5 Best Hiking Leggings for ULTIMATE Comfort and Function [2019]

Last Updated on by Sam Hardy

People love leggings. There is no denying it and it’s pretty obvious why. Not only do they look amazing on, but they are also extremely comfortable and flexible. Making them perfect for any gym session or even a lazy day.

The only problem is most leggings are not durable. Most of them are made out of a cotton, spandex blend. Making them great for indoor activities or errands around town, but awful for any outdoor activities, such as hiking.

However, they do make leggings, especially for hiking. They will most certainly not let you down with water-resistant technology and durable materials that last in rough terrain and brush. There is no need to sacrifice style or comfort if you own any of these 5 leggings.

 

#1 Outdoor Research Windward Capri Leggings

Outdoor Research carries a line of Windward gear, which includes hoodies, jackets, pullovers, and leggings. The line is unique because it contains breathable fleece. Keeping you warm, but staying breathable in all the right places to keep you cool at the same time.

Details & Features:

  • One color- Black
  • Five sizes- XS, S, M, L, XL
  • 95% polyester and 5% spandex
  • Quick drying
  • Fleece legs for warmth
  • Radiant LT Fleece for breathability
  • Moisture-wicking material
  • Movement mirroring stretch
  • Available in Men’s and Women’s
  • Zippered side pockets/waistband stash pocket
  • Capri styling

Pros of the Windward Capri Tights

You could wear these leggings year around. The heavy fleece around the legs keeps your legs warm when it gets colder and also keeps your muscles warmed up during rigorous hikes. Meanwhile, the lighter, breathable fleece in the waist and inseam let heat escape and keep you cool.

The women’s Windward Tight includes a small pocket inside the waistband that can held things like your keys or even some cash. 

These leggings are also quick drying, so if you do end up getting a little wet, it won’t take long for you to be dry and warm again. This along with its moisture-wicking material technology keeps you dry for as much of your hike as possible. It also keeps out odor.

Cons of the Windward Tights

However, you don’t get much of a variety with these hiking leggings. They only come in one color choice, but black is the most versatile color of them all. These will still look great with everything else.

Find the Outdoor Research Windward Tights HERE

#2 Prana Rockland Leggings

Prana is well known for making outdoor clothing that not only works really well but also is extremely fashionable. The Rockland leggings are no exception to that. They will last through rough terrain and keep you comfortable whenever you may need to do a little climbing.

Details & Features:

  • One color- Black
  • Five sizes- XS, S, M, L, XL
  • 88% Supplex nylon and 12% elastane
  • Water resistant
  • Quick drying
  • Moisture wicking
  • UPF 30-50
  • Chakra compression
  • Two zippered side pockets
  • Triangle gusset
  • High rise, wide waistband

Pros

Supplex nylon is a material that has been engineered to feel like cotton and keep you as dry as possible. The Rockland leggings are made mostly of Supplex nylon. It’s extremely durable and you won’t have to worry about rain or snow soaking you with these leggings and if you do get wet, they are quick drying.
These leggings are great for climbing too. They have a gusseted crotch making these more durable and flexible. The high rise waste makes it so you do not have to worry about your leggings creeping down on you while climbing as well.

The pockets in the side of these leggings both are zippered shut. One is big enough to even hold your phone. The zipper makes sure that you aren’t going to lose any valuables that you may be carrying with you.

Cons

Like the Radiant Hybrid Tights, these only come in the color black. Although, they do have a bit more style with the patched design of charcoal grey around the knees and rear. Making them more than a boring pair of black leggings.

Find the Prana Rockland Leggings HERE.

#3 Patagonia Peak Mission Tights

The Peak Mission Tights are made for what they sound like they are made for. You can wear these at really high elevation or in cooler weather because they are made to keep you warm. Even with the added warmth, don’t be afraid to wear them year around. They feature gussets to increase breathability and comfort.

Details & Features

  • Two colors- Black and Navy
  • Six sizes- XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Both men’s and women’s options
  • 68% recycled nylon, 15% polyester, and 17% spandex
  • Moisture wicking
  • Quick drying
  • Polygiene anti-odor
  • Micro-terry inside
  • Elastic waistband with drawcord
  • Zippered stash pocket
  • Gusseted construction

Pros

Variety is what makes these leggings unique. They come in men’s and women’s options making them available for everyone. The men’s include a size XXL. There are also two color variations to choose from. Almost anyone will be able to find a pair of these that fit well and match your style.

Peak mission tights are equipped with a micro-terry layer inside of the leggings. This is a polyester fabric the absorbs moisture really well and adds a little warmth. With the added warmth you are able to wear these in cooler weather while remaining sweat free.

A Polygiene odor control finish is added to the leggings. Polygiene technology prevents odor from accumulating really well by stopping odor producing bacteria from growing on your clothing. You can wear these for quite a while without washing them and nobody would even notice.

These are reliable, comfortable leggings. They are very secure with the elastic waist and drawcords to pull them in tight to ensure there is no sliding down. There are also gussets to help keep you flexible without the worry of ripping.

Cons

The fabric has no water resistance. If it is raining or you are hiking in some snow, you may get a little wet. In spite of this, with the leggings being made mostly out of nylon they are naturally quick drying, You won’t be wet for long if you do get a little wet.

You can find the Patagonia Peak Mission Tights HERE.

#4 Columbia Bryce Canyon Leggings

The Bryce Canyon legging is a simple legging that keeps you protected and comfortable. These are equipped with Omni-shield, Omni-wick, and Omni-shade technology. They don’t possess a ton of other features but work very well for shorter trails or trail running.

Details & Features:

  • One color- Black Shark
  • Five sizes- XS, S, M, L, XL
  • 86% Polyester and 14% Elastane
  • Water resistant
  • Moisture-wicking material
  • UPF of 50
  • Elastic, mid rise waistband
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Skinny leg

Pros

Columbia has finished these leggings with Omni-shield protection. This helps repel water and stains. If you fall in a little mud or if it starts raining, you don’t have to worry about it ruining or clothes or soaking you. They are also equipped with Omni-wick and Omni-shade. These help wick away moisture and protect you from UVA and UVB rays.

Even though these only come in one color, they are still highly stylish. It features a skinny leg to accentuate your legs along with a mid rise waist. The mid-rise waist shouldn’t have a problem with any sliding down because the waistband is made of elastic, keeping them tight.

These are also abrasion resistant. They’ll hold up for the long haul because they will not snag on anything you may run them against on the trail. Keeping them intact for much longer

Cons

There are no pockets in these leggings. You would have to bring a backpack or wear a shirt or jacket with pockets to carry things with you. Despite not being able to carry things with you, this may be great for shorter trail runs. You lose the extra weight and bulkiness that pockets can add.

Find the Columbia Bryce Canyon Legging HERE.

#5 Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights

Details & Features:

  • Five colors- Dark Grey, Navy, Black, Glacier Green, and Deep Blue
  • Seven sizes- XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Both men’s and women’s options
  • Made of nylon
  • Quick drying
  • Moisture Wicking
  • UPF of 50
  • Rear and knee reinforcements for added protection
  • Drawcord inside waistband
  • Side map pocket
  • Side zippered pocket
  • Stash pocket
  • Clip on loop
  • Gusset at crotch

Pros

Almost anyone can find one of the leggings in this line to fit them exceptionally well and enjoy one of the many colors offered. They make this legging in both men’s options and women’s options. Women even have the extra size choice of XXS, which is a rare find. Making these the most versatile trekking tights on this list.

You can carry more things with you on these legging than you can in some hiking pants. They are equipped with three pockets. One big enough for a map of smartphone, the other side pocket being big enough for a compass or snacks, and a stash pocket in the waistband for keys or cards. They also come equipped with a loop on the hip that you can clip things onto, such as a jacket.

These trekking tights will keep you comfortable through the roughest and toughest terrains. There is a gusset in the crotch for added mobility and breathability along with extra reinforcements at the knees and rear. These reinforcements keep your knees and rear protected when kneeling or sitting on rough or wet terrain.

On top of the protection from the reinforcements, you get some added protection with a UPF rating of 50. This protects your legs from UVA and UVB rays and prevents future sun damage. Making you all around protected in these leggings.

Cons

The only part of these leggings that are water resistant is in the reinforcements in the rear and knees. The rest of the leggings are only quick drying, so if you step in a puddle you will be wet for a little while.

Find the Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights for women HERE.

Find the Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights for men HERE.

Side by Side Hiking Leggings Comparison

 

 

  

Outdoor Research Windward Capri LeggingsPrana Rockland Leggings Patagonia Peak Mission Tights Columbia Bryce Canyon LeggingsFjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights
Colors Black Black Black & Navy Black Shark Dark Grey, Navy, Black, Glacier Green, & Deep Blue 
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL XS, S, M, L, XL XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL XS, S, M, L, XL XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL 
Available in Men’s and Women’s Yes No Yes No Yes 
Pockets NoTwo zippered side Zippered stash No Side map, side zippered, stash, hip clip loop 
Waist drawcords No No Yes No Yes 
Gussets No Yes Yes No Yes 
Water Resistant No Yes No Yes Partly 
Quick drying Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 
UPF No 30-50 No 50 50 

What to Consider When Shopping

  • Do the leggings have pockets?

Pockets can be important if you plan on hiking for longer periods of time and need things handy. If you are doing shorter hikes or trail running, you may not need pockets to carry a lot of stuff.

  • Are they water resistant, quick drying, moisture wicking, or all?

These are very important features to keep you comfortable and warm. It is not comfortable hiking if you are wet. It can cause chafing and make you really cold if it is not a sunny day. You also are going to want your leggings to absorb any sweat.

  • Is there any gusseting in the leggings?

Gusseting is an insert usually in the crotch or inseam of the leggings that improve mobility and make the leggings more breathable.

  • Will you be hiking in warm weather or cooler weather?

Some of the leggings listed below have fleece or micro-terry fabrics on the inside layer. This makes the leggings a lot more comfortable and moisture wicking, but can get really hot if you plan on hiking in hotter weather.

  • What do you want your budget to be?

You can’t get a good pair of hiking leggings for $20, but if you can sacrifice a few features, you can get a pair of leggings that are great for hiking that are a little cheaper.

FAQ About Hiking Leggings

Here are some comon points of inquiry that we receive about hiking pants and leggings:

Are leggings good for hiking?

Yes, hiking leggings are great as a hiking pant replacement! Hiking in leggings, spandex, workout leggings, or yoga pants is definitely a fast growing trend. The additional flexibilty, supportive fit and comfortable fit make them ideal hiking apparal. Best of all, you can use them off and on the trail, whenever you want a comfortable set of pants.

Are compression tights good for hiking?

Compression tights (sometimes called compression leggings) can also be great hiking apparel, so long as you genuinely need the performance support. Just like for running, compression pants can enhance longevity and minimize fatigue on the trail.

Is it OK to hike in jeans?

While the “hiking police” won’t stop you, hiking in jeans are not a recommended hiking pant option. In particular, jeans are not great for absorbing sweat and can often lead to chafing, even if you’ve never previously experienced chafing for casual use. Jeans are also not good for variable conditions, including wet weather, cold, and hot weather (not a very breatheable material). 

Final Fit on the Best Hiking Leggings

You can’t wear just any leggings to go hiking. Cotton leggings don’t offer the protection or added comfort that you need while hiking, but you do not have to completely forget about the idea of wearing leggings while hiking.

These five leggings let you hike, bike, climb, or do whatever rough outdoor activity you enjoy without sacrificing the flexibility and curve-hugging compression that you already love about leggings. Try one or few of them out and feel the difference.

Further Reading on Hiking Apparel

Leave a Comment: