How to Choose the Perfect Women Hiking Pants for Your Needs
There are dozens of kinds of hiking pants, and it can be difficult to sort through them all. Luckily, you don’t have to.
You simply need to decide on what factors are the most important to you and look for those.
The following are some tips and tricks for choosing the best hiking pants for your unique circumstances.
Mobility, Size, Fit
Mobility, size, and fit are all important and interwoven factors when choosing your best hiking pants.
The way the pants fit, including the size, effect the mobility you will experience. Typically, looser pants with a tight enough waist are going to give you the best mobility.
Mobility is important if you plan on doing any climbing, canyoneering, or off-trail hiking. Some of the tighter pants can be flexible as well if they include crossflex fabric.
However, it is best if you try the pants on before you buy them if buying them online. Not only because sizing can be off, but also because you want to make sure the pants are long enough and not too long.
The type of climate you plan to use the hiking pants in is important to the decision. Wet, cool, and hot are typical weather conditions you will come up against. Below, I cover how to protect yourself in each of these circumstances.
Wet or rainy weather
If you plan on hiking in wet climates, such as the Pacific Northwest or the Tropics, rain shell pants are the best option. If the wet area will be cold as well, it is important to find pants with insulation and waterproofing.
Many of the hiking pants on my list are waterproof or at least water-resistant and quick drying. If you plan on definitely getting wet, go with pants that offer water protection.
When the temperature outside promises to be cooler, you will need hiking pants to accommodate. In the early spring, fall, and winter, you are going to want clothes that are insulated against the cold and the wind.
Remember, if the day is warmer than expected, you can simply roll up your pant legs or unzip if they are conversion hiking pants. However, conversion pants can be annoying and add weight to a pack.
If you plan to use your hiking pants in the desert or in the summertime, it can be hard to know how to choose the correct clothes. The early mornings can be quite chilly, as can the later evening.
Although the heat of the day can make you want to wear shorts, the leg protection can come in handy. You may want the added protection from the sun, wind, sand, and spiky foliage.
Protection from the Elements
If you are at all concerned about protection from the elements, there are some easy things to take into consideration when choosing your hiking pants.
Waterproofing or water-resistance
Water resistant and rain hiking pants are the ultimate water protection. However, they are not for everyone. I personally do not own rain pants. Instead, I am more interested in hiking pants that offer water resistance and dry quickly.
Many pants have something called DWR, which means durable water repellent. This coating will let water simply roll off. Nevertheless, you will have to reapply DWR after awhile.
In the summertime, or warm conditions, you do not need to be as concerned about the rain, because your pants will dry quickly. In cold or wet weather water-resistance becomes more important.
If you want protection from the wind, you need to purchase pants that offer wind protection. This is especially important in wet and cold conditions. If it is extremely cold, you may want to get wind breakers with insulated pants under.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it is included in the material. The way UPF works is as follows. If the pants have a UPF sun protection rating of 50, it means for every 50 units of UV that come into the fabric, only 1 unit will come in contact with your skin.
UPF fabric is best when you plan on hiking in an extremely sunny area such as a as a desert.
Weight of the hiking pants may not be a big factor for some, but if you are going on a long hike or a backpacking trip weight is a consideration. If you are going to put the pants in your hike-in or backpacking bag, you will want a light pair of pants.
However, if you plan to use your clothes in the winter they will probably be heavier. So, you have to strike a balance between weight and warmth.
What are the best women’s hiking pants for your needs?
When I first began hiking, I did not think I would end up purchasing hiking pants. However, the more I got into the outdoors sport the more I realized I had to bite the bullet.
Fortunately, this guide has helped me find the best hiking pant on the market, the [amazon link=”B01MRLGCP2″ title=”prAna Women Halle Pants” /]. From our research, these are the pants I would recommend for any woman wanting something new for the trail.
Why? I have found prAna’s Halle Pant outperforms top competitors in almost every way. First, the Halle Pant has remarkable weather protection. Additionally, my Editor’s Choice has a more flattering, normal fit when compared with other pants on this list.
Overall, these hiking pants offer an adventurous user the most comfortable, highest quality pant with the most climate usability options.