Regardless of your capabilities; whether you are an experienced trekker, or are getting into mountaineering for the first time, best trekking trousers are a must have.
There are a whole host of designs to buy, so it can be overwhelming when it comes to going through with your purchase. While some may be looking for lightweight designs, others may be more inclined to buy a pair that can be converted into shorts in case they feel restricted on their travels. However, others may be on the hunt for more durable designs that can withstand rocky terrain and stand more chance of not being ruined if caught on a branch or sharp edge.
We have found the top 10 best trekking trousers to suit your needs and budgets to make for a stress-free shopping spree.
Top 10 best trekking trousers in the UK in 2021
1. Haglöfs Rugged Flex Pant
The Rugged Flex best trekking trousers by Swedish brand Haglöfs are an evolution of their original Rugged Mountain Pant. You could call this new design a 2020 makeover with new stretchy fabrics and a much, much slimmer fit.
Featured here are two types of fabric that are both treated with an eco-friendly durable water repellent to help on those slightly drizzly days. Across the front of the thighs and on the calves there’s a tough polyamide which feels a little like tightly-woven cotton. Then, on the knees, shins, backside and inner thigh there’s a four-way stretch elastane-based fabric to allow dynamic movement.
For scrambling, general hillwalking, or even casual use, these are a great pair of trekking trousers that performed excellently in our tests. Bear in mind, if you have thick legs you might need to consider going one size up with these.
2. Fjallraven kaipak curved trousers
These gorgeous trekking trousers look and feel rather like you’re wearing cotton chinos – and they are definitely smart enough for city use, making them a versatile pick for travelling as well as for walking. We love the tough, reinforced rear panel, handy if you’re sitting around on long hikes or camping trips, the articulated knee panels, deep zipped pockets and the adjustable cuffs. These best trekking trousers proved quick to dry on test despite their thick, cotton-y feel, and you can also render the trousers water-resistant by treating them with Fjallraven’s Greenland wax (you need to buy this separately). Cheerful plum and yellow colourways make a bright change from muted trekking trouser shades.
3. Maier Sports Nil trekking trousers
The Maier Sports Nil best trekking trousers provides no less than five zipped pockets for storing valuables, including one passport-sized and another ‘secret’ pocket inside for keys or a credit card. They stop short of having more zips to convert them into shorts, but do have roll-up legs that fasten below the knee.
However, what we love most about the Maier Sports Nil Trousers is that they let you move and breathe. As well as being water repellant, the Dryprotec fabric is super-thin and stretchy, so perfect for ascending mountains as well as for general travel in humidity. That fabric is also windproof so works well in cooler conditions, too. Lightweight, quick-drying and with bags of stretch and security, these are the best trekking trousers for active adventurers.
4. Montane Men’s Terra Hiking Trousers
These Montane Men’s Terra best trekking trousers are lightweight, yet hardwearing and have many features that are very useful for walkers who enjoy variety when they’re out and about. They can be worn in all weathers and are comfortable for every type of outdoor activity.
The use of Tactel Nylon and Teflon on the material helps give them the feel of cotton, which is comfortable to wear and doesn’t crackle.
This also helps ensure the trousers dry quickly even though they’re hard wearing. The Montane Terra hiking trousers are also pretty lightweight making them a great item to take away with you for the weekend or a longer trip.
5. Salomon Men’s Wayfarer Straight Lt Pant
These best trekking trousers from French firm Salomon reflect the growing interest in hiking at pace . So light, soft and stretchy you can barely feel them, these are very pleasant to wear on the trail, in warm to mild autumn weather. On really chilly days they could be a little skimpy – unless you like to move really fast. While DWR treatment will repel some water, the fabric soon gets soaked in steady rain; but it dries quickly.
They have a neat, uncluttered appearance with four discreet zippered pockets (two at the hip, on leg and one rear), making them pretty adaptable to the workplace or pub. The elasticated waist can be tightened using Velcro tabs, or opt to wear a belt.
6. Rab Torque Light Pants
These best trekking trousers are so comfortable you barely know you’re wearing them. The material is a little thicker than the Salomon Wayfarer but similar in that it’s a summer weight, with not a lot of wind resistance. This is great for breathability, and there is also a good amount of 2-way stretch.
Where these trekking trousers really shine though is in the cut. Although the leg is slightly tapered Rab have built in a bit more bagginess around the bum and crotch. This means that you have the benefit of the technical cut towards the bottom of the legs but absolute freedom of movement, even when you’re scrambling rather than just walking, at the tops of the legs.
The waistband is a little unusual in that there are no adjusters or belt loops so you better make sure you get the right size! Instead, a band of elastic runs all the way from the front to the back. The elastic is just about strong enough to hold the trousers up including when you’re carrying a backpack with a hip belt, which can often make your top ride up and trousers fall down! Without any adjusters or a belt the waistband is smooth as silk and therefore more comfortable than any other walking trousers we’ve worn.
Simplicity is key with the Torque walking pants and that means that pockets and other features are also kept to a minimum, with just a couple of deep hand pockets, one zipped thigh pocket and a pocket on the bum. The hand pockets are mesh lined so let heat escape, another boon for summer walking.
Overall the major thing to note about the Rab Torque best trekking trousers is the superior comfort and excellent summer walking performance.
7. Keela Scuffer trekking trousers
These Keela Scuffer best trekking trousers are thick, tough, go-anywhere, through-anything companions. Let’s get the negatives out of the way: they weigh a lot, and some will find the fabric scratchy. At 569g they are the heaviest pair here, but do a mile in them and pretty soon you won’t notice the weight at all. What you will notice is their sturdiness; the reinforced seat and the toughened patches around the hem that protect against nettle, thistle, igneous rock, Yorkshire heather and Sussex gorse. You’ll rejoice in the easily adjustable Velcro cuff that gives you the perfect fit around your boot, and the hip pockets that are deep enough to actually be useful (including a secret security pocket). They can get hot on warmer days, but at least you get vents up the thigh to help with that. There’s also plenty of stretch through thigh and calf. They are by no means slimline, but if you don’t need an athletic look, you can’t go wrong with these – especially at this price.
8. Craghoppers Men’s Kiwi Trek Trousers
A new addition to the Craghoppers’ range, these Kiwi best trekking trousers are a contemporary twist on the company’s classic Kiwi trousers. Made from a soft polyamide and cotton blend and featuring a flexible waist and double faced heel & knee darts, they are more comfortable than their traditional couisins.
There’s 8 pockets, including 5 which are zipped, and they are still comfortable when reletively full of items. The fabric has a DWR finish, ensuring its suitable to keep you dry whilst you’re out walking in the wet, and it’s coated with UPF 40+ sun-protection too.
9. The North Face Men’s Convertible Hiking Trousers
The convertible best trekking trousers from North Face come with a multipurpose design that will let you conquer a variety of terrains. But aside from the open spaces, they are still practical enough to be worn on a casual weekend at home. Thanks to several useful features, this pair is one of the best walking trousers you can find in the market.
These convertible trekking trousers are made out of a combination of 5% elastane and 9% nylon, resulting in a lightweight and stretchy pair of trousers with the right fit. Despite this, they are pretty rugged, durable, and able to cope with any tough terrain you can think of.
A cool feature is that lower parts of the legs can be zipped off at mid-thigh, enabling you to transform the trousers into a pair of shorts. This will come in very handy when it gets a little too hot and you want to expose your legs to some fresh air. There is also a roll-up hem feature that makes this brand a nice choice for summers and springs.
In case you have any small items to carry, a handy stow pocket on the right has been included to make for a hands-free walk. The best trekking trousers feature a crotch gusset that helps to enhance your mobility.
10. Columbia Triple Canyon trekking trousers
As soon as I pulled these best trekking trousers from Columbia on, I thought ‘wow’! The material is so comfortable against my skin I’d never want to take these trousers off. A combination of polyester and elastane ensures a four-way stretch that allows for a glorious range of movement that will enable you to explore unhindered. What’s more, it’s water/stain repellent and offers an impressive amount of protection against the sun (UPF 50).
I found they ran a little small on the waist compared to what I normally experience, and they do sit quite closely around the thighs, which may not be to everyone’s liking. The length of the trousers is more than adequate, and there are hem toggles on both ankles, which will allow you to cinch the trousers in around your boot tops.
Additional features include a bunch of decent-sized zip pockets (one at the rear, one on the thigh and hand pockets on either side). While the material is incredibly comfortable, it’s worth noting that it’s quite thin, so durability won’t be as substantial as options such as Fjällräven’s Keb or even the Craghoppers option. That aside, the Triple Canyon Trousers are stylish, offer great value and should transcend seasons well.
In a line: The Columbia Triple Canyon Trousers offer great value and are super comfortable.
How to choose the best trekking trousers for you
The best trekking trousers are made from ‘ripstop’ nylon or polyester-blend fabrics, which should stop them tearing or snagging too easily. Trousers with double- or triple-stitched seams should be more robust than those with single seams, and reinforced knees or seats should help these areas cope with scrambling over rocky terrain, or sitting on a scree slope for a quick break.
Comfortableness: Walking trousers with an adjustable waistband are good for ensuring a comfortable fit, and allow you to tuck in your top to keep the wind out. Some trousers come with their own belt, but if not, choose a pair with belt loops so that you can use your own. Some brands have a section of softer lining inside the waist, so there’s less chance of chafing and irritation. If you choose a pair with a narrow leg you may want to look for articulated knee joints to help you move more freely. Cargo-style trousers tend to be a more relaxed fit. Velcro tabs on the ankles are worth considering as they can be tightened to keep the wind out, or loosened to give you a bit of ventilation if you’ve worked up a sweat.
Type – Trousers, shorts or convertibles: If you can’t decide whether you need trousers or shorts – or simply for those days when you’re not quite sure what the weather will do – you could invest in a pair of ‘convertible’ walking trousers. You can wear them full length until you’ve warmed up, then unzip the bottom part of the leg to make them into shorts. They’re also useful if you find shorts more comfortable through the day, but want to stop the midges making a meal of your lower legs at night. We’ve had positive comments on convertible walking trousers from Craghoppers, Regatta and The North Face among others, with many owners saying how quick and easy they are to convert from one to the other. However, you’ll want to make sure the zips aren’t in a position where they’ll rub on your knees while you walk.
Plenty of pockets: You’ll probably have plenty to carry when you’re out trekking, so well-designed pockets are a must if you want to keep essential items, such as a phone and map, within easy reach. It’s not unusual for walking trousers to have eight or more pockets, so you may want to look out for a pocket designed specifically for your mobile, a hidden security pocket, roomy cargo pockets and, of course, pockets to warm your hands while you stop to admire the views. It’s a matter of personal preference whether you prefer buttons, zips, poppers or Velcro, but you’ll want to make sure at least one or two pockets can be fastened securely to stop your valuables falling out when you’re hopping across a stream.
Rain is common in the UK. It’s a fact that the whole world knows, whether they are British or not. As a result, it is important to be equipped with a good pair of high quality trekking trousers so that you are always ready to face the rain – whether you are walking your dog or heading out on a massive hiking trip. Therefore, you need to make sure that you own a pair of trekking trousers that are excellent quality, but with so many different makes and models on the market, it is not always the easiest thing to do.
However, that’s where we come in to help you out a little. So that you can find the best trekking trousers for walking, we have put this guide together, collecting all of the relevant best trekking trousers reviews in one place, making sure you can locate ideal pair for keeping you comfortable in your hiking.
We suggest looking at the purposes we think each pair of trekking trousers is best suited for when making your choice, as well as the performance, comfort and other ratings to match your demands. There’s a great choice for anyone who’s looking for a pair of trousers for general country walking, hillwalking and mountain walking, with lots of brands scoring well in that area.