If you’ve ever gone hiking and backpacking in denim or sweatpants, you probably found out the hard way that these types of pants just aren’t cut out of hiking activities.
When it comes to gear for a backpacking trip, hiker clothes are just as important as your boots, jacket, or your backpack and the travel pants you choose are no exception.
Here are 5 of the best hiking pants for women (specifically designed as women’s pant options) that want to stay cool, comfortable, and protected, with some durable pants for hiking or backpacking on the trail (trail pants).
Short Answer – Best Hiking Pants for Women
- Prana Halle Pant: Best Overall
- North Face Paramount
- Marmot Lobo
- Kuhl Kliffside: Best Convertible
- Arc’teryx Gamma LT
- Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants: Best for Windy Conditions
- Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants: Most Durable
- Montane Terra Ridge: Best Lightweight
- Columbia Silver Ridge Stretch Pant II: Best Pocket Storage
- Marmot PreCip Pant: Best Waterproof Pants
- Patagonia Quandary Pants
- Arc’teryx Sylvite Pants
- Columbia Saturday Trail Pant
- Mountain Hardwear Dynama Pant
Top 3 Best Hiking Pants for Women Compared
- Beautifully designed
- UPF rating of 50+
- Prana’s Stretch Zion technology
- Excellent designs that fit the curves
- Ten size options in Slim fit
- Three inseam options
Here’s the full analysis of the best women’s hiking pant options:
Prana may not be as much of a household name as Marmot or TNF, but don’t let that fool you.
This brand makes some beautifully designed hiking pants for women that are just as comfortable and attractive around town as it is in the backcountry for his durability. It’s tough to choose only one pair for backpacking, but this Halle pant model comes pretty close to perfect.
Hiking Pant Details & Features:
- Five color options – Cargo Green, Black, Coal, Dark Ginger & Dark Khaki
- Nine size options in Relaxed fit – 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16
- Three inseam options – Short (30″), Regular (32″) and Tall (36″)
- Made of a 97% Nylon and 3% Spandex blend
- Designed with Prana Stretch Zion technology
- Trim is 100% Polyester
- UPF sun rating of 50+ with a DWR finish
- The non-convertible design offers roll-up cuffs instead
- Straight legs with articulated knees for movement
- Mid-rise fit with a comfortable waistband
- Hand pockets + back pockets + hidden zippered pocket on the right leg
Having three inseam options is always a huge plus but taller women will really find the 36″ inseam to be a huge benefit. While most “Tall” inseams stop at 34″, the extra 2″ can really provide the coverage some women need with sturdy belt loops if needed.
The Relaxed fit is a little slimmer compared to other pants due to the straight legs, but this gives the pants a flattering look on the body. The use of Prana Stretch Zion and articulated knees ensure that you don’t feel restricted while getting over tricky spots on the trail or having to do some climbing.
The Prana Halle pant isn’t a convertible style, which can either be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you like as a hiker. Some women much prefer the look of regular pants versus convertible so if that is your preference, the Halle is a great choice.
These pants do have roll-up cuffs with built-in tabs to keep them in place so if you need to cool off or cross very shallow water, you can do so easily making it a great choice for hiking and backpacking.
Halle Hiking Pants Prices & Where to Buy:
- Directly via Prana.com: I always check the Prana site first as they typically have the best warranty service and offer seasonal (and loyalty) discounts. Check this listing for the Prana Halle pricing.
- On Amazon: You can see the latest prices on the Halle’s here.
Similarly to Marmot, The North Face is another famous outdoor apparel brand – perhaps even one of the most popular.
Women with a love for outdoor adventures are probably already aware that TNF is known for their excellent designs that fit the curves of a woman’s body well. The brand certainly kept the design in mind when they created the North Face women’s hiking pants Paramount 2.0.
Hiking Pant Details & Features:
- Two-color options – Dune Beige & Sedona Sage Grey
- Ten size options in Slim fit – 00, 0, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14 & 16
- Three inseam options – Short (30″), Regular (32″) & Long (34″)
- Made of a 96% Nylon & 4% Elastane Stretch Woven blend
- Treated with a DWR coating
- Concealed zipper for short conversion
- Shorts have a 5″ inseam
- Internal drawcords
- Hand pockets + side mini cargo pockets + rear patch pockets
While at first glance the Paramount ll travel pants might look like any typical convertible hiking pant, these actually have a lot more going for them. A few key differences in features, like their pockets, make this model a great choice for women that aren’t yet fans of this style of hiking pants for women.
First off, there is a huge range of sizes available, from 00 up to 16. Most women will be able to find the perfect size and comfort. Not to mention that, unlike many other outdoor pants, the Paramount ll has three inseam sizes. This is an instant selling point for women that find the typical 32″ inseam to be too short or too long.
A common complaint of some convertible pants is that when zipped down to shorts, the inseam of the convertible hiking pant as shorts is unattractively long, especially for women on the petite size. While many other models end up at knee-length the Paramount ll is at an excellent 5″ inseam.
This is long enough to provide coverage and help prevent chafing while still enough leg to keep you cool and looking great. Not to mention you can cool off easier in a pond, lake or creek without worrying about soaking your shorts making it a great piece of women’s outdoor gear.
Lastly, the Paramount 2.0 has some great little features that really make them a favorite. Numerous pockets, including the mini cargo pocket options, are perfect for stowing small gadgets or snacks for later. The DWR finish also helps keep you dry in mist, fog, or a light drizzle while still being breathable enough for quick drying.
Pricing: You can check out prices on the Paramount 2.0 at this Amazon listing.
Navigate Mother Nature's fickle personality with this outstanding convertible garment—part of Marmot's eco-friendly Upcycle program. Made from innovative water-repellent fabric with soft tricot linings; the two cargo pockets feature sturdy zip closures.
Marmot makes some amazing apparel like pants for men, women and children alike, so it’s no surprise that their pants for hiking are a firm favorite for women’s hiking and backpackers.
The Lobo convertible pant is an excellent choice for women that will be hiking backpacking over a variety of terrain or in shifting weather conditions (functional as a rain pant with the quick-drying technology).
Hiking Pant Details & Features:
- Seven sizes in Regular fit – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 14
- Four color choices – Desert Khaki, Stone Green, Dark Steel & Black
- Made of a blend of 94% Nylon & 6% Elastane Plain Weave Peached fabrics (Bluesign approved)
- DriClime Interior Waistband
- Stretchy materials for movement + inseam gusseted crotch panel
- Average weight under 10 oz
- Offers UPF sun protection (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50
- Treated with a durable water-resistant finish (DWR coating) + fast-drying when wet (although not fully waterproof hiking pants)
- Durable 1brasion resistant fabric ideal for backcountry adventures
- Three ways to wear – full-length pants, rolled up cuffs for capris or unzip for shorts (ultimate breathability)
- Pants have a 32″ inseam with a zipper for 9″ inseam shorts
- Front hand pockets + a zippered side pocket
A convertible pant is always a great choice for backpacking since you get the best of both worlds – the protection and durability of long pants but the ability and comfortable fit to switch to hiking shorts when things get warm or you want to wade through water. The Lobo’s by Marmot is perfect all-around convertibles for the adaptive hiker.
These are real workhorse pants and most women will find that the comfortable fit, between sizes 2 and 14, is excellent.
“The fit is great. can’t wait to try them hiking.” -Amazon review
These pants have a Regular fit which tends to be a little on the loose side so it doesn’t impede movement. While most convertible pants only allow to zip off to shorts, the added bonus of being able to cuff up the pants is ideal for women that prefer the Capri look.
The combination of Nylon and Elastane is perfect in this convertible pant. The Nylon ensures your legs stay protected from brush and rocks while the small amount of Elastane keeps the pants flexible making it a great piece for your hiking gear. The Driclime Interior Waistband is rigid enough to stay put on the waist but stretchy for when you have to bend or climb for incredible comfort.
The Lobo’s may not be the most feminine fitting pants or have the option for Short or Tall inseams, but for the average woman, these workhorses will keep you comfortable day in and day out as all hiking pants for women should.
Marmot Lobo Pricing & Where to Buy:
- On CampSaver.com: Fortunately, the Marmot Lobo’s have a healthy listing page on CampSaver which means outlet savings! Check out this CampSaver page for the latest.
- You can check out this listing for the latest prices on Moosejaw’s
- Buy it directly at Marmot.com here.
Best Women’s Convertible Hiking Pants
Summary: If you are moving through multiple elevations, or just want a good set of multipurpose hiking pants, the Kuhl Kliffside pants are the way to go (nylon and spandex combo).
Best Women’s Softshell Hiking Pants for Alpine Use
Summary: If you are looking for something durable enough for Alpine (or winter hiking) use, but flexible enough for vigorous hiking, the Gamma LT by Arc’teryx softshell pant is a GREAT option (available at REI Co-Op right now)
Best Women’s Hiking Pants for Windy Conditions
These are the perfect all-around softshell stretch pant. With water-resistant UPF 50+ material that is lightweight, breathable and quick-drying, there isn’t a trail they can’t conquer. Features movement mirroring stretch, articulated knees, an internal drawcord waist, and multiple pocket options.
Summary: Great nylon and spandex combination trousers, extremely TOUGH, breathable, and wind-resistant, the Ferrosi pant line is available directly via Outdoor Research here.
Best Durable Women’s Hiking Pants
Durable trekking trousers for adventures in the mountains and forest. Made using durable wind and water-resistant G-1000 Original fabric with a double layer over the rear and knees. Regular waist (mid waist) and regular fit with pre-shaped knees. Six practical pockets including a map pocket and an axe pocket. Elastic strap adjustment with press buttons on leg endings. Equipped with knee pad pockets (knee pads sold separately).
Summary: Great for abrasive outdoor conditions where you are bushwacking or traveling through dense underbrush, available here via Amazon.
Best Lightweight Hiking Pants for Women
#8 Montane Terra Pack Pants (Now Replaced as Montane Terra Ridge)
Summary: The lightest pair of TRUE backpacking pants (not leggings / hiking ights), but extremely lightweight pant variety (trekking pants) at 8.04 oz, available here via CampSaver.
Best Hiking Pants with Pockets & Storage for Women
These Active Fit, nylon ripstop pants are ready for any adventure. Versatile and durable, you’ll move comfortably with articulated knees, an adjustable waist, and roll-up hems. Made for intense outdoor activity, these pants wick sweat away from your skin in a flash and protect against sunburn with built-in UPF 50. Columbia - Comfy Logo Wear at Great Discounts!
Summary: Great hiking trousers for extra storage, deep cargo pockets (similar to cargo pant), security pocket, with convertible zip offs, available directly via Columbia Sportswear here.
Best Waterproof Hiking Pants for Women [Rain Pant]
Lightweight rain pants worthy of long trips into wild places. Reliable membrane provides highly breathable waterproof protection. Eco-friendly DWR finish encourages moisture to bead up and roll off. Fully-taped seams ensure not a drop finds its way inside.
Other Options to Consider | Honorable Mentions
- Patagonia Quandary Pants: Another good stretchy hiking pant option.
- Arc’teryx Sylvite Pants: Very breathable, with AirPerm fabric.
- Columbia Saturday Trail Pant: An excellent VALUE pant, arguably the best budget hiking pants for women. Women's Saturday Trail Stretch Pant | Columbia
A fine-tuned trail pant that’s built for comfort and movement, the Saturday Trail Pant is all about active functionality, featuring a water-repellent, UPF 50 fabrication that protects you from the elements, with stretch properties and gusseting for great mobility. When conditions heat up, the roll-up hems let you convert this versatile pant into a capri.We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
- Mountain Hardwear Dynama Pant: If COMFORT is your game, these are definitely the most comfortable women’s hiking pants that we tested. Women's Dynama Pant | MountainHardwear
Whether you're trekking on the trail, topping out a boulder, strutting the office, or perusing the grocery store for send fuel, the Dynama™ Pant transitions seamlessly. That's because we designed it in a feminine fit without ditching the stretch factor⏤which is just as crucial to crushing it on your nine-to-five grind as it is throwing a high heel up for those reachy moves on the rock.We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Similar to the best hiking pants for women, the above guide is exclusively dedicated to hiking leggings, hiking tights and legging activewear.
Final Stretch: Parting Words on the Top Hiking Pants for Women
Going to yoga class wearing jeans (instead of a yoga pant) makes just as little sense as wearing them on a hike. If you are serious about backpacking, invest in some high-quality pants made for that activity.
Most women should be able to find their perfect fit within these 10+ excellent hiking pants, whether used as a base layer on a winter hike (winter hiking pant) or for casual outdoor wear.
Further Reading Hiking Clothing, Hiking Gear, and Hiking Shorts:
- Best Hiking Shorts & Backpacking Shorts for Women
- A Complete Guide to Base Layer For Hiking: What’s Needed?
- The Best Rain Pants for Camping – Stay Dry! [2021 Deals!]
- Best Hiking Cargo Pants [Guide]
- Best Ultralight Backpacking Gear Ideas
- Best Rain Poncho for Hiking
- The Best Patagonia Shorts on The Market
Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival skills. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.