Here's a guide on how to choose the perfect trekking pants without losing your mind
Not sure which trekking pants to buy? The confusion is understandable, since trekking pants are not everyday clothes that you can simply buy off the shelf. If you don't know what to look for, you can be confused for hours.
For this purpose, we have put together a complete guide to choosing trekking pants. It's a little bit like one Deep dive, so stay until the end.
You can bookmark this article for later reading. When it comes time to buy trekking pants, this saves time.
I also want you to know that I am not a brand endorser of any of these pants. These are good pants that are often used by a group of people who abuse them most – our trekking guides. They have put them to the ultimate test almost every day of their lives.
To simplify navigation, you will find a short table of contents that lists everything you will find in this manual:
Let's start with this structure with the first section.
│ How to choose good trekking pants
A. Look at the material
It is important to know which material is suitable for trekking pants because the wrong material makes you feel really uncomfortable on a trek.
Ideally, your trekking pants should be off polyamide. It is a wonder material that is a combination of fibers, either polyester + spandex if it is stretchy, or 100% polyester for normal trekking pants. This combination feels like a God-sent answer to everything we wanted in the material of the trekking pants. And I'll tell you why.
Polyamides have been specially developed for sportswear. you are unbelievable durable and strong. If you do not receive polyamides, a mixture of high polyester is sufficient.
But how do you know if your trekking pants are made of polyamide? Look for the fabric material on the label.
It continues with four other Things to look for – the material of your pants needs to be light, quick drying, easy to clean and breathable.
Now let's see why they are important.
1. Lightweight: The wrong kind of pants will complain you on a big trip like a hike. Even a few grams are important here. So, weigh your options (literally) as you choose clothing for a hike. You don't want your pants to weigh more than 150 grams. For comparison: typical city pants weigh 250-500 grams, which is twice the weight of hiking pants.
For this reason, trekking pants made of polyamides or high polyester are lifesavers. You are a lot lighter than normal pants. For this reason, Sandhya UC, co-founder and COO of Indiahikes, loves her trekking pants and takes special care of them.
Co-founder & COO
I think my trekking pants are only for trekking. I also use them for long-distance travel because they are so light. On my last trip to Spain, my backpack weighed less than 7 kg for a 10-day trip with 5 changes of clothing. This is what light clothes do to you. You can take more for less.
2. Quick drying: If you've been on a Himalayan hike before, you know how unpredictable the weather can be. Sometimes dark clouds roll in unannounced and let you soak in a surprise shower.
In addition, there is always mud, mud and damp spots on a hike.
Your trekking pants get wet when you cross a stream. Image by Swathi Chatrapathy
In times like these, it's important to wear quick-drying trekking pants. Good news – pants made of polyamide or high polyester make it wonderful.
On the other hand, the surface likes certain trekking pants Men's mountain trekking pants – TREK 900 treated so that water drops simply roll off instead of being absorbed.
Senior Trek Leader Dushyant Sharma has another interesting version of quick-drying trekking pants here.
Quick-drying pants are of a unique quality – they are warmer than regular pants or training pants made of cotton. Cotton is said to keep you cool, and that's not cheap in cold Himalayan temperatures.
The problem with jeans: Although I love jeans for their versatility in cities, I have to point out that jeans are catastrophic on a hike.
They are bulky and take an obscene time to dry. Typical jeans weigh about 700 grams when dry and are stunning 2 kg when wet!
So if you get drenched while wearing jeans on a hike, you will end up carrying all the extra wet weight. To top it off, you also spend days in damp soils that expose you to the risk of a cold (or worse, hypothermia). So please avoid jeans.
3rd Easy to clean:: Treks can get messy. Think of dusty trails, horse manure, roll in the meadows or sit under a maple tree for lunch. All of this will get dirt on your pants. And it is advisable to distract materials that easily discolor or absorb dirt. Like cotton.
To fix this, good trekking pants are made of stain and dirt-repellent fabrics. Again, polyamides are great. And Vishnu Benne, Head of FinOps at Indiahikes, wears the modular men's pants for mountain trekking – TREK 100 on Trek.
Head of Finance and Operations
I like how easy it is to clean the material of my trekking pants. Even if there is dirt, a splash of water, even without soap, the pants are cleaned.
4th Breathable: Here's something to consider when buying clothes for your hike – you will sweat and you I will not take a bath while on a trail.
This means that you may stink if you wear clothing that your skin cannot breathe or the sweat evaporates.
While cotton is great for this purpose, it is a poor choice for hiking.
The next best choice is trekking pants made of polyamide / polyester. Contrary to popular belief, they are breathable and let your sweat evaporate easily. So they keep you cool too.
| Note:: And I have to say the obvious here – waterproof pants (like those made of raincoat material) are not breathable. You will suffocate and sweat in it. Never wear them on hikes.
The only time you can wear waterproof pants is when you pull them over your regular trekking pants during monsoon hikes. Basically when it rains. But waterproof pants are extremely bulky and weigh a lot. Even with large monsoon hikes, I would not recommend taking them on hikes.
Trekking pants versus training pants: It is a common misconception that it is okay to wear training pants instead of trekking pants. truth: I did that and regretted it. For two reasons:
- Track pants are mostly made of cotton. I'm already on the wrong foot here. you are not warm, it takes forever to dry and Lose shape fast.
- you are not free of hooks (does not slip over other material and gets stuck), which makes it difficult to use for layering.
But here's a tip – If you have well-fitting training pants that are free of hooks, use them as an inner layer on cold nights / days on a Himalayan hike. Nowadays you get good synthetic training pants. They work really well as inners.
B. Check for fit
It's a breeze to make it rough during a hike. And yet we forget this crucial detail when choosing our trekking clothing.
Remember that your trekking pants have to be 100% comfortable for a hike. There are no two options.
The problem area usually fits in the crotch. So, make a full squat and see if it feels tight. If so, don't buy it.
Next one Raise your knees to your chest. See how the material reacts. Does it stretch slightly? Do you feel comfortable with the route? Buy the pants only if the answer is a resounding yes.
Finding the right fit depends on when you buy trekking pants
Many will be surprised by this question – is there a good time to buy trekking pants? If you want the right fit, click "Yes". Timing plays an important role.
So when is the right time to buy trekking pants? A clear answer: 10 days before you start your hikesays Arjun Majumdar, founder and CEO of Indiahikes.
At this point you have fully prepared for your hike. Your physical preparation is at its peak. You have probably lost a few inches. You could lose a few inches more on your hike. So 10 days before trekking is the best time to buy trekking pants to get a perfect fit. Do not buy your pants two months before trekking if you are not fit.
C. Pay attention to the finer details
Now let's look at some details.
• • Functional bags:: On a hike, always use your bags to store your phone, camera, dry snacks, etc. These fall out, especially if you suddenly climb or sit on the floor to sit. It is never possible to get a level floor to sit on. You sit where you can. And any change in height will cause things to fall out of your pocket if they are not zipped.
Good trekking pants have zipped pockets. It prevents things from falling out.
Ask our lost property office. We can start a treasure hunt with things that we have found in people's pockets. Especially if the pockets had no zippers.
Make sure your trekking pants have zipped side pockets. If not, you want at least deep pockets.
Most trekking pants are also included Thigh pockets, either with zips or flaps. They make life really easy, especially for cell phones, cards and small notepads. Make sure they can easily track the length of your cell phone. Don't buy trekking pants if you don't have thigh pockets.
• • Comfortable closers: When looking at details, you also need to consider the usability and maintenance of things like buttons and Velcro. Check how they are placed.
Velcro is a lifesaver in winter in the Himalayas when your fingers are numb from the cold
For example, Velcro fastener Dirt collects on the floor and is difficult to clean. But Velcro to adjust the waist size (as you have in the Mountain trekking pants – TREK 500 Pants) is very helpful in knocking breaks in cold winters when your fingers are too cold to fumble with the buttons.
But a Velcro is a safeguard. And that's just not enough.
Check for the net if these trekking pants need one Belt? That will complain you. Instead, opt for those who have an elastic band at the waist. Or if the pants fit well, robust buttons will do too.
D. Simple overlay
The temperature on Himalayan hikes drops to below zero and can drop to -10 ° Celsius in winter nights. And there is only one thing that keeps you warm in such times – Stratification.
Layering refers to wearing more than one layer of clothing to store body heat. Two layers of T-shirt work as well as a sweater. (A guide to a Himalayan winter hike)
But what are you doing for your legs? Most lightweight trekking pants cannot stand the intense cold of a Himalayan night.
If your legs feel cold, all you have to do is apply one coat. Here you carry an extra synthetic fitting Training pants. Wearing training pants or tights under your trekking pants can compensate for cold nights.
For really cold nights, we use tights / leggings over which we wear training pants, and finally trekking pants. The formula is the same for both men and women.
Here the material of an inner pant – stretchy training pants, leggings or tights – can determine the lightness of the layering. If the material on your inside is prone to excessive friction, you won't be able to pull your trekking pants up easily. The two pants will wrinkle, clump together and that's really uncomfortable.
So choose stretchy trekking pants or training pants as inner pants if they are smooth enough to allow layering.
E. Cost of a pair of trekking pants – – Opt for budget-friendly options
If you're not careful, you may be spending a lot of money on treks, especially on your first trek. At Indiahikes we are aware of this fact.
So it is literally worthwhile to follow Sandhya's rule of thumb when it comes to trekking pants – “When trekking pants cost more INR 2,500They're not worth it. More expensive trekking pants are a little better, but not worth the price difference. “Straightforward and simple. And it works because you can find great options under this budget.
| For example, TREK 100 series of pants stick to this budget area.
I emphasize this because Trekking is a minimalist sport. You shouldn't burn a hole in your pocket for a hike. So be smart. (Check out the trekking equipment that you can rent)
Before investing in expensive trekking pants, take a break and think – do I really need it?
I have very chic trekking pants that cost almost Rs. 4500. It even has built-in gaiters and is designed for winter. It's thick, has nice insulation, and frankly on snow it's the best thing ever. The reality is that I've only worn it once on a winter hike. In my next winter environment, I wore multiple layers to get more flexibility. These fancy pants took up too much space.
| There are 2 types of trekking pants to choose from
• • Cabrio trekking pants
These are the most popular trekking pants in this category because they are tailor-made to cross the river or hot weather. You will encounter these on a hike.
And in such situations, these trekking pants can easily be converted into shorts because the lower part is removable.
A good example is that Men's mountain trekking modular pants – TREK 100 (the best-selling model in decathlon) with a price of INR 1,499. You can easily remove the bottom of these pants and prevent them from getting wet when you cross the river. This will keep you warm and dry.
Convertibles are great even on hot and humid trails. You can turn your trekking pants into shorts to stay cooler and lighter.
Apart from that, TREK 100 has most of the properties of good trekking pants, which we have already discussed in this blog.
But the pants may not be the best way to protect you from cold, windy weather if you hike in winter. This brings us to the next category.
• • Regular trekking pants
In the Himalayas, you have to be prepared for the wind chill factor that makes you tremble in the cold.
Some trekking pants are made of polyamide thicker fabric to protect you from strong winds. They keep you warm.
Such pants are also water-repellent. So if you encounter unexpected rainfall, the water drops slide off the surface of these pants instead of being absorbed.
| An example is Men's mountain trekking pants – TREK 900 Price at INR 3,499.
But these pants are not convertible. What if there are river crossings and the pants get wet?
Here is the material, although you can't separate the bottom fast drying. Even if it gets wet, the water will evaporate if you continue the hike or walk around the campsite.
The advantage is that these pants protect your legs from the cold wind. And so they work well on Himalayan hikes.
• • Stretchy trekking pants
In the regular category you also have stretch pants. They are comfortable and can easily be used as offal. Especially those where the polyamide material is mixed with fleece. This species protects against the cold.
An example would be Men's mountain trekking fleece tights – TREK 100. They are well suited for layering.
They are free of hooks. On cold nights you can wear them as underpants and pull your trekking pants over them. When it gets warmer, you can easily take off your trekking pants and move around the campsite in these leggings.
A good example for women would be here Women & # 39; s Trek Reinforced & Multipocket Leggings Travel 500.
│ Trekking pants for women
As a woman, I always struggled to find comfortable pants that fit my hips and thighs. You see, the size indicated on the label is only a weak indicator of the fit. In fact, it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Post waiting for a tango with options where the pants refuse to climb up the thighs when the waist size is perfect. And those who manage to climb to the top need a belt to close the gaps in the waist. Sigh. The fight is real.
And it intensifies when we search for the perfect trekking pants. because Comfort is the queen. Notice?
PC: Rashmi Ramesh
That's why I cling to the shelf with the stretchy trekking pants. They bring Waist size and fit on the same side.
However, this is not the only criterion that is suitable for women. You also have to look at them hook and Keys that secures the pants.
For this purpose, Sandhya recommends choosing trekking pants with double hooks for clasping.
Co-founder & COO
Double hooks are much safer on a hike. They hold the pants even when you perform a series of movements, from climbing to bending over and crouching. If one hook appears, you have the second as a backup.
And while snaps appear comfortable and quick, avoid them on a hike. They can hardly bear the strain of movements and can be easily solved. It is risky.
In light of this advice, the best-selling trekking pants for women are – Adjustable trekking pants for women – TREK 100 Price at INR 1,699. These fall under the convertible category.
And are in the non-convertible category Mountain trekking pants for women – TREK 500 Price at INR 2,199.
8 best trek pants in India
Here is a short list of the best trekking pants to look out for. Unfortunately, all are from Decathlon. We hope that other manufacturers would develop good trekking pants for us to check.
I have referred to some of these pants a few times in this guide. But here I put the 8 best trekking pants from our country. I looked at various factors such as material, practicability, season and even budget before choosing them.
- Men's mountain trekking modular pants – TREK 100
- Adjustable trekking pants for women – TREK 100
- Men's mountain trekking pants – TREK 900
- Men's mountaineering pants
- Mountain trekking pants for women – TREK 500
- Men's mountain trekking pants – TREK 500
- Men's mountain trekking fleece tights – TREK100
- Women & # 39; s Trek Reinforced & Multipocket Leggings Travel 500
Most frequently asked questions about trekking pants
❖ What are trekking pants?
Trekking pants are pants / leggings that are specially tailored for outdoor use, especially when trekking in the mountains. These pants are sewn in such a way that they are durable when used roughly. They are equipped with pockets, zippers and buttons that make trekking easier when carried.
Trekking pants are also made from a special polyamide material that is light, quick-drying and sometimes water-repellent.
❖ Are training pants, yoga pants good for hiking?
Training pants are tailored for indoor use and for the lightest exercises. They usually have a high density of cotton, which makes them bulky. They also tend to get caught, which makes it difficult to put on training pants. Avoid training pants during the hikes.
Yoga pants are generally made of thin material that is suitable for light outdoor use. They are not suitable for outdoor treks, especially multi-day ones, because they cannot protect you from windy weather, rain or even cold.
In addition, they are not resistant to interference, which means that layering is difficult if you wear yoga pants as a base layer. Instead, opt for trekking gaiters that are much better suited for multi-day trekking.
❖ What are the best pants for hiking?
Good trekking pants have two things to offer – material and fit.
Opt for trekking pants made of polyamide. Such pants are light, quick drying, easy to clean and breathable. Apart from that, good trekking pants must be comfortable to wear, so the fit is very important.
But the best trekking pants also have certain other elements in the right place. For example, they have deep zippered pockets, Velcro at the waist (very useful in winter when your fingers are frozen), easy to layer, and budget-friendly.
And you can find different types of trekking pants – convertibles, normal, stretchy – with these characteristics. The trick is knowing which one suits you best.
In general, hikers choose consistently Modular pants for mountain hikes – TREK 100 because of its durability and cost. Check out for a higher price Mountain trekking pants – TREK 500 and other trekking pants with stretchy options and fleece lining.
First of all, these are safe and useful options if you want to buy your first trekking pants.
❖ What are the best winter hiking pants?
In winter, choose pants with fleece lining that are water-repellent to keep you dry when it snows. Trekking pants made of a material that is too thin are not suitable for winter as you may need to overlay them. Mountain trekking pants – TREK 900 is good for windy weather and keeps you warm in winter.
❖ Is it OK to hike in jeans?
Jeans are not suitable for hiking at all. Jeans are not light, do not dry quickly and are not pleasant when climbing on high rocks. You put a strain on your backpack and if it rains you can hike in damp soil for days. This makes you susceptible to cold. So avoid jeans.
In the end, we love our trekking pants at Indiahikes. Suhas Saya, leader of the Trek Coordinators team, owns two pairs of trekking pants – a convertible and a fleece – that he used for 8 Himalayan treks and over a hundred weekend treks in Bengaluru.
Leader of the Trek Coordinators & # 39; team
I love them so much – especially the non-convertible pants – that I sew and use them even when they develop holes.
And this kind of love for your trekking pants is not uncommon. Real blue hikers will vouch for that.
That is why when buying trekking pants you need to know how to choose the one that suits you best. Then and only then will you fall in love with its usefulness.
So if you are ever confused which trekking pants to choose, post a comment below and we'll help you choose the right ones.
Have fun trekking! And have fun shopping!