Best Travel & Hiking Pants for Hot Weather of 2020

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Wearing a good pair of travel or hiking pants remains crucial to the comfort on and off the trail during hot weather trips. In this article, we compare 18 best models for travel and hiking of 2020. We review hot weather trousers for all budgets, styles of travel, and specific uses. In addition, there’s a comparison table with the most important characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of each model on our list. You can find it just below the picks.

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.

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

Quick answer: BEST TRAVEL AND HIKING PANTS FOR HOT WEATHER 2020

1. Prana Stretch Zion                                                                      View on Amazon              View on Moosejaw

2. Arc’teryx Lefroy                                                                            View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

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

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

5. Marmot Arch Rock Pants                                                         View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

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

7. Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Pants                                 View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

8. Patagonia Quandary Pants                                                     View on Patagonia        View on Backcountry

9. Mountain Hardwear AP Pants                                              View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

10. Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers                     View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

11. The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible           View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

12. Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants                                      View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

13. Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2                                View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

14. Columbia Flex ROC Pants                                                     View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

15. KUHL Deceptr Pants                                                                View on KUHL                       View on REI

16. Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible                      View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

17. Arc’teryx Palisade Pants                                                         View on Amazon              View on Backcountry

18. Prana Brion Pants                                                                       View on Amazon              View on Moosejaw

 

 

Best all-around

#1 Prana Stretch Zion and Women’s Prana Halle

Prana Stretch Zion Pants

Weight: 385 g (13.6 oz); 345 g (12.2 oz) for the women’s version – Prana Halle

Price (MSRP): $89 ($85 for Prana Halle)

Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% spandex

Notable features:

  • Ventilated inseam gusset/vent holes on the gusset for added breathability
  • Breathable Stretch ‘Zion’ UPF 50+ fabric with DWR finish
  • Roll-up leg snaps

Pros:

  • Versatile pants that provide a good range of movement – a great choice for a variety of outdoor activities (hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, cycling, camping, etc.) and climates; also ideal for everyday wear or office
  • Breathable, quick-drying, soft, stretchy, cool, and thin but durable fabric for warm weather hiking and backpacking (summer, spring, fall)
  • Comfortable; individual fit thanks to three different lengths (short, regular, and long inseam – 30″, 32″, and 34″ respectively) and an adjustable waistband with pull strap that eliminates the need to wear a belt
  • Wind and water-resistant due to DWR coating for bad weather (can’t rely on this in heavy rain); easy to clean as water beads off of them because of the material and the DWR finish

Cons:

  • Run small
  • The cargo pocket is placed right at the knee (and what’s more, it’s on the left thigh), which makes it too uncomfortable wearing heavier things in this pocket

Best for: Versatility

Women’s Version: Available (Prana Halle) -> Amazon | REI | Backcountry

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

 

Best lightweight

#2 Arc’teryx Lefroy

Arcteryx Lefroy Pants

Weight: 275 g (9.7 oz)

Price (MSRP): $119

Materials: 86% Nylon, 14% elastane

Notable features:

  • Four-way stretch fabric, articulated patterning, and a gusseted crotch combine to deliver 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

Pros:

  • Built for dynamic movement in warm weather: trekking, backpacking, bouldering, climbing, etc.
  • Clean and simple design suitable not only for outdoor pursuits but for travel and casual wear too; 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 – two mesh-lined hand pockets and a right side zippered thigh pocket that’s big enough to accommodate a smartphone or a map

Cons:

  • No back pockets (and because there’s only one big zippered pocket, you have to choose – wallet or smartphone)
  • A bit tight in the crotch area
  • Front zipper is quite short in comparison to other models

Best for: Technical hikes

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

 

Best for travel

#3 Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Weight: 353 g (12.5 oz) for men’s; 269 g (9.5 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $80

Materials: 86% Nylon 90D stretch woven ripstop, 14% spandex

Notable features:

  • Articulated knees for freedom of movement
  • Drawstring at the waist; harness-compatible waist
  • Drawcord cuff closures

Pros:

  • Light and super breathable, these trousers are great for walking in the heat
  • Incredible softshell fabric: stretchy, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying
  • Stylish look, good functionality, and reliable comfort for all kinds of outdoor activities – from daily use to backcountry use
  • Form-fitting; the trousers adjust well and allow you to move the way you want (good range of motion for any activity)

Cons:

  • Nice pockets but can’t hold up (accommodate) too many items; the zippered thigh pocket is too shallow and can’t accommodate modern smartphone + large and deep rear pockets but none of them is secure
  • Durability issues – not the most durable pants

Best for: Travel

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

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

Best budget buy

#4 Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $60

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

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

Pros:

  • Best budget-friendly option with a great price:quality ratio
  • Versatile and functional convertible pants work equally well in hot and humid weather and in the mountain (Omni-Shade UPF 50 offers superior sun protection)
  • Plenty of pockets keep items secure and organized: two hand pockets, two rear pockets, two thigh pockets
  • Comfortable fit and nice flexibility; a great range of movement – easy to bend, squat, and kneel

Cons:

  • A bit too tight around the legs (snug in the thighs) for hiking pants
  • Durability issues: pockets come apart after moderate use (poor quality of the stitching)
  • Not the best zippers (not the highest quality)

Best for: Short hiking trips

Women’s Version: Available (Columbia Silver Ridge 2.0 Convertible) -> Amazon | Moosejaw

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

 

Best for comfort

#5 Marmot Arch Rock Pants

Marmot Arch Rock Pants

Weight: 285 g (10.1 oz)

Price (MSRP): $75

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
  • DriClime wicking interior waistband for added comfort

Pros:

  • These thin and lightweight trousers are very packable and work amazingly for active people who love to backpack, climb, travel or walk around the city in summer (if paired with a proper base layer, they work well in cold weather as well)
  • Great fit and comfort; flexible and do not restrict motion
  • Abrasion-resistant nylon fabric with UPF 50+ to block sun and DWR coating to shield off water
  • Five pockets (two front hand pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered side pocket) provide enough stash space for essentials

Cons:

  • Fairly durable fabric but not as stretchy as advertised especially in the knee area and at the bottom of the leg
  • A little noisy (they swish as you walk)
  • Not very good option for off-trail wear

Best for: On-trail hiking

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

Best zip offs

#6 KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible

KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants

Weight: 482 g (17 oz)

Price (MSRP): $99

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 DWR finish

Pros:

  • Excellent zip-off pants turn to shorts fast and easy thanks to the STEALTH™ zip-off system; Work great all-kinds of weather conditions and environments: forest, alpine, hot sun, cold rain, high wind
  • Great construction, materials, and features
  • Good fit and they move with you really well during all your outdoor activities
  • Plenty of options to get the right fit as you can choose from five different inseam lengths (28″, 30″, 32″, 34″, and 36″)

Cons:

  • The convertible zipper seam is restrictive to those with bigger legs creating a rub point against the skin when walking
  • The cargo pockets need Velcro flap or zipper to keep the contents secure

Best for: Summer hiking in changing environments

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

KUHL | REI

 

Best for extreme hot weather

#7 Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Pants

Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers

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

Price (MSRP): $145

Materials: G-1000 Air: 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 fabric is stretchy for unrestricted freedom of movement

Pros:

  • Well-ventilated trekking trousers designed for top performance in hot weather
  • G-1000 Air fabric is even more breathable than G-1000 Lite (see #10 on our list – Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers) because: 1) it has looser weave; 2) it’s unwaxed for added ventilation
  • Lightweight and very packable
  • Plenty of storage space thanks to two big cargo pockets (one of them is zippered) and two zippered mesh-lined front hand pockets

Cons:

  • Not suitable for wet or windy weather
  • Expensive

Best for: Hot weather activities

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

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

 

Best of the rest

#8 Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia Quandary Pants

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

Price (MSRP): $79

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
  • Technical fabric blend (Bluesign approved) with 50+ UPF sun protection is 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

Pros:

  • Cool for summer (thanks to the very breathable UPF 50+ fabric that also protects you from the sun) these hiking trousers are very lightweight and comfortable
  • Bluesign approved fabric is durable and stretchy for great mobility on the trail and in town
  • Simple design that works perfectly for various environments and conditions – from hot summer walk to steep winter ascent (don’t forget warm underwear) to off-trail hiking or hiking on more technical terrain
  • Don’t stink after use; easy to care for; quick-drying

Cons:

  • Pockets are a bit shallow (a bit deeper pockets would be better)
  • Only come in a slim version (they are little too tight through the hip and thighs)
  • The outseam stitching does not look as top-quality stitching

Best for: Some rough hiking and backpacking

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

Find the latest price:

Patagonia | REI | Backcountry

 

#9 Mountain Hardwear AP Pants

Mountain Hardwear AP Pants

Weight: 203 g (7.2 oz)

Price (MSRP): $90 (85 for the women’s version)

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

Notable features:

  • Snap roll-up hem with a reflective hit for better visibility in dim light
  • Harness compatible for scramble approaches
  • Articulated knees and full gusset allow for extra mobility

Pros:

  • Elegant and functional go-to pants: suitable for all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities: bike riding, hiking, scrambling or as everyday wear
  • Lightweight compact construction – just over 200 g (for size Medium)
  • Classic design that fits nicely (roll up to calf length thanks to the roll-up snap feature); you can choose from four different lengths (28″, 30″, 32″, and 34″)
  • The material works well in warm weather as it’s comfortable, breathable, and dries quickly

Cons:

  • Unsuitable for serious climbing or bouldering: the fabric is not stretchy or durable/abrasion-resistant enough
  • Shrink too much after washing and drying
  • A bit too tight in thighs

Best for: Traveling

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

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#10 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): $175

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

Pros:

  • Well-fitting trousers engineered for versatility: multi-day hikes, everyday wear or anything else
  • Excellent breathability for cool walks in hot temps; thanks to the light and breathable fabric and side vent zippers
  • Weather-resistant (fabric is treated with Greenland wax to shield off wind and water)
  • Good craftmanship: streamlined design, quality materials, reinforced bottom hems and calves for added wear resistance, tapered legs

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • The G-1000 fabric needs proper maintenance (regular waxing, etc.)
  • No back pockets (still, there are 4 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 | REI | Backcountry

 

#11 The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible

The North Face Paramount Convertible

Weight: 420 g (14.8 oz)

Price (MSRP): $70

Materials: 100% Nylon

Notable features:

  • Legs zip off to create 10″ shorts
  • Fold-over waistband with partial elastic and adjustable buckle closure (belt)
  • Fabric with durable water-repellent (DWR) finish and Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 50+

Pros:

  • Zip on and off fast and easy (well, not in the beginning; it will take some time) – you will always be ready for changing weather conditions or when your legs need to breathe more
  • Lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying fabric – perfect for summer wear
  • Tough-wearing, abrasion-resistant, solid construction; among the best convertible pants
  • Comfortable, casual look, freedom of movement; these can easily become your go-to pants for various climates and activities

Cons:

  • The fit is too baggy
  • The belt isn’t built-in (it can get lost easily if you aren’t cautious)

Best for: Casual outdoor activities – light hiking, camping

Women’s Version: Available -> Amazon

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#12 Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants

Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants

Weight: 490 g (17.3 oz) for men’s; 470 g (16.6 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $120

Materials: 100% Polyamide (nylon)

Notable features:

  • Adjustable waist and bottom hem thanks to an integrated webbing belt with HH buckle and a drawcord respectively
  • Articulated pattern and gusseted crotch for freedom of movement
  • Lightweight 4-way stretch woven nylon ripstop

Pros:

  • Breathable pants that work well for various activities in hot conditions – trekking, mountaineering, camping or just being outdoors
  • Comfortable and easy to wear; individual fit (adjustable waist and bottom hem)
  • Solid workmanship – great cut and top-quality material (typical for Helly Hansen’s outdoor products)
  • Durable YKK zippers (YKK front fly zipper and YKK right side hidden seam pocket)

Cons:

  • Not very appealing look
  • A bit heavier than other pants reviewed here

Best for: Mobility/Hiking

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#13 Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2

Mountain Hardwear Chokestone/2 Pants

Weight: 352 g (12.4 oz)

Price (MSRP): $120

Materials: 88% Nylon, 12% elastane

Notable features:

  • Climb compatible (harness compatibility) for an easy transition
  • Removable webbing belt and elastic ankle hem-cinch cords for easy adjustments
  • Multiple zippered pockets (two front hand pockets and one thigh pocket) and one back pocket with snap closure for secure storage of items

Pros:

  • Built for excellent mobility on different terrains
  • Really comfy and stretchy (crafted from performance stretch fabric – Chockstone double weave softshell fabric)
  • Versatile technical pants: work well for thru-hiking, climbing or as everyday wear at the office or around town
  • UPF 50 to protect the skin from the sun; water-repellent fabric shields off water

Cons:

  • Not the most durable construction (no reinforced knee or butt areas)
  • The fabric tends to pill

Best for: Versatility

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

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#14 Columbia Flex ROC Pants

Columbia Flex ROC Pants

Weight: N/A

Price (MSRP): $65

Materials: 98% Cotton, 2% elastane

Notable features:

  • Variety of pockets: two hand pockets, two back pockets, zippered security pocket, and knife pocket
  • Front button closure
  • Streamlined design; utility stretch

Pros:

  • Multi-functional – suitable for travel, backcountry adventures, work or (preferably) as casual wear in town
  • Good price:quality ratio for these affordable/budget-friendly pants
  • Come in three different lengths (short, regular, and long inseam – 30″, 32″, and 34″ respectively) and multiple colors
  • Well-made: look and feel good; lightweight, stretchy, and breathable

Cons:

  • These trousers aren’t built for strenuous activities
  • Too snug
  • Labeled colors sometimes do not match the real pant colors

Best for: Travel/casual

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#15 KUHL Deceptr Pants

KUHL Deceptr Pants

Weight: 295 g (10.4 oz)

Price (MSRP): $89

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 moment
  • FreeRyde waist, micro peached for more comfort

Pros:

  • Lightweight, airy, and flexible construction with enough stretch, these trousers won’t disappoint you in hot conditions (as they will keep you cool and comfortable)
  • Great for active lifestyles: travel, hiking, camping, work, casual
  • Combination of style/elegance and comfort; excellent fit
  • Plenty of storage space thanks to six convenient pockets: two front, two back, one coin, one stealth cell phone

Cons:

  • The fabric swishes as you walk
  • No pocket closures
  • Too slim/tight (they come with tapered fit)

Best for: Versatility

Women’s Version: Not Available

Find the latest price:

KUHL | REI

 

#16 Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible Pants

Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible Pants

Weight: 269 g (9.5 oz) for men’s; 225 g (8.0 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $99

Materials: 95% Nylon, 5% spandex

Notable features:

  • Zip-off legs; turn into shorts
  • Fabric with UPF 50+ protection from the sun; treated with a water-resistant DWR finish
  • Ankle zippers to pull them off over boots easily

Pros:

  • Good design and cool and comfortable material
  • Five pockets (two front hand pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered thigh pocket) for secure storage of essentials
  • Functional features: removable belt for individual fit; belt loops for a standard width webbing belt; ankle zippers for easy removal of the legs without taking off the boots; enough pockets for storing small items
  • Comfortable fit; allow for flexibility when traveling between hot and cool climates as they work well as a pant and as a short

Cons:

  • The removable belt doesn’t seem to be of very high quality (the good part is that you can take it out and replace it with a better belt)
  • No zippers on the back pockets; no zippered pocket inside one of the front hand pockets
  • Back pockets are too shallow to accommodate a wallet or phone

Best for: Hiking in changing weather

Women’s Version: Available -> Moosejaw | CampSaver

Find the latest price:

Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry

 

#17 Arc’teryx Palisade Pants

Arcteryx Palisade Pants Cobalt

Weight: 300 g (10.6 oz) for men’s; 265 g (9.3 oz) for women’s

Price (MSRP): $175 ($169 for the women’s version)

Materials: TerraTex: 94% nylon, 6% elastane blend

Notable features:

  • Light, breathable, quick-drying TerraTex nylon
  • Integrated webbing belt with metal buckle lets you get a secure, personalized fit
  • Soft chamois-lined waistband offers comfort next to the skin and works well below a backpack hip belt

Pros:

  • Design and material suitable for hot weather: trim fit for enhanced breathability and lightweight, cool, and quick-drying TerraTex fabric. There’s plenty of space underneath to add layers when traveling in colder climates
  • A good combination of high-quality materials and useful features make these trousers extremely functional for use on and off the trail
  • Five good-sized zippered pockets keep things secure and allow for easy access: two mesh-lined hand pockets, two thigh pockets, and one rear pocket
  • Great movability as they move with the movement of the wearer because all the articulated areas (articulated patterning, gusseted crotch) are in the right place

Cons:

  • Limited sizing and color pallet
  • Expensive (alas, high quality costs a lot)
  • Tight-fitting

Best for: Rugged backcountry travel

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

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Backcountry

 

#18 Prana Brion Pants and Women’s Prana Briann Pants

Prana Brion Pants

Weight: 340 g (12 oz)

Price (MSRP): $79

Materials: 97% Nylon, 3% spandex

Notable features:

  • Breathable UPF 50+ Stretch ‘Zion’ fabric with durable water repellent (DWR) finish
  • Five pockets with mesh lining
  • Fixed waist and beltloops

Pros:

  • Simple design, nice style and comfort (no weird zippers or unnecessary features) – they look and feel good against the skin
  • Wrinkle resistance make them easy to wear straight out of your pack; dirt resistance – easy to care for
  • Durable material with good stretch is good for casual wear, travel, work or anything else
  • You can wear them anywhere in almost any weather

Cons:

  • Not a lot of color options (the pallet is limited to earthy colors)
  • Other than the mesh-lined front hand pockets, they lack other ventilation features

Best for: Every day (casual and travel)

Women’s Version: Available (Prana Briann Pants) -> Amazon | REI | Moosejaw

Find the latest price:

Amazon | REI | Moosejaw

 

 

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

PRODUCTDESCRIPTIONPROSCONS
Prana Stretch Zion Pants
Prana Stretch Zion

#1 Best all-around hot weather hiking pants



Weight -> 385 g (13.6 oz) for men's; 345 g (12.2 oz) for women's
Price -> $89
Material -> 97% Nylon, 3% spandex


-> Versatile pants that provide a good range of movement
-> Breathable, quick-drying, soft, stretchy, and durable fabric
-> Comfortable; individual fit thanks to three different lengths and an adjustable waistband with pull strap
-> Wind and water-resistant due to DWR coating for bad weather


-> Run small
-> The cargo pocket is placed right at the knee, which makes it too uncomfortable wearing heavier things in this pocket

Arcteryx Lefroy Pants
Arc'teryx Lefroy

#2 Best lightweight



Weight -> 275 g (9.7 oz)
Price -> $119
Material -> 86% Nylon, 14% elastane


-> Built for dynamic movement in warm weather
-> Clean and simple design; 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; only one zippered pocket
-> A bit tight in the crotch area
-> Front zipper is quite short in comparison to other models

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
Outdoor Research Ferrosi

#3 Best for travel



Weight -> 353 g (12.5 oz) for men's; 269 g (9.5 oz) for women's
Price -> $80
Material -> 86% nylon 90D stretch woven ripstop, 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


-> Nice pockets but can't hold up (accommodate) too many items; the zippered thigh pocket is too shallow
-> Not the most durable pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

#4 Best budget buy



Weight -> N/A
Price -> $60
Material -> Main body (Omni-Shade): 100% nylon Silver Ridge ripstop; Mesh panels (Omni-Wick): 57% recycled polyester/43% polyester mesh


-> Best budget-friendly option with a great price:quality ratio
-> 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


-> A bit too tight around the legs
-> Poor quality of the stitching of the pockets
-> Zippers are not high quality

Marmot Arch Rock Pants
Marmot Arch Rock

#5 Best for comfort



Weight -> 285 g (10.1 oz)
Price -> $75
Material -> 94% Nylon, 6% elastane


-> Thin, lightweight, and packable trousers that work amazingly for active people
-> Great fit and comfort; flexible and do not restrict motion
-> Abrasion-resistant nylon fabric with UPF 50+ and DWR coating
-> Five pockets (two front hand pockets, two back pockets, and one zippered side pocket) provide enough stash space for essentials


-> Fairly durable fabric but not as stretchy as advertised
-> Swish as you walk
-> Not very good option for off-trail wear

KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants
KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible

#6 Best zip offs



Weight -> 482 g (17 oz)
Price -> $99
Material -> 95% Nylon, 5% spandex


-> Excellent zip-off pants turn to shorts fast and easy; Work great in all-kinds of weather conditions and environments
-> Great construction, materials, and features
-> Good fit and they move with you really well during all your outdoor activities
-> Plenty of options to get the right fit


-> The convertible zipper seam is restrictive to those with bigger legs
-> The cargo pockets need Velcro flap or zipper to keep the contents secure

Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Trousers
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 -> $145
Material -> G-1000 Air: 65% polyester, 35% cotton; 100% polyester


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


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

Patagonia Quandary Pants
Patagonia Quandary

#8



Weight -> 284 g (10 oz) for men's; 264 (9.3 oz) for women's
Price -> $79
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
-> Only come in a slim version
-> The outseam stitching does not look as top-quality stitching

Mountain Hardwear AP Pants
Mountain Hardwear AP

#9



Weight -> 203 g (7.2 oz)
Price -> $90 (85 for the women's version)
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 - just over 200 g
-> 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
-> Shrink too much after washing and drying
-> A bit too tight in thighs

Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking Trousers
Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking

#10



Weight -> 450 g (15.9 oz) for men's; 420 g (14.8 oz) for women's
Price -> $175
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

The North Face Paramount Convertible
The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible

#11



Weight -> 420 g (14.8 oz)
Price -> $70
Material -> 100% Nylon


-> Zip on and off fast and easy
-> Lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying fabric - perfect for summer wear
-> Tough-wearing, abrasion-resistant, solid construction; among the best zip off models
-> Comfortable, casual look, unrestricted freedom of movement


-> The fit is too baggy
-> The belt isn't built-in

Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants
Helly Hansen Tinden Light

#12



Weight -> 490 g (17.3 oz) for men's; 470 g (16.6 oz) for women's
Price -> $120
Material -> 100% Polyamide


-> Breathable pants that work well for various activities in hot conditions
-> Comfortable and easy to wear
-> Solid workmanship
-> Durable YKK zippers


-> Not very appealing look
-> A bit heavier than most designs reviewed here

Mountain Hardwear Chokestone/2 Pants
Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2

#13



Weight -> 352 g (12.4 oz)
Price -> $120
Material -> 88% Nylon, 12% spandex


-> Built for excellent mobility on different terrains
-> Really comfy and stretchy
-> Versatile technical pants: work well for thru-hiking, climbing or as everyday wear at the office or around town
-> UPF 50 to protect the skin from the sun; water-repellent fabric shields off water


-> Not the most durable construction
-> The fabric tends to pill

Columbia Flex ROC Pants
Columbia Flex ROC Pants

#14



Weight -> N/A
Price -> $65
Material -> 98% Cotton, 2% elastane


-> Multi-functional - suitable for travel, backcountry adventures, work or as casual wear in town
-> Good price:quality ratio
-> Come in three different lengths and multiple colors
-> Well-made: look and feel good; lightweight, stretchy, and breathable


-> These trousers aren't built for strenuous activities
-> Too snug
-> Labeled colors sometimes do not match the real pant colors

KUHL Deceptr Pants
KUHL Deceptr Pants

#15



Weight -> 295 g (10.4 oz)
Price -> $89
Material -> TUFFLITE: 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
-> No pocket closures
-> Too slim/tight

Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible Pants
Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible

#16



Weight -> 269 g (9.5 oz) for men's; 225 g (8.0 oz) for women's
Price -> $99
Material -> 95% Nylon, 5% spandex


-> Good design and cool and comfortable material
-> Five pockets for secure storage of essentials
-> Functional features
-> Comfortable fit; allow for flexibility when traveling between hot and cool climates


-> The removable belt doesn't seem to be of very high quality
-> No zippers on the back pockets
-> Back pockets are too shallow to accommodate a wallet or phone

Arcteryx Palisade Pants Cobalt
Arc'teryx Palisade Pants

#17



Weight -> 300 g (10.6 oz) for men's; 265 g (9.3 oz) for women's
Price -> $175 ($169 for the women's version)
Material -> 94% nylon, 6% elastane


-> Design and material suitable for hot weather
-> Functional and comfortable for use on and off the trail
-> Five good-sized zippered pockets keep things secure and allow for easy access
-> Great movability


-> Limited sizing and color pallet
-> Expensive
-> Tight-fitting

Prana Brion Pants
Prana Brion Pants

#18



Weight -> 340 g (12 oz)
Price -> $79
Material -> 97% Nylon, 3% spandex


-> Look and feel good against the skin
-> Wrinkle resistance make them easy to wear straight out of your pack
-> Durable material with good stretch is good for casual wear, travel, work or anything else
-> You can wear them anywhere in almost any weather


-> Not a lot of color options (the pallet is limited to earthy colors)
-> Lack significant ventilation features

 

Pants for hot weather buying advice or what to consider

Materials

Hot weather pants are usually light constructions capable of keeping the wearer dry and cool while not allowing moisture buildup inside the clothing. Understandably, the fibers used have a huge role in the characteristics and properties of the trousers.

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. However, as a good conductor of heat and highly breathable fiber, cotton keeps the wearer cool in hot weather. So there are exceptions like Mountain Hardwear AP (75% cotton) and Columbia Flex ROC (98% cotton) that work well for their intended use. Fjallraven’s famous G-1000 fabric is another exception. It is a poly-cotton blend.

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. The stretchability of spandex is so high that its content in a pair of pants is in the range of 2-15% as in most cases this number is no more than 5-6%. Theoretically, pant models with higher spandex content should be able to provide a better range of motion. Certainly, that’s not always true but designs like the Ferrosi Pants and Arc’teryx Lefroy (both with 14% elastane content) are created for pursuits that require dynamic movement. Nylon is known for its toughness, durability, abrasion, and wrinkle resistance. These characteristics combined with the fact that nylon has relatively low weight have made polyamide one of the most popular man-made fibers for technical fabrics and performance wear (Prana Stretch Zion and Prana Brion are great examples for sturdy pants with a good stretch that are made primarily from nylon and less stretchy material). In addition to the material, the knit or weave contributes substantially to the ventilation and cooling properties of a garment as it’s easier for moisture to evaporate through looser weaves.

Weight

We’ve reviewed trousers weighing from 203 g (7.2 oz) to 490 g (17.3 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. What are the factors that can make a pair of pants weigh a lot or not so much? Firstly, it is the material they are made of. Secondly, it is the thickness and weave of the material. Thirdly, it is the presence or absence of lining and its thickness. And finally, it is the design and features. All things being equal, the weight of pants with a clean and simple design and/or few features is usually lower. Zippers, pockets, integrated belts, etc. features add weight to (not only) pants but to all kinds of outdoor wear.

Below, you can see two comparison charts with 16 of the models in our review (the weight of Columbia Silver Ridge and Columbia Flex ROC is N/A and as a result, they are not included in the table). The content of both graphs is equivalent. The difference is that in one of them, the weight of the pants is measured in grams, while in the other one it is in ounces. Eight or half of these 16 designs weigh 300 g (10.6 oz) or less. The best lightweight pants for hot weather Arc’teryx Lefroy weighing 275 g (9.7 oz) are in top 3 of the lightest models in this review but they are not actually the lightest construction as OR Equinox Convertible and Mountain Hardwear AP are before them in this respect.

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

While the presence of many lightweight models in a review about hot weather clothing is not surprising at all, we’d point out that four designs weigh 400 g (14.1 oz) or more. At first, it might seem strange than a quarter of all the models presented in this review is this heavy but this fact has a reasonable explanation. Two of them – the North Face Paramount and KUHL Renegade Cargo – are pants with zip-off legs. Convertible pants are known for their flexibility as they can work in more variable climates and environments but they are also notorious for their weight. At least typical designs are. The main reason for this is the zippers added weight including zippers that make the transition from pants to shorts and ankle zippers that allow for fast and easy on and off of the legs without taking off the footwear. The other two heavier models (Tinden Light and Abisko Lite Trekking) are both made from Scandinavian companies – Helly Hansen (Norway) and Fjallraven (Sweden) respectively – that have a long tradition of manufacturing solid constructions. And these two designs are no exception.

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 Ferrosi Pants, Abisko Midsummer, and Patagonia Quandary.

Ventilation and air circulation depend on the air permeability of the fabric as well as on various features – ventilation openings (Prana Stretch Zion), zippers (side vent zippers – Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer), mesh-lined pockets (Arc’teryx Lefroy), convertible zippers (KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible), rollable cuffs (Mountain Hardwear AP), and adjustable bottom hems (Fjallraven Abisko Lite Trekking).

All in all, for really hot conditions, we prefer hiking shorts. However, clean designs made with lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying fabrics that have some features for added ventilation such as the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer and Outdoor Research Ferrosi are also good options.

Functionality and comfort

Every avid outdoorsman can confirm that the more comfortable his/her trousers, the easier and more fun it is for them to enjoy their trip. Functionality depends on the fabric, fit, features of a garment as well as articulated patterns that allow for extra mobility. Pants for hot weather hiking and backpacking require more technical features, i.e. they should be more functional than travel and casual pants. On the other hand, travel pants may not need to have so many hi-tech features but they need to be comfortable to wear for hours while walking around the city, staying at the airport or flying overseas. Then, the perfect fit, perceived comfort, and great range of motion become more important than having a couple more extra features.

Fit and mobility

Ease of movement and comfort are also essential for any kind of activity where mobility is important. Pre-shaped knees, crotch gussets (or inseam gussets), and all kinds of articulation make pants move with the user. Great examples for trousers that allow the user to move easily in them include Mountain Hardwear AP Pants and Arc’teryx Palisade.

Features

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

Pockets

While certain designs have only two or three pockets (Arc’teryx Lefroy), 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. Having enough storage space in the form of pockets will allow you to keep anything you decide to throw in there at hand. Deeper pockets and especially pockets that come with zippered, buttoned or Velcro closure keep things secure. Keep in mind that zippers, buttons, snaps, and all other kinds of fasteners add a bit of weight to the construction.

Some constructions have pockets on one of the thighs or on both of them. These are handy for storing modern mobile phones (smartphones), maps, wallets, and other valuables. Back pockets and front hand pockets are classic pockets for storing essentials. Coin pockets were once intended to hold pocket watches. Today as pocket watches are not that popular anymore, coin pockets can be used for accommodating tiny stuff – compact folding knives, multi-tools, small flashlights, micro USB devices, lip balms, etc.

Integrated belts

There aren’t that many ways of dealing with trousers that fit big on you. One of them is through having an adjustable waistband. While elastic waistbands with drawcords are a very popular feature of rain pants, built-in belts are a preferred feature of hot weather pants. They have two functions. The first one is to prevent pants from falling down. The other one is to allow for fast and easy fit adjustments on the go. Several models in this list including Arc’teryx Lefroy and Palisade as well as Prana Stretch Zion, Helly Hansen Tinden Light, Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2, and Columbia Silver Ridge (the last two have removable belts) have integrated webbing belts for a secure, personalized fit. Note that bulkier built-in belts (like the one Columbia Silver Ridge has, which actually is a removable belt) could interfere with a backpack hip belt.

UPF 50+ fabric

All physical barriers including clothing stop the sun’s rays to a certain extent. But fabrics with a UPF rating of 50+ provide better sun protection. While in cool-to-cold conditions this feature isn’t that important (excluding high elevations where the ultraviolet radiation from the sun is stronger and sun protection is essential), it works fine for hot activities.

DWR coating

The 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. That’s why for hot weather we recommend airy trousers not treated with a DWR such as the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer.

Side ventilation zippers

Vent openings and side ventilation zippers are used to adjust the airflow for better ventilation and air circulation. Their function is to let perspiration out as well as to let air in to carry away some of the moisture. This helps dry the skin and cools the body.

Zip-off legs

Convertible pants have zip-off legs, the removal of which turns them into shorts. Fast and easy conversion to shorts means better ventilation in a matter of seconds. In addition, such pants can save you the packing of extra clothing. Pants with zip-off legs like our top choice KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible and Columbia Silver Ridge are a popular choice for summer backpacking in varied conditions. 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’re successful, you might not have a single objection to the convertibles. However, it isn’t always easy to do so. And the feeling of a zipper rubbing against the skin isn’t the most enjoyable feeling in the world.

Ankle zippers

Many models of convertible pants have ankle zippers for easy removal of the legs without taking off the boots.

Ankle hem-cinch cords and snaps

Have a similar function as integrated belts (yes, we mean a customized fit). Outdoor Research Ferrosi, and Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer, and KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible all have adjustable leg hem cuffs. While the KUHL Renegade rely on snaps at the leg cuffs, the other two models have a drawstring at the bottom of the leg. Adjusted ankle hem cuffs will prevent pants from slipping down over the back of the shoes, which can be 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. Prana Stretch Zion and Prana Brion, KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible, and Outdoor Research Ferrosi 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.

Price

Pricing is another important factor that needs proper consideration.

Hot weather trousers prices vary a lot. The cheapest pair of pants (and best budget option) is the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible, whose MSRP is $60 but you can find them for as little as $30-something on a sale. We hope that you’re far from thinking that cheap or relatively cheap does always mean crap. It doesn’t. It’s true that our experience does indicate a connection between price and quality. However, it is far less significant than one usually thinks of. Actually, the Silver Ridge Convertible are a very good hiking pants with many useful features. They are comfortable and offer good flexibility in both wet and dry climates and are suitable for changing weather like intermediate seasons or mountain areas. Omni-Shade fabric with UPF 50 sun protection and Omni-Wick mesh panels provide sun protection and cooling during hot weather pursuits. Additionally, it’s easy to take the legs off or to put them on when necessary. Outdoor Research Ferrosi and Patagonia Quandary are also among the most reasonably priced models with a great price:quality ratio.

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

Hot weather pants price - comparison

Now, here’s a bit more information about the main factors that affect pricing. Each one of them can increase or decrease the price of the final product. Factors for the variability of price levels include but are not limited to:

  • Materials used – the use of more expensive and high-quality materials usually translates into a higher price for the garment.
  • Technical features – more technical features and components such as mesh-lined pockets, built-in belts, side vent zippers, etc. cost more, which increases the price for the final product.
  • Versatility and style – simple designs that have relatively limited use should be cheaper. More versatile models that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities, climates, and environments, usually cost top dollar.
  • 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, Fjallraven, and Helly Hansen are renown as manufacturers of top-quality technical, high-performance upscale clothing for the outdoors. They are among the most reputable brands in the outdoor industry. Their products are acclaimed by professionals and experts. As a result, lots of outdoorsmen are prepared to pay a premium for these brands. 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.

Conclusion

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. Comfort should be your top consideration but no less important is the presence or absence of useful features, fabric breathability and fast-drying abilities as well as weight and price. This guide discussed some of the best designs available on the market to help you make a well-informed choice. We hope that this review helps you choose the right pair of hot weather hiking or travel pants for your needs.

 

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