Top 7 Best Hiking Pants for Winter | 2021 Reviews (Toomett)

Hiking is a winter snow activity that you need to be properly geared for, and choosing the most suitable hiking pants is one good way to start. Other than style, it’s also important to consider functionality and comfort. Winter hiking pants should keep the most mobile driving part of your trail, which are your legs, warm, dry, and freely moving.If you really opt to keep yourself warm and dry for the winter, then investing in proper hiking pants for the winter will give you a handful of benefits. 

For convenience and protection, consider choosing pants that are light, comfortable, and made from warm material. If you go for only one pair of pants, look for snow pants that offer a lot of movability. 

Here is a list of some of the best hiking pants for the winter to help you with your purchase.

Top 7 Best Hiking Pants for Winter Reviewed

  1. Women’s Fleece Lined Windproof Hiking Pants by Toomett – Best Overall
  2. Men’s Gamma LT Pants by Arc’teryx – Best Value
  3. Men’s Ferrosi Pants by Outdoor Research – Edito’s Choice
  4. Men’s Stretch Zion Pants by prAna
  5. Men’s Merino 250 Wool Pants by Smartwool
  6. Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants
  7. Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights by Fjallraven

#1. Women’s Fleece Lined Windproof Hiking Pants by Toomett – Best Overall

 

Women’s Fleece Lined Windproof Hiking Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Toomett
  • Department: Women’s
  • Material: 100% Polyester with Fleece lining
  • Sizes available: XS to 3XL
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes 
  • Lightweight: Yes

These softshells are made from 100% Polyester, and it includes a lot of extra features, which are fleece lining and multiple-zippered pockets. Its adjustable waistband and belt allow you to move comfortably in the pants, whether you are skiing, walking, and climbing.

This tent is built with great windproof and water-repellent abilities, and its micro-fleece lining keeps you warm in cold weather conditions. It offers a slim, comfortable, flattering fit, so make sure you carefully look into the size. 

Additionally, these pants include a zip fly with a snap closure. These pants are extremely lightweight, durable, and breathable, and they can be paired with a base layer, which can help keep you warm in freezing temperatures.

ProsCons
Several zippered pocketsMay run too small for some
Various colors
Great price

#2. Men’s Gamma LT Pants by Arc’teryx – Best Value

Men’s Gamma LT Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Arc’teryx
  • Department: Men’s
  • Material: 88% Nylon and 12% Elastane
  • Sizes available: XXS – XXL
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Lightweight: Yes

 Acr’teryx offers a durable pair of pants manufactured as a well-designed piece of mountain gear. It is highly breathable, yet it has a Nylon outer softshell that is both abrasion- and water-resistant.

These versatile pair of pants are a great option for winter hiking. It has an allowance for a base layer, so you can layer-up with some thermals underneath if the weather suddenly becomes colder.

The Arc’teryx Men’s Gamma pants are also well-known for their comfort-related features. These pants are lightweight, provided that it has a minimalist design. Its fabric is smooth and stretchy, that it eliminates any limitations on mobility.

What’s also unique about this product is its unique DWR coating coupled with a tightly woven fabric, making it water-resistant. More so, these pants quickly dry out so you can have the kingly comfort you deserve.

ProsCons
Simple and elegant designNeeds an extra layer for colder conditions
Resilient ConstructionPoor layering system
Excellent insulation
Versatile and tough
Top class fabric
Trusted brand

#3. Men’s Ferrosi Pants by Outdoor Research – Editor’s Choice

Men’s Ferrosi Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Outdoor Research
  • Department: Men’s
  • Material: 86% Nylon, 14% Spandex
  • Sizes available: 28W x 32L to 38W to 34L
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Lightweight: Yes 

Ferrosi pants by Outdoor Research are yet again another proof of the company’s unbeatable quality. These pants come as lightweight and long-lasting with a little stretch. Because of its recognizable attributes, it makes hiking an easy sport to grasp.

Its combination of spandex and nylon gives you an air-permeable material that provides great ventilation and optimal breathability for the pants in any occasion. Even if it comes with a sun-protection layer, it’s still surprisingly light. Plus, the fabric is also stretchy enough to give you a classic fit.

Its resistance to light and rain is owed to its fabric’s superior weaving and stitching. Additionally, its revolutionary design allows your unrestricted movement by incorporating tapered legs and articulated knees. On top of it, it includes numerous pockets as well.

Since its fabric can withstand any abrasions with the assistance of movement-mirroring elasticity, walking and winter hiking has never been easier.

ProsCons
Built with a unique revolutionary designSide pockets are shallow.
Excellent wind and water resistance
No compromise on comfort
Air-permeable fabric

#4. Men’s Stretch Zion Pants by prAna

Men’s Stretch Zion Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: prAna
  • Department: Men’s
  • Material: 100% Zion fabric (a combination of Nylon and Spandex)
  • Sizes available: S – XXL
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Lightweight: Yes

This smart gear is your best friend for the frigid weather conditions. These pants are what you need exactly for your exciting hiking trip. Its original stretch Zion fabric ensures durability and provides you with a water repellent finish. Nevertheless, this type of fabric dries fast and stretches exceptionally.

With warm thick insulation, freezing on the hazardous weather will be the least of your concerns. Additionally, its sturdy shell construction includes firm stitching on a pressure point that counteracts rough and uneven outdoor terrains. 

To make sure that you have a standard fit, the pants are equipped with a gusseted crotch that allows free and flawless movement, as well as roll-up leg snaps and the best-placed waistband adjuster. The products come with a variety of different colors, which make the product more engaging to the customers.

ProsCons
Stylish as it comes with various colors to choose fromBreathability is not suited for hot conditions
Great insulation
Stretchy Fabric
Versatile

#5. Men’s Merino 250 Wool Pants by Smartwool

Men’s Merino 250 Wool Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Smartwool
  • Department: Men’s
  • Material: 100% Merino wool fabric
  • Sizes available: 
  • Windproof: Small – XX-Large 
  • Waterproof:
  • Lightweight: Yes

The Smartwool Merino Wool Pants are a good way to go for the cold seasons. You can count on this fine pair as it comes with moisture-wicking and anti-abrasion capabilities, which allows it to withstand cold weather conditions.

These pants are warm, soft, and breathable due to its heavy and soft merino wool fabric. Its moisture-wicking traits are unmatched as it keeps your body dry even when you are sweating. It’s made even loftier with its interlock knit construction. Given this, an elastic waistband provides you the perfect fit.

One of its unique features involves an anti-microbial feature of the Merino wool that is responsible for keeping bad odor away. Plus, it’s machine-friendly, so you can easily do your laundry with a gentle wash.

Because of its heavyweight, Merino wool is durable enough to remain resistant against wear and tear. And you can also wear it under snow pants with less feeling of discomfort.

ProsCons
Odor-resistant with warm insulationThe waistband is somewhat thick
Machine Washable
Comfortable Fit
Long-lasting
Durable

#6. Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Columbia
  • Department: Men’s
  • Material: 100% Nylon
  • Sizes available: 30W x 30L, 54W x 34L
  • Windproof: Yes 
  • Waterproof: yes
  • Lightweight: Yes

These particular premium hiking pants are designed with advanced technology that is ideal for any weather condition. These pants are also suitable for rafting and fishing, for they dry incredibly fast. Columbia’s Cargo Pants are here to give you the next-level experience.

It comes with a rough design and a robust fabric that prevents any kind of wear and tear. More than this, it also provides you with lightweight performance.

The body also has a unique Omni-wick technology, which effectively wicks away moisture from the body to give you a cool and dry feeling. Adding to this, Columbia’s Cargo Pants are also incorporated with Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric, which prevents your skin from getting sunburns or any other related effects.

It has more pockets for your convenience, which includes zippered and mesh pockets. These pockets are designed with hook and loop closure.

ProsCons
Omni-wick technology with more pocketsNot very stretchy
Wind-resistant and ultralight weight
Classic fit with a rugged design
Integrated sun protection

#7. Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights by Fjallraven

Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights

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Specifications:

  • Brand: Fjallraven
  • Department: Women’s
  • Material: 62% Polyamide,16% Aramid, 12% Elastane, 10% Polyester
  • Sizes available: XX-Small to XX-Large
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Lightweight: Yes

These pants are designed for curvy, muscular, and tall bodies. More so, the pants’ design and color variations are engaging, and users feel fun, more like a low-key superhero or some sort.

With their rugged reinforcements and sturdy, breathable fabric, the colors are converted, and they allow users you move like how tights offer movement, yet they are thick and c=breathable enough to be worn in a range of temperatures. 

The most noticeable feature is that they dry fast and have a comfortable high waist held by a drawstring. These rugged and breathable tights keep your legs protected, and they work at a variety of temperatures. Moreover, they are expensive and tricky to use.

ProsCons
Comfortable high waistFeels a little odd at first
Perfect PocketsFit is hard to nail.
BreathableThick patches
DurableTricky fit

Top Pick – Best Hiking Pants for Winter 2020

Being the top pick for women in most reviews, Toomett’s Fleece-Lined Softshell Hiking Pants also takes the top spot for the best overall hiking pants. It has almost every great feature that makes outstanding hiking pants. 

These pants are stylish and it’s perfect for any winter outdoor activities you have in mind. Moreover, being waterproof and windproof, you remain toasty warm without worrying about being damp in the cold. As a convenient accessory piece, multi-zipper pockets keep the user’s personal belongings, including credit cards, cellphone, and keys, safe and secure.

Its innermost layer is made of micro-polar fleece, which helps keep you warm for cold ski weather. The middle layer is a high-end fiber fabric under a water-repellent, breathable coating outer layer. Although it has an adjustable waistband with a belt, its comfortable slim fit feature requires you to take a thorough look at the size options before choosing. 


Top Hiking Pants Brands

Toomett

Toommett’s specialty is producing and selling outdoor quick-drying pants and shirts, cargo pants, ski pants, and softshell pants. The company’s products are best suited for casual wear and outdoor wear, most especially for climbing, hiking, fishing, traveling, backpacking, camping, running, jogging, walking, cycling, and even beachwear.

prAna

The company prAna had its humble beginnings in California. Their team works hard to manufacture clothes that help customers thrive in any environment as they embody everyone’s adventurous side, allowing them to focus on the essentials. They claim to use their related experiences working and wandering the globe to design better products, apparel, and accessories for both men and women.

Smartwool

Smartwool is a company that offers positivity and inclusiveness. They adhere to their principle that explains the outdoors as belonging to no one, so everyone should feel welcome in the outdoors. They are currently advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement and have made truly remarkable charities to show their support. 

Merino Wool socks and clothing are designed to fuel adventures in the outdoors when it comes to their products. They aim to help their customers go far and feel good.

Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx’s purpose is to design and build the finest products and equipment possible, one that will enable an individual to be absorbed in the moment of doing, regardless of external weather conditions. Their design is timeless, simple, minimalist, human-centric, and based on intuition as it focuses more on building better equipment to emphasize function.

In Arc’teyrx, they aim to challenge the existing and manufacture new ideas in culture. They prove their excellence through a unique filed of testing, where their designers are the ones who also test the product in real-world conditions and encourage athletes and industry professionals to assess the product’s specs against real-world situational settings.


Features to Look for When Buying Hiking Pants for Winter (Buyer’s Guide)

Weatherproofing properties

Winter hiking pants need to have best-weatherproofing properties. Water-repellence is the first aspect of winter pants. By keeping water off our skin and not allowing water to penetrate, you’ll ensure that your body is warm and dry.

Other than that, hiking pants should be windproof. Cold weather winds are very strong; thus, you need a pair of pants that are strong enough to hold against any wind, especially in open spots.

Material

The materials used to make pants will determine its level of performance and durability. The most commonly used materials for cold weather pants are polyester, nylon, and spandex. Moreover, the material needs to be firm and tough to withstand the harsh outdoor environment.

Style and Size

 Hiking pants, just like any other pants, come in various styles and sizes. It is crucial to order the right size for you. Also note that different manufacturers have different instructions, sizing, and measurements used. Personal preference plays an important part in choosing the right size for you.

Abrasion Resistance

This feature refers to the resilience of the fabric through the rough, uneven, and unforgiving terrains. For tough terrain, choose the pair that is durable enough to handle rugged terrain.

Washing Properties

Cleaning and washing your hiking pants after the long journey is necessary to boost its durability. So, you need to choose hiking pants that are either machine washable or easy to maintain.

Ease of Drying

It is necessary to look for a pair that is capable of drying fast in cold conditions. Dampness has a harmful and damaging effect on your hiking pants’ insulation properties. More than that, fast-drying pants keep your body from freezing. 

Warmth and Breathability

Warmth is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when looking for the best hiking pants. For increased warmth, it should include a thermal underwear or at least an inner layer. Also, it should include both fleece lining and proper insulation. Despite being warm, your pants should also have proper breathability; otherwise, you will be left sweating and uncomfortable. On top of this, the fabric should also have moisture-wicking properties.

Pockets

Pants with enough well-sized and properly-placed pockets are perfect for hiking in cold weather outings. Inlined with this, most hikers prefer deep pockets and those with sturdy zippers. Above all, ensure that the pockets do not limit or hinder your hiking pants’ movement and performance.

Color

It may not seem necessary, but colors are important to determine your hiking pants’ performance in the cold weather. Concerning this, dark colors are better in absorbing heat, so it works better for warmth in freezing conditions. In contrast, bright colors are more efficient for security as they make the user easy to spot in the dark.

Fit

The right fit will give you the best comfortable feeling with every movement you make. Hiking pants should considerably be of the right tightness, stretch, and adjustability to have the perfect fit. Moreover, gusseted rotches and articulated knees make pants fit better.

Extra Features

Many hiking pants are specially equipped with extra features for increased performance, convenience, and style. These extra features will include belts and belt loops, adjustable waist strap, button or fly zippers, zipper bottoms, and anti-scrape cuffs.

Quality Paramount: Hiking pants are usually dragged across rocks, and come across twigs and thorns yet still go through a lot of travel for an almost endless number miles to reach the destination. To ensure that the pants won’t acquire damaged or any signs abuse, it’s imperative to go for high-quality nylon.

Cost

This aspect will matter when you make final decisions. Prices will vary accordingly to the brand or its features. Still, you can find good-quality pants at an affordable price. Quality is not always found in more sophisticated and expensive pants. Above all, what you purchase according to your budget should offer you value for the money spent.


Layers for hiking clothes for men and women

When layering your pants for great winter hiking adventures, always remember to apply a strategy that will ensure you both warmth and comfortable dryness. It’s initially better to have more layers on so that you can just easily shed them off according to the weather changes.

When it comes to winter layering, you need to consider having a few main layers of clothes. As a preview, you need initially have a base layer on, followed by a mid-weight insulating layer topped with a weatherproof shell.

Base layer

This layer is responsible for keeping sweat off your skin to keep it dry. It mostly includes underwear closest to the skin and maintaining body temperature high as you exert movements and perspire.

As you hike, you’ll eventually sweat more often, especially during the cold winter. Make sure that your hiking pants can wick that moisture away. Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling very wet and cold. The best materials for base layer pants are merino wool and synthetic fabric, while the worst one would be cotton. The latter cannot wick away moisture, so it may leave damp with your sweat.

Mid-Insulating Layer

This layer will require a decision to use fleece or not. Generally, your middle layer should focus on trapping body heat and keeping air close so you can stay insulated and warm. Most insulating layers come from materials like down, fleece, and wool. 

Choosing the material you will use will depend on your place’s climate and where you plan to hike. If you live a wetter weather condition, you might want to consider skipping down, because it does not retain heating properties after getting damp from the climate. Rather, you can choose to have an alternative like fleece as it keeps you both warm and dry.

Outer Layer

For protection against the elements, hiking pants need to have an outer shell. A waterproof outer layer is necessary for you to be protected from any type of weather conditions during your hike. Moreover, the outer shell needs to be weather-resistant, water-repellent, and windproof. Concerning this, consider purchasing an outer shell that has both water-resistance and ventilation.


Some Benefits of Hiking Pants

Lightweight

Usually designed from nylon, hiking pants are lightweight, weighing even less than a pair of cotton pants. As a result, it allows for longer hikes to feel comfortable and enjoyable.

Quick-Drying

Due to the same material, hiking pants are designed to dry fast. If it eventually gets wet, it will often dry out within minutes, even if you are wearing them. This feature is especially important for hiking trips in rough terrains as it mostly comes with stormy wet weather.

Quiet

Nylon makes good quality hiking pants soft and quiet. Unlike lower quality pants and other poor-quality nylon apparel, quality hiking pants don’t create an annoying rubbing sound, which is essential to remove trail side discomfort to your ears. It also permits better wildlife viewing.

Pockets

Hiking pants usually includes many, and often large, pockets. The pockets are handy. It allows you to store important belongings and other small items without needing an additional backpack for the trip. These parts are useful in safekeeping and easy retrieval of your valuables, such as maps, sunscreen, lip balm, a small snack, and cellphones.

Comfort

Being lightweight in nature, hiking pants are one of the most comfortable pants any individual can wear. They are also considerably roomy and properly sized. The pants work well to offer you unlimited flexibility and are perfect for allowing hikers to journey off-trail or climb along rocks. Moreover, hiking pants also come with waistbands, which are comfortable as it moves according to the hiker’s body motions.

Convertible Shorts

Convertible hiking pants are hiking pants that convert easily to shorts. They have zippers in about 1/3 way down each pant. By unzipping the lower part on each leg, you can easily convert the pants into cool hiking shorts.

Leg Protection

Since hiking pants have breathable characteristics, sweat is safely released from the pants inside. Moreover, pants are kept cool as it protects the legs from twigs, thorns, and other obstacles during hikes, especially when hikers go off-trail. Concerning this, off-trail hikers will surely appreciate the pant’s protection for the skin while allowing the legs to remain cool.


Conclusion

As you conceptualize and consider what pants you’ll wear for your much-awaited winter hiking, remember that there are at least three purposes that winter serves, which is to keep you dry, warm, and moving.

The bottom line is that the best hiking pants for winter will give you a great balance of lightweight, comfort, and warmth. Concerning this, waterproof softshell pants are ideal, especially for any cases of winter rain.

Winter is just around the corner, so be prepared for any cold and possibly damp weather conditions. In choosing the best winter hiking pants, consider one with the best wind and moisture protection, insulation, and quick-drying fabric.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do you need hiking pants?

Hiking pants are essential to keep your body warm and dry, especially in rainy, cold, and snowy conditions. Moreover, hiking pants keep your legs safe against extreme sunlight, dangerous terrain, and vicious bugs.

Which fabric is considered as the warmest in winter?

Cotton is the warmest fabric for winter. It is efficient in trapping your body heat and maintaining it. Other than that, synthetic fabrics like polypropylene are also effective for giving excellent insulation during winter.

What pants should you wear for hiking?

The best pants for hiking should have tough fabric suitable for the rough outdoor terrain and stretchy enough to have a classic fit. Hiking pants are known to wick moisture away from the skin and fast-drying. Therefore, Spandex and Nylon are your best friends for hiking.
Choose good-quality, weatherproof hiking pants that should also not impede your movement. It is also preferred to have more lightweight trekking pants than adding more layers of clothing. More so, it is easy to travel with. Choosing more versatile pants are the best for use in almost any weather condition.

Are snow pants suitable for hiking?

No, especially the high-insulated, heavy-duty ones. Snow pants are intended for skis and snowboard use, where there is only limited movement. Besides that, snow pants can be too heavy to wear, which could hinder you when hiking. You will be exhausted at a faster time and sweat more easily. Lightweight versions are more suitable, so you consider buying those.

How do I layer pants for winter hiking?

Before anything, make sure that your hiking pants have enough room for a base layer. Movement may be restricted if you struggle to wear your pants with a layer, and it does not get any comfortable. The number of layers you will require will be based on each layer’s material, your preferred activity, and the present conditions. Just remember that you need to consider movement, breathability, and weather protection.

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