The perfect pants for hikers are comfortable, breathable and designed for specific weather conditions. Whether you're heading out on a hot summer hike or gearing up for a chilly winter trek, it's important to choose hiking pants that are fit for your journey. Read on to discover where to find three pairs of pants that are perfect for hikers. There are separate suggestions for men and women based on climate and hiking conditions.
Even if it's blistering hot outside, it's still a good idea to wear pants on most summer hikes. Vegetation and bugs can be out of control in the summer months, and you want to be sure you don't get pricked by thorns or bitten by insects. It's best to choose a lightweight, breathable pair of pants that won't weigh you down. For women, the Back Trekker Full Leg Convertible Pant by Columbia is a stellar choice. These full-length pants provide great protection, but they zip off above the knee and turn into shorts, too. For men, the Columbia Airgill Pants are incredible. These highly breathable pants are perfect for summer wear, and they also zip off above the knee and turn into shorts. Even better, the ripstop fabric prevents snags, and the fabric repels dirt and mud. You can find these styles online at www.columbia.com and at select Columbia retailers.
Many people love hiking in the winter. It's easier to deal with bugs and vegetation, and often, you don't have to deal with them at all. Plus, you can afford many great views from mountaintops when your sight isn't inhibited by leaves. When it's cold, though, you need extra insulation to keep you warm on the trails. Men should check out the Insulated Shell Pants from The North Face, available at REI. These fantastic pants are breathable, but they're also waterproof. They're lined for warmth, and convenient hand and cargo pockets make great storage options. Women should opt for the Freedom Insulated Pants, also by The North Face. These, too, are available at REI, and they have a low rise and boot cut styling for a sleek look. The outer shell is made of sleek black fabric that's waterproof, and they're lined with cozy material for extra warmth.
Whether you're hiking in the wetlands or you're on a long journey and expect inclement weather, you'll need hiking pants that provide great protection. In addition, investing in waders or waterproof hiking boots is a good idea, but pants are a great place to start. Men should opt for a style like Patagonia's Gunnison Gorge Wading Pants, which are water resistant and have elastic binding around the ankles. This style is also available for women, too. Even though they're water resistant, they're extremely breathable, making them perfect for year-round hiking. In the winter, you could easily wear tights underneath them for added warmth and insulation. Find them online at www.patagonia.com or a Patagonia retail store near you.