For a solid pair of what I like to call “hiking leggings,” my absolute favorite pair is from REI. They’re soft and comfortable, yet durable, thanks to the tough polyester/spandex blend. They have pockets that easily fit a cell phone, and strategically placed extra fabric on the lower legs to prevent wear and tear. The waistband is wide and comfortable, and high enough to prevent slipping down under hip belts. These lightweight tights are perfect for day hikes during the summer, or on your next early-fall adventure.
I will always swear by these pants. They are comfortable and lightweight, and feel like you’re hiking in your birthday suit (how freeing). They’re appropriate to wear during any season, and while $85 may sound ridiculous for one pair of pants, they’ll last forever with some TLC. The cuffs roll up and attach to become capri-length, and the two-way stretch fabric is durable without feeling binding. These pants are durable enough for scrambling and will get through rough terrain. Go out and try a pair; you can thank me later.
These ankle-length hiking pants are the perfect combination of style and comfort. They’re lightweight, stretchy, and extremely versatile. They allow air circulation around your legs, keeping you cool on hot summer days, and they have a DWR finish to protect from dampness and light precipitation. The stretch allows freedom of movement without restraint or discomfort, and they can be worn in any season, through any type of weather, over a variety of terrain. These are my go-to pants for most of my hikes, and what I consider my all-purpose pants.
These Marmot rain pants have been the answer to all my rainy day hiking prayers. While they may not be the most stylish thing that I own, hiking isn’t a fashion show. They’re waterproof, windproof, and breathable at the same time. The ankles zip open to fit on over hiking shoes, and they are waterproofed with Marmot’s NanoPro eco-friendly finish.The last thing you want on a wet, rainy day is to feel soggy and damp. That might be the absolute worst, but these pants will save you the aggravation of soggy miles. These pants are well worth the money, and you’ll be glad you packed them next time the skies open up.
These pants are super comfortable and easy to move around in. I call them my “quick pants” because they seem to help me hike faster. They’re perfect for bouldering as well as climbing up rocky/uneven terrain, and work well for shorter-distance hikes or travel. Columbia’s Omni-Shade provides sun protection as well as added durability, but if you’re looking for pocket accessibility and functionality, this pair’s streamlined silhouette won’t be your best bet. The fabric has a good amount of stretch, and can be transformed into ten-inch shorts with a simple tug on the zipper. This means I don’t have to worry about packing an extra pair of shorts, which saves pack space. And that’s never a bad thing.