Best Travel & Hiking Pants for Hot Weather of 2023

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Wearing a good pair of travel or hiking pants remains crucial to comfort on and off the trail during hot weather trips. This article presents a comprehensive comparison of the 18 top-rated travel and hiking models in 2023. We’ve carefully evaluated hot-weather trousers to suit different budgets, travel styles, and specific needs. Moreover, a comparison table highlighting the key features, strengths, and weaknesses of each model on our list is included below our top picks for your convenience.

In the succeeding section (buying advice), we focused on those metrics that matter the most as we discussed materials, breathability, functionality, style, prices, etc. It covers practically everything you need to know about how to choose the right hot-weather pants for your needs.

For more of our top gear recommendations for warm weather, check out the Best Men’s Convertible Hiking Pants.

Adventurer hiking pants hot weather in desert
Walking in the sun on a hot day requires a pair of trousers suitable for hot weather


1. KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible                                  View on KUHL                       View on REI

2. Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight                                              View on Amazon              View on REI

3. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants                                         View on Amazon              View on REI

4. Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo Pants                                     View on Amazon

5. KUHL Radikl Pants                                                                       View on KUHL                       View on REI

6. Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible                                    View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

7. Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer                                              View on Amazon              View on Moosejaw

8. KUHL Renegade Pants                                                              View on KUHL

9. Patagonia Quandary Pants                                                     View on Patagonia        View on REI

10. Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP                                 View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

11. Arc’teryx Levon Pants                                                             View on Amazon

12. Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking                                         View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

13. KUHL Deceptr Pants                                                               View on KUHL                       View on REI

14. Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants                                                View on Patagonia        View on REI

15. REI Co-op Trailmade Pants                                                  View on REI

16. Marmot Arch Rock Pants                                                      View on Amazon              View on SPWH

17. REI Co-op Sahara Convertible                                           View on REI

18. Propper Summerweight Tactical                                      View on Amazon


Best all-around

#1 KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants

KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants

Weight: 431 g (15.2 oz)

Price (MSRP): $109

Materials: DURALUX: 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

Notable features:

  • STEALTH zip-off system eliminates the fabric flap while keeping the zipper running smoothly and efficiently; pants convert to 10″ shorts without the unnatural look
  • 1/4 length side zippers on the bottom of the legs allow accommodating the pant legs over large boots; snaps at leg cuffs for a customized fit
  • Strong and breathable 2-way stretch fabric is treated with a DWR finish


  • Excellent zip-off pants turn to shorts fast and easy thanks to the STEALTH zip-off system; Work great in all kinds of weather conditions and environments: forest, alpine, hot sun, cold rain, and high wind.
  • Great construction, materials, and features aimed at making a difference in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience, especially in hot weather.
  • Good fit and they move with you really well during all your outdoor activities.
  • Plenty of options available to get the perfect fit with these convertible hiking pants, as you can choose from five different inseam lengths ranging from 28 inches to 36 inches.


  • The convertible zipper seam may feel restrictive for individuals with larger legs, causing uncomfortable rubbing against the skin while walking.
  • Adding a Velcro flap or zipper to the cargo pockets would be a useful feature to keep the contents secure.

Best for: Summer hiking in changing environments

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

KUHL | REI | Backcountry

Best lightweight

#2 Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight Pants

Arcteryx Gamma Lightweight Pants

Weight: 290 g (10.2 oz)

Price (MSRP): $160

Materials: Aequora AirPerm: 86% Nylon, 14% elastane

Notable features:

  • The combination of four-way stretch fabric, articulated patterning, and a gusseted crotch provides exceptional freedom of movement
  • Front fly with a zip and snap closure and adjustable integrated webbing belt with metal buckle
  • Aequora AirPerm fabric is airy enough for high-intensity activities in warm weather


  • Built for dynamic movement in warm weather: trekking, backpacking, bouldering, climbing, etc.
  • High-quality build and premium materials, along with a clean and simple design that’s versatile enough for travel and casual wear.
  • The Aequora AirPerm fabric used in these hiking pants is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable against the skin, as well as quick drying.
  • Functional pockets for easy access to your essentials, including two zippered mesh-lined hand pockets and a spacious right-side zippered thigh pocket that can fit a smartphone.


  • No back pockets (and because there are three zippered pockets but only one of them is a big zippered pocket, you have to choose – wallet or smartphone).
  • While these hiking pants offer great mobility, some users may find them a bit tight in the crotch area, which can affect overall comfort.
  • Quite expensive compared to some other options on the market.

Best for: Technical hikes

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI


Best for travel

#3 Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Weight: 303 g (10.7 oz) for men’s; 253 g (8.95 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $99

Materials: 86% Nylon 90D stretch woven ripstop (46% recycled), 14% spandex

Notable features:

  • Articulated knees provide excellent freedom of movement
  • Equipped with a drawstring at the waist, the waist design is compatible with a harness, providing a secure and comfortable fit for climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts
  • Drawcord cuff closures allow you to adjust the fit around the ankles


  • Lightweight and highly breathable hiking pants are an excellent choice for walking in warm weather. However, it’s worth noting that the fabric feels slightly less breathable compared to the previous version.
  • Incredible softshell fabric that is stretchy, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. The fabric is made with 46% recycled nylon, making them an environmentally conscious choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Stylish appearance, reliable comfort, and good functionality suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, from daily wear to backcountry adventures
  • Form-fitting, designed to adjust to your body and allow you to move freely. Offer a good range of motion, allowing you to move the way you want during any activity.


  • Tend to have a slim fit, so it’s recommended to consult the size chart before making a purchase to ensure a proper fit.
  • The fabric of these hiking pants isn’t very durable, making them unsuitable for bushwhacking or scrambling on sharp alpine rock.
  • The leg cuff adjustment doesn’t seem to be of high quality.

Best for: Travel in warm weather

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | REI | Outdoor Research

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Outdoor Research


Best budget buy

#4 Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo Pants

Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $40

Materials: 86% Nylon, 14% spandex

Notable features:

  • 4-way stretch fabric is treated with a DWR finish
  • Articulated knees provide greater freedom of movement and improve overall comfort
  • An integrated belt adds to the adjustability, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit


  • Offer an excellent price-to-quality ratio and are a great budget-friendly option, costing half the price of similar models on the market.
  • The well-thought-out design with useful features ensures a comfortable fit, and the cool and breathable material makes them suitable for everyday wear.
  • The freedom of movement they provide ensures versatile use for all your outdoor activities.
  • Similarly to the cargo shorts by the same manufacturer, the six pockets provide ample storage options for essential items, including two front hand pockets, two back pockets, and two zippered thigh pockets to keep your belongings secure.


  • Come in dark and muted colors only, which may not be ideal for hikers who prefer brighter colors for better visibility on the trails.
  • While the integrated belt is a thoughtful addition, the execution could be improved as it tends to lack durability.
  • Produce a noticeable swishing sound while walking.

Best for: Hiking in changing weather

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:



Best for comfort

#5 KUHL Radikl Pants

KUHL Radikl

Weight: 453 g (1 lb)

Price (MSRP): $109

Materials: ENDURO: 68% Cotton, 29% nylon, 3% spandex

Notable features:

  • Strategically placed knit panels offer unparalleled flexibility and highly breathable performance
  • ENDURO fabric blend with UPF 50 is effective in blocking the sun’s harmful rays
  • Seven pockets provide enough space for essentials


  • Designed for versatility, these pants are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy backpacking, climbing, or traveling, as well as for everyday wear in warm weather.
  • The stretch panels provide a comfortable fit, allowing for unrestricted motion and providing a level of comfort comparable to sweatpants.
  • The cotton/nylon blend is abrasion-resistant, providing durability, and features UPF 50 to protect against the sun. Additionally, the DWR coating repels water to keep you dry.
  • The construction of the pants is of high quality and exhibits great craftsmanship.


  • The fabric is prone to staining.
  • The pockets may not be deep enough for some users.
  • The fabric isn’t rugged, as these pants are primarily designed for use in town.

Best for: Casual use (from trail to town)

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:



Best zip offs

#6 Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $65

Materials: Main body (Omni-Shade): 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop; Mesh panels (Omni-Wick): 57% recycled polyester, 43% polyester mesh (men’s); 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop (women’s)

Notable features:

  • Omni-Wick mesh panels wick moisture from the skin cooling the body; Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
  • Convert to shorts with a 10″ inseam
  • Partial elastic waist and an exterior adjustable waistband ensure a comfortable, secure fit


  • Versatile and functional convertible pants, ideal for both hot and humid weather as well as mountain hikes (with Omni-Shade UPF 50 providing excellent sun protection). Additionally, a second version called the Silver Ridge Utility Convertible is also available, made from recycled materials.
  • Plenty of pockets keep items secure and organized: two hand pockets, two rear pockets, and two thigh pockets.
  • The fit is comfortable and provides good flexibility, allowing for a great range of movement that makes it easy to bend, squat, and kneel.
  • With a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, these pants offer something for everyone.


  • The stitching quality seems to be poor, resulting in pockets that may come apart after only moderate use, which can impact the pants’ overall durability.
  • The fabric is thin and may not hold up well on rugged hikes.

Best for: Summer hiking in changing environments

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry


Best for extreme hot weather

#7 Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers

Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers

Weight: 300 g (10.6 oz) for men’s; 285 g (10.1 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $150

Materials: G-1000 Air Stretch: 65% polyester, 35% cotton; 100% polyester

Notable features:

  • Side ventilation zippers between the thigh and knee allow for extra ventilation when needed
  • Articulated cut in the back area
  • Lightweight and super breathable G-1000 Air Stretch fabric is stretchy for unrestricted freedom of movement


  • Well-ventilated trekking trousers designed for top performance in hot weather.
  • The G-1000 Air Stretch fabric used in these trekking trousers is highly breathable, making it ideal for hot weather. It’s even more breathable than the G-1000 Lite fabric used in the Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers (#12 on our list), due to its looser weave and unwaxed finish.
  • Lightweight and very packable, these pants are perfect for those who want to save space and weight in their backpack.
  • Offer ample storage space with two large cargo pockets, one of which is zippered, and two zippered mesh-lined front hand pockets.


  • Not suitable for wet or windy weather.
  • Expensive, but worth the investment if you’re looking for high-quality trekking pants that will last for years.

Best for: Hot weather activities

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | Moosejaw | CampSaver

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | CampSaver


Best of the rest

#8 KUHL Renegade Pants

KUHL Renegade Pants

Weight: 397 g (14 oz)

Price (MSRP): $99

Materials: DURALUX: 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

Notable features:

  • Abrasion-resistant and fast-drying two-way stretch DURALUX fabric with DWR and UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Free Ryde Waist designed to contour to the natural shape of the body, providing a comfortable and secure fit
  • Pocket configuration with eight pockets offers storage for essentials, making it easy to keep them organized and accessible while on the go


  • Versatile – the style, look, and fit make it an excellent choice for various activities from rugged hiking to walking around the city.
  • Feature a casual design and lightweight construction. Additionally, they are available in a tapered fit design called Renegade Rock Pants.
  • The fabric is durable and abrasion-resistant, providing protection from both sun (UPF 50+) and rain (treated with DWR).
  • The peached waistband wicks away moisture and enhances comfort in any weather.


  • Unfortunately, there isn’t a pocket that’s the right size for a wallet.
  • The fabric could benefit from more stretch to enhance unrestricted mobility.

Best for: Changing environments

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:


#9 Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia Quandary Pants

Weight: 284 g (10 oz) for men’s; 264 (9.3 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $89

Materials: 95% Nylon (65% recycled), 5% spandex

Notable features:

  • Curved waistband contours to the natural shape of the hips and provides a close fit to keep pants in place during movement
  • The fabric blend is technical and Bluesign-approved, offering 40+ UPF sun protection and treated with durable water repellent (DWR)
  • Six pockets in total: two front hand pockets, two rear pockets, one coin pocket, and one side leg zippered pocket


  • These hiking trousers are designed for summer hikes and feature a highly breathable UPF 40+ fabric that not only keeps you cool but also provides sun protection. Additionally, they are lightweight and offer exceptional comfort.
  • The fabric is Bluesign-approved and provides durability and stretchiness, making it suitable for excellent mobility on the trail and in the city.
  • The straightforward design of these pants is suitable for a wide range of environments and conditions. They perform well in hot weather walks, steep winter ascents (provided you wear warm underwear), as well as off-trail and technical hiking.
  • Odor-resistant, easy to maintain, and dry quickly after washing or being exposed to moisture.


  • The pockets could benefit from being deeper as they are currently somewhat shallow.
  • No longer available in a longer version, which may disappoint taller individuals.
  • Snug fit (feels like slim fit).

Best for: Some rough hiking and backpacking

Women’s Version: Available -> Patagonia | REI | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Patagonia | REI | Backcountry


#10 Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP Pants

Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP Pants

Weight: 321 g (11.3 oz)

Price (MSRP): $95

Materials: 75% Cotton, 23% nylon, 2% elastane

Notable features:

  • Snap roll-up hem with a reflective hit for better visibility in dim light
  • UPF 50 filters harsh UV rays
  • Articulated knees and full gusset allow for extra mobility


  • Elegant and functional choice for a variety of activities, both indoors and outdoors. They are suitable for bike riding, hiking, scrambling, or everyday wear.
  • Lightweight compact construction.
  • This design has a classic fit and can be rolled up to calf length using the roll-up snap feature. Additionally, it is available in three different lengths (30″, 32″, and 34″).
  • The fabric is ideal for hot weather conditions since it’s breathable, quick-drying, and provides a comfortable fit.


  • Not ideal for serious climbing or bouldering as the fabric lacks sufficient stretch and abrasion resistance.
  • Some users may find the pants too constricting around the thighs.

Best for: Traveling

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry


#11 Arc’teryx Levon Pants

Arc'teryx Levon Pants

Weight: 470 g (1 lb 0.6 oz)

Price (MSRP): $140

Materials: 65% Cotton, 26% nylon, 9% elastane

Notable features:

  • Double weave textile
  • Articulated knees for unrestricted mobility
  • The fabric is treated with PFC-free DWR for added water repellency


  • Offer both flexibility and supreme comfort, making them suitable for daily wear around town or during travel, among other activities.
  • Great casual style, look, and fit.
  • High-quality construction and tough fabric that works reasonably well in a variety of conditions and environments.
  • The pockets are a convenient size for carrying essential items.


  • This design is only available in one length, which may not be suitable for everyone as it can be a little too long or short.
  • The fly is poorly designed with a short length and a small opening, making it somewhat difficult to use.
  • These pants are better suited for casual and easier outdoor activities, where fashion may be more important than technical functionality.

Best for: Travel and everyday use

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:



#12 Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers

Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers

Weight: 450 g (15.9 oz) for men’s; 420 g (14.8 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $185

Materials: G-1000 Lite: 65% Polyester, 35% cotton
88% polyamide, 12% elastane

Notable features:

  • Lightweight and cool G-1000 Lite fabric with ripstop stitching
  • Side ventilation zippers between the thigh and knee allow for extra ventilation when needed
  • Adjustable bottom hem-cinch cords


  • Well-fitting trousers engineered for versatility: multi-day hikes, everyday wear or anything else.
  • Excellent breathability, making them perfect for cool walks in hot weather. The light and breathable fabric, along with the side vent zippers, allow for ample air circulation.
  • The fabric is treated with Greenland wax to provide protection against wind and water, making it weather-resistant.
  • The craftsmanship is commendable with its streamlined design, use of high-quality materials, and reinforced bottom hems and calves for enhanced wear resistance.


  • Pricey, but worth it for the quality and durability.
  • The G-1000 fabric requires regular maintenance such as waxing to ensure its longevity.
  • The pants do not have any back pockets; however, they come with four front pockets – two thigh pockets and two front hand pockets.

Best for: Thru-hiking

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry


#13 KUHL Deceptr Pants

KUHL Deceptr Pants

Weight: 312 g (11 oz)

Price (MSRP): $99

Materials: TUFFLITE: 76% Nylon, 9% polyester, 15% spandex

Notable features:

  • Ultra-lightweight TUFFLITE fabric with DWR finish and UPF 50+ and saddle stitching for less bulk
  • Gusseted crotch and articulated knees for freedom of movement
  • Free Ryde Waist, micro-peached for a better fit and more comfort


  • The lightweight and breathable construction of these trousers provides flexibility and ample stretch, making them ideal for hot conditions where you need to stay cool and comfortable.
  • The pants are versatile and suitable for various active lifestyles such as travel, hiking, camping, work, and casual wear.
  • Offer both style and comfort with an excellent fit.
  • Come with seven pockets, including two front pockets, two back pockets, one coin pocket, one stealth cell phone pocket, and one drop-in pocket, providing ample storage space.


  • The fabric makes a swishing sound as you walk.
  • The pants tend to run short, and the inseam may feel small for some wearers.
  • Have a tapered fit and may feel too slim or tight for some people.

Best for: Versatility

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:



#14 Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants

Patagonia Altvia Trail Pants

Weight: 315 g (11.1 oz)

Price (MSRP): $129

Materials: 86% Recycled polyester, 14% spandex

Notable features:

  • Four-way stretch fabric with a PFC-free DWR finish
  • Moderate leg articulation for ease of movement
  • Five zippered pockets – each one with drainage


  • Multi-purpose pants suitable for various activities, including travel, hiking, office, work, and more.
  • Have a smooth feel and fit well. They are also lightweight, flexible, and highly comfortable.
  • Regulate the user’s body temperature effectively by shedding light rain and wind, while providing breathability when the temperature rises.
  • The style is attractive, the colors are cool, and the pockets are of a good size with quality zippers, among other features.


  • The fabric has a smooth and silky feel, but it is not very durable, making it suitable for clean trails and not recommended for rugged trails or bushwhacking.
  • The longest version (regular) has a 31-inch inseam, which may not be suitable for taller individuals.

Best for: Travel in warm weather

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Patagonia | REI | Backcountry


#15 REI Co-op Trailmade Pants

REI Co-op Trailmade Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $70

Materials: 94% Nylon, 6% spandex

Notable features:

  • UPF 50+ fabric (Bluesign approved) shields against harmful UV rays
  • Articulated knees let you move freely
  • Waistband with internal drawcord allows for a customizable and secure fit


  • The trousers have a streamlined design and are easily packable.
  • The fabric is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying. In addition, the pockets are lined with mesh to enhance breathability.
  • Provide adequate stretch for comfortable movement on and off the trail, and they adapt well to the user’s body without feeling too tight.
  • The fabric’s UPF 50+ rating provides adequate protection against harmful UV rays. It also protects well from mosquitoes.


  • These pants may not be suitable for those who prefer a more fitted or stylish look, as they tend to be quite loose and baggy.
  • The quality of the stitching can be improved.
  • May not withstand sharp rocks.

Best for: Active use, especially on trails, in warm weather conditions

Women’s Version: Available -> REI

Find the latest price:



#16 Marmot Arch Rock Pants

Marmot Arch Rock Pants

Weight: 247.5 g (8.7 oz)

Price (MSRP): $80

Materials: 94% Nylon, 6% elastane

Notable features:

  • Marmot used Bluesign-approved fabric for a safer and more sustainable environment
  • Articulated knees and an inseam gusset for increased range of motion
  • Waistband with partial elastic and adjustable buckle closure (belt)


  • These lightweight trousers are highly compressible and ideal for active individuals who enjoy backpacking, climbing, traveling, or strolling around the city during the summer. When combined with appropriate base layers, they can also perform well in cold weather.
  • provide excellent fit and comfort while remaining flexible and not restricting the wearer’s motion.
  • The nylon blend used in the pants is resistant to abrasion and comes with UPF 50 to provide protection against the sun’s harmful rays. It also has a DWR coating that shields off water.
  • Five pockets including two front hand pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered side pocket, offer ample storage space for essentials.


  • The old design is changed thanks to the addition of an integrated belt.
  • The pants no longer have belt loops, which some people may find disappointing, and the built-in belt may not meet everyone’s expectations.

Best for: On-trail hiking

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | CampSaver | SPWH


#17 REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants

REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $80

Materials: 96% Nylon (recycled), 4% spandex

Notable features:

  • Color-coded thigh zippers that allow you to identify the correct leg quickly making the shorts-to-pants conversion easier
  • The fabric of stretch recycled nylon is Bluesign approved and comes with a UPF 50 rating, along with a DWR treatment
  • Flatseam stitching prevents rubbing and chafing


  • These trousers are both functional and comfortable, making them suitable for a variety of warm-weather sports and activities, both on and off the trail.
  • The vertical zippers located from the bottom hem to mid-thigh provide added ventilation when necessary and also enable users to remove the pants leg without taking off their boots.
  • Both the zip-off pants and shorts are functional on the trail.
  • The pockets are of good quality, deep enough to accommodate essential items and the zippers are durable.


  • The material and construction of the item do not seem to be very sturdy, particularly around the knee area.
  • These pants are still good, but the overall quality and utility have slightly downgraded over the past few years.
  • Belt loops are too narrow for a belt even 1.5 inches.

Best for: Long hikes in changing conditions

Women’s Version: Available -> REI

Find the latest price:



#18 Propper Summerweight Tactical Pants

Propper Summerweight Tactical Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $60

Materials: 94% Nylon, 6% elastane

Notable features:

  • Ultralight moisture-wicking ripstop fabric with UPF 50 rating
  • Mesh-lined pockets for added breathability
  • The waistband is rigid and features a reinforced button


  • The fabric is lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying with a UPF 50 rating, making it ideal for summer wear.
  • Comfortable and versatile – a suitable go-to choice for a range of activities and climates.
  • Provide excellent movability as they are designed to move with the wearer. The articulated patterning and gusseted crotch are in the right place, allowing for natural movement.
  • Have multiple pockets, comprising of two front pockets, two zippered back pockets, and a side zippered pocket.


  • The fabric is quite thin, and as a result, it may not be very durable.
  • The available belt loops are not substantial enough to support a more rigid belt.

Best for: Mobility/Travel in hot weather

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:




Table 1: Best pants for hot weather hiking and travel – comparison table

KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible
KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible

#1 Best overall

Weight -> 431 g (15.2 oz)
Price -> $109
Material -> 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

-> Excellent zip-off pants turn to shorts fast and easy
-> Great construction, materials, and features
-> Move with the user
-> Plenty of options to get the right fit

-> The convertible zipper seam is restrictive to those with bigger legs
-> The cargo pockets need a hook-and-loop closure or zipper

Arc'teryx Gamma Lightweight
Arc'teryx Gamma Lightweight

#2 Best lightweight

Weight -> 290 g (10.2 oz)
Price -> $160
Material -> 86% Nylon, 14% elastane

-> Built for dynamic movement in warm weather
-> High-quality build and material
-> The Aequora AirPerm fabric is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable next to the skin; quick-drying
-> Functional pockets for easy access to whatever you need

-> No back pockets
-> Tight in the crotch area
-> Pricey

Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Outdoor Research Ferrosi

#3 Best for travel

Weight -> 303 g (10.7 oz) for men's; 253 g (8.95 oz) for women's
Price -> $99
Material -> 86% nylon 90D stretch woven ripstop (46% recycled), 14% spandex

-> Light and super breathable, great for walking in the heat
-> Incredible softshell fabric: stretchy, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying
-> Stylish look, good functionality, and reliable comfort
-> Form-fitting; the trousers adjust well and allow you to move the way you want

-> Sizing issues
-> Not the most durable fabric
-> The leg cuff adjustment doesn't seem to be of high quality

Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo
Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo

#4 Best budget buy

Weight -> N/A
Price -> $40
Material -> 86% Nylon, 14% spandex

-> Best budget-friendly option with a great price:quality ratio
-> Thoughtful design with nice features
-> Unrestricted freedom of movement
-> Six pockets for secure storage of essentials

-> Dark and muted colors only are available
-> The integrated belt isn't durable
-> Swish as you walk

KUHL Radikl
Kuhl Radikl

#5 Best for comfort

Weight -> 453 g (1 lb)
Price -> $109
Material -> 68% Cotton, 29% nylon, 3% spandex

-> Built for action
-> Comfortable fit
-> Abrasion-resistant cotton/nylon blend with UPF 50 and DWR coating
-> High-quality construction

-> The fabric tends to stain easily
-> The pockets can be too shallow for some
-> Designed for town, fabric isn't rugged

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

#6 Best zip-offs

Weight -> N/A
Price -> $65
Material -> Main body (Omni-Shade): 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop; Mesh panels (Omni-Wick): 57% recycled polyester/43% polyester mesh

-> Work equally well in hot and humid weather and in the mountain
-> Plenty of pockets keep items secure and organized
-> A great range of movement - easy to bend, squat, and kneel
-> Variety of sizes and colors

-> Durability issues
-> Not suitable for rugged hikes

Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer
Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer

#7 Best for extreme hot weather

Weight -> 300 g (10.6 oz) for men's; 285 g (10.1 oz) for women's
Price -> $150
Material -> G-1000 Air Stretch: 65% polyester, 35% cotton; 100% polyester

-> Well-ventilated trekking trousers designed for top performance in hot weather
-> G-1000 Air Stretch fabric has excellent breathability
-> Lightweight and very packable
-> Plenty of storage space

-> Not suitable for wet or windy weather
-> Expensive

KUHL Renegade
KUHL Renegade


Weight -> 397 g (14 oz)
Price -> $99
Material -> 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

-> Excellent choice for various activities
-> Casual design and lightweight construction
-> Durable, abrasion-resistant fabric
-> The peached waistband absorbs moisture and adds extra comfort

-> No good-sized wallet pocket
-> Would like a bit more stretch in the fabric

Patagonia Quandary
Patagonia Quandary


Weight -> 284 g (10 oz) for men's; 264 (9.3 oz) for women's
Price -> $89
Material -> 95% Nylon (65% recycled), 5% spandex

-> Cool for summer, these hiking trousers are very lightweight and comfortable
-> Bluesign-approved fabric is durable and stretchy for great mobility
-> Simple design that works perfectly for various environments and conditions
-> Don't stink after use; quick-drying; easy to care for

-> Pockets are a bit shallow
-> Snug fit
-> No longer version anymore

Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP
Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP


Weight -> 321 g (11.3 oz)
Price -> $95
Material -> 75% Cotton, 23% nylon, 2% elastane

-> Elegant and functional go-to pants: suitable for all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities
-> Lightweight compact construction
-> Classic design that fits nicely; you can choose from four different lengths
-> The material works well in warm weather

-> The fabric is not stretchy or durable/abrasion-resistant enough for serious climbing or bouldering
-> A bit too tight in thighs

Arc'teryx Levon
Arc'teryx Levon


Weight -> 470 g (1 lb 0.6 oz)
Price -> $140
Material -> 65% cotton
26% nylon, 12% elastane

-> Flexible and super comfortable
-> Great casual style, look, and fit
-> High-quality construction and tough fabric
-> Good-sized pockets

-> Offered in one length only
-> Poor fly
-> For easier adventures only

Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking
Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking


Weight -> 450 g (15.9 oz) for men's; 420 g (14.8 oz) for women's
Price -> $185
Material -> G-1000 Lite: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
88% polyamide, 12% elastane

-> Well-fitting trousers engineered for versatility
-> Excellent breathability for cool walks in hot temps
-> Weather-resistant
-> Good craftmanship: streamlined design, quality materials, useful features

-> A bit pricey
-> The G-1000 fabric needs proper maintenance (regular waxing, etc.)
-> No back pockets

KUHL Deceptr
KUHL Deceptr


Weight -> 312 g (11 oz)
Price -> $99
Material -> 76% Nylon, 9% polyester, 15% spandex

-> Lightweight, airy, and flexible construction with enough stretch
-> Great for active lifestyles
-> Combination of style/elegance and comfort; excellent fit
-> Plenty of storage space thanks to six convenient pockets

-> The fabric swishes as you walk
-> May run short
-> Too slim/tight

Patagonia Altvia Trail
Patagonia Altvia Trail


Weight -> 315 g (11.1 oz)
Price -> $129
Material -> 86% Polyester (recycled), 14% spandex

-> Multi-purpose pants
-> Fit well, smooth feel
-> Shed light rain and wind, and breathe well when the temperature rises
-> Cool colors and features

-> Not very sturdy fabric
-> The longest version is 31 inseam

REI Co-op Trailmade
REI Co-op Trailmade


Weight -> N/A
Price -> $70
Material -> 94% Nylon, 6% spandex

-> Streamlined design; packable
-> Lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying material
-> Enough stretch to move with the user well
-> UPF 50+ fabric to protect the skin from the sun

-> Too baggy
-> The quality of the stitching can be improved
-> Won't hold up against sharp rocks

Marmot Arch Rock Shetland Color
Marmot Arch Rock


Weight -> 247.5 g (10.9 oz)
Price -> $80
Material -> 94% Nylon, 6% elastane

-> Thin, lightweight, and packable trousers that work reasonablywell for active people
-> Great fit and comfort; flexible and do not restrict motion
-> Abrasion-resistant nylon fabric with UPF 50+ and DWR coating
-> Five good-sized pockets

-> The old design is changed and the result is inferior
-> Not belt loops anymore

REI Co-op Sahara Convertible
REI Co-op Sahara Convertible


Weight -> N/A
Price -> $80
Material -> 96% Nylon (recycled), 4% spandex

-> Functional and very comfortable
-> Useful vertical zippers from the bottom hem to mid-thigh
-> Pants and shorts work reasonably well on the trail
-> Good quality pockets and zippers

-> The fabric/construction is flimsy
-> The overall quality and utility have downgraded a bit in the last a few years
-> Belt loops are too small for a 1.5" belt

Propper Summerweight Tactical
Propper Summerweight Tactical


Weight -> N/A
Price -> $60
Material -> 94% Nylon, 6% elastane

-> Lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying fabric with UPF 50 rating
-> Comfortable and easy to wear
-> Great movability
-> Variety of pockets

-> The fabric is very thin and isn't of great durability
-> Not enough substantial belt loops to support a more rigid belt


Pants for hot weather buying advice or what to consider


Pants designed for hot weather typically feature lightweight construction that keeps the wearer dry and cool while preventing moisture buildup inside the garment. The properties of the trousers are largely determined by the fibers used in their construction.

Manufacturers utilize both natural and synthetic fibers – cotton, polyester, various blends, etc. as synthetic fibers dominate. Cotton is not the best material for hiking pants and clothing in general and we explained the reasons why it is this way in our post Cotton vs Polyester.

While lightweight and breathable fibers are typically used in hot-weather pants to keep the wearer cool and dry, there are some exceptions. For instance, cotton is a good conductor of heat and highly breathable, making it suitable for hot weather. As a result, pants such as the MH Hardwear AP (75% cotton) and Arc’teryx Levon (65% cotton) are effective for their intended use. Additionally, Fjallraven’s G-1000 fabric, which is a poly-cotton blend, is well-known for its durability and functionality in various weather conditions.

The most common material for hot-weather pants is nylon (or polyamide). The majority of models here are made of nylon and spandex blends in different ratios.

Spandex (or elastane or Lycra) is a very elastic fiber that has a simple but important function in a blend – ensuring better stretch, mobility, and fit of the end fabric. Pants made with spandex usually have a stretchability range of 2-15%, with most designs having no more than 5-6% spandex content. Higher spandex content theoretically allows for better range of motion, but this is not always the case. However, pants such as the Ferrosi Pants and Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight, both with 14% elastane content, are specifically designed for activities that require dynamic movement.

Nylon is known for its toughness, durability, abrasion, and wrinkle resistance. The lightweight and moisture-wicking properties of nylon have made it a top choice for technical fabrics and performance wear. This, in combination with its durability, has led to the widespread use of polyamide in these types of clothing. The Patagonia Quandary, for instance, is a sturdy pair of pants that provides excellent stretch, thanks to its nylon blend. The weave or knit of the fabric also plays a significant role in its ventilation and cooling properties. Looser weaves allow for better moisture evaporation.


We’ve reviewed trousers weighing from 247.5 g (8.7 oz) to 470 g (16.6 oz). While the weight of the pants isn’t as important as the weight of your backpack or footwear, it is still a major consideration, especially when traveling in hot weather. The weight of a pair of pants can be influenced by several factors. Firstly, the type of material used is a significant factor. Secondly, the thickness and weave of the material also play a role. Thirdly, the presence or absence of lining and its thickness can add to the weight. Finally, the design and features of the pants can contribute to their overall weight. Assuming that all other factors are the same, pants with a clean and simple design and fewer features generally weigh less. This is because features like zippers, pockets, and integrated belts tend to add weight to outdoor wear.

Below are two comparison charts featuring 13 of the models in our review (REI Co-op Sahara Convertible, REI Co-op Trailmade, Columbia Silver Ridge, Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo, and Propper Summerweight Tactical are not included due to their N/A weight). Both graphs have equivalent content, but one measures the weight of the pants in grams and the other in ounces. Out of these 13 designs, nine or two-thirds weigh 397 g (14 oz) or less. The best lightweight pants for hot weather Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight weighing 290 g (10.2 oz) are in the top 3 of the lightest models. However, they are not actually the lightest construction in this review. Both Patagonia Quandary and Marmot Arch Rock weigh less than it.

Graph 1: Weight comparison between hot weather designs (in grams)

Hot weather pants weight comparison


Graph 2: Weight comparison between hot weather designs (in ounces) 

Hot weather pants weight in ounces - comparison

Although it’s not unexpected to find many lightweight pants in a review about hot weather clothing, it’s worth noting that four of the designs weigh 400 g (14.1 oz) or more. While it may seem odd that a quarter of the models in the review are this heavy, there is a logical explanation for this.

One of these designs, the KUHL Renegade Cargo, has zip-off legs. Convertible pants are known for their flexibility in various climates and environments, but they are also known for their weight. This is largely due to the added weight of the zippers, including those used for transitioning from pants to shorts and ankle zippers that allow for easy on and off without removing footwear. Another heavy model, the Abisko Lite Trekking, is made by the Scandinavian company Fjallraven, which has a reputation for producing solid constructions. The two heaviest designs, Arc’teryx Levon and KUHL Radikl are actually among the most comfortable pants for warm-weather travel and hiking. However, these designs are best suited for easier adventures as they prioritize fashion over function.

Air permeability and ventilation

Two of the most important factors to consider before buying a pair of pants for hot weather hiking or travel. Breathability or air permeability (which is somewhat more correct as the term ‘breathability‘ is also used to denote certain moisture management abilities of waterproof breathable fabrics and clothing. Then, ‘breathability‘ equals ‘water vapor permeability‘) is the ability of a fabric to allow passage of air. The aim is clear – keeping the wearer cool and dry even during strenuous activities in hot temperatures. Air permeability depends on the characteristics and properties of fabrics, their thickness, and weave. Generally, thinner, lighter, and more porous materials allow more air to pass through them, i.e. they are more breathable. The most breathable pants in this review are the Abisko Midsummer and Patagonia Quandary.

Air circulation and ventilation are influenced by both the air permeability of the fabric and different design features. For instance, features like ventilation openings, zippers (such as side vent zippers found in Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer), mesh-lined pockets (as seen in Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight), convertible zippers (like those in KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible), rollable cuffs (such as those in Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP), and adjustable bottom hems (like those in Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking) can all affect how well a pair of pants ventilates.

All in all, for really hot conditions, we prefer hiking shorts. Nonetheless, designs that feature lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying fabrics with additional ventilation features, like the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer and Outdoor Research Ferrosi, can also be great options.

Functionality and comfort

The comfort of outdoor pants can greatly impact an adventurer’s experience. The level of functionality depends on the fabric, fit, features, and articulation of a garment. When it comes to pants for hot weather hiking and backpacking, technical features are a must to ensure their functionality. However, for travel and casual pants, comfort takes priority over technical features. These pants should be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods while exploring a city, waiting at the airport, or on a long flight. Therefore, the perfect fit, perceived comfort, and range of motion are more important than having extra features.

Fit and mobility

Comfort and ease of movement are crucial for activities that require mobility. Pants with pre-shaped knees, crotch gussets, or inseam gussets, as well as various articulations, provide users with the freedom to move comfortably. Excellent examples of pants that offer ease of movement include the Mountain Hardwear Hardwear AP Pants and Patagonia Altvia Trail.


Some of the most common features of good hiking pants for hot conditions and their main functions include:


While certain designs have only two or three pockets (Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight), most travel and hiking pants have plenty of pockets – five, six or even more. Pockets are useful for storing and easy access to personal belongings and valuables. Sufficient storage space is crucial when it comes to pockets, as they allow you to keep necessary items within easy reach. Pockets with deeper storage and additional closures, such as zippers, buttons, or hook-and-loop (Velcro), provide added security. However, it’s important to note that such closures increase the overall weight of the garment.

Certain designs feature pockets on either one or both thighs. These pockets can be useful for carrying modern smartphones, maps, wallets, and other valuables. Front and back pockets are the traditional pockets for carrying essentials. Coin pockets, which were originally intended to hold pocket watches, can now be used to store small items such as compact folding knives, multi-tools, small flashlights, micro USB devices, and lip balms.

Integrated belts

There are limited options to handle oversized pants, but having an adjustable waistband can be helpful. Rain pants often feature elastic waistbands with drawcords, while hot-weather pants tend to have built-in belts, which serve two purposes. Firstly, they prevent the pants from slipping down, and secondly, they enable quick and easy adjustments to the fit while on the move.

Some of the models in this list, such as Arc’teryx Gamma Lightweight, Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo, Marmot Arch Rock, and Columbia Silver Ridge, come with integrated webbing belts for a secure and personalized fit. However, it’s important to note that bulkier built-in belts, like the one found on the Columbia Silver Ridge (which is actually removable), could interfere with a backpack hip belt. If your choice doesn’t have a built-in belt, we recommend getting a lightweight nylon or polyester belt.

UPF 50+ fabric

While clothing provides a physical barrier that blocks the sun’s rays to a certain extent, fabrics with a UPF rating of 40, 50 or even 50+ offer better sun protection. This feature is especially important for hot-weather activities, although it may not be as crucial in cool-to-cold conditions (with the exception of high elevations where the ultraviolet radiation from the sun is stronger and sun protection is essential).

DWR coating

Durable water repellent or DWR is used to make the fabric repellent against water and wind. Such repellency works well in changing weather. Moreover, the application of a DWR finish protects the fabric from stains, which makes it easy to clean. However, all the benefits of using a water-repellant come at the expense of reduced breathability of the fabric. Therefore, in hot weather, it is best to opt for pants that are lightweight and breathable, and not treated with a DWR. An example of such pants would be the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer.

Side ventilation zippers

Vent openings and side ventilation zippers play a crucial role in enhancing airflow and air circulation. They allow perspiration to escape while allowing air to circulate, aiding in moisture removal and body cooling. REI Co-op Sahara Convertible and the two designs by Fjallraven presented here are equipped with side ventilation zippers. The REI Co-op Sahara Convertible has its side vent zippers from the bottom hem to mid-thigh, while the Fjallraven designs have their side ventilation zippers between the thigh and knee for additional ventilation.

Zip-off legs

Convertible pants offer the convenience of zip-off legs, which can easily transform them into shorts, providing better ventilation in seconds. Additionally, they can help reduce the need for extra clothing in your backpack. Popular options for summer backpacking in different conditions include the KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible, which is our top pick, and the Columbia Silver Ridge convertible pants.

Keep in mind that convertible pants are often heavier than a regular pants-shorts combo because of the specific design and extra zippers. Additionally, many people find them unattractive and uncomfortable. It’s a must to find well-fitting zip-off pants. If you are able to find the right fit, you may not have any issues with convertibles. However, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit, and the sensation of a zipper rubbing against your skin may not be the most pleasant.

Ankle zippers

Numerous convertible pants feature ankle zippers that allow for easy leg removal without having to take off your boots. The KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible is an example of such a design, with 1/4-length side zippers located at the bottom of the legs.

Ankle hem-cinch cords and snaps

Adjustable ankle hem-cinch cords and snaps are designed to achieve a customized fit, just like integrated belts. Models such as Outdoor Research Ferrosi, Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer, KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible, and KUHL Renegade Rock have adjustable leg hem cuffs. While the KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible design uses snaps at the leg cuffs, the other three models have a drawstring at the bottom of the leg. Adjusting the ankle hem cuffs can prevent pants from slipping down over the back of shoes, making it a plus for climbers and mountaineers.

Versatility and style

Making a fully functional pair of pants that will stay functional during different activities in a variety of environments and conditions is no easy task. But this doesn’t stop manufacturers from trying to make such models. KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible, the non-convertible KUHL Renegade, Outdoor Research Ferrosi, and KUHL Deceptr are holding down the top spots among the most versatile pants suitable for backpacking, climbing, travel, or office.

Versatile designs are welcomed by those who do not like the idea of having ten different specialized models for ten different activities. They work very well for active people in town as well as for longer trips where in order to minimize the content of your pack, you will have to cut off everything that isn’t absolutely essential.


Pricing is another important factor that needs proper consideration.

Hot weather trousers prices vary a lot. The cheapest pair of pants (and the best budget option) is the Free Soldier Outdoor Cargo, whose MSRP is around $40. We hope that you’re far from thinking that cheap or relatively cheap always means crap. It doesn’t. While there may be some correlation between price and quality, it is far less significant than one usually thinks of.

The Silver Ridge Convertible pants are packed with useful features that make them an excellent choice for hiking. They offer a high level of comfort and flexibility in both wet and dry environments and are particularly suitable for mountainous areas or intermediate seasons with changing weather conditions. Featuring Omni-Shade fabric with UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-Wick mesh panels, they offer excellent protection against the sun and keep you cool during hot weather activities. Additionally, their zip-off legs allow for quick and easy adjustments as needed. Other reasonably priced models with great price:quality ratios include the Outdoor Research Ferrosi and Patagonia Quandary.

Graph 3: Hot weather travel and hiking pants price comparison (US dollars)

Hot weather pants price - comparison

To understand the variability of pricing levels for hot-weather trousers, it’s important to consider several factors that can affect the cost of the final product. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Materials used – the use of more expensive and high-quality materials usually results in a higher-priced product.
  • Technical features – the inclusion of technical features and components such as mesh-lined pockets, built-in belts, and side vent zippers can drive up the cost of production, resulting in a higher price for the final product.
  • Versatility and style – simple designs with limited use may cost less, while more versatile models that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities, climates, and environments, often have a higher price tag.
  • Brand popularity and positioning – brand associations in customers’ minds are an important factor for the readiness of customers to pay for a particular product. Arc’teryx and Fjallraven are highly regarded for producing top-of-the-line, technical, and high-performance outdoor clothing. They are well-known and respected brands in the outdoor industry, with products that are highly praised by professionals and experts. Due to their reputation for quality and performance, many outdoor enthusiasts are willing to pay a premium for their products. On the other hand, Columbia is also among the most popular and reputable outdoor companies but they produce affordable (and not so high-tech) products that sometimes are dirt cheap.
  • Durability and quality – top-notch and more durable designs are usually more expensive.


With so many options on the market, it isn’t that easy to find a great pair of hiking pants for your hot-weather adventures. It isn’t that difficult either. Prioritize comfort and consider features like breathability, fast-drying capabilities, weight, and price. This guide discussed some of the best designs available on the market to help you make an informed choice. We hope this review assists you in selecting the ideal pair of hiking or travel pants for your hot-weather adventures.


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3 thoughts on “Best Travel & Hiking Pants for Hot Weather of 2023”

  1. Propper pants not only look good, they are comfortable, and have plenty of pockets for storage. Love the design of the waistband with elastic stretch on the sides that makes pants comfortable to wear when doing repeated movements such as bending over, squatting, twisting etc. After a day of pouring concrete, my pants still looked clean because the fabric repels dirt and I found it brushed away concrete dust really well.


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