It is 2020 and the leggings trend is here to stay. They’re comfortable, flexible, and versatile – what’s not to love? People of all shapes, sizes, and genders are embracing the comfort of leggings in everyday life and while exploring the outdoors. Leggings can be the perfect pants for hiking, but it is important to choose the right pair. If you are on the quest for the perfect hiking leggings then look no further. We’ve done the work for you by comparing many of the top-rated leggings out there.
The Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights stood out as our favorite because of their comfortable fit, durable material, and additional features designed specifically for hiking. The three zippered pockets and reinforced material at the knees show that these designers know what it is like to spend time hiking and camping. There are some other great options as well, so read on to see what other leggings we recommend for outdoor adventures.Top 3 Comparison Table
Fjallraven Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights
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Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings
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Carhartt Force Stretch Utility Legging for Women
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7 Best Hiking Leggings Reviews
1. Fjallraven Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights
The designers of these leggings truly thought of everything when it comes to the ideal hiking leggings. To begin with, the durable material could stand up to traditional hiking pants in terms of tear-resistance. These are tough leggings, made to withstand rough conditions. They are high-waisted and flexible, and the drawstring at the natural waist level ensures you will not be pulling these up constantly throughout your hike. We love the reinforced fabric at the knees so that you don’t have to worry about ripping these while kneeling down at your campsite or when stopping for lunch. The icing on the cake for these pants is the zipper pockets located on both legs and at the waist for easily accessible storage.
Features: High-waisted, zipper pockets at waist and thigh, reinforced material over knees, flatlock seams and gusseted crotch.
- Zipper pockets keep things in place
- Durable stretch fabric
- Adjustable ties at waistband
- Durable fabric is less breathable than some others
2. Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings
These leggings come in two different construction styles to suit both men and women. Both feature unique dual-layer fabric with a warm interior layer and a fast-drying and smooth exterior. Material throughout the leggings wicks away moisture and resists the growth of odor-causing microbes. Flatlock seams prevent chafing, and a gusseted crotch (a diamond-shaped piece of fabric in the crotch area) prevents these from riding up uncomfortably for both men and women. Stay warm while hiking on cold or snowy days in these insulated leggings.
Features: Dual-layer fabric for extra warmth, quick-drying fabric, flatlock seams and gusseted crotch
- Ultra-warm, brushed inner material
- Smooth, quick-drying outer material
- Men’s and women’s styles
- Too much insulation for hiking on warm days
3. Carhartt Force Stretch Utility Legging – Best Waterproof Leggings For Hiking
Carhartt is a trusted brand for work pants, and these leggings are no exception to their well-made products. These pants were made for getting dirty and are made of 95% nylon for odor- and water-resistance. These are the closest to waterproof pants you will find with this level of flexibility and comfort. Reinforced knee material will not tear as you set up your tent or scramble over rocks. These leggings feature front, back, and utility pockets for convenient storage as you hike.
Features: Rugged Flex stretch technology, sweat-wicking material, naturally water-resistant, numerous pockets
- Abrasion-resistant material for long-lasting leggings
- Front, back, and utility pockets
- At 10oz these are heavier than some other leggings
4. Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour 2.0
Finally, some comfortable leggings designed specifically for men! These leggings feature a stretch-mesh gusseted crotch and inseam area for targeted ventilation to keep things cool. Tough yet lightweight HeatGear fabric also allows these to help regulate your body temperature in any weather. These are the only compression leggings on the list, and this can help to improve blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue during long hikes. Guys, get ready to make these your new favorite hiking pants.
Features: HeatGear fabric, Under Armour compression, mesh ventilation in gusset and inseam, quick-drying polyester.
- Good price
- Ergonomic design and targeted ventilation
- No built-in fly lacks the convenience of some other men’s leggings but improves the overall cohesiveness of the pants.
5. Ice Breaker Merino Women’s Comet Tights
Ice Breaker is a company committed to using natural materials rather than synthetic alternatives that can contain plastic microfibers. When you purchase the Comet tights you can be sure you are getting a quality pair of leggings, while supporting a sustainable and environmentally-conscious company. These tights are made for the outdoors with a combination of merino wool, Lycra and nylon materials. This allows for flexible pants that help to naturally wick moisture away from the body. Wool is also naturally odor-resistant and provides UV-protection, making these leggings perfect for multi-day trips.
Features: Flatlock seams, internal drawstring at waist, gusseted crotch, fabric combination of merino wool, Lycra, and nylon
- 100% natural fibers
- Flatlock seams and Gusseted crotch for minimal chafing
- Moisture-wicking material
- No reinforced material over knees for tear-resistance during campsite chores. This also means minimal extra seams for enhanced comfort.
Hiking Leggings Buyer’s Guide
Perhaps you are reading this article because you have tried traditional, loose-fitting hiking pants that are durable but not exactly comfortable. Maybe you have tried hiking in shorts and your legs were scraped-up by brush. Or maybe you already enjoy wearing leggings in your day-to-day life and are hoping to bring this comfort onto the trail or even while using a hunting spotlight. Finding leggings that fit your body well is the first step to being comfortable while hiking. But there are some other factors to consider as well. These include:
- Moisture retention
This is always something to consider when buying new clothes. Sometimes spending a bit more can get you a much higher quality product, but a higher price does not always equal better leggings. We’ve included leggings from various price ranges on our list, offering even those with a tight budget the option to find excellent hiking leggings.
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Warm leggings for hiking and cold weather
In what type of climate will you be hiking? Being comfortable while hiking through a desert requires different clothing features than those needed for a day in the snow or in a humid climate like the rainforest. Thermal leggings are great for cold days but could make you miserable in hot weather. Winter leggings often feature a fleece lining inside, which is ideal for keeping your legs warm without too much extra bulk. On the other hand, a more lightweight, breathable fabric like polyester is best for hiking in warm weather.
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This may be a desirable feature for some, while others don’t like to use the small pockets that come in leggings anyway. Leggings marketed for runners often feature small pockets around the waistband for things like keys, while others have larger pockets on the outside of the thigh. They may not hold much but can be a convenient place to keep your chapstick or phone while hiking. Check out our recent guide on the best cat bubble backpack for hiking.
Most leggings are not built to be water-resistant, though those do exist. You will likely have to trade breathability for this feature, as water-resistant materials tend to be wind-resistant as well. Moisture-wicking materials, such as merino wool, are used in hiking leggings and can help to keep moisture away from your body. This can be good in wet environments and on multi-day trips when the weather may be unpredictable. Remember to avoid cotton in any outdoor or exercise clothing because cotton holds on to moisture and will make you cold at night after a day of sweating or unexpected rain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to hike in jeans?
Some people choose to hike in jeans, but jean material is not very breathable and does not dry quickly after getting wet. Denim is also not especially flexible and can result in chafing on long hikes.
Are compression tights good for hiking?
Yes, compression can help to improve blood flow to legs to reduce fatigue while hiking.
Are leggings good for hiking?
Yes! Leggings are designed for comfort and mobility, and hiking-specific leggings also include things such as quick-drying materials and thermal lining to prepare you for any environment. Check out our recent post on the best kids camping chairs.
What Are the Best Leggings for Hiking? – Final Thoughts
When choosing one of these great options, don’t forget to consider the environment where you plan to hike. There is not a “one size fits all” option for hiking leggings, but we believe that the Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights offer the best overall value for women. These were specially designed for hiking and therefore have all the durability and convenience that you desire on the trail. With three pockets, quick-dry material, and reinforced knees you will be ready for anything in these. Our list contains what we believe to be the top hiking leggings out there, which also makes one of the best gifts for outdoorsy women.