How to Select Men’s Hiking Pants- Introduction
Guest Contribution by Victor Nicholson
Only a few things carry more importance when hiking than being comfortable and light-weighted. Many pay attention to their hiking shoes and backpack, but not so much to choosing pants that fit, which is equally important.
Depending on your hiking environment, weather, and commitment, there are a few things to consider when choosing hiking pants. Read on to learn more about these factors!
Types of Hiking Pants
Hiking pants may be divided into four categories depending on their designs.
Traditional Hiking Pants
Traditional pants are long pants that are excellent for hiking. They are more suitable than shorts, and that is because they get you more comfortable under any weather and protect your skin from abrasion caused by thorns, rocks, barks, and other natural obstacles.
Traditional hiking pants do not only have to be worn on hiking days. You could wear these pants in town or to your workplace on casual days, and it still would not feel any different or odd.
Many buyers prefer traditional pants for colder weather because they give them much-needed assurance and comfort. In addition, these pants are sleek in appearance and light-weighted.
Convertible Hiking Pants
Convertible hiking pants differ from traditional pants in that they can be transitioned into shorts. A zipper around each knee allows you to remove the lower half to convert it into shorts. Many hikers love this type of hiking pants due to their versatility, which provides the following benefits:
- Saves space and reduces backpack weight
- It makes it easy to remove and clean the lower part, which is the part that attracts the most dirt.
- Easy to use in any weather. In other words, when it gets too cold, you can go long; and when you feel like it is hot, you can go short.
Roll-Up Hiking Pants
Roll-up hiking pants are just traditional pants with a slightly different design. These pants are designed with buttons or elastic material on the cuff. The button ensures that you have a point to pin the rolled lower part into.
Rolling up the pants feels just like rolling up your sleeves when you feel hot. The design ensures that the rolled-up part stays in position during your hiking activity. If you feel like going back to the conventional look after hiking, all you have to do is to unbutton it.
Tight Hiking Pants
More people love tight hiking pants now because of the form-fitting function, mainly when the terrain is rigged with lots of brushes or bramble that can stick to your clothes.
Tight hiking pants are a good substitute for any loose ones, and it all comes down to preference. Some people cannot imagine themselves in fitting clothes like these, while some cannot imagine going without them.
What Are the Required Features of Hiking Pants?
Ensuring your pair of hiking pants are water-resistant means you don’t have to get your rain gears out and on when it starts to drizzle. It is entirely safe to have them on, as they provide a somewhat durable water repellant coating that allows water to wick away.
The kind of stuff the hiking pants’ material is made from is another vital factor that you must consider should you look to have one of the most pleasant hiking experiences.
The market of hiking pants for men features synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Still, this area has seen some advancements recently, and we now have hiking pants made from a combination of elastane and nylon, which are highly comfortable, stretchable, and light in weight.
No matter how careful you are while hiking, your pants are still bound to get some dirt, and this is where cleaning efficiency comes in. You would not want to get hiking pants made out of materials that are too challenging to clean when it gets dirty!
UPF and SPF Rating
It is essential to protect your skin while doing outdoor activities. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating shows the amount of UV that reaches your skin through your hiking pants’ clothing material. The higher the rating, the better you are protected from UV radiation.
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is another indicator that refers to the amount of sunlight required before your skin gets sunburnt. Like the UPF, the higher the rating of the SPF for a fabric material, the better suited it is for hiking.
Hiking Pants: Design or Function?
It is entirely expected that we want to look good in our clothing, but putting the function and purpose they serve first is more important, particularly when you are on a relatively tight budget.
Choosing between design and function can sometimes be tricky, but it all comes down to when and where you want to go hiking.
Hiking Pants for Hot Weather Vs. Cold or Wet Weather
You must be able to choose correctly which hiking pants you don for your hot or cold-weather hiking; this plays an integral role in keeping you comfortable.
Pants Tips for Hot-Weather Hiking
- Ensure to wear hiking pants with light colors because they help reflect the sun’s rays. Wearing dark-colored pants might make you uncomfortable as they absorb heat.
- You must consider the level of ventilation or breathability.
- Consider the kind of fabric used. Cotton is known to attract water easily and takes time to dry, so most people avoid cotton pants.
- You must be sure the hiking pants are UPF and SPF-rated. Again, the higher, the better.
Pants Tips for Cold-Weather Hiking
Getting your hiking pants right during winter or freezing weather can be tricky. You would not want your clothing to be wet in this kind of weather, so choosing waterproof pants is important. Dark colors may also work better, since they absorb heat more easily.
Excellent hiking pants are a real game-changer for your little adventure. Make sure to find out the conditions you’ll be hiking in, and you should be able to make the right choice of pants type and material!
Images: Unsplash/ Lucas Favre and Paul Gilmore
Victor Nicholson is an outdoor enthusiast, camper, fisherman, and hunter. With 20 years of experience exploring great Australian landscapes and nature, he has honed his ability in evaluating and recommending the right equipment for various outdoor activities.