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the best walking trousers

When it comes right down to it, hiking pants embody the freedom of shorts and the protection of trousers. They’re truly the best of both worlds, and to achieve that finely tuned balance, they need some nifty tech and garment industry wizardry. But it can all be a bit dense to navigate, and some brands can get mighty spenny if you’re not careful.

But you don’t have to pay the world for a good pair of hiking pants. What you do need, however, is a carefully assembled list from the top companies around. Accompanied by detailed write-ups explaining why they’re good, what advantages they offer, and maybe even a handy link for where you can grab a pair. Oh, coincidence then, because that’s what this page is, and that’s what you’ll find below. So scroll down a little, dig in, and find your next pair of hiking pants!

the best outdoor pants

In a rush? Check out this season’s latest styles over at Ridestore.

Men’s walking trousers
Women’s walking trousers

How we rate the best walking trousers

Mud, rain, thunder, bright sunshine, or freezing cold. Outdoor trousers have to withstand a lot of different conditions, especially when going on a hiking trip to the mountains, where the weather can change in seconds. 

This is why there are a lot of factors to consider when buying a pair of outdoor trousers. Our trousers ranking has been based on the performance in the following categories that we felt most relevant to us: 

The conditions in which the trousers will be mainly used in, the comfort and fit of the pants, waterproofing and breathability, and additional features like pockets or zip-off legs. 

Conditions

Let’s start off with the conditions as our first and most important ranking factor. Not every pair of trousers will be suited for certain kinds of weather conditions. 

In our ranking, we focused on finding the best pair of trousers for different conditions. For example cold weather, summer hiking, multi-day hiking tours, or climbing. 

For cold and dry weather, we generally recommend to go for softshell pants. Softshell pants are windproof and keep heat locked in. Some of them are even made with a fleece lining to keep you extra warm and cosy. They do not, however, protect you from heavy rain as they are only water-repellent. 

For rainy conditions or a hiking tour with unpredictable weather, we recommend to go for a pair with a blend of different materials. When you are at risk of getting caught in a rain shower, you want to be on the safe side and make sure that your pants protect you. 

For summer hikes with hot weather and sunshine, we recommend hiking pants that can be changed to hiking shorts by zipping off the legs. A great option for women is to go for a technical pair of leggings. 

Comfort and fit

A second important ranking factor for us was the comfort and fit in a pair of trousers. When hiking, you need a pair of pants that support movement and feel comfy on your skin at the same time. The comfier, the better – you will spend a lot of time hiking in them. 

Softshell pants or hiking trousers made from blended fabrics are usually the most comfortable pants. See that as a reason for why we didn’t include hardshell pants in our ranking – even though they are extremely weatherproof. Being comfortable while exploring was more important to us than full waterproofness!

Another positive of comfy trousers is that they generally also look better than hardshell pants. Comfort, functionality, and style was the winning combination for our best walking trousers ranking!

comfort and fit

Waterproofing & breathability

Next up is the technical part of our ranking factors. The functionality of our outdoor trousers was as important as the comfort and style when putting together the ranking for the best walking trousers.

A good pair of trousers should protect you from wind and weather if you find yourself being surprised by a storm.

Especially when going on multi-day-hikes, it is super important that you are wearing windproof and fast-drying clothing. The weather is unpredictable and it can change quickly!

Most outdoor trousers are windproof and fast-drying instead of being completely waterproof. A waterproof shell usually is quite heavy and therefore a poor choice for non-professional hiking tours. 

Breathability, on the other hand, is the single most important factor when buying trousers for hot or fast-changing weather conditions. Breathable materials will help to avoid sweating and make your pants dry faster. 

Additional features

As our fourth and last ranking factor, we decided to include additional features. The additional features of outdoor trousers are not necessary, yet they can make the difference between liking and loving a pair of hiking pants. 

With every pair of pants that made it into our ranking, we included which feature we liked the most. To name some examples of additional features on outdoor trousers… a built-in belt, cargo pockets for extra storage, fleece lining, removable legs…

But more about the additional features later in this article. Let’s look at the winners of our men’s and women’s ranking!

Walking trousers men

1

Dope Drizzard

Dope Drizzard Men
Breathability
5
Warmth
2
Weight
5
Value for money
5

May we present? Our new winner of this year’s best walking trousers awards. The Dope Drizzard 2.0 developed from a pair of pants designed for rainy days into the ultimate all-round weapon.

Equipped with the new Dope Freedom fabrics, this pair of pants is our new favourite for the upcoming hiking season. Easy packable, water-resistant and super light weight. What else would you want from a pair of all-weather hiking pants?

The new Dope Drizzard is made from 100% Polyester and comes with a waterproof and breathable ECO-DWR coating. The freedom fabric offers a solid waterproofing of 5K and even more incredible breathability of 30K combined with the brand new 4-way stretch.

To round things off, Dope added zipped hems and a super comfortable elastic waistband to stay extra dry during the next summer rain. Pack them into your backpack, start your hike and throw them over your hiking pants whenever you need them.

Read our Review
2

Adidas Terrex Hike

Adidas Terrex Hike
Breathability
4
Warmth
2
Weight
4
Value for money
4

The Adidas Terrex Hike Pants are a solid choice for everyone who wants to take their hiking to the next level. The Hike Pants are our day-to-day choice because they offer a great performance across the board.

Made from 91% Nylon and 9% Elastane and combined with Adidas’ plain weave construction, you can be sure that those pants won’t let you down. They are lightweight, robuste and most important – super comfortable.

They come with a relaxed fit on top, articulated knees and a tighter fit around the ankles. This way, you have enough room for movement where you need it, while still sitting snug enough to keep everything in place. A great pair of pants for every day in the mountains.

Read our Review
3

Dope Nomad

Dope Nomad Black
Breathability
3
Warmth
5
Weight
2
Value for money
5

Our all-time favourite pants for hiking in cold, dry weather: The Dope Nomad pants – last year: Rambler pants – did not only get a name upgrade, Dope also threw some new features on top that you will love just as much as us.

But before we jump into the feature, let’s talk fabrics. The Dope Nomad pants are made from 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex and are therefore super durable yet comfortable to wear. Its fleece lining gives extra warmth on cold days and makes you want to wear this piece of heaven everywhere you go.

The Dope Nomad is also equipped with a handful of smart features, some of them being brand new: A built-in-belt, an elastic waistband, two spacious leg pockets with mesh harnesses for your smartphone, zipped thigh vents, and an adjustable drawstring hem. 5 stars for comfiness and functionality.

Read our Review
4

Peak Performance Tech A2B Light

peak performance a2b light
Breathability
4
Warmth
3
Weight
4
Value for money
3

Our premium price choice is the Peak Performance Tech A2B Light. This pair of pants is not only super technical, but with its relaxed chino fit it can definitely be counted as one of the more stylish pairs of trousers in our ranking.

Its material is a mixture made from 94% Polyamide and 6% Elastane and is therefore super stretchy and robust – the perfect fit for advanced hikers who strive for mobility and reliability in their gear.

The Peak Performance A2B Light is water, and wind-resistant and has quick-drying and moisture-wicking characteristics. Topped off with an elastic waistband and an adjustable drawstring for a tight fit, this is our premium choice for all hiking lovers.

Read our Review
5

Dope Rover TECH

Dope rover tech
Breathability
3
Warmth
4
Weight
3
Value for money
5

Last year’s overall winner, the Dope Rover TECH can’t be missing in this year’s walking trousers ranking. They are a great pair of trousers with a lot of technical features and unique street styling.

Let’s start with the material used for this amazing pair of pants. 95% Nylon and 5% Spandex is the perfect mix to make a durable yet super elastic pair of pants. The eco-friendly DWR-coating lets water to pearl off so you stay dry and warm during your next mountain adventure.

We absolutely love the chino style of the Dope Rover TECH and its handy features. Next to the to big hip pockets and two button-up back pockets, the Rover comes with a built-in belt and an elastic waistband.

Read our Review

Walking trousers women

1

Dope Lofty Tech

Dope Lofty Tech
Breathability
4
Warmth
3
Weight
4
Value for money
5

The Dope Lofty Tech Leggings might not look like a technical pair of trousers at first glance. But for us, they are still the perfect choice for summer hikes. You will be surprised what this pair of leggings is capable of!

The Dope Lofty Tech Leggings are made from 85% Polyester and 15% Spandex which makes for super stretchiness. This material is also highly breathable which means the leggings keep heat in while letting sweat out. A great combination for hot summer hikes!

What really convinced us to reward this pair of leggings the first place in our ranking for women are its stylish and form-fitting looks in combination with their smart technical features, like the wide elastic waistband with drawstring adjustment, and the three big pockets for your smartphone and other valuables.

And the best part: you get all of this at an unbeatable price of only 50 Euros!

Read our Review
2

Dope Drizzard W

Dope Drizzard W
Breathability
5
Warmth
2
Weight
5
Value for money
5

Another pair of walking pants that should be on your radar this summer are the Dope Drizzard 2.0 that are not only the perfect weapon against rainy days in the mountains, but also a great all-round choice. And what we love most about the Dope Drizzard W is not only its women specific fit, but also that it comes in two of our favourite colour ways: Coral and Light Grey.

The new Dope Drizzard is made from 100% Polyester and comes with a waterproof and breathable ECO-DWR coating. The freedom fabric offers a solid waterproofing of 5K and even more incredible breathability of 30K combined with the brand new 4-way stretch.

To round things off, Dope added zipped hems and a super comfortable elastic waistband to stay extra dry during the next summer rain. Overall, we love this pair of pants for rainy days in the mountains or for muddy dog walks in the forest. Always make sure to pack it into your bag when going outdoors, you never know when you need them to save your day.

Read our Review
3

Adidas Terrex Hike W

Adidas Terrex Hike W
Breathability
4
Warmth
3
Weight
4
Value for money
4

The Adidas Terrex Hike Pants are a solid choice for everyone who wants to take their hiking to the next level. The Hike Pants are our day-to-day choice for all adventurous ladies because they offer a great performance across the board in combination with a flattering fit.

Made from 91% Nylon and 9% Elastane and combined with Adidas’ plain weave construction, these pants are lightweight, robuste and most important – super comfortable.

They come with a relaxed fit on top, articulated knees and an above-the-ankle cut for extra ventilation. They also have plenty of storage in its zippered pockets for your belongings. A great pair of pants for every day in the mountains that can’t be left out in our women’s walking trousers ranking.

Read our Review
4

Dope Nomad W

Dope nomad w
Breathability
3
Warmth
5
Weight
2
Value for money
5

Our all-time favourite pants for hikes or walks in cold and uncomfortable weather. The Dope Nomad pants – last year: Rambler pants – did not only get a name upgrade, Dope also threw some new features on top that you will love just as much we do.

But before we jump into the feature, let’s talk fabrics. The Dope Nomad pants are made from 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex and are therefore super durable yet comfortable to wear. Its fleece lining gives extra warmth which is ideal for everyone who gets cold throughout the day.

But let’s talk features: A built-in-belt, an elastic waistband, two spacious leg pockets with mesh harnesses for your smartphone, zipped thigh vents, and an adjustable drawstring hem.

Adored by women around the world, this is a pair of pants, that you don’t want to be missing in your wardrobe! Trust us on this one.

Read our Review

How to choose the best walking trouser

Choosing the greatest outdoor trouser isn’t easy. That’s why we put together a short manual for you that will help you to find the perfect pair of trousers for your needs. 

Material

The first thing to look for when buying a pair of trousers is the mix of materials used. Depending on the use of fabrics, a pair of outdoor trousers can be either robust or more stretchy. 

The most common material blend for outdoor trousers is a mix of synthetics like nylon or polyester and spandex. Spandex gives the pants the flexibility needed for hiking and makes them extra comfy. The more spandex is in the mix, the more flexible the pants are.

Other pants are made partially from cotton. Cotton has the big plus that it is more robust than a polyester-spandex mix. On the downside, cotton is less breathable and takes longer to dry if wet. 

Therefore, we recommend you to go for a cotton-spandex mix in dry and cold conditions and for a synthetics-spandex mix in warmer and wetter conditions.

Warmth

The next thing to look out for is the warmth of outdoor trousers. The weather conditions in which you want to wear your new pair of trousers should determine how warm your new trousers should be. 

The warmest type of trousers are softshell trousers with a warm and cosy fleece lining. They keep you toasty but only in dry weather. 

Outdoor trousers made from blended materials are usually extremely lightweight and breathable and can be used in various types of conditions. In the summer, 2 in 1 trousers are perfect so you don’t have to decide between wearing shorts or trousers.

Versatility & style

One of the most important criteria for our ranking was the versatility and style. We love to have only one pair of trousers that you can use for multiple occasions. 

When talking about outdoor trousers, our favourites can be worn for a day hike or a trip to the city. Because who said that hiking can’t be stylish?

For more ambitious hikers, we recommend 2-in-1 trousers that can be transformed into shorts when the sun comes out. Due to their low weight and versatility, they are the perfect companion for multi-day hiking trips.  

how to choose the best outdoor trousers

Weather resistance

Another important thing to look out for when buying outdoor trousers, is the weather resistance. When hiking in the mountains, the weather is unpredictable and can change within a few minutes. 

When that happens, you want to be well prepared and wearing a pair of pants that can withstand the rain in order to keep you dry.

Look out for waterproofing or a water-repellent coating on  your future walking trousers to make sure to stay protected from a storm.

Breathability

Equally important as the waterproofing of a pair of outdoor trousers is the breathability. Breathable pants will dry faster after the rain and allow hot air to evaporate.

While hiking, it is important to have a breathable pair of pants. If you get warm and hot air can’t escape, you will start sweating and can become cold really quickly. 

Trousers with high breathability are usually made from synthetic fabrics. Cotton is generally less breathable than synthetics. Therefore, we recommend to go for a pair of pants made from synthetic fabrics when going for long and demanding hikes. 

Additional features

The last thing to look out for when buying a pair of outdoor trousers are the additional features. Like we mentioned earlier, the additional features will make the difference between liking and loving your new outdoor pants. 

Zip-off – Trousers with zippable legs are super versatile and can be worn in various conditions. The zipper is usually placed slightly above the knees. And in seconds you can transform your trousers into shorts. 

Built-in belt – A lot of trousers have a built-in belt that is perfect for hiking. It is easy to adjust and you don’t have to buy an additional belt. 

Pockets – Big pockets are a great feature for everyone who loves to go hiking without a backpack. For day-hikes or long walks, it is often enough to only bring the necessities: wallet, phone, and a little snack like a chocolate bar. 

Additional features

Types of trousers

Now it’s time to look a little bit closer into the different types of walking trousers. The different types of outdoor trousers are suitable for different types of weather conditions. We listed the three most common types of trousers for you and explained which type of trousers is best suited for which type of weather condition. 

Softshell walking trousers

Softshell walking trousers are usually made from two layers: a wind and weather-proof outer layer and an insulating inner layer. 

The smooth material of a softshell trouser is known for its high comfort and nice looks. The lining is usually made from fleece or mesh which makes softshell pants extra comfy. 

Because of their warmth, softshell trousers are a great choice for winter walks or hiking in colder climates like the UK or Scotland. 

The downside of softshell trousers is that they are usually only water repellent and won’t keep you dry in the rain. 

Hardshell walking trousers

Hardshell walking trousers are made from highly waterproof and breathable materials, which can provide you with protection from the roughest conditions. 

Hardshell hiking trousers are designed for advanced hikers who need a highly robust pair of pants when going on mountaineering trips or ski tours during the winter. 

Compared to other outdoor trousers, they lack comfortability and insulation. Therefore, we decided to not include hardshell trousers in our ranking. 

Walking trousers from blended fabrics

Walking trousers made from blended fabrics are our favourites when looking for an all-round pair of hiking pants. With a pair of trousers made from blended fabrics, you are ready to tackle all kinds of terrain in both comfort and style. 

They are robust, lightweight, and can be used in all kinds of conditions. We absolutely love the versatility offered by trousers made from blended fabrics! 

If you are looking to buy only one pair of trousers, this is the right choice! The mix of synthetics with spandex materials results in a highly robust and comfy pair of trousers. 

types of trousers

Best outdoor brands

Dope Snow – This is a company that is taking the snowboard and outdoor apparel industry by storm. It has fresh and functional products.

Peak Performance – This brand stands for modern designs, technical solutions and high quality. 

The North Face – Their pants feature innovative waterproofing and insulating technologies to keep you dry and warm.

Best outdoor trousers by conditions

Best overall walking trousers

The winner of our category best overall outdoor trousers are the Dope Drizzard pants. A pair of light weight and water resistant walking trousers that can save your day in an instance.

Best women walking trousers

The winner of our category best women outdoor trousers are the Dope Lofty TECH leggings. We were swayed by their classy leggings style combined with smart functionalities like the smartphone pocket and the drawstring belt.

outdoor trousers faqs

Best for advanced hikes

The winner of our category best for advances hikes is the Adidas Terrex Hike - both for men and women. We were won over by their light weight and durable materials at a fair price.

Best for wet conditions

The winner of our category best for wet conditions are the Dope Drizzard pants. We were blown away by their impressive waterproofing and breathability in combination with their extremely light weight.

Best for cold conditions

The winner of our category best for cold conditions are the Dope Nomad pants. Everyone who gets cold easily or who goes outside in rougher weather conditions should own this pair of comfy walking trousers.

Wrapping up

That was it folks! Our ultimate buyer’s guide for outdoor trousers. We hope you enjoyed the read and are now ready to tackle your next mountain adventure together with your new favourite pair of outdoor trousers. 

If you are keen on finding out more about the Dope Collection, make sure to check out our other buyer’s guides in the related reading section!