Buying a pair of best hiking pants women’s, or men, is not as easy as it seems. There are hundreds of brands and more technical fabrics every day. The price of a mountain pants can vary from much more than you can imagine. There are cheap pants, the price of which is suspiciously low, while others are prohibitive. It is not the same hiking pants for beginners than “advanced trekking” pants, which allows you to get away from the rainiest and coldest days of the high mountain.
Why a Jeans Pants is not worth it?
Many people wonder why jeans are not worth hiking. They are resistant fit the body well and you feel comfortable with them. However, a cowboy can cause you several inconveniences:
The first is that since it is made of cotton, its water resistance capacity is very low. They soak easily and take a long time to dry. If it rains, and there is no need for a heavy downfall, they will make your body cool, become heavier and move with them is very uncomfortable. Jeans do not allow freedom of movement of mountain pants, which usually include elastic fabrics in their composition.
Why Choosing Hiking Pants is not that Easy?
Unlike what happens with t-shirts and mountain jackets, the pants are a garment that is not put on and removed throughout the day. If it’s hot you can take off your jacket, and if it cools you can add another layer. This flexibility you do not have with the warm hiking pants women that, with some exceptions, you will wear all the time. If it’s too hot you’re going to get hot, and if it’s too thin and windy, the cold will leave you cold.
What do you want the Pants for: Hiking, Trekking, and Mountaineering?
There are several terms that are confusing: Hiking, hiking, trekking, mountaineering, … first it is better to clarify them.Hiking is the same as hiking. It involves activities on easy paths and the level of physical effort is low or moderate. They are usually one-day walks, of more or less kilometers.
Trekking implies more physical effort and the possibility of traveling off tracks and trails. The trekking became fashionable in the 80s and refers to the approach to the base camp of the climbers. It can last several days and the physical effort is greater. Also, the backpack is heavier since you have to carry all the clothes and material.
Finally, there is mountaineering, which can be considered an advanced trekking in high mountains. Climatic conditions are more severe because the altitude causes the temperature to decrease, exposure to solar radiation can be very high, and wind and rain can appear at any time. It also requires more physical effort, there are no marked roads, you have to climb steep slopes and sweat must be evacuated as quickly as possible.
How are Hiking Pants Different from Trekking or Mountaineering?
Although then I will go into more specific details, the main difference between a simple hiking pants and a good mountain pants is in the performance of the garment to meet the different demands of each activity.
It is not the same to take a placid walk along a path with no slope at the foot of a mountain, then to climb over 2,000 meters in height and face the inclemency of the high mountain. Neither the effort is the same nor do the climatic conditions coincide. Therefore, a mountain pants is more technical than a hiking pants. This translates into the ability to perspire, to maintain heat, to resist abrasion, or to prevent rain from heating.
A mountain or climbing pants is more robust and resistant to abrasion. It is reinforced in places where wear can be higher, such as in the inside of the legs, where the use of crampons can cause tears.
What time of year do you want the Pants?
More than for what season: Spring, summer, autumn or winter, it would be better to ask under what conditions and in what places you will wear the pants. It is not the same a cool summer in the Pyrenean mountain that, despite being summer, the weather may be cool, then a rigorous summer in any mountain range in southern countries. In any case, there are pants for dry and warm weather, and others women’s cold weather hiking pants are better for cold or rain.
Autumn / Winter Hiking and Mountain Pants (Cold and Rainy Weather)
For cooler days, the Top rated hiking pant – The best hiking pants in the world must have thermal benefits. Too thin pants would be too cool to resist a winter day on the mountain. In addition, if it is windy, which is frequent on the mountain, you should not only check that the pants help you maintain the temperature, but also function as a windbreaker, otherwise you will be cold if the wind blows hard.
In case of Rain, there are 2 types of Hiking Pants that can serve you:
- Softshell – they have thermal capacity and a certain capacity to prevent water from transferring them. They are versatile although they will not be worth it if it rains heavily.
- Hardshell – are pants with waterproof membrane. They are the ones that offer the most guarantees against water since they act as a layer of protection against wind or rain, being breathable.
Hiking Pants for Spring Summer (Dry and Warm Weather)
For sunny days and in good weather, it might seem that you don’t need too technical pants. However, nothing is further from reality. When it’s hot, sweat can be a big inconvenience. If you sweat too much, you can suffer from dehydration, so it is best that the pants perspire well.
A second problem may be solar radiation. At higher elevations, it is closer to solar radiation and the skin is more vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, a mountain pants must offer protection against UV rays, if you are going to use warm hiking pants women on warm and sunny days.
Short, Long or Convertible Hiking Pants?
A short hiking pants allows you to go cooler. However, it has some possible disadvantages:
Scratches and wounds – if you are going to travel away from roads and paths, plants or rocks can leave your legs quite bruised and full of scratches.
- Solar radiation – They don’t protect your legs from the sun’s rays. They force you to wear sunscreen.
- A short-insulated hiking pants women’s or mountain pants would be nice to walk tracks or easy trails. Instead, long pants protect you more in every way (insects, UV rays, rocks or branches).There is a third option that are convertible pants. Thanks to a zipper, you can remove each leg and leave them short or long as it suits you. They are very versatile and have some advantages:
- Easy to wash – the dirtiest part can be washed separately.
- Breathable – you can leave part of the zipper open for easy perspiration.
Now that you know the types of mountain and best hiking pants womens and men s that exist in the market and for what type of activity and conditions are more suitable, it is time to deepen the technical characteristics, which are the ones that will allow you to enjoy the Montana.
Water Resistance what is a Waterproof Hiking Pants?
Under the name of waterproof hiking pants, you will find a wide range of garments in which both the price and the benefits vary. A good insulated hiking pants women or for men, truly waterproof, is not easy to find for less than € 100. However, there are pants that can offer you some protection on a day of moderate rain.
Hiking Trousers with (Durable Water Repellent)
DWR means permanent water repellency. The tissues that carry it have a zig zag surface that prevents water from spreading throughout the tissue and soaking it. The water forms large drops that just shake the pants fall to the ground.
This treatment does not make the pants waterproof, although it helps you not soak up the first change, when it starts to rain. The DWR treatment deteriorates over time although it can be regenerated by washing the pants, or by applying a spray. There are many pants that have this treatment, although not all have a true waterproof membrane.
Hiking Pants with Waterproof Membrane
If you really need waterproof pants, you should opt for membrane pants. The best known and most effective is Goretex, which not only gives you a good resistance to rain, but allows you to perspire, something very important.
In the market there are other alternatives to Goretex. Many brands develop their own membrane. The problem is that it is difficult to know which one is the best because there is no standardized measurement system that allows comparison. However, some brands usually provide a measure of water resistance. It is the column of water that holds the pants before the water passes through the tissue.
Pants with Removable Inner Leggings
Some pants have a built-in inner gaiter, which provides a higher level of protection against water in an area that usually gets wet easily if you step on snow or if you move through areas of rain-wet scrub. This type of pants usually has a high resistance to water in the rest of the fabric and it is normal to carry some of the usual and best-known membranes.
It is important to check the ability of the tissue to evacuate sweat and allow good perspiration. Especially if it is waterproof pants. It is no use that the pants are waterproof if it is at the cost of not letting sweat escape. In the end you will end up soaked with your own sweat, especially if the temperature is a bit high and you have to make a physical effort climbing a slope to reach the top of a mountain.
In the most technical mountain and trekking pants, data on breathability usually appears. It is known as textile resistance to evaporation (RET) and measures the difficulty that sweat finds to go outside. The lower the data, the better because it tells you that sweat will go outside more easily.
Abrasion Resistance and Durability of Mountain Pants
The resistance of the pants depends on many details, starting with the seams, following the fabrics used and ending with the reinforced areas.
The seams of the Pants
If you turn the pants, you can check the quality of the seams. If the seams are simple and detect loose threads, it is very likely that the pants will wear off after a few uses. On the other hand, pants of a certain quality have double seams.
Wind protection usually coincides with water protection, although not always. You can find windproof pants that are not literally waterproof.
Depending on the type of fabric, you can find pants with Goretex membrane, which protects against wind and water, or softshell type pants, with a certain thermal capacity (depending on the thickness), and that gives you protection against the wind, although not so much in front of the water.
Thermal Capacity of the Pants
The inner part of the pants is usually a carded fabric that, depending on the thickness, can be more or less warm. There is always the possibility of using inner meshes to compensate in case the pants do not offer the thermal benefits you need. In this way you gain versatility, although you must always check that you do not lose freedom of movement and that the undergarment not only shelters, but also transpires well.
The Weight of the Pants
The weight of the pants is important depending on the activity you are going to do. For a day out of hiking it may be unimportant that the pants weigh 200 grams less. However, if you are going to do several days of mountain trekking, it is important to carry the minimum possible weight. Summer pants are lighter and may not exceed 400 grams. Instead, winter pants can double it.
The Pockets and Zippers
It is not given the importance it has. However, a mountain pants with several zippered pockets is safer when it comes to storing your belongings. In the mountains it is easy to lose things when you sit or climb some rocks. In these cases, pants with zippers in the pockets are better.
The Color of the Pants
It is important that you choose a color that you like. Today of any model you can choose between several colors. However, color also has its function. Darker colors are better for winter because they absorb heat better when the sun sets, while lighter colors reflect it and are cooler for warm weather or summer.
There are pants that fit more to the body (slim fit) and that are more comfortable because they do not easily hook in the branches or when you are climbing rocks. Others have a straighter cut leaving a greater margin with the body. There are also more baggy ones. These, although they may seem more comfortable, may not be so much compared to tight pants, especially when the latter is an elastic fabric.
What are the Best Hiking Pants for you?
The best mountain pants are not the most expensive, nor the cheapest. The best is the one that suits the type of activity you are going to do, the climatic factors, and of course your budget.
A cheap mountain pants can be very expensive. Its durability, it will be pock and may be unprofitable, and may not offer you the degree of comfort and protection you need. When the weather conditions are hard (rain, wind, cold), low quality mountain pants will jeopardize your own health, and prevent you from enjoying the mountain.
And you do not need to buy expensive mountain pants, which is very technical, if your usual activity is going to be hiking through easy terrain without leaving roads and paths.
There are more versatile and versatile men and women’s cold weather hiking pants that can be adapted to more situations and climates. These are never those of winter (too hot in temperate climates) or those of summer (excessively cool for cold weather), but those that have an intermediate weight and weight.
If you are looking for versatility, there are also convertible pants that allow you to adapt to the environment for certain terrains and climates.