Best Leggings for Hiking

Best Leggings for Hiking for 2022 | Reviews + Buyer’s Guide (2022)

We did a little digging in the crowdsourcing site Crowdtangle for the best-reviewed brands of pants for hiking and found this shortlist of 10 pairs of women’s leggings that received ratings of 4 stars or higher. Keep in mind that the reviews on these brands came from at least two different people, so it’s possible some of the pants were rated more than once. The best brand was Patagonia. Most of the brands we know we wouldn’t trust for hiking were not on the list, but this makes sense since there are only so many people to rate and so many ratings to measure. Let’s review the 10 best leggings for hiking in 2022:

Best Leggings for Hiking for 2022:

As we mentioned earlier, the reviews for these leggings came from at least two different people, so we will put that caveat here before looking at the pros and cons of each pair.

1.    Bvlgari

Bvlgari is the winner by a comfortable margin, but we can’t say we found it comfortable. That’s not to say there weren’t some good things: It has a few pairs of technical fabrics that did keep me dry, and those shoes are expensive! Unfortunately, it seems as if they’re very prone to rubbing, particularly where the foot settles in the leg. Most importantly, the material was kind of flimsy — not like there was a lot of material, but like there were holes in the cloth and the threads were fraying.

We are not sure if the rest of the pair was like that, but we certainly couldn’t wear these all day, every day. We are not planning on buying these leggings for hiking, but they would probably be better suited for other types of activities. They come in sizes XS-3X, which means these leggings are available to fit average-height women.

  • Pros: Lightweight and wind-resistant, soft mesh material, functional sleeves with zipper and cuffs
  • Cons: Sensitive skin might have trouble wearing these all day, every day

2.    New Balance

New Balance is still one of the best athletic brands when it comes to the quality of its products. However, for hiking, they don’t have anything particularly better than Patagonia’s options. We think New Balance has an option that Patagonia doesn’t: the Oregon trail sweatband. This was our favorite out of New Balance’s options for hiking.

The material is different from the other sweatbands we have: It’s made of a stretchy and thin-but-tighter fabric. That means it still breathes but isn’t prone to wrinkling. The fit was pretty good, too, even after a sweaty hike. This is a great option for women who don’t need more than a sweatband.

  • Pros: Comfortable, has a wide band of material and has some sports-oriented design
  • Cons: Not an awesome option for outdoor wear

3.    Adidas

Adidas had one pair of pants in the top 10 — the Asics Outlast — which is an interesting pair of pants. They have a thermal core, which is supposed to keep you warm even when it’s not cold out. The material feels very light and flexible, so there’s not much to keep them from being ruined by spills or soaking up water. They come in small, medium, large, or XXL, and they only have one reflective stripe. We are not sure why that makes them better for hiking than the other Asics (which had reflective stripes), but the good news is that they’re a good option for women who want something that feels a bit lighter but still wants to stay dry and wind-resistant.

Adidas also has some sports bras for hiking, which are a one-size-fits-all type of deal. The biggest caveat to these is that it might be hard to find them in your size, which is less of an issue for women who are shopping in the plus sizes. They do feature some technical fabrics to keep you dry, which is a plus. You can get them in six different sizes: XS-XL.

  • Pros: Lightweight material, slim fit, reflective strip
  • Cons: Slightly difficult to find in sizes,

4.    Under Armour

It’s hard to make the case for Under Armour when you think of hiking, but they have a few options that look pretty good for hiking. The Abaco Run is probably the one we would most recommend to someone looking for lightweight, breathable, sweat-wicking pants. Under Armour claims the fabric is 4.5 times stronger than nylon and 5.5 times stronger than cotton, which is all supposed to make the Abaco Run a perfect hiking pant.

The material is a stretchy mesh, and I found them comfortable and pretty flexible. We liked how they remained relatively wrinkle-free when worn to and from the trail. Under Armour also makes other options that are even lighter, and breathable, like their Alta Mid. However, the Abaco Run is my favorite because it’s lightweight, breathable, and can keep you warm on colder days.

  • Pros: Extremely lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking
  • Cons: It May not be lightweight enough for cold days

5.    Hoka One One

Hoka One One is another cool option for hikers looking to stay comfortable in harsh outdoor conditions. Their Thermo has a set of pockets on the back to put your water bottle or other hydration items, which is a good idea for hikers who aren’t the type of people who like to carry an entire water bladder on their hike. The leggings themselves are not particularly interesting, but they’re decently comfortable, as long as you don’t have to hike very far in them.

They’re breathable and moisture-wicking, which is the most you can expect from a pair of leggings. The rest of the Hoka One One clothing line is a bit more of a mixed bag. You can get a pair of zip-up pants, which I’d personally say are nice if you do a lot of trail running. There are also some shirts and socks to choose from. But, for some reason, the Hoka One One Thermo pants have a separate pocket for a water bottle, which seems odd.

  • Pros: Breathable, wicking material, pockets on the back for water bottle
  • Cons: Can’t carry hydration bladder, some sizing issues

6.    Patagonia

Patagonia is a legendary name in the outdoor apparel industry, so it’s not surprising that they make a great pair of hiking pants. The Pectoral Upright Pant features a zipper fly, which is a nice feature. The pants are made from a synthetic fabric that’s cool to the touch and the sweat-wicking capabilities will help keep you comfortable even if it’s hot outside. The material is fairly lightweight, so they should dry quickly after a wet hike, though we didn’t find them to be particularly breathable.

They’re also very durable, so we wouldn’t expect them to wear out quickly. This is the kind of pair of hiking pants that’s also great for running, because you can unzip them to put your shoes on without taking them off, which is nice if you have to change a flat tire, or if you accidentally get a giant thorn in your sole, and you need to get back on the trail as soon as possible. They’re probably not a great choice if you like to hike in the snow because they’re not windproof.

  • Pros: Blue diamond industrial fabric, functional zipper
  • Cons: Not great for winter, not particularly breathable

7.    Merrell leggings

If you need something with a little more coverage and protection, then I’d say the Merrell Sorel Hiker Pant is a good choice. These are some of the lightest, warmest hiking pants I’ve seen. The material is a textile blend of nylon and polyester, so it should be fairly breathable and also fairly lightweight, and flexible. There are lots of pockets, and four different back zippers so you can change your shirt or put on different layers without taking off the pants.

The leggings come in a fairly good-looking blue color, which is a good thing, since you might want to wear the same color for any casual hiking, but not necessarily for a hardcore backcountry hike where you’re going to be wearing dark clothes. The leggings are indeed quite durable. They don’t show too much wear in the knees and ankles, and they’ve held up well on me. The fabric is much thicker than your standard pair of leggings, so if you like to go hiking in the snow you should probably choose another pair.

We do have a few minor complaints about the Merrell leggings, which we’ll get into. First, they have a black, two-button fly, which we don’t think is a particularly great look. Second, the pockets are fairly narrow. We wish they were slightly bigger. Third, the material seems fairly thin. It doesn’t look all that breathable, even though it claims to be. But, for the most part, we think that the Merrell leggings are a good pair of hiking leggings.

They do, however, get something of a bad reputation because of a few well-publicized stories of people getting blisters and accidents after wearing the pants. We’ve had several friends go on hiking trips and then return with blistering feet, so we are aware of the problems with these particular hiking pants. But, after all, if a product is good enough for people to go out and buy thousands of dollars of it, then it’s good enough for me to review it. So, we will give the Merrell leggings a nod here, and my very best to you if you plan to get a pair of these.

  • Pros: Waterproof, easy changing pants, four different zippers, four pocket options, good wind-resistance
  • Cons: Tends to have a good deal of odor, doesn’t provide much breathability

8. L.L.Bean pants

L.L.Bean is, to me, one of the most recognizable names in outdoor apparel. They have a whole line of gear and apparel that makes them a solid choice for hikers, backpackers, and even snowboarders, and you can’t do much better than their pants for cold winter days. The L.L.Bean pants are extremely comfortable, and warm, which makes them a good choice for winter hiking. L.L.Bean pants are made out of a four-way stretch fabric that’s surprisingly sturdy. If you’re concerned about durability, and you don’t need very much fabric, then the L.L.Bean pants are a decent choice.

The material is largely waterproof, which is good because it’ll keep your legs and feet dry, but it also has a fair amount of stretch to it, which should be good for comfort. They’re also incredibly comfortable. We wear them all the time and have had them for a while now. The pants are lined with a synthetic material, which offers some protection from the elements, especially in cold weather. They’re not made of anything especially breathable, but they still offer good warmth and some ventilation, so they’re not lacking in the breathability department.

  • Pros: Warm, four-way stretch fabric, no less than five zippers, and two pockets, good ventilation, reasonably priced
  • Cons: Tends to have a fair amount of odor, lacks any kind of insulation

9. Arc’teryx pants

Arc’teryx is, to me, a company that you’ve probably seen advertising outdoor gear in TV commercials. They sell jackets, pants, socks, and other gear for cold-weather sports like skiing and snowboarding, but also hiking and trail running, so we are guessing that people who are big outdoor sports enthusiasts are familiar with them, too. Arc’teryx makes a couple of pairs of pants for cold weather hiking, and my favorite is the pants that they make for winter hiking. The Arc’teryx pants are insulated with 400 GORE-TEX, which is just a good old-fashioned piece of high-quality t-shirt material. The 400 GORE-TEX seems to make the Arc’teryx pants very breathable, and that makes them a good choice for winter hiking.

They also have a lining, so they’re a bit warmer, and you can rip them right down the side to make them more of a short, medium, and long-length pair of pants, which is a nice feature, and also might be the only thing that Arc’teryx’s pants have in common with the apparel made by Merrell and Patagonia. In winter hiking, the pants have a fair amount of articulation, so you can keep moving along even when you’re walking in the snow, and they’re also pretty rugged, which makes them suitable for hiking in heavy snow or through rocky terrain.

  • Pros: Sturdy waterproof material, four zippers, and four pockets, nice ventilation, a good amount of cold-weather protection
  • Cons: Limited color options, not breathable, relatively expensive

10. North Face pants

North Face pants aren’t my first choice when it comes to cold-weather hiking pants. For that, I’d go with the Arc’teryx pants above or a similar pair made by a company like Patagonia. We like the North Face pants though, because they have a lot of insulation in them, so you’re insulated against the elements, but they’re also windproof, which is a big plus if you’re going to be hiking in snow or on rough terrain.

They also have a decent amount of durability to them, and they don’t look too out of place when you’re out in the cold. We’ve had these North Face pants for a couple of years now, and we’ve had no issues with them. The pants have gotten trashed from being wet in the snow a couple of times, but nothing that’s made them unusable, and we’ve found that they have gotten fairly mildewed in the rain, but the pants still retained their shape and kept all of their properties.

  • Pros: Durable outer shell, very warm insulation, good-looking, windproof, waterproof
  • Cons: Has a small compartment on the butt area for storage


This is a diverse list of cold-weather hiking leggings, and all of them are good choices for any kind of winter backpacking or winter hiking you might want to do. The best thing about them all, in my opinion, is how easy they are to walk in, which gives you the freedom to step around in the snow and ice. While some of the leggings listed above are warm enough to be used for summer hiking.

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