Top 7 Best Hiking Leggings for Comfort and Style (May 2023)

The best hiking leggings offer a multitude of features that make them appropriate to wear hiking.

I’ve researched the best the market has to offer.

Best Hiking Leggings Ranked


Athleta Headlands Hybrid Cargo II

The Athleta Headlands Hybrid Cargo II leggings are extremely comfy hiking leggings.

With their high-rise design, these hiking leggings fit snugly next to your body and sit naturally at the waist, providing both comfort and style.

Crafted from durable recycled nylon/spandex fabric, they are built to withstand the demands of cold-weather explorations, resisting nicks and tears.

The UPF 50+ fabric offers excellent protection against harmful UV rays, shielding your skin during long hours under the sun.

The durable water repellent (DWR) finish ensures that moisture beads up on the surface, protecting you from light mists and keeping you dry.

The internal, adjustable drawcord allows you to customize the fit, ensuring optimal comfort throughout your hike.

With six secure-zip pockets, you can conveniently store and access your essentials, keeping them close at hand while you navigate the trails or explore the town.

Plus, these hiking leggings are easy to care for as they are machine washable and dryable, making them a practical choice for your outdoor adventures.

Stay comfortable, protected, and organized with the Athleta Headlands Hybrid Cargo II leggings, your reliable companion for hiking.


  • Versatile Design,
  • Ample Storage,
  • Durable Construction
  • Moisture-Wicking
  • Comfortable Fit


  • Limited Color Options
  • Cargo Pocket Size

Patagonia Pack Out Hike Tights

The inset panels are made of moisture-wicking fabric with four-way stretch, ensuring breathability and freedom of movement while keeping you dry.

The PFC-free DWR finish adds an extra layer of protection, resisting light moisture and keeping you comfortable in changing weather conditions.

The mid-rise, ribbed waistband is designed to minimize abrasion, making it perfect for backpacking trips where comfort is key.

With two side drop-in pockets and one zippered security pocket, you can easily carry your essentials and keep them secure throughout your hike.

The gusseted crotch enhances mobility, allowing you to move with ease during challenging terrains.

The tights are durably built with additional panels at the knees and seat, providing enhanced abrasion resistance and ensuring their longevity.

Featuring flat-seamed construction, these tights offer a chafe-free fit, reducing any discomfort during long hikes. The 28″ inseam provides a versatile length suitable for various body types.

Not only are these tights built to perform, but they also support the people who made them.

They are Fair Trade Certified™ sewn, which means the workers who crafted them earned a premium for their labor, promoting ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices.


  • Comfortable fit
  • Stretchy and breathable fabric
  • Moisture-wicking properties
  • High-rise waistband
  • Multiple functional pockets
  • Durable construction


  • Limited color options

Athleta Elation 2 in 1

Featuring wicking technology, these hiking leggings pull sweat away from your body, allowing it to evaporate quickly.

This ensures that you stay dry and comfortable even during intense physical activity.

The quick-drying properties of the fabric further enhance your comfort by drying in a flash, preventing any discomfort caused by moisture buildup.

Breathability is another key feature of these leggings.

The fabric allows sweat to travel through it, promoting airflow and facilitating evaporation on the surface.

This helps to regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool and dry throughout your hike.

With a UPF 50+ rating, these women’s hiking leggings provide excellent protection against harmful UV rays. This is especially important during outdoor activities like hiking, where prolonged sun exposure is common.

You can enjoy your hike with confidence, knowing that your skin is shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.

The Athleta Elation 2 in 1 hiking tights are also easy to care for.

Simply machine wash and dry them, and they’ll be ready for your next adventure in no time.


  • Moisture-wicking
  • Quick-drying
  • Breathable
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Versatile design
  • Comfortable fit
  • Supportive
  • Durable construction
  • Stylish look


  • Limited color options
  • Higher price point
  • Availability may vary

Arc’teryx Essent High-Rise

Constructed from Chira™ fabric, a blend of nylon and elastane interlock, these hiking leggings are built to withstand the rigors of hiking.

The material is highly abrasion-resistant, ensuring long-lasting durability even in rugged terrain.

Additionally, it offers excellent stretch, allowing for unrestricted movement and providing the freedom you need on the trails.

The wide, high-rise stretch-mesh waistband of the Essent leggings not only adds to their comfort but also serves a functional purpose.

It effectively wicks moisture away, keeping you dry and comfortable during strenuous hikes.

These women’s hiking leggings also feature two thigh pockets, strategically placed just below climbing harness leg loops, providing convenient and easily accessible storage for your essentials.

In terms of design and fit, these hiking leggings have an above-ankle length, offering ample coverage and protection.

The high elastane content with black Lycra ensures great stretch and recovery, without compromising on opacity.

The smooth and durable nylon knit construction strikes the perfect balance between comfort and longevity.

Moreover, the Arc’teryx Essent High-Rise hiking leggings incorporate sustainable materials that meet the bluesign® criteria, emphasizing their commitment to environmental responsibility.


  • Durable
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Stretchy fabric
  • Secure high-rise waistband
  • Discreet zippered pocket


  • N/A

lululemon Swift Speed High-Rise

Featuring side drop-in pockets and a zippered back pocket, these leggings provide ample storage options for your essentials during hikes.

You can securely store your valuables and keep your hands free while exploring the trails.

The continuous drawcord adds convenience by allowing you to easily adjust the fit and keep the leggings in place, eliminating the need for frequent adjustments mid-hike.

With no inseam, these hiking leggings offer a smooth stride, reducing any discomfort or chafing.

The reflective details enhance visibility in low-light conditions, ensuring safety during early morning or late evening hikes.

The Swift Speed High-Rise leggings are crafted with performance in mind.

They are made from a slick and low-friction fabric that provides excellent support and allows for fluid movement.

The sweat-wicking properties keep you dry and comfortable by pulling moisture away from your skin, while the four-way stretch ensures unrestricted mobility on the trails.

The breathable nature of the fabric promotes airflow, preventing overheating during strenuous hikes.

These hiking leggings also feature added Lycra® fiber, which contributes to their stretch and shapes retention capabilities.

They maintain their form even after multiple wears and washes, ensuring a long-lasting fit and durability.

Additionally, the Swift Speed High-Rise leggings have a cool-to-the-touch feel, adding to their comfort and making them suitable for various weather conditions.


  • High-quality fabric
  • Versatile use
  • Supportive high-rise waistband
  • Moisture-wicking technology
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Durable and resistant to abrasions


  • Relatively high price
  • Limited color options
  • Sizing variability
  • Less warmth in colder conditions
  • Personal style preferences

Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings

Constructed with an abrasion-resistant interlock nylon and elastane knit, these leggings are built to withstand rocky terrains and rough surfaces.

These durable leggings ensures longevity and protects against wear and tear during your hikes. Despite their rugged construction, the hiking leggings offer excellent stretch, allowing for unrestricted mobility and freedom of movement on the trails.

The elastane material used in the leggings provides remarkable stretch and recovery, ensuring a comfortable and supportive fit.

It maintains its shape without becoming sheer, allowing you to move confidently without any transparency concerns.

With a high-rise fit and a stretchy mesh-lined waistband, the Oriel Leggings offer moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your hike.

The waistband not only helps in moisture management but also ensures a secure and comfortable fit, eliminating any distractions or discomfort while you’re on the move.

Featuring two strategically placed cargo pockets, these hiking leggings provide convenient storage options for small essentials or gear.

The placement of the pockets allows easy access while wearing a climbing harness, ensuring that your belongings are readily accessible when you need them.

The Oriel Leggings have an ankle-length design, providing coverage and protection without impeding your movement.

This length is ideal for various hiking conditions and ensures versatility in your outdoor activities.


  • High-quality construction
  • Durable fabric
  • Comfortable fit
  • Stretchy material
  • Moisture-wicking capabilities


  • Higher price point
  • Limited color options,
  • Sizing may vary
  • Not suitable for extremely cold weather
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Eddie Bauer Trail Tight Leggings

Crafted from moisture-wicking polyester material, these hiking leggings keep you dry and comfortable during active pursuits.

Whether you’re trekking through challenging terrains or enjoying a day in the wilderness, the moisture-wicking technology helps to manage sweat and keeps you feeling fresh throughout your hike.

With added sun protection featuring FreeShade® UPF 50+, these leggings shield your skin from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and ensuring your comfort and safety during extended outdoor activities.

The updated pockets on these leggings offer practical storage solutions. The large drop-in side zip pockets are spacious enough to hold your phone or small essentials securely.

The invisible zippers not only provide a sleek and streamlined silhouette but also ensure that your belongings stay safe and easily accessible while you’re on the move.

The high-compression fabric of the Trail Tight Leggings offers a supportive and snug fit, providing optimal comfort and allowing for unrestricted movement on the trail.

The power mesh waistband adds an extra level of support and enhances the overall fit of the leggings.

Additionally, these hiking leggings feature Polygiene® odor control protection, which helps to keep unwanted odors at bay, ensuring that you stay fresh and confident during your hikes.


  • Durable fabric
  • Comfortable fit
  • Moisture-wicking capabilities
  • Zippered pockets for secure storage


  • Limited color options
  • Sizing variability
  • May not provide enough warmth in colder conditions

Benefits of Wearing Leggings when Hiking

best hiking leggings

When it comes to optimizing your hiking experience, wearing leggings offers a multitude of benefits”

Unparalleled Comfort

The best Hiking leggings are made with stretchy and breathable materials that provide optimal comfort and allow for a full range of motion, ensuring a comfortable hiking experience.

Enhanced Flexibility

The stretchy fabric of hiking leggings allows you to move freely and easily navigate challenging terrains, such as steep inclines or rocky trails, without feeling restricted.

Moisture-Wicking Properties

Leggings designed for hiking often feature moisture-wicking technology that pulls sweat away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable even during intense physical activity.

Durability and Abrasion Resistance

Many hiking leggings are made with durable fabrics and reinforced panels, making them resistant to abrasions caused by rough terrain, branches, or rocks, ensuring they withstand the rigors of the trail.

Practical Features

The best Hiking leggings often come with functional details such as zippered pockets, thigh pockets, or hidden waistband pockets, providing convenient storage for essentials like keys, phones, or energy bars.


Hiking Leggings designed for hiking are not only suitable for outdoor adventures but can also be worn for various activities like camping, backpacking trips, rock climbing, or everyday wear.

Weather Protection

Some hiking leggings are specifically designed for cold weather or wet conditions, offering features like thermal insulation or water-resistant and waterproof materials to keep you warm and dry in challenging weather conditions.


Hiking leggings often incorporate breathable fabric, allowing for proper ventilation and preventing overheating during strenuous hikes, especially in warm weather.

Stylish and Flattering

Apart from their functionality, the best hiking leggings come in a range of stylish designs and colors, allowing you to look and feel great while exploring the great outdoors.

Easy to Maintain

Hiking Leggings are typically easy to clean and quick to dry, making them convenient for multi-day hikes or backpacking trips where laundry facilities may be limited.

Drawbacks to Wearing Leggings when Hiking

best hiking leggings

Limited Protection

Compared to hiking pants or trousers, leggings may provide less protection against elements like thorns, insect bites, or rough vegetation, leaving your legs more exposed to potential hazards.

Lack of Insulation

Standard hiking leggings may not provide sufficient insulation in extremely cold weather conditions, requiring additional layers or specialized thermal leggings to keep you adequately warm.

Moisture Absorption

Unlike certain synthetic or moisture-wicking pants, leggings made from materials like cotton can absorb moisture, which may lead to discomfort and longer drying times if you encounter wet conditions or sweat excessively.

Limited Storage Capacity

While some hiking leggings offer convenient pockets, they generally have fewer storage options compared to hiking pants with cargo pockets, which can be a disadvantage if you need to carry larger or more items during your hike.

Reduced Sun Protection

Depending on the fabric and design, hiking leggings may not provide as much sun protection for your legs as hiking pants with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), leaving your skin more vulnerable to sunburn.

Potential Sheerness

Some leggings, particularly those made from lighter-colored or thinner materials, may be prone to becoming slightly sheer when stretched, which can affect modesty and make some hikers uncomfortable.

Limited Durability

While many hiking leggings are designed to be durable, the nature of the stretchy fabric can make them more susceptible to snags, tears, or pilling over time, especially if you frequently encounter rough or abrasive terrain.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Hiking Leggings

best hiking leggings

When it comes to selecting the perfect pair of hiking leggings, several important factors should be taken into consideration to ensure optimal comfort, durability, and performance.

Material and Breathability

Opt for leggings made from a high-performance blend of polyester and spandex fabric, which offers exceptional stretch, durability, and moisture-wicking properties.

This combination ensures that the hiking leggings can withstand the demands of outdoor adventures while keeping you comfortable and dry.

Look for leggings with breathable fabric that allows air circulation, preventing overheating during strenuous hikes in warm weather.

The ability of the leggings to wick away moisture and keep you cool and dry is vital for maintaining comfort throughout your hike.

Moisture-Wicking Properties

A key feature to prioritize is their moisture-wicking properties.

Opting for hiking leggings made from moisture-wicking fabric, such as a high-quality polyester-spandex blend, ensures that sweat is quickly pulled away from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your hiking adventures.

These leggings are designed to actively manage moisture, preventing the buildup of sweat and reducing the chances of chafing or discomfort.

Whether you’re trekking through warm weather or engaging in intense activities, such as backpacking trips or rock climbing, moisture-wicking leggings will help regulate your body temperature and keep you feeling fresh.

Don’t underestimate the power of this feature when choosing your ideal pair of hiking leggings

Durability and Flexibility

Look for leggings made from tough materials like polyester-spandex blends.

These leggings can withstand rough terrain and won’t easily snag or tear.

Plus, they offer the right amount of stretch, allowing you to move freely during your outdoor adventures.

Don’t forget to check for reinforced panels in high-wear areas and zippered pockets for convenient storage.

Fit and Compression

Look for leggings that offer a snug yet comfortable fit, hugging your body without feeling restrictive.

Consider leggings with a high-rise waistband that provides excellent coverage and support.

Plus, opt for leggings with compression features, as they help improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue during those challenging uphill climbs.

The right fit and compression will keep you feeling supported and energized throughout your hiking adventures, allowing you to focus on enjoying the beautiful scenery around you.

Brand Trust

There are several trusted brands that specialize in outdoor gear and offer a wide range of options for hikers.

Some popular brands known for their exceptional hiking leggings include The North Face, Patagonia, Fjallraven, and Outdoor Research.

These brands have a reputation for using high-quality materials, incorporating innovative features, and designing leggings specifically for outdoor adventures.

When Should You Hike in Leggings?

best hiking leggings

Ideal for Mild to Warm Weather

When planning a hike in mild to warm weather conditions, leggings are a go-to choice.

These stretchy and breathable garments keep you cool and comfortable as you explore the great outdoors.

Opt for leggings made from moisture-wicking materials that effectively manage sweat and allow for proper ventilation.

With their lightweight and flexible design, leggings ensure unrestricted movement on the trails, making them perfect for leisurely day hikes or challenging terrains.

Versatility and Comfort for Various Hiking Activities

Leggings provide versatility and comfort for a wide range of hiking activities.

Whether you’re embarking on a short nature walk or tackling a strenuous backpacking trip, leggings offer the freedom of movement and flexibility needed for diverse terrains.

Their stretchy fabric allows you to navigate uneven paths and climb over obstacles with ease.

Plus, leggings with compression features can improve blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue during long hikes.

With their all-around performance, leggings are a reliable choice for hikers seeking both comfort and functionality on their outdoor adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are leggings suitable for hiking in cold weather?

While leggings provide excellent flexibility and comfort, they may not be sufficient for extreme cold weather conditions.

It is recommended to layer leggings with thermal or insulated pants to ensure proper insulation and warmth.

Can I wear leggings for hiking in wet or rainy conditions?

It is advisable to choose leggings that are specifically designed for outdoor activities and offer water-resistance or waterproof hiking leggings properties.

The best winter hiking leggings will offers a range of warmth and drying features.

These leggings will help keep you dry and comfortable during wet hiking conditions.

Do leggings offer enough protection against rough terrain?

Leggings made from durable and abrasion-resistant fabrics can provide adequate protection against rough terrains.

Look for the best leggings for hiking with reinforced panels or extra padding in areas prone to wear and tear.

Can I wear leggings for activities other than hiking?

Yes, leggings are versatile and can be worn for various outdoor activities such as running, yoga, or rock climbing.

Their stretchy and breathable nature makes them suitable for a wide range of physical activities.

How do I choose the right size for hiking leggings?

It is important to refer to the size chart provided by the manufacturer to ensure a proper fit.

Consider your measurements and the desired level of compression when selecting the size of your leggings.

Are there specific leggings designed for women’s hiking needs?

Yes, there are leggings specifically designed for women’s hiking needs, taking into account factors such as fit, comfort, and functionality.

These leggings often have features like high-rise waistbands, strategic seam placement, and pockets designed to cater to women’s preferences.

How do I care for my hiking leggings?

It is recommended to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Generally, it is best to machine wash leggings in cold water and air dry them to maintain their shape and prolong their lifespan.

Can I wear leggings as standalone pants for hiking?

Leggings can be worn as standalone pants for hiking in certain conditions, such as mild weather or shorter, less challenging hikes.

However, for longer hikes or more demanding terrains, it is advisable to wear leggings as a base layer and pair them with additional protective layers.

Are there any special features I should look for in hiking leggings?

Some features to consider when choosing hiking leggings include zippered pockets for secure storage, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry, and a wide waistband for added comfort and support.

Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the features that are important to you.

Can leggings help prevent chafing during hiking?

Leggings made from smooth and moisture-wicking fabrics can help reduce the risk of chafing during hiking.

Look for leggings with flatlock seams or seamless construction, as they minimize friction and enhance overall comfort.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right leggings for hiking is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience.

The best hiking leggings are durable, moisture-wicking, and offer a secure fit.

They should provide protection from the elements and have functional features like zippered pockets for storing essentials.

If you liked this article, you may also like 8 Best Hiking Boots for Ankle Support & Comfort, 500+ Epic Hiking Instagram Captions, The 6 Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis, & Best Hiking Stroller in 2023 – Top 7.

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