Hiking pants. The unsung heroes of adventure fashion. From finding the perfect length to our thoughts on cargo pants and yoga tights. We’re here to spill the beans on all things hiking pants so you can spend more time marvelling at the wonders of nature and less time worrying about the fabric covering your legs.
Here’s your 10 most frequently asked questions about hiking pants answered...
Are cargo pants good for hiking?
Sure, you can hit the trails in cargo pants, but don’t forget, most cargo pants are made from cotton or cotton-blend fabrics and when it comes to outdoor escapes, cotton is notoriously inefficient at wicking away sweat or drying quickly.
For an adventure upgrade you won’t regret it’s best to opt for specially designed hiking pants or hiking shorts that are lightweight, durable, and water repellent so you stay dry, cool and comfy no matter what the conditions.
How long should hiking pants be?
When it comes to length, hiking pants should be not too long and not too short (insert joke about Goldilocks here). Aim for ankle coverage for added protection against pesky insects and those annoyingly spiky plants.
Rather wear hiking shorts? Make sure you have a sturdy set of Merino wool socks that cover the ankle. Why Merino? It’s nature’s high tech performer being breathable, odour-resistant and thermoregulating whilst also being natural, renewable and biodegradable.
Should hiking pants be loose?
Hiking pants should be loose but not “I’m walking in a parachute” loose. You’ll need to find that sweet spot of comfort and flexibility. For us, a blend of recycled nylon with a sprinkle of spandex does the job perfectly.
Are hiking pants worth it?
Taking on the trails without a set of hiking-specific pants is like going on a road trip without a reliable GPS - it might work, but the experience is undoubtedly smoother, more enjoyable and definitely stress-free with it.
Hiking pants are designed durable to take on rough terrain, with comfort so you can stay out there longer, and weather resistance to keep you safer. Sounds worth it to us.
Whether you opt for full-length hiking pants, convertible zip-off hiking pants, hiking tights, or a set of hiking shorts, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your gear has your back. Or should we say legs.
Are ski pants good for hiking?
While great on the slopes, ski pants will be too warm and too heavy for most of your hiking needs. Instead, choose breathable fabrics designed specifically for hiking so you can keep cool and comfortable in any weather.
Are yoga pants good for hiking?
Just like cargo pants, you can choose to hit the trails in yoga pants. However, our advice, keep them for the studio. If the activewear look is your go-to style, opt for hiking-specific tights instead. These beauties are made more durable than your average yoga pant with reinforced panels on high-usage areas, UPF50+ sun protection and PFC-free water repellent treatments to keep moisture at bay.
What are the best pants for hiking?
When it comes to taking on the trails, some people praise full-length hiking pants and others swear by shorts or hiking tights. Our pick? Zip-off convertible hiking pants. They’re the best of both worlds and give you the freedom to pack less while remaining versatile.
No matter what style you choose, always look for breathable and lightweight fabrics. Pick PFC-free water repellent treatments (it’s good for you and the planet) and try to find some that have a small amount of spandex for added flexibility and comfort.
How to style hiking pants?
Mix and match your hiking pants with either a long-sleeve hiking shirt or breathable tee. Our pick will always be our Merino wool blend t-shirts and long sleeve tops for high-tech, naturally sustainable benefits.
Finish the look with a broad-brimmed hat, breathable socks and sturdy hiking boots for a clocking-off work and clocking-on to mountain time look du jour.
What is the best material for hiking pants?
Nylon and polyester - they’ll make hiking feel like a breeze, not a sauna. For sustainable benefits, opt for recycled and PFC-free water repellent treatments. We also like to pick pants with a sprinkle of spandex for added comfort and stretch.
When it comes to materials to avoid, cotton or cotton-blend fabrics should be avoided at all costs. Cotton is notoriously inefficient at wicking away sweat or drying quickly which means you’ll be a sweaty mess five minutes into your hike. This goes for your socks too.
Where can I buy hiking pants?
Luckily for you, our team at XTM Performance have designed a collection of men's and women's hiking pants that tick all the boxes when it comes to high performing and sustainable benefits. From full-length and zip-off convertible hiking pants, to shorts and hiking-specific tights.
You can shop the full hiking and outdoor collection easily online.
Hiking and Camping Guides
For more hiking and camping advice, don’t forget to check out our XTM blog which is full of tips, tricks and easy to follow advice so you can get out, and stay out in the great outdoors.
See you out there.