There is no doubt that leggings are one of the most popular items of clothing for women these days. They are comfortable, versatile, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. But when it comes to hiking, what are the best leggings to wear? Here is a guide to some of the best leggings for hiking available on the market today.
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In a hurry? Here’s our top picks for the best leggings for hiking:
- Fjallraven Abisko Trail Tights
- REI Co-op Take Your Time 7/8 Leggings
- BALEAF Women’s Ankle Legging – Budget Choice!
- Eddie Bauer Trail Tight Leggings
- Arc’teryx Essent High-Rise Leggings
- Patagonia Pack Out Hike
- Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Tights
- IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets
- KÜHL Transcender Leggings
- PrAna Electa Women’s Legging
Best Hiking Leggings
Investing in a quality pair of hiking leggings is worthwhile because not only will you feel more comfortable during your hiking trips, but they may also last you longer with proper care and maintenance. Ultimately, buying a pair of hiking leggings in the right size with the right features pays off with hours upon hours of comfortable hiking experiences.
Fjallraven Abisko Trail Tights- Women’s
If you’re looking for a great pair of hiking tights that will help keep you cool on hot days, then check out the Abisko Trail Tights from Fjällräven. Made from stretch fabric that is highly functional in all kinds of terrain, these tights also feature lighter fabric at the waist, crotch, and on the back of the thighs to provide extra ventilation.
Added durability in the right areas
The ceramic print gives improved abrasive strength at high-wear areas, making them ideal for trekking or light climbing.
Some report that the seams in the butt area are itchy
Tag in the leg area is uncomfortable and difficult to remove without damaging seams
REI Co-op Take Your Time 7/8 Leggings
These leggings are amazingly comfortable and thankfully they don’t bunch up or give you the dreaded sag. I love how they stay up and don’t need constantly adjusted.
Another thing I love is the pockets. They’re actually useful and big enough to hold your map, a snack, chapstick, and even *gasp* your whole phone.
The 4-way stretch fabric of these leggings gives you the perfect combination of comfort, breathability and moisture control while a flat seam waistband offers core support. Plus with the crotch gusset , you’ll have full freedom to move however you need to while navigating your trail!
So soft and comfy
Stay in place, No bunching or sagging
Pockets (that can hold your phone!)
Seams being frayed upon arrival have been reported a few times Not the most durable leggings (pilling and holes after wearing or washing have been reported (be sure to follow the washing instructions to help prevent this!)
Best Leggings for Hiking on a Budget: BALEAF Women’s Ankle Legging
Cost is budget friendly
Soft and comfortable
Great for the trail or home/work
Great customer service
See through if you size down
Don’t last as long as other leggings. Some notice a looser fit after a few months of wear and washing
Eddie Bauer Trail Tight Leggings
The UPF 50+ sun protection, Polygiene® odor control, supportive and flattering high-rise style, chemical-free Coolcore® crotch gusset, and two drop-in cargo pockets make these tights perfect for any outdoor activity.
Whether you’re hiking, scrambling, or just out on a leisurely walk, you’ll appreciate the comfort and functionality of these tights. The moisture wicking material ensures that you stay cool and comfortable. These will quickly become your favorite every day leggings!
Stay in place
Taller women may find there’s extra fabric in the crotch area
Pockets aren’t deep enough to fit some phone (iPhone 11 does NOT fit)
Might be too warm for summer use
Patagonia Pack Out Tights- Women’s
These tights are perfect for a day out hiking. The midrise waistband prevents them from digging into your waist, while the durable panels at the knees and seat add abrasion resistance and durability.
The fabric is moisture-wicking and has four-way stretch, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, as well as when climbing or scrambling.
The thicker material breathes, but at the same time holds in your body heat so they may be more ideal for cooler weather adventures.
Soft and Comfy
Pockets that are actually useful
Versatile- great for outdoor activities or everyday use
Maintain their shape after excessive wear
The heavier material isn’t really great on hot days
They take a while to dry when they get wet
Despite the DWR coating, they’re not super weather proof
Arc’teryx Essent High-Rise Leggings
If you’re looking for a versatile, durable legging to take on your next mountain adventure, the Arc’teryx Essent High-Rise Legging is an excellent option.
Made from Chira™, a nylon and elastane interlock, these leggings will keep you stylish and comfortable no matter the occasion. They’re made with an abrasion resistant fabric that breathe well and has amazing stretch. It also features a wide, high-rise stretch-mesh waistband that wicks moisture.
Additionally, the Essent has two pockets to keep your necessities within reach.
Stays in place
Pockets can stretch out
Waistband can slip after activity
Smartwool Women’s Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Leggings
These Smartwool Women’s Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Bottom are the perfect pants to keep you warm and comfortable while you are outside. The windproof front panel blocks out the cold, while the interior waist drawcord ensures a snug and adjustable fit. The stretchy knit fabric allows you to move easily, and the drop in pocket on the side panel provides a place to store your essentials.
Ethically sourced wool
Warm- perfect for colder days
Some complaints of wear/small holes after wearing, washing, and seasonal storage. Be sure to follow care instructions!
May stretch during wear and sag a bit
Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Rock Tights
Looking for a tough, durable and comfortable pair of rock climbing pants? Look no further than the Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Rock Tights.
These pants are made from PFC-free DWR fabric that repels water, and feature a single zip pocket at the right thigh. The full climbing seat gusset provides ample mobility, while the flexible Cordura fabric in crucial areas ensures a comfortable fit. The smooth flat waistband ensures a comfortable and flattering fit, while the proprietary interior elastic waist grip keeps the tight in place no matter how active you are. These tights are anything but basic!
Some reports of the waistband stretching out after months of use
Pilling seems to be a frequent issue
PrAna Layna 7/8 Legging– Women’s
Looking for a legging that works as hard as you do? Look no further than the Prana Layna 7/8 Legging. This legging is made from Luxara recycled nylon blend lightweight stretch jersey with moss face finish, making it comfortable and durable.
The 7/8 length is flattering and practical, and the wide waistband ensures a comfortable and secure fit. The hidden key pocket is a handy touch, and the flatlock construction ensures durability. The triangle Coolmax gusset adds comfort and reinforcement.
And best of all, this legging is moisture wicking and UPF 50+, making it perfect for any activity. So whether you’re hitting the gym or the trails, the Prana Layna 7/8 Legging is up for the challenge.
High waist that stays in place
If you’re shorter, you may experience some ankle bunching
A handful of people reported pilling, but they were few and far between.
Icebreaker Merino Women’s Standard 175
Looking for a versatile base layer bottom that can be worn all year round? Look no further than our Women’s Merino 175 Everyday Thermal Leggings. Made with 100% merino wool, these leggings offer premium breathability and next-to-skin comfort. And because they’re made with merino wool, they’re also resists odors.
So whether you’re hitting the gym or the trails, you’ll stay feeling fresh all day long. Plus, the rib fabric provides stretch and comfort for a fit that’s just right.
Great fit on almost any body type
Thin and comfortable under other clothing
Soft, not itchy
Smaller people, under 5’4 may find there’s some bunchiness in the rear, even with an XS size.
IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets
Looking for a pair of leggings that will help you stay comfortable during even the most intense hikes? Look no further than the IUGA High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets. These pants are designed with a wide, high-rise waistband that provides tummy control and a hidden pocket – perfect for stashing your keys or phone.
The super soft material is four-way stretch, meaning it will move with you no matter what activity you’re doing. And the gusset crotch provides maximum freedom of movement. Plus, the interlock seams minimize rubbing and chafing. So whether you’re hitting the trails or the yoga studio, these leggings will keep you comfortable all day long.
And if for any reason you’re not completely satisfied, they come with a 30-day money back guarantee. So why wait? Order your IUGA High Waist Hiking Pants today!
Not see through
Soft, buttery feel
Try Before You Buy Program
Sizing runs a bit small, not really a con, but something to be aware of
Sometimes the color is a little faded throughout the leggings, causing a slight uneven coloring
The IUGA leggings are part of the Prime Try Before You Buy. You can order up to 6 pieces of clothing to try on before you purchase them, and you aren’t charged for anything except the items you keep. You have 7 days to return unwanted choices and you never pay for the return shipping.
KÜHL Transcender Leggings- Women’s
Looking for a legging that can keep up with your active lifestyle? Look no further than the KUHL Transcendr Leggings. These leggings are made from durable, soft-shell fabric that has built-in stretch panels for extra flexibility.
They also have a C6 durable water repellent (DWR) finish to shed moisture, and a high-rise fit with internal drawstring waist for more coverage and security. Plus, the envelope pocket safely stores your phone at the right thigh. And UPF 50+ fabric shields against harmful UV rays.
Drawstring waist makes sure you get a perfect fit
Can be a little short if you’re 5’10 or taller
Some people don’t find the flexibility to be anything special- just ordinary legging flexibility
PrAna Electa Women’s Legging- Women’s
Looking for a pair of leggings that are comfortable, stylish, and functional? Look no further than the PrAna Electa Leggings. These leggings are made with a wide waistband and a triangle Coolmax® gusset for added comfort and reinforcement.
They also feature moisture-wicking fabric and UPF 50+ sun protection, making them perfect for any activity. Plus, the flatlock construction feels wonderful against your skin. And best of all, they’re Fair Trade Certified™, so you can feel good about your purchase.
Can slip down
Can get a bit saggy after being active
The number one reason for one and two star reviews is that the leggings slip down, and it’s most likely a sizing issue. If you want to try these leggings but this worries you, prAna does have free returns and exchanges for 60 days after purchase, and their customer service is wonderful to work with.
How to Choose the Best Leggings for Hiking
When deciding on hiking leggings for your next outdoor adventure, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. First, look for a pair that is breathable and durably constructed to handle a variety of outdoor elements. Lightweight and quick-drying fabric with moisture-wicking technology is ideal if you’re hiking in hot weather as it will help keep you cooler and dryer.
Additionally consider what type of features the hiking leggings have; extra pockets or ventilation panels can make all the difference when hiking long distances or in difficult trail conditions. Make sure they fit well and don’t restrict your movement.
Finally, factor in the amount of sun protection your hiking leggings provide – look for ultraviolet protection of 40 or greater to maximize your safety from UV rays. All these aspects combined will help ensure you have the best pair of hiking leggings for your next trekking adventure!
Durability When looking for hiking leggings, it’s important to look for quality materials that won’t rip or tear in response to the wear and tear of hiking trails.
Look for quality fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and spandex blends that will hold up against rocks, thorns, branches, and anything else in your path. Also look for added durability like reinforced knees and butt area, and sturdy seams with reinforced stitching to ensure your hiking leggings stay intact over time despite the wear and tear of hiking trails!
Weather Weather can play a huge role in what type of hiking leggings you should wear. For example, if it is going to rain the day of your hike, you’ll probably want to wear leggings with a durable water resistant finish to help keep the wetness from trailside vegetation from soaking your leggings.
If the weather is hot or humid, moisture wicking fabric can be helpful in keeping you comfy. Tailor the features of your leggings to the weather and you’re sure to stay as comfy as possible during your hike!
Material Hiking leggings are often made of different materials in order to provide different benefits for the wearer. For example, some materials are moisture wicking. They help keep you dry during your hike.
This is important because it prevents you from becoming uncomfortable and wet from sweat. Other materials are flexible and allow for a greater range of movement. This can be important for more strenuous trails where you’ll be scrambling or climbing over obstacles.
Ultimately, the different materials used in hiking leggings can provide a variety of benefits for the wearer, which is why it is important to consider the material when selecting your hiking leggings.
Breathability When looking for leggings, breathability is 2nd on my list of factors to check for, right after comfort and fit. I hate the hot swampy feeling some non-breathable leggings cause!
Breathability means that air is able to pass through fabric easily, keeping you cool and dry without trapping sweat or moisture against your skin. Breathable hiking leggings are designed with technical fabrics that allow tiny perforations in the fibers, giving you ventilation without sacrificing coverage or protection.
The materials are usually moisture wicking, working to absorb sweat from the skin before it can become uncomfortable, which helps you stay cooler for longer periods of time. Not only does this help to regulate body temperature during hikes, but it can also prevent chafing and other forms of discomfort. With all these benefits in mind, breathability should be a key feature when choosing the best leggings for hiking.
Comfort and Fit Hiking leggings should be comfortable for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, comfort is essential to hiking and trekking over varying terrains without distraction or pain.
It’s also important because who wants to be uncomfortable anywhere, let alone on a trail in the middle of nowhere?
In order to maximize comfort while hiking, the fabric used in hiking leggings must fit snugly but not constrict. A pair of hiking leggings should provide an unrestricted fit for maximum movement as well as ample support and flexibility. Look for flexibility panels or materials that stretch well and allow for movement.
FAQs About the Best Leggings for Hiking
What are hiking leggings?
Hiking leggings are leggings with added features making them trailside ready. Think more durable fabrics, moisture wicking materials, and pockets to hold maps and other hiking necessities.
Are leggings good for hiking?
Leggings are not typically seen as a hiking pant, as they are not as durable as true hiking pants. However, some people do choose to hike in leggings, and find that they are a good choice. Some even hike in leggings almost exclusively, myself included.
Leggings are comfortable and can provide coverage from the sun and bugs, but they may not be warm enough for cold weather hikes on their own.
Can you wear gym leggings hiking?
Of course you can. They may not be as durable as leggings made specifically for the trail, but that doesn’t really matter if you won’t be scrambling or rock climbing along the way.