Hiking is a very rewarding outdoor activity for many people, but to ensure that hikers have the best experience, protection and safety should be taken into consideration. One of the best ways to protect your body and ensure a hiker’s safety is to use quality hiking gear. Everyone needs pants to hike. For women, finding properly fitted hiking pants can be difficult because of different fit and sizing needs.

Top rated hiking pants for women provide durable protection against scrapes, bruises, and the conditions of the trail which is important for a hiker’s overall comfort throughout the day. With the best women’s hiking pants, women will feel more comfortable and confident in their adventure. But for hikers that don’t know how to choose quality hiking pants, we have chosen the ten best pants for women and included a comprehensive guide so that they can get their adventure started with easy and in style.

Hiking pants are one of the few types of women's clothing where function outweighs fashion, so you can more readily find pants with pockets that are big enough, and properly placed, to hold anything you want to carry. Do not settle for less.

A drawstring waist or built-in belt are your best friends when it comes to getting a good fit. They free you up you to shop for pants that fit your hips and leg length, then just adjust the waist to fit.

Articulated knees and a crotch gusset might sound gimmicky, but they're two of the most important features in a good pair of hiking pants. Articulated knees involve special stitching to help the knees of the pants more closely match your anatomy. A crotch gusset is an extra allowance of fabric at the crotch of your pants, giving you extra freedom of movement at the crotch and hips.

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How To Choose  Hiking Pants For Women – Buying Guide



All of the top rated hiking pants for women that made it onto our list are made of synthetic materials because the fibers are lightweight, durable, and have great water management in the form of quick-dry and moisture-wicking features. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are durable, but lightweight. Both materials can be made into soft blends that won’t irritate the skin or cause rashes.

For zip-off hiking pants for women, synthetic materials tend to be the better choice because of the use of zippers and flaps. The synthetic materials are thin so that the zip-off part of your pants won’t become too bulky or uncomfortable for you to use.

While you may find a few natural fibers on the market, most pants for hiking women will be made of synthetic material and fibers. No matter what material you choose, you should ensure that it is durable. Durable materials will be resistant to damage, as well as the weather elements. With quality material, ladies’ hiking pants should be long-lasting for multiple trips to the mountains.


Women come in a lot of different sizes, so it only makes sense that top-rated pants cater to their needs. You should be able to find your size in hiking pants, whether you are small or large. Most brands offer a full range of sizes from petite to regular to plus size. The majority of sizing will be regular, but you may find hiking pants for curvy women too. Some brands are excellent with being size-inclusive and will have a design offered in plus sizes.

It is important that you spend the time to find the correct size. Ladies’ hiking pants that don’t fit can quickly become a nuisance because they are too big or small. The best way to find your size is to look at a specific model of pants and determine if a brand size chart is included. A size chart can give you the best estimate for how the pants might fit you and what size you might need. However, it can be hard to determine your size and pants may not all have the same fit.


The fit of your pants should be just right. You don’t want to purchase or use a pair of pants that are too tight because the restriction around your midsection can quickly become uncomfortable on the trail. Additionally, pants that are too tight can actually break or split and leave areas of your skin exposed to the elements.

On the other hand, you also don’t want pants that are too big. Convertible hiking pants for women can be hard to size because of the zip-off feature, but you want to feel comfortable in the waist and thighs. If the pants are too big, you are likely going to struggle to keep them on your body and may even need to invest in a belt. Pants for hiking women that are too large will just hinder your performance on the trail and slow your progress.

A properly fitted pair of pants should rest comfortably on the waist without restricting movement. You shouldn’t feel that any of the material is digging into your side and causing discomfort. But it may be difficult to find the right fit. There are regular, relaxed, and slim fits.

Regular fits are the most standard and usually feature a straight leg that rests comfortably on the body. Relaxed fits will leave you with a little more room for movement and may be more comfortable as hiking pants for curvy women. Lastly, slim fits are tighter and help reduce bulk. But be careful because too slim a fit may be too tight.

If you are struggling with the fit, pants reviews are a great place to determine if you need to size up or down in a model to find the proper fit.

Abrasion Resistance

There is a lot of debris on the trail and your legs tend to brush up against lots of different objects like plants, sticks, and rocks. The best women’s backpacking pants will protect against scrapes and bruises with these objects and keep your legs free from damage. Strong material will have abrasion resistance, which means that it won’t tear on a rugged trail. A good abrasive resistant material would be rip-stop nylon.


When you’re hot weather hiking, ventilation is important to help you maintain and balance your body temperature. Sweat can quickly form as your exercising and you wouldn’t want to be drenched for the duration of your hike. With good ventilation, you can wick away moisture.

Most materials like polyester and nylon are breathable, but zip-off hiking pants for women are also a great design that puts ventilation at the forefront. When it gets hotter on the trail, you can easily zip-off the pant lets to make them into shorts and continue on the trail in comfort.


If you’re ever caught in the rain, water-resistance is another feature that your ladies’ hiking pants should incorporate into the design. Water-resistance will keep you dry in light rain, but also keep your pants looking newer for longer.

Top rated hiking pants for women that have water-resistant features will make the water bead off the material instead of soaking through. This will keep you dry and ensure that you aren’t stuck wearing wet pants when you’re day hiking.

Sun Protection (UPF Rating)

The sun is a formidable element along the trail and exposure for too long can burn your skin. When you are using your convertible hiking pants for women, the material should feature a UPF rating that prevents the sun from penetrating to your skin. Whether you’re using the pants full length or as shorts, whatever material covers your skin can prevent sunburns. For sensitive skin, a higher UPF rating is ideal to prevent damage and injury.


If you like to carry small gear items for emergencies or everyday use on the trail, having a place to keep that equipment safe is a must. Larger gear items may need to be carried separately, but small items can be tucked into the pocket of your pants.

Top-rated pants will incorporate a couple of pockets, at a minimum, into the design. The best pockets will feature a secure closure and can fit items like hiking hats inside. With pockets, you can keep the gear you need close at hand and ready to go.


Any pants should be versatile for everyday use. The perfects pants can be used on the city streets or the mountain trails. Versatility is what makes ladies’ hiking pants a worthwhile investment. You may even argue that convertible hiking pants for women are the best choice when it comes to versatility because you get two pants for the price of one.

With zip-off hiking pants for women, you can carry pants and shorts with you on the trail. Whether you start off with short and it gets cold or you start off with pants and it gets hot, you can conveniently change the design to suit your needs at the moment. With versatile women’s waterproof hiking pants, you’ll get reliable protection for your everyday adventure.


For your comfort, additional features may be important for you to consider. Some women’s waterproof hiking pants use an elastic waist to ensure they have a comfortable and adjustable fit. Other pants have reinforced seams to make them more durable. There are even pants that have a longer inseam so that you can easily tuck them into your hiking boots for women. There are plenty of additional features that you can choose from to make your pants your new favorite piece of clothing.



Q: Regular or convertible hiking pants?


This will depend on where you are hiking and your personal preference. If you know the climate of your hiking destination, you may not need zip-off hiking pants for women and a regular design would suit you just fine. Normally, this means you are cold weather hiking and need pants the entire time.

But if the weather changes from hot to cold where you want to explore, convertible hiking pants for women are the best choice because you can control your temperature. Whether it’s hot or cold, you’ll always have the exact pants you need to stay comfortable with the convertible design.

Q: How to care for hiking pants?


The best way to care for your hiking pants is to look up specific care instructions provided by the brand or to read the label. Not women’s waterproof hiking pants are made of the same material, and you shouldn’t wash your pants on a whim because it could cause damage. By finding specific care instructions, you are ensuring that your pants will last longer and look better after each wash. If no instructions are provided, women’s hiking pant reviews are a great place to search for information because other buyers may state how they wash and care for their pants.

Q: What is the difference between men’s and women’s hiking pants?


Men and women are not built the same and both have different physical features. Hiking pants for men are built for thicker torsos and longer legs. The fit of the pants is entirely different from ladies’ hiking pants because they are likely going to be too loose for women.

The best women’s hiking pants will take into consideration the curves of the body and the length of the legs to adjust the fit of the pants. A slimmer or narrower fit is ideal for women because it reduces bulk and keeps the pants more comfortable. With women-specific hiking pants, you are more likely to feel confident and comfortable on the trail.

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Whether you are hiking for the day or going on a long-distance adventure, having the right gear is important. With top rated hiking pants for women, you can stay safe and keep your body protected from varying trail conditions. By using our list of the best women’s backpacking pants and reading our guide, you are likely to find a pair of hiking pants that you can rely throughout years of adventures.

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Do you own a pair of pants that made it onto our list? Have they enhanced your protection on the trail? Let us know how much you love to rely on your pants in the comments section below.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!