The best hiking pants for men have come a long way since the days where fellas used to scale mountains in desert boots and woolen trousers, gaining much in a century of technological advancements—ripstop! Gore-Tex! fewer ounces! Somewhere along the way many brands got lost in the weeds of functional fabrics, cooking up swagless silhouettes with zero regard to fit. But thanks to the explosion of gorpcore that’s yielded menswear-first garms inspired by the outdoors (rather than the other way around), there’s now a bounty of options out there that can help you ascend your way to the good lookouts at the top of the trailhead, while looking good yourself along the way.

The Best Hiking Pants for Men, According to GQ

Unlike raw denim, a good pair of hiking pants is made to move, whether you’re shuffling downhill or scaling a giant boulder, Alex Hannold-style. Typically, that function comes through in lightweight materials like ripstop nylon and polyester, or features like gussets and added stretch. But quality hiking pants should also be able to handle the elements too; they might have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish for rain or high breathability and UPF for heat and sun. Cargo pockets and zip-off legs were once considered necessities, but now they’re more nice-to-haves. In the end, the pair you choose should have whatever combination of these that lines up with the kinds of terrain you plan to hike and, of course, your own particularities. Below, 10 of the techiest, stretchiest, most stylish pants for traversing the trails.

The Best Hiking Pants for Most People: Gramicci Gadget Pants

Gramicci founder Mike Graham of the legendary Stone Masters made some of the first pants specifically designed for rock climbing way back in the ‘80s. A hit with carabiner guys and streetwear bros alike, the brand is still cranking out styles made for traversing the great outdoors that wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of Bushwick. Take the Gadget, which takes an airy organic cotton and canvas shell and beefs it up with two oversized pockets for stuffing in your tiny Frank Ocean camera or a fistful of granola bars. Of course, there’s also its signature webbing belt that graces everything from its breezy shorts to its cargo skirts.

The Best Softshell Hiking Pants: Arc’teryx Gamma Pants

Made for the not-always-common combination of movement and protection, the Gamma Pant’s unique fabric blends slight stretch and loads of breathability with wind and water resistance. Arc’teryx’s heritage is in alpine climbing, so it made sure these pants, while lightweight, can also handle a scrape or two should you find yourself bushwacking or bouldering. The Gamma Pants also include an integrated belt, zippered hand pockets that ensure your precious tech doesn’t take a tumble when you’re hoofing it on uneven terrain, and cinch cuffs that help you keep the wind out.

The Best Technical Hiking Pant: Goldwin CORDURA Stretch Pants

This classic climbing-inspired design from one of Japan’s biggest outdoor brands has a tapered leg that’s more characteristic of technical outdoor pants with a few more modern small details like offset back pockets and elasticized cuffs (there’s a zippered cargo pocket, too). But it’s what the pants are made out of that’s the real kicker here—CORDURA ripstop nylon that’s lightweight, and stretchy, yet durable enough to take a beating on the trails.

The Best Convertible Hiking Pants: Nike ACG Summit Smith Covertible Cargo Trousers


ACG Summit Smith Convertible Cargo Trousers

Zip-offs may have a bad rap—most caricatures of hikers include a pair—but they’re also undeniably practical. With a style upgrade from Nike’s ACG line, this pair’s slightly oversized fit feels flattering, but still functional thanks to zippered cargo thigh pockets and a webbing belt. The woven fabric is also water-repellent and reinforced at the knees with CORDURA against the inevitable tumble or two.

The Best Cargo Pants for Hiking: Foehn Brise Schoeller Cargo Pants

Quebec-based Foehn got its start in 2017 by reimagining the modern rock climbing pant. This newer silhouette is another reinterpretation of a gorpy classic, this time of the humble cargo pant. Instead of big, bulgy pockets, these Brise Schoeller ones have theirs subtly stitched in the thighs. The lightweight, tear-resistant Swiss fabric feels comfortable even miles up your ascent, all while repelling dirt and water.

The Best Everyday Hiking Pant: And Wander Belted Shell Trousers

And Wander

Straight Leg Belted Shell Trousers

Two Issey Miyake alumni spun their garm savvy into the outdoorsy brand And Wander in 2011, and in the decade since, it’s been churning out grail-worthy, tech-heavy pieces that feature subtly stylish details like contrast stitching, reflective trim, and bungee-style drawstrings. This understated pant serves as a perfect example of what the brand does best, from its modern, straight-leg fit for running errands on weekends to the water-repellent shell when it’s time to transition to the trail.

The Best Weatherproofed Pants for Hiking: Finisterre Rainbird Waterproof Trousers


Rainbird Waterproof Trousers

Borne from the place where the North Atlantic collides with the shores of Albion, Finisterre is a brand that knows a thing or two about inclement weather. These waterproof pants are made for whatever the forecast throws at you with a 10k/10k breathable waterproof membrane that keeps rain out without hampering heat transfer. The pants have just a hint of stretch that’s ideal for walking, and a drawcord waist plus zippered cuffs make it easy to quickly pull them on over your boots in a surprise shower.

The Best Hiking Pants for Camping: Snow Peak FR Stretch Pants

Founded by a young, Japanese climber in the ’50s, Snow Peak is one of the OGs in the outdoor space making well-crafted, sharply designed gear for outdoor enthusiasts. For hikes that end at a campsite instead of a car, it has the perfect pair of bottoms to meet the occasion. They’re slightly stretchy, breathable, and water-repellent, as good hiking pants should be, with a slightly baggy fit in keeping with Japanese style. They’re also fire-resistant thanks to fabric made with aramid, meaning you can relax by a crackling campfire without fear of wayward sparks.

The Best Joggers for Hiking: Houdini Sportswear Pace Light Pants

If pinstripes and matching track jackets are what you have in mind when you hear the word “jogger,” Houdini offers something new entirely. Namely, Japanese fabrics, a drawcord waist and hems, and PFAS-free water repellency (but none of that trademark swish). The Pace Light Pants are also wildly lightweight—less than five ounces—and made with fully recyclable fabric so you can toss it with your takeout containers when it’s past its prime.

The IYKYK Hiking Pants: Earth/Studies Field Pants

The result of experiments with uncommon fabrics and very limited batching, these 100% cotton made-for-anywhere Earth/Studies trousers feature offset and oversized pockets, additional interior mesh pockets, an extra-long integrated belt, and plenty of room to move.

About the Author

Tanner Bowden is a writer, editor, and photographer based in Vermont. With over a decade of experience in media, he’s tested and written about hundreds of products for camping, hiking, skiing, cycling, running, and more for publications like Gear Patrol, Men’s Journal, Field Mag, and Outside, among others. He’s also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator.

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