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A good pair of hiking pants provides freedom of movement, a lightweight construction, comfort, durability, and the versatility to perform well in a range of environments. There are many different kinds of pants available and choosing the one that’s right for you can be challenging. The key is making sure you know what you’re looking for and making sure that you don’t get overwhelmed. With so many different types of hiking pants and different styles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, we’re going to take a look at some of the best features, like the material, the number of pockets, whether they’re water-resistant, and a whole lot more. That way you can make sure you’re getting something you can count on to work and to last for more than just this first hiking trip.

So here is the list of lightweight and budget-friendly hiking pants that will keep you comfortable on your next adventure trip.

1. Outdoor Research Ferrosi

Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Material: 86% nylon 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Sun Protection: UPF 50+
Pockets: Front Jean-Style, Bellows Zip Thigh, and Back
Fit: Standard
Weight: 12.6 oz

Ferrosi Pants have a casual aesthetic that you can feel comfortable around town while also delivering functional performance for outdoor activities. The softshell pants are a stretch woven mix of nylon and spandex and the fabric is super lightweight and breathable. Articulated knees help enhance and drawcords at the cuffs let you pull the leg of the pants tight to keep out debris.

The pants have a zippered fly and a button closure. Large belt loops can accommodate your favorite belt and the waistband has a soft tricot lining to further enhance comfort and fit. There are front hand pockets, zippered back pockets, and also a zippered thigh pocket.

The women’s pants have the same overall design but feature a snap with the zipper and a drawcord to get a better fit. You’ll also have a few other options when it comes to the colors so you can get something that fits your personal preference. In both styles, these pants are going to give you a slightly looser fit through the legs to make sure you have the comfort and the freedom to move around that you’re going to need. With the nylon and spandex blend, you’ll also have just a little bit of stretch throughout and breathability.

Pros: Airy fabric, very comfortable, maximum mobility

Cons: Not great in cool weather, waist fit is loose

See the Outdoor Research Ferrosi See the Women’s Ferrosi

2. Columbia Silver Ridge

Columbia Silver Ridge
Material: 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop
Sun Protection: Omni-Shade UPF 50
Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 2 back, 2 cargo, 1 side zippered
Fit: Regular
Weight: 10.8 oz

Silver Ridge is lightweight convertible pants that are available in many different sizes and colors. They feature a thin and breathable material, which means they’d do a fine job of keeping you cool on warmer days. These pants dry quickly if you get caught in a passing shower. However, these pants are not water-resistant. These are convertible pants, which means they zip off into shorts.

They’re made with a thinner material that’s designed to be super breathable and comfortable, even when you’re wearing them in warmer conditions or for extended periods. Not to mention, these pants have UPF protection, making sure you’re not going to get burned by the sun.

You’ll be able to choose between a range of different colors, so you can get something that fits your style, and you’re going to have moisture-wicking too. No one wants to get sweaty and risk all the problems that go along with it when you’re hiking, so the Omni-Wick technology is a great one to have. You’ll also have several pockets with zippers, hook and loop, and more, so you can carry along everything you’re going to need for the day without worrying about a thing.

Pros: Convertible pants for more versatility

Cons: Slim fit doesn’t work well for some people, thin material not suitable for rugged terrain, no water resistance

See the Columbia Silver Ridge See the Women’s Silver Ridge

3. Sherpa Khumbu

Sherpa Khumbu
Material: Nylon/Spandex
Sun Protection: Yes
Weight: 12 oz
Fit: Standard
Pant Leg Style: Straight

Khumbu by Sherpa is a cheap pair of hiking pants that is lightweight, durable, stretchy, and built for adventures. Whether you’re casual walking or hiking the Appalachian Trail, these pants certainly have a place in your closet. The fabric is really what makes the pants stand out. They use a four-way stretch poplin with a DWR finish. It’s a mix of nylon with a little bit of spandex for that stretch. Sherpa compares the texture to elephant skin, which is rugged and durable but maybe not as tough as actual elephant skin. It will travel easily because of the wrinkle-resistant nature of the fabric and it climbs just as well. You could have a built-in gusseted crotch and articulated knees to make scrambling and boulder hopping a breeze.

The hand, thigh, and back pockets have secured zipper closures so you can keep things secure when you’re hiking. The waist belt is tricot-lined and there are low-profile belt loops in case you need them. The seams are set away from pressure points so the pants stay comfortable no matter what even if you’re wearing a climbing harness or a pack hip belt. The fit is nice on the pants. You get a slightly trimmer fit so they look just as classy if you’re wearing them downtown.

Pros: Fairly flexible fabric, durable, nicely tailored, looks smart, inexpensive

Cons: Limited color options available

See the Sherpa Khumbu

4. Marmot Men’s Arch Rock

Marmot Arch Rock
Material: 94% nylon, 6% elastane
Sun Protection: UPF 50
Pockets: 2 hand, 2 back, 1 zippered side
Fit: Relaxed
Weight: 10.1 oz

Arch Rock pants are designed with modern styling but very technical materials that make them great for hikers, climbers, and more. These pants are constructed with Bluesign Approved Abrasion-Resistant Nylon Fabric and it does have a DWR finish so it’s going to shed light rain. They are a performance woven fabric so you do get a lot of stretch and movement out of them as well.

It is a UPF 50 pant so you get an ultraviolet protection factor of 50. So it’s going to enhance the sun protection that you get out of these pants. The pants offer almost all the basic features. You have the basic front hand pockets, two backhand pockets, and one zippered side pocket for some extra security. The pants have a very sleek and streamlined design but you still have some places to store some things.

On the inside of the pants, you do have a dry climb interior waistband so that’s going to help with comfort as well as moisture management when you’re getting a little bit warmer on the trail.

These pants are designed to have a relaxed fit. They do have, however, articulated knees and a guested crotch so the movement is still easy with these pants, and combined with those stretchy materials, they’re airy, breathable, lightweight, and very easy to move around in. So whether you’re on a big multi-pitch climb or a long grueling day on the trail, the Marmot Arch Rock Pants are sure to hold up.

Pros: Sturdy construction, the tapered legs make for a great fit and make them less baggy

Cons: The material is pretty thin, so you will need to layer if the temperature drops. Tight around the legs from the knees down and can’t go over the tops of boots or shoes.

See the Marmot Men’s Arch Rock

5. Marmot PreCip Eco

Marmot PreCip Eco
Material: NanoPro Eco 100% Recycled Nylon Ripstop
Pockets: Zip Front Hand Pockets
Fit: Regular
Weight: 8 oz

PreCip Eco Pants are great for anything from weekend backpacking trips or tailgating in the rain. They’re light, fairly packable, waterproof, and easy to manage. The Eco Full Pants are made with 100% recycled ripstop nylon. This NanoPro construction is fully waterproof and breathable. It’s also fully seam taped which guarantees that performance.

These pants have two zippered pockets on the front and a single rear zippered pocket. The big benefit of the full-length side zippers is that you can easily vent if you start to heat up and it’s not pouring down. The velcro top and the snap at the bottom keep them secure. The storm flap over the zippers keeps out rain. This also makes it significantly easier to put the pants on and to take them off.

The fit is regular and it has an elastic waistband so they’re easy to slide up over your hiking pants. They’re packable enough for backpacking and will keep you dry on rainy days at a price that won’t break the bank.

Pros: Packable, waterproof, and the full zip feature makes them easy to slide on and off.
Cons: The waistband feels a little loose.

See the Marmot PreCip Eco See the Women’s PreCip Eco

6. Mountain Hardwear AP

Mountain Hardwear Men's AP
Material: 75.0% Cotton, 23.0% Nylon, 2.0% Elastane
Pockets: Front snap pocket and zip security pockets
Fit: Regular
Weight: 7.2 oz

Mountain Hardwear AP is the do-everything pants. It’s a blend of cotton, nylon, and elastic materials that deliver comfort and durability for just about anything you throw at them. Yes, they do have cotton in the construction so they’re not as ideal for extended backpacking, thru-hiking or wet conditions. But for full-on days in the backcountry, you’re quick out and back missions, they’re certainly still a worthwhile contender.

These pants have a sleek streamlined profile and a pre-standard fit. The waist is super low bulk so it would easily fit beneath a climbing harness or under a pack hip-belt. There’re many pockets including a front cellphone pocket, standard hand pockets, and zip security back pockets. These pants do have some reflective hits as well for low-light visibility. Sometimes your days end up turning into nights regardless of your intentions. So it’s always nice to have that safety feature.

All-around these pants are more durable than your standard inexpensive hiking pants but they don’t offer quite as much in the quick-drying potential. They’ll pretty much handle whatever you throw at them with ease tough.

Pros: Stylish look, versatile for many activities, comfortable cotton fabric

Cons: Tight fit, no water resistance, not much ventilation

See the Mountain Hardwear AP See the Women’s AP

7. prAna Stretch Zion

prAna Stretch Zion
Material: 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex
Sun Protection: UPF 50+
Pockets: 2 hand, 1 cargo, 2 back
Fit: Standard
Weight: 1 lb

These pants are going to look like you could wear them just about anywhere, but they’re great for outdoor use. They come in a range of different colors and even in different lengths so you can get a full pant or an ankle style if you prefer. They’re made of nylon with just a little spandex mixed in, which gives you a bit more freedom and movement when you’re hiking or carrying out any kind of task. What’s even better is that they’re water repellent, so if you happen to get caught in less than ideal weather you’ll be just fine.

There are mesh pockets and a ventilated system inside the pants that makes them more comfortable to wear when it gets a little warmer on that hike. Not to mention they’re abrasion-resistant. The women’s version is very similar to a standard snap front and has options for full pants or capris versions. You’ll still get all the same features but with a slightly more fitted style. They’re still going to give you the movement that you’re looking for while heading out for anything.

Pros: Stylish and comfortable without looking like hiking pants

Cons: The pockets aren’t large enough to hold much of anything

See the prAna Stretch Zion

8. Columbia Royce Peak

Columbia Royce Peak
Material: 96% nylon/4% elastane Rugged Stretch canvas
Sun Protection: UPF 50
Fit: Modern Classic Fit
Pockets: 2 rear, 2 side, 1 zippered on right thigh

Another pair of pants made by a company that’s quite well known in sporting goods, these are sleek and simple. They’re available in several different colors and they are extremely breathable, which is going to be one of the most important features for hiking pants of any type. They’re also waterproof, which makes them even better if you’re going to be walking through water (or if you might be). Lightweight and complete with a 2-way stretch, these pants are going to offer many different options for anyone heading on a hike.

The pants even have UPF 50 to make sure you have sun protection and there are plenty of different pockets all around that will let you carry everything you need. The women’s version is slightly more fitted but otherwise has all of the same features and makes sure that you’re going to have the versatility and comfort that you need when you’re out on the trail. You’ll even have the option to roll up the legs to create more comfortable capris when the weather is too warm.

Pros: Waterproof and sun protection to keep you better protected

Cons: The sizing is very inaccurate and you’ll need to look at something slightly larger than normal

See the Columbia Royce Peak

9. Marmot PreCip

Marmot PreCip
Material: NanoPro, Nylon Ripstop
Fit: Regular
Pockets: 2 zippered hand 1 zippered back
Waist: Elastic
Weight: 12 oz

If you’re expecting to be out in less than stellar weather you’re going to want these pants. They’re fully elastic and they’re made entirely with nylon, which is going to help you stay a little drier, no matter what you’re doing. Not only that but they’re affordable and have taped seams to keep the water out even more. You’ll still have pockets to store your belongings, but this rainwear is great to wear on its own or you can slip it on over top of your other clothes to keep them dry.

The pants are very lightweight and provide great coverage, no matter where you’re going. The women’s version is going to provide you with all of the same features including the pockets and the elastic waist to get a more comfortable fit. That’s especially important if you’re going to be wearing them when it’s raining and you need the freedom to be able to move around even more (or if you’re pulling them on over something else).

Pros: Super waterproof and protective

Cons: No liner, which doesn’t work well for cool weather

See the Marmot PreCip See the Women’s PreCip

10. Columbia Men’s Rebel Roamer

Columbia Men's Rebel Roamer
Material: Nylon
Fit: Baggy
Pockets: No
Waist: Elastic with Drawcord
Weight: 11 oz

These are one of only three pants that are only for men that made our list, but they’re a great pick, so we just couldn’t keep them off. Once again, they’re made by a company that you know and trust and they have a lot of great features. The main one is that they have a 100% nylon shell, so they’re going to be waterproof and easy to wear anywhere the weather isn’t cooperating with your travel plans. They have an elastic waistband to make them more flexible and comfortable as well.

You’ll have a drawcord waist that lets you get a good fit and the leg opening is adjustable so you don’t have to have a wide fit like most rain pants. These loose-fit pants are still breathable, so you don’t have to worry about getting too overheated just so you can keep out the rain. You’ll get bootstraps as well, which means you can connect them directly to your hiking boots and make sure water isn’t getting up under them or your pants aren’t riding up while you’re wearing them.

Pros: Lightweight and reasonably priced, these are a great waterproof option

Cons: There are no pockets anywhere on these pants

See the Columbia Rebel Roamer

11. Outdoor Research Voodoo

Outdoor Research Voodoo
Material: 88% nylon, 12% spandex
Weight: 12.4 oz
Inseam: 30 & 32 in
Pockets: Multiple

If you want pants that are going to give you a super sleek look and make sure that you’re still comfortable and protected when you head out hiking these are the way to go. They’re some of the great hiking pants out there because they give you a comfortable fit with nylon and elastane. They’re also water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and wind-resistant, which means you can do just about anything you want and still stay warm and dry. Of course, you’re also going to love that they’re breathable, which will keep you just cool enough for those warmer hiking days.

The quick-dry feature means if you do get wet you won’t be that way for long and since the pants themselves are lightweight you won’t have a problem with even extended hikes. On top of that, you’re going to have plenty of pockets and even internal loops, plus you can move in any way you want with ease. The women’s version is the same as the men’s and still provides you with all of the features that you need and the pockets you’re going to want so you can be prepared.

Pros: Stretchy and flexible for any work you want to do

Cons: Not designed for more curvy body types

See the Outdoor Research Voodoo See the Women’s Voodoo

12. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo
Material: 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop
Inseam: 30”, 32”, 34”
Pockets: Multiple
Waist: Partial elastic

If you like the style of the Silver Ridge pants we talked about earlier but don’t necessarily need the zip-off feature you’re going to like these pants. They’re another men’s only option, but they’re cargo pants that give you a slightly more fitted style with plenty of pockets. Anyone who likes to go hiking knows that you’re going to have a lot of gear you need to take with you and that’s going to be a whole lot easier if you have places to put them that include different styles of pockets, like zipper and hook and loop.

Here you’ll have something lightweight, available in a multitude of different colors, and complete with Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade. That means they’re going to get rid of moisture while you’re sweating on that hike and they’re going to offer UPF50 to protect you from the sun. No matter where you’re hiking or what the weather is like when you head out there you’re going to like wearing these pants. Not to mention you’re going to love the freedom to move around just the way you want.

Pros: Comfortable and breathable for any outdoor activities

Cons: Slightly off on sizing, must order a size larger

See the Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo

13. prAna Men’s Brion

prAna Men's Brion
Material: 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
Sun Protection: UPF 50+
Pocket: 5
Weight: 7.6 oz
Fit: slim

These men’s pants could just about pass for a pair of work pants and they’re going to be comfortable enough that you probably want to wear them every day. They’re made of nylon with just a little bit of spandex, which provides the right amount of stretch for freedom of movement throughout the day. They have a button closure, which makes them a little more secure than some options with snaps and they have a straight-leg design. That means you’re going to have a slightly fitted style but one that still doesn’t feel that way.

There are plenty of different pockets all around, so you’ll be able to store everything that you need and you’ll have belt loops so you can add your belt to the mix if you want. The material is actually called a Zion fabric and not only does it stretch but it’s water repellent too, so if you’re hiking through wet terrain you’re going to appreciate that fact. Choose whichever color you like best and you’re going to be all set to head out for your next big hike.

Pros: Comfortable and very stretchy for freedom of movement

Cons: These pants are extremely thin and this shows when you fill the pockets

See the prAna Men’s Brion

14. Mountain Khakis Original

Mountain Khakis Original
Material: Cotton
Pockets: Five
Fit: Relaxed
Weight: 10.4 oz

The Mountain Khakis are durable, stylish, and functional pants that are going to hold up no matter what you throw at them. These pants are constructed with durability in mind. They’re made with a 100% cotton two-ply canvas material, which is durable, abrasion-resistant, and will hold up over a very long time whether you’re hiking in these pants, using them day to day, or going climbing at your local gym or crag. To further reinforce, you’ve got triple-stitched seams and bar tack reinforcements in the pants. So, in those higher wear areas, you’ve got extra confidence in the overall durability. The fit of these pants is a relaxed fit with plenty of room to move around in them and you’ve got a diamond-shaped action gusset in the pants as well for full range freedom of movement.

Down at the cuffs, you’ve got a reinforced mud flap on the cuff so sometimes you may find that your pants tend to break down in the heel portion, there these pants are reinforced so it’ll hold up even longer still. You do have an antique-style button on the pants so that gives it a nice aesthetic appeal as well. You have signature Mountain Khaki angled pockets on the top side so two front pockets there and a kind of hitting seam deep drilled pocket for the hand on the right-hand side. On the rear, you do just have two standard rear pockets so you can store your items there whether it’s a wallet or anything like that.

Pros: Very durable, great design, good fit, and freedom of movement

Cons: The cotton fabric takes longer to dry.

See the Mountain Khakis Original

Critical Budget Hiking Pants Considerations

Critical Hiking Pants Considerations

When it comes to picking out the right pair of pants there are a few things that you need to pay attention to. We’re going to focus on some of the most important factors that are going to help you choose a great pair of pants, no matter what you’re going to be doing when you head outdoors.


One of the first things you want to think about is what the pants are made of. You need something that’s going to be comfortable, at least water-resistant, and likely a little bit stretchy. That usually means you want either a nylon or polyester base with just a little bit of spandex to help out. If you’re getting loose-fit pants or ones that you’re going to wear over other clothes the spandex might not be as important (as with a couple of the options we have above).


Who doesn’t want pockets in the pants that they’re going to be wearing throughout the day? That’s especially true if you’re going to be heading out hiking. You want to be able to carry a lot of different things and that’s going to require you to have several pockets. The style that you like is up to you, with zippered pockets, hook and loop pockets, and mesh pockets being popular with all different kinds of hiking pants. Usually, you’ll end up with some combination of all of these, but it’s up to you which you like the best.

Waterproof or Water-Resistant

You want pants that are at least water-resistant, but getting something waterproof is not always going to be an option. If you’re going to be hiking through water frequently you might want to keep looking until you find that perfect pair of waterproof pants. But if you’re only going to find yourself around wet terrain once in a while something water-resistant is likely going to be fine. Having those loops to connect the pants to your boots is also a great feature, especially when you’re looking at waterproof pants since it keeps the legs where you want them.

Fit and Style

Do you want pants that are a loose fit or pants with a straight leg? Maybe you want an even more fitted style. This is entirely up to you, but you’re going to want to pay attention to how they’re going to fit over your behind as well as over your legs. If you don’t want them too fitted to the natural curves of your body you may want to opt for an athletic fit or a loose fit. If you want something a little more fitted, which gives you a different kind of freedom for the movement you may want a straight leg or a completely fitted style.

Sun and Wind and Sweat Protection

These are a few other factors to look at when you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time. Having a little bit of UPF built into your pants protects you from getting sunburned or other sun damage. The protection from sweat and wind keeps you feeling cool but not too cool. That way you’re going to be comfortable out there hiking for a longer time. If you can combine all of these features you’re going to be off to a great start.

Hopefully, each of these features is going to make it easier for you to pick out the perfect hiking pants. And hopefully, the ones that we’ve found for you are going to be a great fit. No matter what you’re heading out to do, you want something that fits right and gives you all the best features, without breaking the bank.