If you want to hike in whatever pants you happen to be wearing, whatever jeans or khakis you woke up in this morning, that’s your thing. And if at the end of the trail you’re hot, soaked in sweat, and quite miserable, well, that’s your thing too. To hike smart, I recommend you the best pants for hiking. There are so many out there, it’s dizzying.
So I’ll just go ahead and tell you the one I think is your best bet. Made by Columbia, a company that’s been making outdoor clothing for more than 70 years and is still based in Portland, Oregon, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible hiking pant is everything you want: lightweight, breathable and comfortable.
The Best Pants For Hiking – Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible
Pants? Shorts? Pants! Shorts! I like to get out there early. Hit the trail before anyone else has marred the serenity. Early usually means cold. So I need pants. Three and a half hours later, I may very well still be on the trail. Later in the day often means warm.
So I need shorts. Picture yourself on the side of the trail, hiding behind a pine, awkwardly trying to take off your pants and put on your shorts without toppling over and taking a header down the mountain side. Not the best image. Pants that become shorts, that’s where it’s at. That’s what the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible pants do. Just a quick zip, zip and you’re wearing shorts. Awkwardness negated.
I love it when companies come up with new names for stuff. Columbia calls their moisture wicking mesh fabric Omni-Wick. It means fabric that pulls sweat away from your body so it can evaporate quickly. You stay drier, cooler and more comfortable.
They’ve also got a name for keeping the sun off your legs. The nylon body is equipped with Omni-Shade which blocks UV rays three ways: the tight weave construction, UV absorbers, and UV reflectors. To review: Omni-Wick, Omni-Shade, omni-ficent.
I learned long ago that there is no pair of pants that I can’t destroy on the trail. It’s a matter of getting the right pants at the right price, because unless I’m hiking in chainmail, I will sooner or later wreck them. And I don’t want to hike in chainmail.
The Columbia Silver Ridge find that perfect line between being durable enough and affordable. When the time comes that you actually need to replace your demolished pants, you won’t feel like you need to auction off your house first.
Features and Specifications
- 100% Nylon
- Omni-Wick, quick drying fabric
- Omni-Shade, UPF 50 sun protection
- Partial elastic at waist
- 6 Pockets, two front, two back, two thigh
- Zip-closed security pocket on thigh
- Available Inseams: 30”, 32”, 34”
- 10” inseam on shorts
What people say about it
This is often the “best buy” choice on hiking recommendation sites because you can spend a silly amount on hiking pants, but you don’t need to. Beyond price, everyone is also impressed with the ample storage the 6 pockets provide.
There’s even a zippered pocket for those things you DO NOT want to lose. Like your jerky. I mean, car keys. People are also into the style of the pants. They are a straight leg cut, not too tight or too baggy. Since they keep you dry, you could feasibly wear these guys out to the pub after your hike.
A lot of people have said that the included belt isn’t the best. Personally, I generally like to provide my own belt. Luckily the belt is removable. Problem solved.
With nifty, inventive names for its technology, plus comfort and style, I recommend the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible hiking pants. The affordability means you’ll be able to replace them once they get destroyed, and until that time, you’ll have a great time wearing them.
Who I Think Should Buy These
Honestly, everyone should own a pair of hiking pants. Even if you’re just a sometimes hiker, a weekend outdoors person, a serious stroller, you’ll enjoy having a pair of pants that is designed to keep you cool and comfortable when walking around in nature.
For the price, I don’t see why you wouldn’t add the Columbia Silver Ridge pants to your wardrobe. And since they’re stylish enough to wear as casual pants, even if you never hike again, these pants will still work for you.
Who Shouldn’t Buy It?
If you’ve got the extra money to spend, maybe you’d be happier with something pricier. You might get a few more bells and whistles and maybe a fancier name brand. Also people who do a bunch of winter hiking might want to look for something a bit warmer. Of course you can always just pair the Silver Ridge with a pair of long johns.
The fact is, if you hike or camp or get out into nature for any amount of time, having the right clothes can make the difference between enjoying the day and ruining it.
With a pair of Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible hiking pants, you can go the distance while staying dry, staying protected from the sun and staying happy. Plus the question of shorts or pants is rendered obsolete because you have both. I hope you like our oppinion about the best pants for hiking.