Last Updated on 27/08/2023
In this guide to the best women’s hiking pants, we share the most breathable, comfortable, and lightweight women’s trousers for trekking. You will learn about convertible pants and which pants to avoid if you suffer from chafing.
What Are the Best Women’s Hiking Pants?
Hiking is enjoyed all around the world and has been proven to improve your health and mood, but before you start hiking, you need to decide what to wear. Finding the best women’s hiking pants is harder than it sounds, but through writing this guide, we think we have found some real winners.
Let’s be honest: pants that fit, look good, and are comfortable are hard to come by, but most women are willing to sacrifice some comfort in the name of fashion. With hiking pants, however, comfort and fit are more important than style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look good on the trail.
While hiking pants might seem like a simple piece of gear, we all know that an uncomfortable or poorly fitting pair of pants can turn an otherwise fantastic hike into an annoying day of rubbing and wedgies. So, finding the best pair of hiking pants is critical to feeling and performing your best when on the trail. Other key pieces of clothing for female hikers are their footwear and waterproof jacket, which we have covered previously.
But with so many different models of women’s hiking pants out there to choose from, how can you ever pick just one? Don’t worry, we’re here to show you a wide variety of what’s available and what makes them so tailored for hiking. Beneath our top 12 reviews, we have the ultimate guide to the best women’s hiking pants on the market today.
12 Best Women’s Hiking Pants
Women’s Patagonia Simul Alpine Pants
- MATERIAL: Recycled Polyester soft-shell with DWR
- CLOSURE: Elastic waist with zippered fly
- WEIGHT: 352 g / 12.4 oz
Designed specifically for ventures into the alpine environment, the Women’s Patagonia Simul Alpine Pants are lightweight soft-shell hiking pants that are ready for any adventure. Their soft-shell fabric is stretchy and breathable yet can withstand years of travel over rough terrain. The fabric is even treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating for extra weather protection.
The Simul Alpine has a gusseted crotch for extra stretch and mobility and less discomfort when wearing a harness. Climbers particularly will enjoy the Simul Alpine’s smartly placed pockets on both thighs, which allow access to your important gear, even while wearing a harness. Perfect for hikers who like to venture into the vertical world, the Simul Alpine is an incredibly versatile pair of women’s hiking pants.
Women’s Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
- MATERIAL: 86% Ripstop, 14% Spandex 90D Stretch Woven Ripstop
- CLOSURE: Button and zipper fly
- WEIGHT: 269 g / 9.5 oz
Perfect for any summertime adventure, the Women’s Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are a long-time fan favorite of hikers around the world. Made with an extremely lightweight yet durable soft-shell fabric, the Ferrosi is great for staying cool and well-ventilated on those hot summer hikes.
Although the soft-shell fabric in the Ferrosi is incredibly thin and breathable, it’s also highly durable, even after hours of bushwhacking. These water and wind-resistant pants feature articulated knees and movement-mirroring stretch technology, so you never feel constrained as you charge up the hill. What more could you ask for?
Women’s Patagonia Quandary Pants
- MATERIAL: 95% Nylon (65% recycled) / 5% Spandex with DWR and 50+ UPF sun protection
- CLOSURE: Belt loops, metal button, hidden drawcord, and a zippered fly
- WEIGHT: 264 g / 9.3 oz
A modern take on a classic hiking pants design, the Women’s Patagonia Quandary Pants were built specifically with comfort in mind. The Quandary pants are made with a stretchy nylon fabric that provides 50+ UPF sun protection and water resistance, thanks to a DWR coating.
Simple yet functional, the Quandary pants have two front pockets, two back pockets, and a zippered cargo pocket on the right thigh for added storage on the go. Plus, you can easily convert the Quandary into capris in hot weather by using the loop and metal snap closure on these roll-up pants.
Women’s Prana Halle Pants
- MATERIAL: 97% Nylon/3% Spandex
- CLOSURE: Belt loops, double button, and a zippered fly
- WEIGHT: 340 g / 12 oz
Built using Prana’s proprietary “Zion” stretch fabric, the Women’s Prana Halle Pants is the everyday adventurer’s go-to pair of pants. The Halle features a DWR finish for extra weather protection, while the abrasion-resistant Zion fabric is made to handle rugged conditions.
These roll-up pants have articulated knees for freedom of movement as well as a UPF 50 rating to keep you protected from the sun while on the go. They are great for winter when paired with thermal leggings like the Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Leggings. The pants even come in three different inseam lengths, so you can find precisely the right fit for your body with the Prana Halle.
Available with short or long inseam or as convertible pants to suit your needs, these are perfect for 3 season hikes.
Women’s Marmot Lobos Convertible Pants
- MATERIAL: 94% Nylon 6% Elastane Peached Plain Weave 3.8 oz/yd
- CLOSURE: Belt loops, metal button, zippered fly, and DriClime® Interior Waistband
- WEIGHT: 280 g / 9.9 oz
Innovative yet eco-friendly, the Women’s Marmot Lobos Convertible Pants is made with a bluesign-approved fabric that’s good for you and the environment. The Lobos Convertible is built with a nylon stretch performance and is a woven fabric that has a UPF 50 rating and a DWR coating.
These quick-drying pants have a roll-up cuff feature as well as zippers that quickly convert them into 9” shorts when the sun is shining. Plus, with front hand pockets and two zippered cargo pockets, the Lobos Convertible is a stylish yet functional set of hiking pants for everyday use.
Women’s The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants
- MATERIAL: 95% Nylon, 5% Elastane – FlashDry-XD
- CLOSURE: Elastic waist with drawcord
- WEIGHT: 220 g / 8 oz
If you’re looking for a pair of hiking pants that look as good in town as they do on the trail, then look no further than the Women’s The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants. These super-durable hiking pants are made using The North Face’s Flashy new Dry-XD fabric, which effectively wicks moisture away to keep you dry in hot conditions.
The Aphrodite has a 2×2” wide rib-knit waistband for extra comfort, as well as triple-needle stitching throughout the pants for added durability on the trail. Oh, and the Aphrodite is super comfortable, thanks to their casual, loose-fitting design, so you can charge uphill with ease.
Women’s Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants
- MATERIAL: 88% nylon / 12% elastane
- CLOSURE: Snap closure, zip fly, adjustable integrated webbing belt
- WEIGHT: 308 g / 10.9 oz
Ultra-durable, the Women’s Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants are a lightweight hiker and alpinist’s best friend. These softshell pants are incredibly durable, thanks to their abrasion-resistant Fortius DW 2.0 fabric, which integrates elastane fibers into quick-drying nylon for plenty of stretch and comfort.
The pants feature a gusseted crotch for plenty of comfort and freedom of movement on the trail, while the women’s specific design and articulated construction allow for a truly customized fit. Plus, all of the Gamma LT’s four pockets are fully zippered, so you don’t have to worry about losing your gear ever again.
Women’s Mountain Hardwear Dyneema Pants
- MATERIAL: 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
- CLOSURE: Low-profile stretch waistband
- WEIGHT: 143 g / 5 oz
Whether you’re hiking, climbing, or just enjoying a walk around town, the Women’s Mountain Hardwear Dyneema Pants are designed to do it all. The Dyneema has a low-profile stretch waistband to keep you comfortable, while their lightweight stretch nylon fabric allows for an uninhibited range of motion.
The fabric in the Dyneema even has a DWR coating to keep you protected during light rainstorms. If that wasn’t enough, the Dyneema are some of the lightest women’s hiking pants on the market today, so you can take them with you on all of your summertime adventures.
Women’s Fjallraven Vidda Pants
- MATERIAL: G-1000® Original: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
- CLOSURE: Belt loops, metal button, and zippered fly
- WEIGHT: 540 g / 19 oz
Made specifically with avid trekkers in mind, the Women’s Fjallraven Vidda Pants are an innovative take on a classic trekking pants design. These ultra-durable trekking pants are made with wind and water-resistant G-1000 fabric and feature a second layer over high-wear areas for extra ruggedness.
They boast six large pockets, including one sized specifically for a map, to make it easier to keep all of your most important pieces of gear on hand at all times. The downside? The Fjallraven Vidda, like most of Fjallraven’s gear, is quite expensive. But, if you value quality in construction above all else, you won’t go wrong with the Vidda.
Women’s Arc’teryx Palisade Pants
- MATERIAL: TerraTex™ 94% nylon, 6% spandex
- CLOSURE: Snap closure, zip fly, adjustable integrated webbing belt
- WEIGHT: 265 g / 9.3 oz
Whether you need a lightweight pair of pants for summer hiking or for scrambling up rocky terrain, the Women’s Arc’teryx Palisade Pants is a stylish, versatile pair of women’s outdoor pants. The Palisades are made from the quick-drying lightweight TerraTex nylon fabric, which is highly breathable and uber comfortable.
The Palisades’ streamlined fit provides maximum comfort while their stretchiness makes it easy to get up the most difficult of terrain. If that wasn’t enough, their carefully placed pockets are even easy to access while wearing a pack. What could be better?
Women’s Fjallraven Nikka Pants
- MATERIAL: Body – 65% polyester/35% cotton, Panels – 63% polyamide / 26% polyester / 11% elastane
- CLOSURE: Belt loops, metal button, and zippered fly
- WEIGHT: 395 g / 13.9 oz
The Women’s Fjallraven’s Nikka Pants are a set of technical hiking trousers made for the everyday adventurer. Thanks to their G-1000 fabric, the Nikka are highly durable, though designed to allow for freedom of movement on the trail.
They feature a women-specific fit that adds comfort with every step, as well as a higher rear waistline for extra padding when wearing a backpack. As with all Fjallraven pants, the Nikka also has large, zippered hand pockets and large leg pockets for storing all your essential items on the go. Plus, Nikka’s raw-length leg ending means you can get that customized fit on your new hiking pants.
Women’s Arc’teryx Sabria Pants
- MATERIAL: Fortius™ DW 1.0 – 87% Nylon, 13% Elastane
- CLOSURE: Four-way stretch waist with low-profile internal adjuster
- WEIGHT: 190 g / 6.7 oz
Technical yet simple, the aesthetically pleasing Women’s Arc’teryx Sabria Pants are a streamlined set of hiking pants that minimize bulk on the trail. Everything you need and nothing you don’t, the Sabria are made with Fortius DW 1.0, an ultralight and durable fabric that provides an ample amount of stretch.
Thanks to their articulated knees and gusseted crotch, the Sabria provide a full range of motion, while the pull-on low-profile waist keeps hikers comfortable, even on the longest of trail days. Oh, and thanks to their UPF 50+ sun protection rating and DWR coating, there’s nothing the Sabria can’t handle.
Women’s Hiking Pants Buyer’s Guide
When buying a pair of hiking pants, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Here’s what you should consider before you spend your hard-earned money:
Type of pants
Pants are just pants, right? Well, it so happens that there are quite a few different types of the best women’s hiking pants out there, and many people have strong preferences for what they choose to wear. Here are the three main types:
As the name suggests, “regular” or “standard” hiking pants are simple yet functional. They don’t have any fancy bells and whistles and are meant to simply be worn as long pants. This makes them ideal for cooler climates, where you might not want to wear shorts.
That being said, you can always roll up a pair of regular pants to get some more ventilation around the ankle, but there’s no fastening system to hold them in place. But regular pants are great for keeping dirt and bugs off of your legs in the summer months!
Roll-up pants are just “regular” pants that have a fastening system to help them stay up when you decide you need a bit of airflow around the ankles. They allow you all of the benefits of regular pants with a bit of added versatility.
Convertible pants or “zip offs” feature zippers right above the knee line so you can quickly change your pants into shorts. These are a great option for people who head out on extended backpacking trips and don’t want to separately pack a pair of shorts. That being said, while some people won’t go outside without them, others wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of convertible pants, so it’s all a matter of personal preference.
These days, you can find some hiking pants that are made with a bit of built-in water resistance. The vast majority of the time, this water resistance is just an applied DWR (durable water repellent) coating that helps water bead off the pants. This is a nice feature in a light drizzle, but in a downpour, standard hiking pants won’t keep you as dry as you might imagine – you’ll need rain pants for that.
Hiking pants, for the most part, are designed to be highly breathable, which is ideal for people who hike in hot environments or expend a lot of energy on the trail. However, some hiking pants are more breathable than others. Generally, breathability is a tradeoff with the thickness of the pants fabric, with thinner pants being more breathable yet less durable.
The majority of modern hiking pants have some semblance of UV protection, which means they protect your skin from the sun’s most harmful rays. You’ll find this feature measured in UPF, which is a rating that shows how much UV light a piece of fabric allows through.
A good fit is paramount in any pair of pants. However, since the fit is highly personal, we can’t really offer any advice on this matter, except that we recommend trying on a pair of pants before you take them outside for the first time. Whenever you buy clothing online, we always recommend checking the return policy first to ensure that you can exchange the gear for the correct size, if necessary!
Who doesn’t love pockets? When you’re out on the trail, a quality array of pockets can make it easier to carry your map, compass, snacks, and other important pieces of gear. However, too many pockets make a pair of pants bulky and uncomfortable, while poorly placed pockets are just useless. Zippered pockets are always an advantage on hiking pants because they stop you from losing an important piece of gear while in the mountains.
We’ve all been there: That horrible, sinking feeling you get when you hear a ripping noise and realize that you just ripped your pants. When you’re in the mountains, a ripped pair of pants is pretty darn annoying, especially if you don’t have a sewing kit on hand. Generally, the thicker the fabric in a pair of hiking pants, the more durable.
We hope you found what you were looking for on this list of the Best Women’s Hiking Pants and please share it with your hiking girlfriends.