In this article we lay out the best hiking pants for men in 2020. Broadly speaking, hiking pants are of course very versatile by design, so they can easily be utilized for other uses and activities, not just for days out on the trail.
However, we are of course aiming, first and foremost, to list pants that are the best options for hiking. We have listed these in our order of preference, however, keep in mind that one further down may be a better option for you, depending on your needs.
For example, if convertible pants for use on sunny days is a big requirement of yours, a pair of hiking pants further down the list, may be better suited to your needs.
If you don’t have time to look through the list, we can tell you our favorite men’s hiking pants option are the prAna Stretch Zion pants. A very versatile and comfortable pair of pants for the trail.
If you are totally new to buying hiking pants, there is some buying advice listed at the end of this article.
Finally, any references to price made on this list are only to act as a general guide. Prices chop and change all the time, so we only aim to list a ballpark price to give you an idea. To get exact prices for anything listed, just click on the links and you will be taken through to the live prices.
Let’s get to the full list!
1. prAna Stretch Zion
- Easy ventilation utilizing the roll-up leg snaps turning the pants into (almost) capri style pants / long shorts without having to remove your hiking boots
- Very versatile and lightweight pants that are very comfortable to wear
- Perfect for most types of hiking all year round
- Fabric construction is quick drying and flexible enabling good movement, and also features a DWR finish for extra protection from the elements
- The cargo pocket, if you like to utilize one, is a bit narrow
- Pants can run long so be careful with sizing
- Pants are designed to be loose and baggy which may not suit all folks
prAna Stretch Zion Pants Features Summary:
- Material: Quick dry stretch performance fabric constructed using 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
- Durable water repellent (DWR) finish
- High UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+
- 2 hand pockets, 2 back pockets and 1 angled dual entry cargo pocket
- Streamlined adjustable waistband
- Ventilated inseam gusset
- Roll-up leg snaps
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, light biking, camping, general outdoor use, general day-to-day use
The prAna Stretch Zion Hiking Pants for men are a loose fitting and comfortable pair of hiking pants, a great option for the trail all year round.
These are our number one recommendation and with good reason. Good for trail hiking all year round, they offer a lot of comfort without sacrificing functional capability.
The Stretch Zion pants are constructed using a 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex make-up which offers a lot of flexibility in movement. This is a really good combination of material which we really like, functional and flexible is the order of the day.
So whether you’re walking on nice even trails, or doing some light scrambling over a tricky section on the hills, they will enable you to negotiate terrain and move freely while remaining comfortable.
The fabric also features a DWR (durable water repellent) finish which will offer some protection from the elements as well, although for heavier showers, we always recommend the utilization of rain pants over your hiking pants.
The fabric construction of the Stretch Zion pants also enables quick drying, so should you get caught in a bit of a summer downpour, in the right conditions, the pants will dry out quickly.
The pants utilize a ventilated inseam gusset to enable air to circulate and prevent heat build up internally. The pants can also be rolled up and secured using the leg snaps to further increase ventilation options on a hot day.
The Stretch Zion pants utilize a streamlined adjustable waistband to enable a comfortable and secure fit at the waist.
In terms of storage, the pants feature two hand pockets and two back pockets, as well as a larger cargo pocket on the leg, so you have plenty of options for easy storage of small bits and pieces for the trail.
The pants also feature UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) to a level of 50+, so you can also enjoy protection from a beating sun as well.
The pants are available in several color options, e.g. charcoal, coffee bean, dark ginger, etc., all of which are dark / autumnal in a traditional hiking pant style. I counted eight different color options so there should be something in there to satisfy everyone!
In terms of price, the Stretch Zion pants offer good value for a very durable and comfortable pair of hiking pants, which you will get plenty of enjoyment and use from.
It’s worth noting as well that there is a convertible version of the prAna Stretch Zion hiking pants which can be easily converted into shorts, without having to take your hiking boots off. Definitely a nice to have for hiking in hotter temperatures!
Overall, they are a very smart and stylish pair of hiking pants which are ideal for hiking all across the year. Aside from that, they are a great casual set of pants as well, so you won’t look out of place in them walking about town on a lazy day.
2. CQR Tactical Pants
- Very durable construction so great for protecting your legs in more hostile environments on the trail e.g. walking through thorny bushes
- Loose fit means you have a lot of mobility and movement for hiking on all types of terrain, like squatting, stretching, bending, etc.
- Lightweight, comfortable and breathable pants
- Excellent price in relation to value for money
- There’s no getting away from the military pants design, nothing wrong with that at all but it may not suit every hiker
- This was listed as a pro too, but on the flip side, if you don’t like baggy trail pants, these may not be for you (I laughed considerably when one user indicated that MC Hammer himself was the tailor 🙂
CQR Tactical Pants Features Summary:
- CQR tactical pants are constructed with a hint of military and law enforcement performance design
- Fabric: 65% polyester and 35% cotton rip-stop fabric materials
- Duratex coating on the outside (functions the same as Teflon) repels liquids, dirt, and other contaminants
- 8 Multi-purpose cargo pockets for various tools and equipment
- Fade, shrink, and wrinkle resistant
Best Uses: Hiking, camping, general outdoor use, work pants, general day-to-day use
The CQR Tactical Pants are our top budget choice for a versatile pair of hiking pants, and they are also a top seller on Amazon. They’re a nice all rounder at a very good price.
As you can probably guess from the name, the CQR tactical pants for men are constructed with a nod towards military and law enforcement performance and design principles. So right off the bat, you can expect practicality and functionality.
The fabric used in the construction is 65% polyester with 35% cotton rip-stop. 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 capability.
The material also incorporates Duratex which helps to repel liquids, dirt, and other contaminants. If you think of how Teflon works, that will give you an idea, as Duratex works it a very similar fashion to it.
With that in mind, the pants will easily hold up to a light rain shower and / or a dusty trail without too much trouble.
As well as the element of water repellency, the pants also perform well in the breathability department, and user reports are that if they get wet, they dry on the move quite quickly too.
The pants have an elastic action waist band and are secured around the waist via a high-strength, and high-density metal alloy snap button and zipper, along with a durable mounted stopper. A belt does not come with the pants, but you can buy a specific one for these pants separately.
The pants feature 8 multi-purpose pockets, 2 slash hand pockets which can take clip on accessories, 2 non flap pockets (probably designed for ammo magazines / pocket knife), 2 Velcro flap pockets on the front on the thighs and finally 2 further Velcro flap back pockets.
Now, I am normally a big fan of plenty of pockets, but even I find that a lot! It’s not a problem though. If you enjoy backpacking and camping, all those different pocket features could prove really useful.
I think this is where the military element really starts to come in i.e. loads of pocket space for various tools and equipment that you may be required to carry. Certainly not a bad thing.
The CQR pants feature two D rings on the waist which can also be used to hang implements off. These pants also have an air of work utility about them, again in line with the military design principles incorporated.
So they could work well if you are doing a few jobs in and around the house and need to carry a few tools with you. Of course, hiking is our main focus here but no harm to allude to that fact.
The knees of the pants can also have knee pads inserted, so again, if you’re doing some odd jobs around the house where you have to kneel on the ground, this could be handy to have. These can easily be removed if required.
The pants are fade resistant, so they will hold their style and look or a long time, without getting old and tired looking. There are multiple color options for these pants to choose from too.
The material construction is also shrink and wrinkle resistant so the pants won’t need a lot of TLC, and they should be good to go after numerous washes and spins in the dryer.
In terms of price, these pants come in at the lower end of the scale on our best hiking pants for men list. However, although cheaper than some others listed, they still offer excellent value for money.
Overall, these pants are true to their design concept and have a functional militaristic look and feel to them. I was a little unsure as to whether to include them in this best of list or not, as their function definitely goes way outside the general remit of hiking pants.
However, in terms of hiking, these pants will perform well and I have no issue with having extra functionality in the design. For example, as referenced above, all that extra pocket storage could come in handy on the trail for sure!
3. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
- Sleek fit means you don’t make much noise while hiking in these pants as can be the case in baggier options
- Pants are light enough and breathable enough to wear in hot weather, but you always have the option to convert to shorts if you wish
- Material construction is fast drying should they get wet
- Not as functional for hiking at colder times of the year, but layering up, say with rain pants, should help with this
- Check sizing, may need to order a size up to get a good fit
- If you need protection from mosquitoes, a thicker material may work better
Columbia Silver Ridge Pants Features Summary:
- Fabric: Omni-Shade main body: 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop; Omni-Wick mesh panels 57% recycled polyester/43% polyester mesh
- Omni-Wick: High-performance wicking fabric, advanced evaporation
- Omni-Shade: UPF 50 sun protection
- Exterior adjustable waist
- Zip-Off legs convert pants to 10″ inseam shorts
- Gusset detail
- Pockets with hook and loop closure and mesh pocket bags
- Zip-closed security pocket
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, general outdoor activity use, general day-to-day use
The Silver Ridge pants are our top convertible hiking pants option. They’re a versatile and functional pair of hiking pants, which can easily be converted into shorts for hiking on sunnier and hotter days.
Columbia are a clothing brand name synonymous with the outdoors and they make some excellent quality gear. The Columbia Silver Ridge convertible hiking pants for men are no exception to that, and are a great pair of pants with a lot to offer.
The main parts of the silver ridge pants are constructed using 100% nylon ripstop material, which provides a durable and tough pair of pants for all your adventures on the trail. The mesh panels featured within the construction are made using a mix of 57% recycled polyester and 43% polyester mesh.
These pants feature Columbia’s OMNI-WICK® and OMNI-SHADE® technologies.
As you can probably guess, the OMNI-WICK® element means these pants offer high-performance wicking capability which helps let perspiration, that forms in and around your legs as you hike, get wicked away and released into the air, to keep you dry on the inside.
The main body of the pants also feature, as referenced above, OMNI-SHADE® which offers sun protection at a rating of UPF 50. That’s a high level of sun protection that will meet most hikers requirements.
However, if you are getting a bit stuffy inside and would prefer to soak up some rays into your skin to top up on vitamin D, the Columbia Silver Ridge hiking pants for men are easily converted into shorts. The shorts reach to just above the knee, when you zip off the detachable legs.
The waist of the pants are partially elastic and can be closed securely using the snap closure belt which comes with the pants.
The pants feature plenty of functional pocket options with two slash hand pockets, two back pockets, one zip closure security thigh pocket on the left leg and one snap closure pocket on the right leg.
In terms of price, they’re an affordable pair of hiking pants, that again offer good value for money.
These durable, quick-wicking pants with built-in sun protection and plentiful storage, make them the perfect choice for active days on the trail in warm weather.
The Silver Ridge convertible hiking pants for men, are a really excellent pair of hiking pants for the trail. They’re comfortable, very functional and they come in up to 9 different color options, so again, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from!
4. Outdoor Research Ferrosi
- Material used in these pants allows excellent mobility
- The pants breathe well so good when exerting yourself up steep ascents
- Comfortable and lightweight pants to wear, perfect for the trail but also very practical for day-to-day use
- The breathability, which is listed as a pro, can also be a con in colder conditions; thin material so may need extra layers to compensate
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants Features Summary:
- Button and zipper fly
- 2 hand warmer pockets; 2 drop in back pockets and 1 zip closure thigh pocket
- Brushed tricot-lined waistband
- Articulated knees™
- Drawcord cuff closures
- Belt loops
- Harness-compatible waist
- DWR treated
- Breathable, lightweight and quick-drying
- Movement-mirroring stretch
- UPF 50+
- Fabric: 86% nylon, 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, general outdoor use
The Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research are pants that are designed specifically with the mountains in mind! Outdoor Research are a well known and loved brand who consistently produce excellent gear, so you know you are getting a pair of performance pants with the Ferrosi.
The Ferrosi pants are definitely another very versatile offering. If you like to get into the tougher sections on the trail, scrambling up rocky peaks and the like, these pants will perform well for you.
The pants come with a material mix of 86% nylon, 14% spandex with 90D stretch woven ripstop. The 86 / 14 blend of nylon and spandex means that these pants stretch well, perfect for when you need to haul yourself up over a rocky crag,
The 90D woven ripstop means the material is tough and strong, so it performs very well in the abrasion resistance department. So when you are contorting yourself over difficult terrain, these pants will not only comfortably stretch to meet the task, they will not tear or rip easily against rocks, etc.
The fabric has a UPF 50+ sun protection level, so very good protection from the sun on hotter days. The material, by many user accounts, is also very breathable keeping you comfortable, even when you exert yourself.
The downside of that, is that it can get a bit chilly in them at colder times of year, it seems the breathability may perform a bit too well.
These pants come with a standard button and zip fly on the front, which is complimented by the tricot lined waistband. All these go together to help ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
The pants have 5 pockets, 2 front slash pockets, 1 front zippered thigh pocket and 2 back pockets.
The Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research are designed and constructed with the outdoors in mind, so whether you are hiking or rock climbing, they are up to the job!
5. prAna Brion Hiking Pants
- Lightweight, very breathable with good moisture wicking capabilities enables hiking in comfort, even as you exert yourself over harder sections
- Durable and tough hiking pants which are very good value for the price you pay
- Perfect for all types of trail hiking most of the year round
- Maybe not the best option for hiking at hotter times of year
- Some reports that the pockets are a bit small
prAna Brion Pants Features Summary:
- Fabric: Stretch ‘Zion’ performance woven with durable water repellent (DWR) finish; Quick dry stretch performance fabric; 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
- 5-pocket styling with fixed waist and beltloops
- Abrasion resistant
- Reinforced rivet details
- Mesh pockets
- Available in multiple inseam lengths
- Slim fit
- UPF 50+
- Weight: 215 g / 7.6 oz
Best Uses: Hiking, camping, general outdoor activity use, general day-to-day use
The Brion Hiking Pants from prAna are another excellent pair of hiking pants, great for year round hiking.
The Brion pants offer a lot of versatility. Whether you’re hiking in mountain forest trails, or on sunny sandy tracks, these pants will do the job well.
These pants are not convertible, so they can’t be converted into shorts. There is also no easy remove option e.g. zip-open legs to enable you to get easy access to your hiking boots. Not a major issue but something to be aware of.
The pants are constructed with a material mix of 97% nylon and 3% spandex. This is the stretch performance fabric Zion are well known for, which is both comfortable and very functional.
The fabric also incorporates a UPF 50+ sun protection level in the woven nylon, so considerable protection from the sun. This material also enables good breathability and wicking from the inside to keep your legs dry when it gets hot on the inside.
This material is also excellent for quick drying should you get caught in a shower while out on the trail.
These trail pants have a zip fly front with a button opening, with a fixed waist and belt loops which can be used with a belt of your choosing.
The pants feature 5 pocket styling which comes in the form of 2 front slash pockets, 1 front secure pocket on the right hand slash pocket and 2 back pockets. The pockets do not have closures, so similar to pockets on a pair of jeans.
The prAna Brion pants are another great option that will meet most hikers needs, most of the year round, although maybe not the best option for hiking at hotter times of the year.
6. Free Soldier Hiking Pants
- Fleece lined so purpose built for hiking in colder conditions
- Wallet friendly price
- Some user comments that the quality of the pants could be better e.g. zips breaking
- Not suitable for hiking at milder or warmer times of the year
The Free Soldier Pants Features Summary:
- Material: 94% scratch-resistant polyester 6% stretch spandex soft shell fabric and lining with 100% soft polar fleece.
- Anti-static fleece lining with superior moisture wicking treatment
- Water resistant and windproof
- Wrinkle resistant, no fade soft shell
- 5 secured zipper pockets with drawstring
- Side elastic waist allows the pants to provide a comfortable fit
- Wide belt loops can be used for belts of different widths
- High quality YKK Zipper Fly with Metal Closure Duraflex D-ring can hang keys chain and other essentials
Best Uses: Hiking in winter, camping, fishing, general outdoor activity use in cold conditions
The Free Soldier Pants are an interesting option. They are not the typical pair of hiking pants, in that they are designed specifically for use in cold weather.
This is evident in the material design which features a soft fleece lining on the inside of the pant legs. So, right off the bat, these are hiking pants for winter, not the rest of the year round.
They have a lot of positive user experience in reviews and they are very accessible in terms of price. This could of course bring up questions in terms of quality, anything cheaper usually suffers in the quality department.
This is alluded to by some users, for example there are some reports of zips breaking off, but overall, on balance people are generally happy with the level of quality for the price they paid.
The pants are water resistant and windproof, as you would expect for Winter hiking pants. The pants are also listed as being used as snow pants for skiing too but the general consensus is that they won’t fit over a ski boot, fine for working with hiking boots though.
The material used is 94% scratch-resistant polyester 6% stretch spandex soft shell fabric and lining with 100% soft polar fleece. So as well as the warmth element, they offer good mobility and abrasion resistance.
They also have a water repellent coating so they should keep rain, sleet, snow, etc. at bay too.
The pants offer 5 secure pockets, 2 front pockets, 2 thigh pockets and 1 back pocket. All the pockets have zippered closures, so plenty of secure storage space.
The Free Soldier hiking pants come with a stretch waist so they can comfortably stretch to enable a good fit. The waist also has ample belt loops which can take a whole range of belt types, sizes and styles.
Overall, the Free Soldier hiking pants are a very economical option for a pair of winter hiking pants.
They could form a good part of your hiking wardrobe for those few times in the year when it’s that bit colder on the trail, and you need a bit more than what a combination of standard hiking pants and rain pants can offer.
7. The North Face Paramount 3.0 Convertible Pants
- Durable and rugged pants that hold their own well on the trail in most conditions i.e. sun, rain, snow, etc.
- Comfortable fit with a lot of versatility in the construction
- Lots of functional and accessible pocket space
- The pants repel rain well and breathe well
- They run a little large so definitely watch the sizing when purchasing
- Jean style front pockets, mean you have to stand to access them
The North Face Paramount 3.0 Convertible Pants Features Summary:
- Material: Durable, midweight, abrasion-resistant 96% nylon / 4% elastane mix
- DWR finish which repels rain; nylon fabric is durable and dries quickly
- Convertible stretch-woven hiking pants with zip-off legs
- Pockets: 2 hand, 2 back and 1 zippered cargo
- UPF 50 sun protection shields skin from UV rays
- Lightweight pants and shorts all in one package; Legs zip off to create 8-inch inseam shorts
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, general outdoor activity use, general day-to-day use, possibly as work pants … depending on the nature of the work of course
The Paramount 3.0 Convertible Pants are a stylish, comfortable and versatile offering from The North Face.
In these pants from the North Face we have another pair of hiking pants that are easily converted into shorts. Again, the legs zip off at the knees and slide off over your feet to convert to shorts.
Depending on how big your hiking boots are, you may need to take your boots off to do this. Not the end of the world but there is no immediate way to widen the ankle cuffs when taking them off.
The material used in these pants is 96% nylon and 4% elastane with a DWR finish. Nylon is an excellent material providing durability and resistance to abrasion, while also enabling quick drying, as the fabric breathes well, should they get wet.
However, the DWR finish should go some way to helping water bead off the pants altogether.
The pants also feature UPF 50 sun protection, which will help keep your skin protected from the sun’s rays, on a hot day should you need it.
Again, the breathability of the fabric means you can comfortably wear them on warmer days if you would prefer, to avoid sun exposure, rather than converting to shorts.
The pants feature 5 pockets, 2 front pockets, 2 back pockets and 1 zippered utility pocket at the front right side seam, so there are plenty of storage options.
In a former iteration of these pants, we thought the front pockets were not deep enough in terms of space. However, in this iteration, it seems this was noted and the pockets have been made deeper which is great.
We also felt the front pockets were a bit too much like jeans pockets i.e. they could only be easily accessed when standing.
Now, the upside of that is that the pockets are secure, but we generally prefer a more slash type entry to a front pocket. That’s just a preference though and others may prefer the opposite.
The pants utilize an adjustable belt waistband which is closed securely using a front belt closure which comes with the pants. Overall the pants work well providing good mobility and range of movement.
Starting the Process of Choosing Hiking Pants
There’s no doubt about it, hiking pants are a key component of your hiking gear for when you head out on the trail. Your pants are, unless you’re wearing leggings, the first layer of clothing between your skin and the outside world, so it’s paramount that you have something that works well for your needs.
You want something that provides good mobility and is constructed sensibly using the right kind of materials to fulfil other requirements 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 involved when you will typically use your hiking pants.
- Where do you typically hike?
- What time of the year do you hike?
- What is the weather generally like when you will be out on the trail?
- Do you need protection from the sun?
- Would the option to convert your pants into shorts be a nice to have, or a necessary requirement?
You get the idea, when you know what 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.
One lighter pair, oriented towards hiking in hotter weather, and one sturdier pair that will keep you a bit warmer when the seasons are cooler.
OK, that’s the reader’s digest version of buying guidance done. 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 features and construction options available to you are.
We hope you enjoyed this review of the best hiking pants for men in 2020. As you can see, there is no shortage of great options to choose from, to suit all price points too.
If you’re planning to buy a new pair of hiking pants, definitely check some of these options out, to see if they fit the bill for your needs.
As mentioned at the start, always be sure to know your requirements clearly before buying a new pair of pants for the trail. There are a lot of options out there, so it is good to get as specific as you can 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 🙂