously, they have pockets on the front and the back.

They also have one side pocket that zips and another with a flap. You can use the former for securing items and the latter for things you’d like to grab quickly along the way.

As a plus, the waistband of these pants is adjustable. They stretch a little bit anyway, but you can easily adjust them further for your perfect fit.

These pants come in many color options! There are 16 different colors. Most of these are your typical neutrals, but there are a few more interesting colors mixed in, as well.

“Pond” has a light green-blue tone, while “Peat Moss” is a nice deep green color. Of course, you can always stick with traditional browns or even go with straight-up black.

Why buy these pants: Buy these pants if you frequently hike in areas with vacillating temperatures, or if you plan to be out for a very long time. It’s always annoying to shed layers while trekking, but unzipping the bottom portion of these pants is fast and easy.

It will also keep you from opting for a middle ground, which usually ends up being a pair of pants that is too light for cold mornings and too heavy for hot afternoons.

Be comfortable all day with these pants! These are just about as techie as you can get while still being minimal and convenient.

5. Montane Terra Pants

These are the ideal pants for the epic hiker. If you’re going to be out and about, tearing up the trails and getting grubby, then these pants are for you.

They’re the most expensive pants on our list, but they’re definitely worth the extra. Besides, they’re still fairly affordable, and the extra wear and tear you can get out of them certainly justifies the cost.

The Mountane Terra pants are made of TACTEL fabric. This material is fast-drying, wind resistant, and water resistant. Forget getting chilled when you’re wearing these pants! They’re warm, and they’re also durable. They come with CORDURA patches on the knees, ankles and seat. You won’t tear these on a rock or wear through them quickly.

They’re created with a unique design to allow room in the knees, yet they’re tailored at the waist. As a plus, the snaps on the hem allow you to fit them closely around your footwear to keep out weather and bugs. These pants are perfect for tough hikes!

Despite being ridiculously durable, these pants are also comfortable and light. They have mesh-lined thigh vents to keep you from getting sweaty or stuffy. The downside to the vents is that they take up the place of pockets, so you only get three pockets total on these pants.

These pants come in two colors: gray and black. The gray is pretty cool, because you can see the bold design of the vents. If that look isn’t quite to your taste, you can stick with the black to match the vents.

Why to buy these pants: These pants are about as breathable as they come! If you wish you could hike naked, then you should get these pants. You can be comfortable and decent at the same time: a win-win.

If you’re planning to get just one pair of pants, this might not be an easy decision! After all, we just showed you five of the best pants on the market, and all of them are great options! Which will you select, and why? Let us know in the comments!


Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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