In this post we preview the best hiking pants for women of 2018. Hiking pants are a flexible and versatile addition to any wardrobe, perfect for days on the trail, but can often be used for general casual use too.
We of course are interested in hiking here, so with that in mind, we have laid out the best hiking pants options for women. They are listed in our order of preference, however, please do keep in mind that something further down the list may be a better choice to meet your needs.
For example, if you predominantly hike in hot and sunny conditions, a pair of hiking pants further down the list which are convertible, with UPF capability, etc. may be better suited to meet your needs.
#1 The prAna Halle Pants For Women
The prAna Halle pants are our top women’s hiking pants recommendation. Good for trail hiking all year round, they offer a lot of comfort without sacrificing functional capability.
The prAna Halle pants are constructed using the prAna Strech Zion fabric, which is a 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex material make-up. This combination of materials, enables a lot of flexible movement. We’re a fan of this combination, as it is both functional and flexible, an important requirement for hiking over varying terrain.
So whether you’re walking on friendly easy trails, or negotiating a tricky arête, these pants are flexible enough to allow you to move freely and comfortably.
The Stretch Zion fabric also features a DWR (durable water repellent) finish which offers some protection from the elements as well. For heavier rain, we always suggest that you utilize rain pants over your hiking pants, and this would be the same for the prAna Halle hiking pants.
Continuing on with more feature capability of the fabric construction, it’s wicking capability allows heat to get out from your legs and so keeps your skin dry. The material enables quick drying, so should you get caught in a bit of a downpour, in the right conditions, the pants will dry out quickly.
The pants can also be rolled up and leg snaps utilized to convert into a kind of pair of shorts / Capri pants, that run to just below the knee. Useful if a further ventilation option is needed on a hot day, or if you have to walk through some ankle deep water and want to keep your pants dry in the process.
The Halle pants are styled like trousers so they provide a sleek and relaxed look. The pants are secured using a button fly which secures and functions well, but they do not come with a belt, however there are belt tabs should you wish to use one.
The pants feature two hand pockets and two back pockets, as well as a hidden zip stash pocket on the upper right leg, great for any small items you want to be sure not to lose. Overall, some decent options for easy storage of small bits and pieces while you're out on your adventures on the trail.
The pants are available in several color options, e.g. Dark Khaki, Moon Rock, Black, etc. All of the color options are dark / autumnal in a trouser pant style. I counted seven different color options available so there should be something in there to suit most folks!
The prAna Halle pants retail anywhere from $60 to $90, depending on specific options chosen. We think it’s good value for money, for a very durable and comfortable pair of hiking pants, which you will get plenty of enjoyment and use from.
Overall, the prAna Halle pants are a very smart and stylish pair of hiking pants, which will cover most hikers needs, all across the year. They are also a very versatile set of pants that will work great for day-to-day casual use, travel, and even nights out on the town.
prAna Halle Pants for Women Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, travel, light biking, general outdoor use, general day-to-day use
Starting the Process of Choosing Hiking Pants
For a successful and enjoyable day out on the trail, there is no doubting the fact that you need a comfortable pair of hiking pants. Your hiking pants are nearly always the only barrier between your legs and the elements outside, so you want something functional but of course, comfortable.
Overall, you need a comfortable pair of pants that provide good mobility that are constructed sensibly, using the appropriate materials. These materials can fulfill a host of other functions e.g. an element of protection from the rain, protection from the sun, etc.
The golden rule for choosing any piece of hiking gear is basic enough, but often overlooked. You first need to establish what you need your hiking pants for. For hiking of course, but I mean to really take a look at some of the fundamental elements of when you will typically use your hiking pants.
Hopefully that gives you a good example of what I mean. When you know the type of conditions, etc. that you need your hiking pants for, it’s much easier to single out a preference that will best meet your needs.
If you’re a year round hiker who likes to hike in the cold and chill of winter, as well as in the warmer temperatures in summer, we recommend that investing in a couple of pairs of hiking pants is the way to go. The first pair should be lighter and oriented towards hiking in hotter weather, and the second pair should be more durable and of a sturdier construction that will keep you that bit warmer in the cooler times of year.
So, that is the short and sweet version of our buying guidance for hiking pants. If buying hiking pants is totally new to you, we strongly recommend that you read the hiking pants buying guide first, before buying a pair. It goes into much more detail with regards to helping you identify your needs, and what some of the many feature and construction options available to you are.
So, with the quick buying advice interlude complete, let’s crack on with the best hiking pants for women of 2018.
#2 Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants For Women
The Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research, are a soft shell pair of hiking pants constructed using a material make-up of 86% ripstop and 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop.
Rip-stop fabrics are fabrics that are woven using a reinforcing technique which makes them resistant to tearing. Typically, thick reinforcement threads are interwoven which give the material its very tough and durable performance.
Right off the bat, the 90D ripstop fabric gives a very tough and sturdy pair of hiking pants, which are also very flexible. The material is also water and wind resistant to protect your legs from the tougher elements that nature can throw at you from the outside.
As mentioned, these pants are flexible, with the 14% spandex element helping that capability. So these pants are great for when you have to stretch, over any challenging terrain on the trail.
The pants are breathable and that element of the material construction also enables quick drying, should they get wet if you get caught in a heavy shower. Even though the pants are tough, they are lightweight too and feel supple on the skin.
The pants have a Brushed Tricot-lined waistband. This free hanging waistband enables you to secure the pants for a comfortable fit. The pants also feature belt loops should you wish to utilize a belt with them. The waistband is also of a low enough profile as to not interfere with a harness should you need to use one.
The pants feature 5 multi-purpose pockets, 2 slash hand pockets, 2 zippered back pockets and 1 zippered thigh pocket. I am a fan of plenty of pockets, and the Ferrosi pants offer a good selection, which are functional and useful.
The pants feature a dual snap zipper fly which, in conjunction with the Tricot-lined waistband, offers a secure and comfortable fit. The Ferrosi pants also offer protection from the sun to the level UPF 50+ protection, so a high level of protection.
The pants are available in up to 9 different color options, e.g. Fatigue, Mushroom, Pewter, to name three of them. All of the color options are dark and autumnal with an earthy look and feel to them. There should be a color choice in there to suit most people’s tastes.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants retail in and around $80.00, depending on specific options chosen. They sit at the higher end of the scale for a pair of hiking pants, but they do offer good value for money, considering all you can get out of them.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants for Women Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, climbing, camping, travel, general outdoor use, general day-to-day use
#3 Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch Pants For Women
I think every hiker is more than likely familiar with the Columbia brand name. They’re a company that are well known for creating quality gear for the outdoors, at a good price, and the Columbia Saturday Trail pants for women are no exception to that.
In terms of material, the pants are constructed using a combination of Omni-Shield™ Summiteer Lite: 96% nylon and 4% elastane. This material lends itself to a very comfortable feel on the skin as well as good flexibility, in terms of movement.
These pants feature Columbia’s OMNI-SHIELD® and OMNI-SHADE® technologies. Looking at the OMNI-SHIELD® element first, this technology enables water and stain repellency, so whether it’s water or dirt, the pants construction will help repel it away.
The pants also feature, as referenced above, OMNI-SHADE® which offers sun protection at a rating of UPF 50, a high level of protection that will meet most hiker's requirements.
While the Saturday trail pants are not convertible, into shorts, they can be rolled up into capri style pants. A simple and nice option to have if you’re getting a bit hot inside and need to let your legs breathe that little bit more, or to keep your ankles dry, say if you need to walk through a shallow river. Note: there is a Saturday Trail Convertible Pants for women option available too.
The waist of the pants have belt loops, and although no belt comes with the pants, they are large enough to accommodate most sizes of suitable belts. The pants are secured at the front using the snap closure buttons.
The pants feature decent functional pocket options, with two slash hand pockets and two back, entailing a zippered closure security pocket, handy to have to put something away that you really need to keep safe e.g. your car key.
The pants are lightweight and durable, and the built-in sun protection as well as the capability to adjust them into Capri style pants, make them an excellent choice for active days in warm weather. However, they will hold their own in cooler conditions too, so they’re a nice all round pair of pants that should suit most hikers needs across most of the year.
The Saturday Trail pants retail in at around $60.00, which is a fair price for a good solid pair of hiking pants, that you should get a lot of enjoyable use from.
Overall, the Columbia Saturday Trail hiking pants for women, are a really excellent pair of hiking pants for the trail. They offer a sleek and comfortable fit, while also providing excellent functionality. As a final note, they are available in up to 4 different autumnal color options, so you’ve got a decent color selection to choose from too!
Columbia Saturday Trail Pants for Women Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, camping, general outdoor activity use, travel, general day-to-day use
#4 prAna Sage Convertible Pants For Women
The prAna Sage pants for women, are the second offering, on our best hiking pants for women, from prAna, and our top pick for best convertible hiking pants for women. They are a versatile and practical pair of pants for the trail, so whether you’re hiking through a forest wilderness, or on craggy ridges, these pants will cover your hiking needs well.
The pants are constructed using shell: 95% nylon, 5% spandex, and trim: 100% polyester. This material is stretch performance variegated ripstop, so tough, and it also features a durable water repellent finish, to help bead water away.
All in all, the material make-up also provides and enables a comfortable fit and good stretching capability. The lower legs are also quite loose, so they should easily hang over any pair of hiking or backpacking boots.
These trail pants have a zip fly front with a two button closure. The waist, in keeping with the material, has elasticity to help secure a comfortable fit. The pants have belt loops, and although a belt does not come with the pants, a string tie is available.
The pants feature 2 front slash pockets, 2 front cargo pockets and 2 back pockets. The pants also come in three color options, namely cargo green, dark khaki and coal. In terms of price, they retail in and around the $60.00 mark, so again, in about the high end of the standard price range for a good pair of hiking pants, that should see you for plenty of use.
The prAna Sage convertible pants for women are another great option, and with so much versatility, 3 in 1 pants, they will meet a lot of your hiking needs be it a hot sunny summer’s day out in the hills, or a cooler stroll in the autumn.
prAna Sage Convertible Pants for Women Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, camping, general outdoor activity use, general day-to-day use
#5 The Marmot Lobos Convertible Pants For Women
The Marmot Lobos Convertible Pants for women are constructed using 94% nylon and 6% elastane peached plain weave 3.8 oz/yd. This nylon stretch performance fabric provides excellent durability and good abrasion resistance, while also enabling good mobility. The fabric is also Bluesign® approved, which is always nice to know as a consumer making a purchase.
Bluesign® is a mark given as a standard for ‘environmentally responsible production’. As a big fan of the outdoors, it’s always good to see big name manufacturers taking on responsibility in this area, to help support the responsible use of the environment and the planets resources.
While the fabric is durable, it is also lightweight and provides a DWR finish to provide some protection from the rain, etc. The mainly nylon based fabric is also quick drying, should it get wet, this also makes the fabric very breathable, letting hot air out from around the legs, keeping your skin dry on the inside.
The pants are designed specifically for the mountains, so hiking, backpacking, etc. are the order of the day. They provide a UPF to a level of 50+, so if the sun is too much on a day, they will help protect your skin from the worst of the sun’s rays.
The pants are a 3-in-1 deal again, so you have full on pants, shorts, which can be used by removing the legs of the pants, and finally roll up cuffs which enable you to have a Capri style pair of pants.
The crotch is gusseted, a piece of fabric inserted into the seam to reduce stress on tight clothing, which enables better mobility and range of movement. This adds breadth and reduces stress in the fabric, and so provides more comfort to the wearer. The pants feature 5 pockets, 2 front pockets, 2 back pockets and a zippered cargo pocket, so there are lots of storage options.
The pants do not have a belt but do have interior waist adjusters, as well as utilizing a DriClime® Interior Waistband to help add more Comfort. The pants are secured using a zip fly with a snap button closure.
In terms of price, you’re looking into the higher range with the Marmot Lobos, at a retail price of $80.00 for a pair. However, you are getting a specialized pair of pants, purpose built for your adventures on the trail, so definitely value for money.
Marmot Lobos Convertible Pants for Women Features Summary:
Best Uses: All types of hiking, backpacking, camping, general outdoor activity use, general day-to-day use
So that’s it for this review of the best hiking pants for women of 2018. As you can see, we are spoiled these days with lots of great options, so plenty to choose from whatever your hiking needs are. If you’re in the market for a new pair of trail pants, you could do a lot worse than run with one of these options.
Just to reiterate, as referenced at the start of this piece, always be sure to know your requirements clearly, before you buy a new pair of hiking pants for the trail. With so much excellent choice, it is wise to get as specific as you can on what you need your hiking pants for, to enable you to match your needs as best as possible.
Finally, and most importantly, we hope you found this information helpful and useful, please share it around your networks if you did.