So, you're thinking of going for a hike but are unsure of the best pants to wear.
You've previously heard that jeans or your everyday pants aren't the best options. This is why you're looking to buy a pair of hiking pants.
However, you don't want to buy the first pair of pants you get your hand on. There are several factors to consider.
Hence, this article. In this article, we'll teach you what to look for when buying hiking pants.
Here's what you'll learn:
But before we get into the considerations for choosing hiking pants, let's first understand why hiking pants are better than your everyday pants.
Benefits of Hiking Pants Over Everyday Pants
One of the first benefits of hiking pants over everyday pants is that hiking pants are made of more durable material than regular clothes.
They are also designed with numerous pockets for storing items you might need while hiking and are usually warmer than jeans or other clothing. They are also more breathable and come at a looser fit to allow ease of movement and temperature control during the warm climate.
And unlike your everyday cotton pants, which take ages to dry, hiking pants dry relatively quickly thanks to the use of nylon and polyester fabric.
Some hiking pants can also be converted to shorts, which is excellent for hiking in the summer.
What to Look for When Buying Hiking Pants
Different people will have diverse preferences about what type of hiking pants they want to wear. However, several factors should be considered before buying any pair of hiking pants. These include:
#1. Where You'll be Hiking
Where you're going to be hiking determines the type of pants that you should wear.
Hiking in a colder climate calls for warmer and thicker pants while hiking in hotter climates calls for lighter, looser-fitting, quick-drying pants. If you plan to hike in the jungle, the first consideration should be tear-resistant pants that offer bug protection.
#2. When You'll be Hiking
Before buying any hiking pants, also consider when you'll be using them.
If you plan to hike during the winter, go for thicker, warmer pants. They should also be breathable and water-resistant. Hiking pants for the winter should also have a zip or button closure to prevent cold air from coming in while you're hiking.
If you're going to hike in the spring, it's best to go for long hiking pants. This is because while it may be warm during the day, mornings and nights are colder. With long pants, your legs won't be exposed. And since spring is characterized by rain, go for water-resistant pants.
If you plan to hike in the summer, go for convertible pants. Hiking pants for the summer should be lightweight and made of quick-drying material for wicking away sweat.
Hiking in the fall will be similar to backpacking in the spring but without the rain. So when hiking in the fall, go for clothes that can protect you from the cold while still keeping you cool during the day.
With an idea of when and where you'll be hiking, you can now start thinking about what material the pants should be made of.
Most modern hiking pants are made from synthetic materials, with the most common being nylon, polyester, and spandex. Hiking pants made of these materials are quick-drying and lightweight.
If you plan to hike in the winter, look for pants with fleece lining to help keep you warm.
When considering materials, look for pants made with easily stretchable material that allows easy movement.
An essential rule of thumb when buying hiking pants is to avoid any pants made of cotton.
Weight should be a significant consideration when planning a hike. The heavier your load, the more you're likely to get tired.
When choosing hiking pants, go for lightweight pants, especially if you plan to hike in a hotter region. Hiking in a mountainous region calls for thicker and heavier-weighted material.
#5. Sizing/ Fit
Hiking with an ill-fitting pair of hiking pants is downright uncomfortable!
Different hiking pants will have different sizes, so it's essential to know your measurements for a perfect fit. Hiking pants should be loose and not tight as they'll offer more comfort while you hike, especially during the warmer months.
Hiking with clothes that don't match up with the right size can lead to blisters and even cause rashes if too many layers trap sweat.
If you're unsure about your measurements, check out our fitting guide here.
Hiking in jeans or other clothing can feel uncomfortable when it starts getting hot due to their tighter fit.
Not all hiking pants are water-resistant.
So, when choosing hiking pants, be sure to make sure they are water-resistant. This is especially important if you plan to hike in the winter or during the rainy season.
Hiking in these seasons without a water-resistant pair of pants can lead to wet pants that chafe and become heavy when they get soaked.
It's crucial to choose hiking pants with breathable fabric, especially if you plan to hike in hot and humid conditions. Hiking in humid climates calls for a pair of lightweight, quick-drying pants that will allow your skin the chance to breathe and sweat.
In hotter climates, look for mesh pockets or zips at the back while you hike so when it gets warmer, excess heat can escape.
Good pockets are essential to any hiking pants. When choosing hiking pants, make sure to check the pockets.
Ensure the pockets are deep and large enough to accommodate your valuables. Go for pants with more than two pockets, as they'll allow you extra storage space and organization while out on the trail.
You should also consider if the pockets are zipped or not. Pockets with zips are more secure than those without.
Hiking pants come in various colors, so it's hard to say which is the best color for you. Hikers will wear different colors depending on their mood and experience.
If you're unsure about what color to buy, consider choosing neutral-colored or dark colored pants as they'll be less likely to show dirt than lighter-colored fabrics.
However, if you plan to hike in the winter, it's advisable to go for darker clothing as they are less likely to lose heat. If hiking in the summer, go for lighter clothes (grey, beige) as these colors help to reflect heat from the sun, keeping you cool.
Hiking pants often come with features like zips, vents and pockets that make the hike more comfortable.
It's essential to consider these features when choosing hiking pants as they'll be able to offer you convenience and comfort on your next adventure!
Other features to consider include an adjustable waist and the ability of the pants to convert to shorts.
Before buying hiking pants, you also need to consider the price of different pants.
An essential rule of thumb is that the more expensive the pants, the better the quality and the more functionality.
However, don't break your bank when buying hiking pants. With $100, you can get a great pair of high-quality hiking pants. Also, make sure to look out for coupons and discounts to allow you to save more.
Recommendations on the Best Hiking Pants
Buying hiking pants may be a daunting process for novice hikers.
When buying hiking pants, it's best to buy two different pairs. One meant for the summer and another for winter. Summer pants should convert to shorts, while winter pants should be heavier for better insulation.
Whichever pants you're looking for, Northbound gear has got you covered.
Our Adventure pants, which are perfect for winter, or cold weather hiking, are entirely water-resistant, breathable, and made from high-quality material that's tear-proof.
Any Further Questions?
There you go!
A definitive guide on how to choose hiking pants.
Do you have any advice on other factors to consider when choosing hiking pants? Do you have any questions on how to choose hiking pants? Tell us in the comments section below.
And if you're looking for high-quality hiking apparel, check out our online store here.
Upwards and onwards with Northbound Gear.