Destinations Magazine

15 Best Women’s Hiking Pants in 2022: Plus Size + Hot Weather and More

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

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Looking for the perfect pair of women's hiking pants? Check out our buyer's guide, plus tips for choosing the right hiking pants for you.

As someone who's hiked for over 20 years, who's curvy and doesn't have the stick-thin shape that so many hiking pants are designed to fit, I understand the struggle to find the perfect pair of pants.

Not to worry, I've got you covered. Here are my top choices of hiking pants for women for every type of hike.

Best Overall Women's Hiking Pants

Best Women's Convertible Hiking Pants

In my opinion, the best women's hiking pants are always convertible ones. It's the #1 key feature I look for. I love the flexibility and knowing I'm covered even if the weather changes without having to bring shorts. I especially love them for multiday hikes like the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Best Plus Size Hiking Pants

It wasn't too many years ago that women's hiking pants only came in small sizes. Plus size hiking pants were extremely difficult to find. Fortunately that's FINALLY changed, as brands have recognized that women of all body shapes and sizes hike.

Best Women's Hiking Pants for Hot Weather

Best Softshell Pant for Alpine Adventures

Best Water Resistant Hiking Pants for Women

Best Budget Women's Hiking Pants

If you're a beginner hiker, prefer doing easy hikes or are on a budget, you don't have to spend a fortune. However, I do recommend a higher quality pair of hiking pants if you're doing a multi-day hike like our self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc where you want to ensure durability.

Women's Hiking Pants vs Hiking Shorts vs Hiking Leggings: Which Should. You Choose?

Whether you should choose hiking pants, shorts or hiking leggings depends on the type of hike you're doing. I love convertible hiking pants with a zipper that can easily convert into shorts. When you're hiking in the mountains or doing long hikes, the weather can frequently change, so these provide the best of both worlds.

If you're doing a shorter hike or hiking in an area where the weather is warm, then shorts are fine.

RE: hiking leggings versus hiking pants, this becomes more a matter of personal choice. There are many fans of hiking leggings as some hikers find that leggings are more comfortable.

In addition, if you're plus size or curvy, you may find hiking leggings are more comfortable. Unfortunately, many less-than-perfect pants don't fit curvy women well.

Hiking pants also tend to run in a limited size range and you may have difficulty finding your size. I don't know why manufacturers think that only thin women with no curves hike when that's definitely not the case!

If you're hiking in colder weather, you can wear a thin pair of hiking leggings as a base layer under your hiking pants. This works well if you don't have a pair of lined hiking pants.

The only three considerations in my opinion why that hiking pants are a better choice than hiking leggings are:
  1. if you're hiking in an area with thorns or scratchy bushes. Pants are less likely to snag and provide better protection from abrasion.
  2. Hiking pants tend to provide more waterproof protection than hiking leggings. But you need to check since that's not always the case.
  3. I also prefer hiking pants for multi-day hikes since they're more flexible if you buy the convertible ones without you having to carry an extra pair.

Now you have our top recommendations and know which key features to look for when buying hiking pants for women.

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