As many women know, finding a pair of hiking pants that fit well and perform well can be a frustrating task. There are so many different styles, brands, and fabrics to choose from.
To make your search easier, we’ve laid out this guide to the best women’s hiking pants that are comfortable to hike in and look good in a variety of different styles so you can go from the trail to town with ease.
We’re an all-women team of experienced hikers who understand the unique needs when selecting gear for outdoor adventures and whether you prefer to trek in full-length hiking pants, convertible pants with zip-off legs, capris pants that fall mid-calf, or simple leggings, there is something for every hiker on this list.
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Best Women’s Hiking Pants & Leggings at a Glance
- Most versatile hiking pants: prAna Halle II
- Best hiking pants for trail to town: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro
- BFT reader favorite: The North Face Aphrodite 2.0
- Best weather-resistant hiking pants: Arc’teryx Gamma LT
- Most lightweight hiking pants: Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle
- Most durable hiking leggings (with pockets!): lululemon Cargo Super-High-Rise Hiking Tight
- Best casual hiking leggings: prAna Transform High-Waist Leggings
- Best convertible hiking pants: REI Co-op Sahara Convertible
- Best hiking capris: Columbia Saturday Trail II Knee
prAna Halle II
Most Versatile Women’s Hiking Pants
Where to shop
- What we like: numerous large pockets, zippered phone pocket, stretchy material that doesn’t snag easily, can roll up to become capris with snap
- What we don’t like: runs slightly large (consider ordering a size down), low rise waist fit
The prAna Halle Pant has become a very popular staple for many outdoor women and in 2022, an updated version was released, making it even better. The Halle Pant is now made from a recycled nylon performance fabric, making it incredibly durable and stretchy – plus more eco-friendly. The quick-dry material dries fast and is comfortable and easy to hike in.
There are five pockets to carry snacks and gear in and the cuffs roll up and snap into place for those warm days. The front pockets are deeper and more functional than the original version and include a zipper so you can keep valuables secure. They’ve also added an additional pocket on the left hip pocket (about the size of a credit card) which is good if you want somewhere to put your ID.
The Halle Pant also comes in several styles including straight leg, jogger, capri, and plus sizes. They fit just right, not too baggy and not too tight, and with a ton of styles and sizes available, this is one of the most versatile women’s hiking pants on the market.
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro
Best Hiking Pants for Going from the Trail to Town
Where to shop
- What we like: lightweight, packable, sustainable materials, stretchy material that doesn’t snag easily, water repellant finish
- What we don’t like: only two pockets
BFT’s Director, Linda, recently took the Eddie Bauer Women’s Guide Pro Pants on a camping and hiking trip to Yosemite and they’ve become a new favorite. They’re super comfortable and lightweight so they’ll keep you cool even in warm weather and they have the perfect amount of stretch to allow for all the mobility you’ll need – you could even wear them rock climbing.
There are no back pockets which gives these pants a more feminine look, and we also love that these hiking pants shed moisture and are made with bluesign® certified fabrics.
The North Face Aphrodite 2.0
BFT Reader Favorite
Where to shop
- What we like: fabric keeps you warm in cool temperatures and cool in warm temperatures, breathable & lightweight, stylish for trail-to-town, room to wear a base layer underneath in cold temperatures, great fit for curvy women
- What we don’t like: No UPF sun protection
The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 is a great women’s hiking pant option for those looking for something super comfortable and breathable. Using technical FlashDry XD™ fabric, these pants keep you cool and dry on the trail no matter what season. The fabric is also super durable, protecting your legs from trailside brush and helping to prevent those annoying rips and snags.
Full-length women’s hiking pants are a great option for pretty much every type of hiking from multi-day backpacking trips to local day hikes with friends. Even during warmer weather, full-length pants provide a layer of protection that will help prevent scratches from trailside brush, keep your legs from getting sunburned, and prevent bug bites.
Arc’teryx Gamma LT
Best Weather-Resistant Women’s Hiking Pants
Where to shop
- What we like: holds up well in wet & windy conditions, deep zippered pockets, adjustable string in the waistband, most water-resistant pant on our list
- What we don’t like: fabric pills with extended wear, no UPF protection, not breathable for sunny weather
I own the softshell Arc’teryx Gamma LT hiking pants and they are one of my favorite pairs of women’s hiking pants. They are relatively flattering and I can layer another baselayer underneath if I’m hiking in cold temperatures. I’ve tested them in rain and snow in Colorado, and while I wouldn’t say they are totally waterproof, they will keep you dry during short bursts of weather and are the next best thing vs. rain pants.
While the pants themselves aren’t too thick, they are durable and I don’t worry about them snagging if I’m sitting on sharp rocks and they also protect against the wind. I like the zippered pockets that are deep enough to store a snack in. The belt and waistband are comfortable and don’t dig into my waist. I wear an 8 and find them to be true to size.
Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle
Most Lightweight Women’s Hiking Pants
Where to shop
- What we like: lightest pair of pants on our list, elastic waistband doesn’t create rub when wearing a hip belt, pack down small, great breathability and fabric stretch
- What we don’t like: a little baggy (non-flattering) in the butt, thinner material than other hiking pants on our list
The Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants have been one of my staples for backpacking trips for several years now. The elastic waistband is so comfortable, and because there is no button, drawstring, or zipper, they work really well when you’re wearing a backpack with a hip belt since there is nothing that will cause rubbing. The fabric is light and airy, allowing them to breathe well even if it’s warm out. There is no drawstring, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t get too big of a size. I wear size 8 normally and weigh 140 pounds, and I have these in a medium.
I brought these on a 6-day backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park and had no concerns about durability and I could layer underneath at night. I also like them because they pack small and don’t weigh much in case you want to bring them on a backpacking trip. If you’re looking for comfortable, affordable, and flattering women’s hiking pants, these just might be it!
I wrote a full review of the original Mountain Hardwear Dynama Pants a few years ago and although these are an older version of the pant, it’ll still give you additional information.
lululemon Cargo Super High-Rise Hiking Tight
Most Durable Women’s Hiking Legging (with pockets!)
Where to shop
- What we like: abrasion-resistant fabric, 1 zippered pocket plus 2 drop-in side pockets, moisture-wicking, offers great compression, front and back hanging loop for keys, super comfortable
- What we don’t like: runs small (consider sizing up)
BFT team member Linda has been loving the lululemon Cargo Super-High-Rise Hiking Tight because they’re specifically designed to withstand the wear and tear of the trail. Made with an abrasion-resistant fabric, you don’t have to worry as much about snagging these leggings when you brush up against vegetation or take a snack break sitting on a rock.
Another bonus of these is that they have 2 stretchy side pocket on each leg that is big enough for your phone plus a small zippered pocket. There are 2 loops that you can use to clip keys or other small items that you want to keep safe and easily in reach.
The waistband sits quite high at 2-3″ above the belly button which is nice, and they provide compression at the waist that really hugs everything in while still being comfortable.
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prAna Transform High Waisted Legging
Best Casual Hiking Leggings
Where to shop
- What we like: thick material provides warmth on cold days, durable enough to wear on most non-technical hikes
- What we don’t like: fabric pills with extended wear, generally you need to be more careful with leggings not to snag on a nearby bush or rock
The prAna Transform High Waisted Leggings are one of my favorites when I wear leggings hiking, and are great for everyday wear and van life too. The wide waistband and soft fabric provide extra comfort on the trail and they’re reinforced with a triangular gusseted crotch area for enhanced range of motion. I also like the Transform leggings because they don’t necessarily look like hiking leggings – you can pair them with a sweater and hit the town.
Truthfully, I do most of my hiking in leggings. Why? Because they are super comfortable and easy to hike in. But not all leggings are best-suited for hiking nor should all hikes be done in leggings. It’s important to choose durable leggings made to withstand long days on the trail, like the Transform.
REI Co-op Sahara Convertible
Best Convertible Women’s Hiking Pants
Where to shop
- What we like: can be zipped into shorts or capris (without removing your shoes!), large zippered cargo pocket, comfortable & practical, breathable in warm weather
- What we don’t like: pants run short and hit at the ankle vs. full length, doesn’t block the wind or provide much insulation on chilly hikes
REI’s Sahara Convertible Women’s Pant makes it easy to convert from hiking pants to hiking shorts in seconds. Made from stretchy, durable nylon fabric and designed for full mobility, these convertible pants are a great choice for multi-day backpacking adventures or longer hikes with variable temperatures and terrain. If temperatures are cooler or there is a lot of trailside brush, wear them as full-length pants. Or, if it’s hot and sunny out and the trail is clear, zip the legs off and convert them into shorts or capris!
One of the best features of these convertible hiking pants is that the zipper to convert the pants into shorts is color-coded on the right to make the reapplication of the lower legs much easier. Convertible hiking pants are also great to pack for travel since they are super versatile with varying lengths.
Columbia Saturday Trail II Knee Pants
Best Women’s Hiking Capris
Where to shop
- What we like: UPF sun protection, rain-resistant, stretchy material that is super comfortable
- What we don’t like: runs small (consider ordering a size up)
The quick-drying and super comfortable Columbia Saturday Trail II Knee Pant is a perfect companion on the trail. With UPF 50+ sun protection, a weather-resistant finish, and drawstrings at the knees to keep out dust and debris, we’ve found that this is one of the best – and most affordable – women’s hiking pants out there! Many reviewers note that the fit of these pants runs extremely small – we recommend ordering a size up to ensure the best fit.
Recommended Hiking Packing List
Below are a few of my favorite pieces of day hiking gear and recommendations:
Looking for additional women’s gear recommendations? Check out these posts:
- Best Women’s Hiking Shorts
- Best Sun Protection Shirts for Women
- Best Backpacking Backpacks For Women
- Best Women’s Hiking Boots & Shoes
- Best Women’s Lightweight Rain Jackets For Hiking
- Best Women’s Hiking Daypacks
- Best Women’s Synthetic Down Jackets
- Best Women’s Hiking Underwear
- What To Wear Hiking: A Women’s Guide To Outdoor Apparel
Do you have a favorite pair of women’s hiking pants or leggings that works best for you? Let us know in the comments!