Looking to buy a versatile pair of hiking pants before hitting the trail?
A good pair of hiking pants are a staple for anyone who spends time in the great outdoors. While a pair of jeans or sweatpants work, there are many benefits of having proper apparel suited for the environment. Hiking pants are built to be lightweight, breathable, packable, quick drying and comfortable in a wide range of motion. They are made with material that will move freely with your body instead of keeping you restricted.
You don’t need to be a hardcore backpacker to benefit from a pair of hiking pants. They are valuable for anyone who spends time outdoors and desires comfort and function. They are great for any fisher, dog walker, camper, recreational paddler, or tailgater. Having pants that can get wet, yet dry quickly is key for anyone spending time outdoors in the Northwest.
Hiking pants come primarily in fitted or relaxed fit. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Fitted hiking pants will be tighter to your body and won’t be as baggy for brush or sticks to get caught on. They use significantly less cloth, which means in the common occurrence of wetness in the PNW, they will dry faster since there is less water to come in contact with. People often favor fitted pants for the element of style out on the trail depending on their body type and personal preference. Relaxed fit hiking pants have their perks as well. Lots of people prefer wearing a more relaxed fit on the trail since they give you a slightly larger range of motion. They give your body more freedom to move around less restricted. Relaxed fit hiking pants often have more pockets for your trail supplies and sometimes incorporate mid-thigh cargo pockets.
Hiking pants sometimes come off with “zip-off” bottoms. These enable you to convert the pants into a pair of shorts. They have zippers on both legs that you can easily unzip and remove the bottom half of the pants. These can be great for someone who is looking for one pair of designated hiking bottoms for the multiple seasons.
A standout option is the Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pant.
These quality pants are made with 95% nylon and 5% spandex. The spandex offers nice stretchability to the pants, and 65% of the nylon used comes from recycled material. These pants offer a removable zip off bottom so when the sun is at its peak, you can easily convert them into shorts. On the flip side, when it’s rainy out, you will benefit from the DWR (durable water repellent) finish that will help keep dampness away.
The bottom line to finding a pair of hiking pants that work well for you is fit. Find something you will feel comfortable and non-restricted in, while moving around for a long period of time. We recommend you pick your size by using your standard pant waist measurement. If you are looking for additional comfort, consider moving a size up and potentially pairing the pants with a stretchable belt such as any product from Arcade belts. If the pants are sized by SM,MD,LG, etc, please refer to the brand size chart.
Hope to see you out on the trail!