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Best Hiking & Climbing Pants – 2017 Selections From A Long Time Hiker

If you are an avid hiker or climber or you have just started to take up the hobby, it’s important to make sure that you have a great pair of pants you can wear each time you head out to hike or climb. With hiking pants, you’ll be better protected from the conditions that you expose yourself to and you’ll be safer all around.

When it comes to picking out the right pair of pants, it can be tough to find the perfect pair and that’s where this review post comes in. You’ll find out exactly what you need to look for in a pair of hiking pants as well as some recommended products for you to consider so you can find the best hiking pant or best climbing pant your needs.

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Considerations for Best Hiking & Climbing Pants

Comfort and Mobility

It should come as no surprise that one of the more important considerations when it comes to just about any type of clothing is going to be how comfortable is. The more comfortable it is, the less distraction you are going to have. If your pants aren’t comfortable, no other feature discussed below is going to matter.

Comfort and mobility go hand-in-hand because if the pants are comfortable, you need to make sure that you can move and bend like you would when it comes to hiking or climbing. Most of the pants you are going to find are made of nylon but a lot have a small amount of either spandex or elastane that helps them to stretch and move without any problems.

Versatility

Odds are good that no two hikes are going to be the same so you want to make sure that you are prepared for each and every one. For example, you may bring a backpack with you on some hikes while you only bring what you can fit on your person for other trips.

Because of this, you want to make sure that your pants will work for a wide variety of different hikes, including the different conditions and temperatures that you’re going to find. In a perfect world, your pair of pants will protect you from a wide range of conditions on the same hike.

The most versatile pants should protect you from the sun and heat, rain, wind, cold, or any brush that might be on the side of the trail.

Breathability

Some of the pants that you are going to find will give you the option to convert to shorts if the weather gets too warm but not all of them will be able to do it. If the pants are not able to be converted or you don’t want to convert them because you want the protection that pants offer, then you should really consider the breathability of the pants you buy.

The more breathable the material, the better chance you have of staying cool in warm temperatures. If your pants are not breathable, then you are going to be much hotter on warm days.

Durability

When it comes to hiking pants, the durability is going to be important because you don’t want to spend all that money on pants only to find that they give out and stop doing their jobs in just a few months. As a quick rule of thumb, you’re going to find that the more lightweight the material feels, the easier it is going to get holes in it.

If you are going to be really hard on your pants, then you should consider buying thicker pants that are more durable. Additionally, you can pay attention to the warranty provided with the pants to see if it protects against wear and tear.

Weather Resistance

Whether you’re going for a day trip of a multiple-day backpacking hike, there are good chances that you are going to encounter rain at some point. Nobody wants to be soaked during their hike and you don’t want to carry around a ton of extra clothes because it will add weight to what you carry.

This is why weather resistance is so important because it is going to help keep you as dry as you can without adding a ton of extra layers. Most of the pants that you will find has a Durable Water Resistant coating that will help to shed the water when it hits the pants so that it doesn’t get absorbed in the fabric.

Added Features

When push comes to shove, the different features that each pair of pants offers can be the deciding factor when it comes to which pair of pants you want to buy. The features range in a lot of different ways and each one has unique features that might not be on every pair of pants you find.

These type of features can include the pockets they have and where they are located, zipper systems that allow them to convert into shorts, roll up bottoms, ventilation holes, waist tightening system and plenty of other features. In most cases, you’re probably going to find that these extra features are going to decide which pants you are going to buy.

Best Hiking & Climbing Pants in 2017 - Reviews

1. Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

While The North Face was one of the most popular brands when it comes to the pants that you can buy for hiking, columbia is right up there as being one of the next most popular brands that you are going to find.

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant comes in a lot of different sizes and you’re even going to be able to choose from 8 different colors, making it even easier to get the kind of colors you want.

These pants are 100% nylon and they have a straight-leg convertible pant along with side cargo pockets, rear flap pockets and a belted waist so that you get the fit you want and you can store all of the different things you need for your trip. As previously mentioned, the legs zip-off to convert the pants into shorts that have a 10” inseam.

Additionally, two of the best technologies that surround these pants are exclusive to Columbia and really make these pants stand out among the rest. The Omni-Wick technology helps to advance evaporation and keep you dry and cool. Secondly, the Omni-Shade offers UPF 50 sun protection so that you are always protected from the sun.

Pros:

  • 100% nylon
  • Convertible pants with cargo pockets
  • Omni-Wick evaporation technology
  • Omni-Shade sun protection

Cons:

  • Size doesn’t run accurately

2. 5.11 Men's Tactical 74273 TacLite Pro Pant

5.11 Men's Tactical 74273 TacLite Pro Pant

5.11 Men's Tactical 74273 TacLite Pro is one of the few pairs of pants that you are going to find on this particular list that is not specifically designed to be a hiking or climbing pair of pants.

However, these pants are going to be one of the better choices despite being designed more for tactical use than for hiking or climbing. These contain a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton ripstop fabric that is both lightweight and durable.

The teflon fabric in these pants has been treated to protect against stains and spills and soil so that at all times, your pants are going to look their best like you just put them on. The pants as a whole provide you with incredible comfort and performance in some of the harshest conditions that you might face.

Additionally, there are plenty of operational features that are included to help make your experience with these pants even better. For example, you’re going to extra pockets included that are large and can fit plenty of stuff in them.

You’ll also enjoy the YKK zipper pulls and the hip mounted D-ring that can hold your ID/ or keys. With triple-stitch reinforcement and bartacking at all seams, you’re going to get a strong and affordable pair of pants.

Pros:

  • 65% polyester and 35% cotton
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Teflon fabric treatment
  • Extra large pockets
  • Perfect for running, kneeling, crawling or anything else

Cons:

  • Shorter than advertised length
  • Don’t fit as nicely as they should
  • Colors are off

3. Outdoor Research Men's Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research Men's Ferrosi Pants

If you’re looking for one of the more reasonably priced pair of hiking pants that is still going to do a great job at keeping you protected and comfortable at all times, then Outdoor Research Men's Ferrosi Pants is going to be the pair of pants you want to buy.

You’re going to have your choice of four different colors and the fabric blend is going to give you maximum comfort as well.

You’ll have a zipper pocket on the thigh for storing different things and the material is a nylon and spandex blend that is stretchable and is both wind-resistant and abrasion resistant so that the pants will last you a long time without getting worn out. You also will get both a button and a zipper fly so that you have the option of using either or both at all times.

There is no lack of pockets when it comes to this pair of pants because in addition to the zippered pocket on the thigh, you’re going to get two different front slash pockets as well as two zipper back pockets.

Combined together, you’re getting five pockets to store everything you might need. Last but not least, the low profile waistband will provide you with a smooth and comfortable fit at all times.

Pros:

  • Five different pockets
  • Button and zipper fly
  • Low profile waist band
  • Abrasion and wind-resistant fabric
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Pockets could be larger
  • Could provide a better fit

4. The North Face Men's Paramount Peak Ii Pant

The North Face Men's Paramount Peak Ii Convertible Pant

When it comes to all things outdoors, you’re going to have a hard time finding any company that has as good of a reputation as The North Face does. This sentiment rings true especially when it comes to this particular pair of pants as well.

With The North Face Men's Paramount Peak Ii Convertible Pant, you’re going to have the option of choosing between five different colors so that you can get the perfect look for you at all times.

This product includes a belt closure system that ensures you’re going to get a great fit at all times and you won’t have to worry about them falling down on you. These pants are machine washable and the details list them at 3” high and 16” wide. When it comes to convertible pants, these are one of the best-selling pairs and they have recently been updated to include larger pockets and better durability.

The nylon material of these pants is going to be durable, midweight and abrasion-resistant so that you can go through an entire week's worth of hikes without the pants giving out on you.

The buckled belt included with your purchase is a low-profile belt and the waistband is elastic to give you maximum comfort when you wear these pants.

Pros:

  • Belt closure system
  • Machine washable
  • Large pockets
  • Extremely durable and comfortable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t run as long in length as expected
  • Fabric is rough and could be more

5. Makino Men's Convertible Hiking Pants

Makino Men's Convertible Hiking Pants

Depending on the size of the pants that you are going to buy, you might find that Makino Men's Convertible Hiking Pants are going to be one of the more fairly priced pair of pants on the review post.

It offers a lot of different sizes but the color choices are limited and only available in two different colors. So if you’re looking for a variety of colors, this is not the pair of pants you want to go with.

These ssre straight-leg convertible pants with an elastic waist to provide you with maximum comfort. In terms of the pockets, you’ll find that you get one back security pocket along with two drop-in gadget pockets. These pockets help make it easy for you to carry everything you need.

The Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection helps to make sure that you are not bothered by the sun during your hike or climb. The material of these pants is breathable, quick drying and incredibly lightweight so that you feel comfortable in the pants at all times.

Pros:

  • 93% polyester and 7% spandex
  • Straight-leg convertible pants
  • Plenty of pockets to hold your gear
  • Breathable and quick dry, lightweight material
  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection

Cons:

  • Sizing is a little off
  • Cheap material used in production

6. prAna Stretch Zion 32" Inseam

prAna Stretch Zion 32 Inseam

Since you might not go on a hike first thing in the morning and you might choose to stop somewhere or do something right before you go on your hike, it can be important to have a pair of pants that looks just like any other pair of pants as opposed to looking like hiking pants.

Despite the everyday style, you’re going to find that it has all of the performance ability that you need for it to last weeks in the wilderness and on your hiked.

The fabric is intentionally stretchy you provide you with maximum comfort when you put these pants on and the fabric is also quick drying and resists water so that if you find yourself caught in a rain, you won’t be weighed down by water. Additionally, the pants are both abrasion and wrinkle proof so that you won’t have to worry about the durability of the product itself.

When it comes to some of the features that you are going to find with this pair of pants, you’ll find that you have roll-up leg snaps so that they can easily convert to shorts.

Additionally, you’re going to get a cinch belt system as well as a ventilated free-range gusset. With all of these features, it makes it the perfect choice for both hiking and climbing.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting and strong material
  • Pants are great for hiking or climbing
  • Comfortable
  • Don’t need a belt to use

Cons:

  • Sizing is incorrect and doesn’t run right
  • Buttons could be better

7. White Sierra Trail 32-Inch Inseam Pant

White Sierra Trail 32-Inch Inseam Convertible Pant

White Sierra Trail 32-Inch Inseam Convertible Pants have a lot of features and specifications that are very similar to the ones that have been reviewed above but these offer even more features than those other ones.

For example, these pants are imported and come with 100% nylon. The UPF sun protection fabric works to reduce your exposure to harmful radiation.

The fabric on these pants is water repellent to keep the water from absorbing into your pants os that you stay dry at all times. Furthermore, the pants are incredibly easy for you to travel with. The pants can easily be converted into shorts by simple zipping off the legs.

Last but not least, the hook and loop secure front and the back pockets top off all of the features offered by these pants.

Pros:

  • Sun protection fabric
  • Water repellent fabric
  • Travel friendly
  • Zip off legs
  • Hook and loop secure front

Cons:

  • Mesh lining on the pockets
  • Fits small and snug

8. prAna Men's Stretch Zion 32" Pants

prAna Men's Stretch Zion Convertible 32 Pants

In terms of finding a pair of pants that is going to keep you prepared and ready to go at all times, then prAna Men's Stretch Zion 32" is going to be the perfect pair of pants for you.

It uses a stretch zion fabric that includes all of the necessary properties such as water resistance, quick drying and resistance to abrasion. No matter what you want to do in these pants, you’ll have the freedom and mobility to accomplish the task you want.

​Additionally, you’re going to enjoy a free-range gusset that will help you breathe despite having total freedom of movement to do what you want.

If you’re going to begin your hike in the morning where it might be a little chilly but you plan on going all day till you are in the heat of the sun, then you need to make sure that you can turn your pants into shorts. With these pants, you can easily adapt to your environment so that you can zip the legs off and turn them into short length.

The quick dry stretch nylon offers a great performance fabric and the all-weather finish makes it perfect to use in any and all environments you’re going to face. When it comes to the actual makeup of the fabric, you’re going to find that is is 97% nylon and 3% spandex and it is coated with a durable weather repellent so that the water falls off of your pants rather than being absorbed into the fabric.

Pros:

  • Quick dry stretch nylon
  • All-weather finish
  • Zip-off legs for shorts
  • Durable water repellent

Cons:

  • Only one option for length
  • Zipper breaks too easily

9. Clothin Mens Winter Pants

Clothin Mens Winter Pants

Once again, Clothin Mens Winter Pant is another great pair of pants for somebody that is looking to save some money when it comes to buying these pants. Despite the very affordable price of these pants, you’re going to love everything that they have to offer.

For example, they come in plenty of different styles and you’ll even be able to choose between three different colors so that you can always find the perfect pair for you.

The material is 100% polyester softshell fabric and it works to provide you with a ton of great features such as windproof, water resistant and anti-abrasion properties. On the inside, the soft and cozy fleece lining helps to keep you warm and comfortable and away from those icy conditions that you may face.

The zippered hand pockets along with the velcro hip and thigh pockets allow you to make it simple for you to keep all of the essentials that you need with you at all times during your hike or climb. In addition, the elastic waistband and reinforced belt loops allow you to get the fit that you want. Lastly, the zip fly with snap closure gives you more utility and convenience with these pants.

Pros:

  • 100% Polyester
  • Soft and cozy fleece lining
  • Plenty of pockets for storing
  • Side elastic waist
  • Reinforced belt loops

Cons:

  • Not waterproof and cannot be used in heavy rain
  • A bit bulky in the front

10. Arc'Teryx 6757 Mens Gamma Lt Pant

Arc'Teryx 6757 Mens Gamma Lt Pant

When it comes to hiking and climbing pants, you’re going to like everything that Arc'Teryx 6757 Mens Gamma Lt Pants have to offer. The material of these is 100% nylon and the fortius 1.0 fabric is both durable, lightweight and has a good stretch to it.

Additionally, you’re going to get a durable water repellent coating so that you don’t have to worry about what is going to happen when you are caught in the rain.

Additionally, you’re going to get a brushed polyester waistband along with a zippered fly and you’re also going to get an adjustable webbing belt so that you can ensure a great fit at all times. To further your comfort, the gusseted crotch and articulated patterning provides you with a full range of motion so that your clothes don’t limit what you do.

You’re also going to get two hand pockets along with a thigh pocket that has a zipper so you will have no problem carrying plenty of belongings with you on your person instead of in a backpack. Last but not least, you get a laminated hem with a static cord adjuster.

Pros:

  • Four different color choices
  • 100% nylon
  • Full range of motion design
  • Durable and lightweight fabric

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive pairs of pants
  • Too small in certain areas

Final Verdict

Now that you have had the chance to read all about the hiking and climbing pants, you should be ready to start looking for the perfect pair for you! Not only do you know exactly what you need to look for when it comes to these pants, but you’re going to have ten different product recommendations to help make sure that you get the right pair of pants!

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About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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