5 Best Hiking Pants for Men

If you are avid about outdoor pursuits, then you know what a difference having the right gear can make. Items like boots, tents and ice axes are undoubtedly important, but so are the clothes you wear.

I like to do many recreational activities. Hiking is one of my favorites. The longer and more technically challenging the trail, the better I like it.

I definitely don’t mind some bouldering, scrambling and wading if the occasion calls for it. That means that I’d better be wearing some tough, durable and comfortable hiking pants.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to try some of the best hiking pants on the market. Some performed better than others.

Plus, I’ve discovered that some products are better suited to certain conditions than others. The upshot is that it isn’t always easy to find the right pair of men’s hiking pants

That’s why I’ve put together this handy list of the five best men’s hiking pants that you can buy right now. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that went into my decision making.

A Quick Comparison: My Five Picks for the Best Men’s Hiking Pants

 1. 11 TacLite Pro Pant
Our Best Pick
Columbia Silver RidgeCQR Assault CargoWhite Sierra Convertible PantprAna Stretch Zion
Material65% Polyester; 35% Cotton100% Nylon65% Polyester; 35% Cotton100% Nylon97% Nylon; 3% Spandex
StretchinessGoodGoodGoodGoodExcellent
WaterproofYesNoNoNoNo
DurabilityExcellentGoodGoodGoodGood
ConvertibleNoYesNoYesYes
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price Check Price Check Price

What Makes a Great Men’s Hiking Pant?

Durability

As far as I’m concerned, one of the top factors for any hiking pant is its durability. I want a hiking pant that will let me go climbing, crawl through a lava tube in a cave and finish up the day with a nice, long trek through the rainforest.

My pants have to do all this repeatedly without a lot of rips, tears and worn spots.

Comfort

Just as important is comfort. Who wants to spend a few days roughing it in a pair of pants that cuts in at the waist or gets incredibly tight in the seat every time you bend down?

Adjustable waistbands and gussets rank high in my decision making.

Functionality for conditions

I also considered functionality for conditions. In other words, I want something that can potentially take me from the heat of summer to the cold of winter.

Pants that convert to shorts is a nice touch, but not necessarily imperative.

Fabric

I’m looking for fabric that is thick enough to protect against the chill but breathable enough to be suitable for the desert at midday.

Here’s my no-holds-barred list of great hiking pants. You can’t go wrong with any of these, but I definitely have my favorite.

1. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

Columbia is one of the best-known names in active and outdoor wear, and there are plenty of reasons why. This convertible pant features most of those reasons.

It’s available in a wide range of colors, so even the pickiest guy will find a hue that he likes.

More importantly, this item is designed to protect and perform. The material is 100 percent durable nylon, offering some stretch for easy movement.

With legs that zip off to convert to a 10-inch inseam short, this pair of pants is ideal for almost any conditions.

Plus, you’ll benefit from Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade technology. Omni-Wick provides outstanding evaporation while Omni-Shade provides UPF 50 sun protection. Translation: You’ll stay dry, cool and protected from harmful UV rays regardless of the weather.

Partial elastic at the waist ensures long-lasting comfort while the straight leg design looks attractive on any body type. A zip-closed security pocket means that you won’t lose important essentials like your keys and cell phone.

Before you buy, it’s important to understand that these pants run a bit small, which may make you go up a size or two.

Also, these pants are thin, which is great in warm weather, but you may need something more substantial in the winter.

2. Tactical Men’s TacLite Pro Pant (5.11)

If you’re looking for a hiking pant that is seriously heavy duty and ready for anything, then this may be the product for you.

Like the offering from Columbia, these pants are available in a variety of colors. If you need to blend in with your terrain, you’ll find just what you need.

These pants feature 65 percent polyester and 35 percent poly cotton rip-stop fabric. Treatment with HT Teflon gives them a finish that is incredibly resistant to wear. Everything about these pants is durable.

You’ll find triple-stitch reinforcement on most seams in addition to backtacking to ensure even better durability. Stress points also are reinforced so that you don’t have to worry about rips and tears.

The TacLite Pro Pant also is built for functionality. With 12 high-capacity pockets, you’ll have a place to stow most of your gear.

A self-adjusting tunnel waistband and gusseted construction ensure ease of movement regardless of where you roam.

Thanks to double-thick knees, you’ll feel comfortable even if you have to crawl on the trail. In fact, these pants are compatible with the company’s internal D30 kneepads.

As if all of these features weren’t enough to convince you, these pants also are waterproof. The upshot is, you’d have to go a long way to find a better pair of men’s hiking pants.

Be aware that these pants are constructed from a relatively heavy fabric. They may not be ideal for really hot conditions.

3. CQR Men’s Tactical Pants Lightweight EDC Assault Cargo TLP105

Like many of the other styles on this list, this offering also is available in a variety of colors, so you can feel free to get several pair.

Wearers love the all-but indestructible high-density metal alloy snap button on the waistband. It really stands up to tough, repeated use.

These pants are constructed from a Duratex Fabric that consists of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. This rip-stop fabric is built to last. Plus it is excellent when it comes to repelling dirt, stains and other hazards.

You don’t have to be too careful about how you wash these pants. They are designed to resist wrinkling, fading and shrinking.

What’s more, they are equipped with eight multi-purpose cargo pockets. One front pocket has a flap with Velcro closure to ensure security for important tools

This product from CQR is not waterproof. However, they are resistant to water, and they do dry quickly if you get them wet.

If you buy a size to fit your waist, you’ll find extra room in the crotch and rear. That’s a plus if you want plenty of room to maneuver, but not so great if you like a closer fit.

4. White Sierra Trail 32-Inch Inseam Convertible Pant

This item is available in fewer colors than many of the other offerings on this list, but they are still a solid and reliable choice.

Like the Columbia Silver Ridge Pant, this style is convertible with legs that zip off just above the knee. This means that this style is suitable for virtually all weather conditions.

The fabric of construction is 100 percent nylon. Again, this offers less stretchiness than the blended fabric of the products from TacLite and CQR, but that may be just right for your purposes.

The fabric offers some degree of UVA UVB protection but does not give a specific rating like Columbia does.

Front and back pockets on this style are secured with hook and loop closures. This is not quite as convenient as Velcro, but it certainly provides peace of mind. Once closed, virtually nothing can accidentally open these hooks and loops.

The cuffs are equipped with vertical side zippers to make it easier to slip the zip-off portions of the legs over various kinds of footwear.

You’ll also find rip-and-stick adjustment tabs around the ankles so that you can keep your pant legs clear of muddy terrain.

A saddle gusset is a nice touch for those times when you need to bend and stretch like a contortionist. Teflon fabric protector ensures that these pants will be with you for the long haul.

Wearers have noted that this style tends to run a bit small. You may want to go up at least a size compared to what you normally wear. Also, these pants are thin and lightweight. They may not be ideal for winter conditions.

5. prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pant

Available in just three colors, this true-to-size pant is a winner for many hikers. They love the fit, flexibility and comfort of the fabric.

The Stretch Zion is made of 97 percent nylon and three percent Spandex. That three percent makes a world of difference if you’re looking for extra freedom of motion.

You definitely won’t feel like these pants will tear every time you move. The presence of a gusset further assists with feeling like you can move in any direction.

Nonetheless, the fabric is remarkably durable. It resists abrasions and water so your pants will stay looking newer longer and keep you drier.

Zip-off legs make it easy to convert to shorts in nice weather. Also, you’re covered with UPF 50+ sun protection.

Wearers love the included belt, which can be operated with just one hand. Drawbacks seem to be the relatively small pocket sizes and that the zippers on the legs can chafe and become uncomfortable.

Still, this looks like an excellent entry into the men’s hiking pants market.

It would be hard to go wrong with any of these styles. Here’s a quick table to help you compare the main features of each product:

My Favorite Men’s Hiking Pants

For my money, it’s virtually impossible to beat the 5.11 TacLite Pro Pant. The amount of stretch is perfectly adequate for most hikers, and you could probably use them just as handily for bouldering, climbing, kayaking and a variety of other pursuits.

One of the other reasons that I love the TacLite Pro Pant is that they are waterproof. Where I live, it’s important to be able to get outdoors in any conditions because it tends to be pretty wet.

That makes waterproof pants a necessity. Water resistant and repellant pants just won’t do it for me.

Another reason why the TacLite is tops in my book is its incredible construction. No other manufacturer boasts about triple stitching and backtacking.

However, that’s exactly what you need in a tough pair of pants that could be worn in a variety of challenging situations

Similarly, I appreciate the gusset construction that gives me just a little more room to move. At the same time, the fabric isn’t so thin that I’m worried about it tearing the first time I encounter a thorn.

I still feel like I can wear these pants in the summer without breaking a sweat.

Any of these hiking pants could be the right style for you. Using this guide, you’ll be able to get the pants that will take you on your next great adventure.