Hiking pants get a bad rap. In the age of ultralight everything, running shorts have become the go-to bottoms for all manner of outdoor adventure. But even though shorts are admittedly awesome, hiking pants offer their own distinct advantages. So, to celebrate the rebirth of the trail pant, we’ve compiled a list of the best hiking pants men can own.

Our choice for 2023’s best men’s hiking pants goes to the icebreaker Hike Pants for their impressive mix of durability, comfort, and weight. 

Best Hiking Pants for Men Reviewed

Best Overall Hiking Pants for Men

Our favourite pair of hiking pants for men in 2023 are the icebreaker Hike Pants. Durable, lightweight, and water-repellant, they're a great option for every type of hiker. Whether you’re going on a weekend tramp through the woods or conquering a long trail, the soft and sustainable fabrics will keep you comfortable from start to finish.

The merino wool-cotton-canvas blend construction is silky soft against your skin, abrasion-resistant, and odour-resistant. Meanwhile, the gusseted crotch and articulated knees make these pants a great choice for mobility. Plus, their minimalist and streamlined design allow you to dress them up for off-trail wear, too.

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  • Durable
  • Soft
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent design


  • Price
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Best Runner-Up

Our runner-up is the Marmot Arch Rock Pant. These technical pants are designed with comfort and versatility in mind. Made of PFC-free stretch fabric, they're also highly abrasion-resistant. 

They're made of a stretchy nylon material that repels water and protects against UV rays with a UPF 50 rating. Meanwhile, the built-in adjustable belt lets you optimise your fit. It’s also worth noting that, for such high-quality hiking pants, they’re impressively affordable.

You can also pick up the Arch Rocks as convertible pants.

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  • Comfortable
  • Technical
  • Versatile


  • Limited Colourway
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Best Value Hiking Pants

The Silver Ridge series by Columbia is considered a hiking wardrobe staple. So it may come as a pleasant surprise to discover that the Columbia Silver Ridge Utility Pants are one of the most affordable, high-quality hiking pants on the market.

Lightweight, flexible, and sweat-wicking, these pants will have your back in a wide array of situations. The UPF 50 sun protection, Omni-Wick technology, integrated belt, and extra pockets are all welcome details.

Also available in a convertible pants model.

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  • Price
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Many pockets


  • Non-adjustable cuffs
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Best Waterproof Hiking Pants

Looking for the best waterproof hiking pants for men? Look no further than the Marmot PreCip Eco Pant. Built with 100% recycled nylon ripstop, the Eco Pant is both lightweight and abrasion-resistant. In terms of waterproofing, the microporous coating sheds water like a champ. Meanwhile, zippered pockets and taped seams go the extra mile to lock out moisture.

Best of all, they’re slip-ons, making them easy to pull on in a sudden downpour. Once the storm has passed, the zipper and snap ankles allow you to remove them hassle-free.

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  • Waterproof
  • Slip-on
  • Snap + zip ankles


  • Not the most breathable
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Best Lightweight

While hiking can be strenuous, there’s no reason to feel bogged down by your gear with every step. For guys who want to feel as light as a feather on the trail, check out The North Face Paramount Pro Pant. At just 10.4 oz, these ultralight wind pants offer hikers a relaxed fit and water-repellent DWR finish.

Its moisture-wicking, ultrasoft EcoActive fabrics will keep you dry and comfortable all day long—no matter the adventure. Plus, with a UPF 40 rating, you’ll be protected from harmful UV rays.

Also comes in a convertible pants option.

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  • Ultralight
  • Sustainable
  • Anti-odour treatment


  • Baggy
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Best Convertible

Though often the butt of fashion jokes, convertible hiking pants are actually well-respected among hikers. Being able to quickly change from pants to shorts (and back again) without adding much extra weight makes them the most versatile hiking bottoms in town.

The Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants are high-quality convertible hiking pants. At just 12 oz, the nylon-spandex blend is both flexible and quick-drying. Meanwhile, a DWR coating adds a welcome water-resistant finish. The gusseted crotch and articulated knee offer hikers unimpeded mobility. As an added bonus, contrasting knee-zips make it easy to match the correct top to bottom.

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  • Flexible
  • Quick-drying
  • Water-resistant


  • Not for larger thighs
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Best for Cold Weather Hiking

For traversing alpine rock and snow, the Patagonia Altvia Alpine Pants are unbeatable. These trekking pants will keep you warm and dry across a range of winter conditions, while the abrasion resistant fabrics stand up to scraps and tears.

The lightweight polyester-stretch fabric allows for unrestricted movement, as does the gusseted crotch. Three secured, zippered pockets—two on the front, one on the back—offer ample storage space. While not entirely waterproof in heavy rains, they’re water-resistant enough to withstand your average snowfall with the PFC-free DWR finish.

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  • Winter-ready
  • Breathable
  • Warm


  • Too thick for summer
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Best for Hot Weather Hiking

When you think of hot weather hiking attire, you probably picture shorts. Shorts are the best way to keep cool as the mercury rises, but we often fail to account for other nuisances like sunburns, scrapes, and bugs. That’s why a breathable, lightweight pant is often the preferred choice for summer hikes.

The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are made with hot days in mind. Constructed with 14% spandex and 86% nylon, these bluesign approved pants are both lightweight and unrestrictive. Meanwhile, the 90D ripstop weave is abrasion-resistant, sheds water, and cuts wind. A UPF 50+ rating protects against harmful UV rays.

Also available as convertible pants.

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  • Breathable
  • Stretchy
  • Sun-protection


  • Not for cold weather
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Other Favourites

Designed for rock climbing and bouldering, the Black Diamond Notion Pants are an excellent hiking companion, too. Between the relaxed fit and stretch cotton twill construction, these hiking pants are as comfortable and they are breathable. The reinforced knee also stands up to falls and tears.

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The Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants are a no-frills hiking pant you can depend on. Built with recycled, four-way stretch polyester/spandex and finished with a water-repellent DWR-coating, these are an excellent choice for all-around use. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing all fabrics are bluesign approved.

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BUYING GUIDE: What to Look for When Buying Men’s Hiking Pants 

1. Types of Hiking Pants 

  • Standard Hiking Pants

Standard hiking pants are simply traditional pants made with specialised fabrics and features. They’re known for being lightweight yet durable, comfortable yet technical

Compared to shorts, pants are great for protecting your legs from blood-sucking bugs (such as Lyme disease-carrying ticks and pesky mosquitoes). They also defend against scrapes and bruises, plus wind and rain. 

  • Convertible Hiking Pants

Convertible pants have been the butt of many jokes, but there’s plenty of good reasons why they persist on the trail. For one, they’re a more versatile option for hikers who can’t decide between shorts and pants. Second, they’re adaptive to a wide variety of conditions without adding extra ounces to your pack. They are, however, heavier on average than standard hiking pants due to their zipper connections.

2. Sizing and Fit

There are many variations when it comes to size and fit. Below, we discuss the four most common genres of fit.

  • Standard Fit

Standard-cut pants (also known as regular fit) sit just below the waist and have a loose tapper from top to bottom. While this type of fit is common among hiking pants in general, it’s particularly common among convertible pants.

  • Relaxed Fit

Relaxed Fit pants are similar in structure to Standard Fit, but slightly wider throughout the leg. Wind pants and rain pants are commonly designed with this type of fit, allowing wearers to layer them over a pair of shorts or lightweight hiking pants without feeling restrictive.

  • Athletic Fit

Designed with big legs in mind, the Athletic Fit is roomier in the thighs and seat than other fit types. Athletic Fit can be slim or standard-cut, which refers to whether the pant tapers or not. 

  • Slim Fit

For lean legs, Slim Fit offers a comfortable alternative to its shapeless cousins. Slim Fit is tighter than Standard and Relaxed and usually tapers at the ankle. Hiking pants that double as everyday pants are often designed to fit slim to provide a more flattering look off the trail.

3. Comfort and Mobility

Comfort is king when it comes to hiking pants. Many high-quality pairs feature a combination of nylon or polyester, spandex, and ripstop. Nylon and polyester are typically lightweight and breathable, while spandex is a stretch fabric that offers wearers an unrestricted range of motion. Finally, ripstop grids increase durability by adding a layer of abrasion-resistance.

Other features, like a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, improve comfort and flexibility. A gusseted crotch is simply a triangular piece of fabric interposed between the crotch seams to provide a greater range of movement and decrease rubbing friction. 

4. Breathability

Breathable fabrics are standard when it comes to hiking pants. Summer hiking pants are more breathable than winter hiking pants. This is largely because the latter require greater water-resistance, which is inversely correlated with breathability. Additionally, most hiking pants built for winter use additional layers of insulating fabrics.

5. Weather Protection

If you often find yourself trekking through wet and windy climates, prioritise weather protection when shopping for hiking pants. Many models that boast water-resistance feature a DWR finish, which is a thin, specially-formulated coating applied to the outer surface of a garment to prevent water penetration. 

You may also notice that some pairs of pants contain GORE-TEX. Unlike DWR, GORE-TEX is not a finish but an actual material used in the composition of the garment. GORE-TEX is waterproof but naturally reduces breathability to some degree. 

6. Durability

When it comes to durability, the heavier the fabric weight, the more durable the material. Of course, who wants to wear thick denim on the trail? That’s where ripstop comes in. Ripstop weaves sit atop the more fragile base fabric to defend against tears and abrasions.

7. Style and Versatility

Style is a matter of personal taste. Arc’teryx makes extremely stylish hiking pants that can easily double as urban chinos.

8. Other Features

  • Pockets

The ideal number of pockets largely depends on your style of hiking. If you’re doing a short day hike and don’t want to carry a backpack, having extra pockets is a great way to take along the things you need (e.g., rain shell, water bladder, map). 

If you’ve got a backpack—especially one with hip belt pockets—you won’t need as many pockets. Fewer pockets means lighter pants and faster dry time when wet. As a rule of thumb, zipper pockets offer more protection from the elements and prevent accidental losses. 

  • Integrated Waist Cinch or Belt

For greater customizability, a waist cinch or belt is a must-have feature. This way, your pants will retain their utility whether you lose or gain weight—an especially pertinent fact for thru-hikers who drop serious pounds on the trail.

  • Rollable cuffs

Ankle cuffs that feature either zips, snaps, or a cinchable drawstring are incredibly useful. If you need to quickly dump heat on a scorching day, simply undo them. Conversely, if you’re cold or trudging through tick-infested grasslands, cinch ‘em tight!


Q: Are hiking pants worth it? Why are some pairs so expensive?

A: You don’t need hiking pants to hike. Just like you don’t need running shoes to run. But it’s easy to see why it’s preferable to have the right gear.

Running in the wrong shoes can lead to injuries and discomfort. Likewise, hiking in the wrong pants can inhibit movement and lead to painful friction rashes on your inner thighs. 

Hiking pants are explicitly designed to wick sweat, maintain core body temperature, and allow for unrestricted movement. The reason hiking pants are expensive is because they're built with specialised, technical fabrics that balance durability, breathability, flexibility, weather-resistance, and comfort.

Q: Are tactical pants good for hiking?

A: For most hikers, tactical pants are overkill. The thicker fabric is great for crawling through the brush and the extra pockets are perfect for storing your map, compass, and other gear. But an average hike, on a marked trail, requires none of that. For typical conditions, lightweight and comfortable is the way to go. 

Q: Should hiking pants be loose?

A: Ideally, hiking pants should strike a balance between loose and tight. You want them to be loose enough so as not to restrict movement, but tight enough that they won’t get snagged on stones and branches. To test them out, do some yoga-esque stretches while wearing them, or go for a quick jog.


Even if you prefer hiking in shorts, it doesn’t hurt to keep a good pair of hiking pants on stand-by. Because even if they spend most of their time in the bottom of your backpack, you’ll be happy to have them when you encounter wet, windy, rocky, or buggy conditions.

Guys—if you’re looking for the best hiking pants, something that offers all-around versatility, comfort, and durability, check out the icebreaker Hike Pants!

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