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Best Leggings For Hiking

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Best leggings for hiking in 2021? What we consider hiking apparel staples have changed over time. Over the last few years, We have found that hiking in tights can be way more comfortable than the usual choice of pants.

They are amazingly versatile and comfortable. Hiking leggings move with you in the most flexible way which allows you to have much more mobility than you could imagine.

The best part about a good pair of hiking leggings is the fact that you can wear them on their own or use them as a layer. And did we mention how small and lightweight leggings are to pack? These are just a few reasons why investing in a good hiking legging is the way to go.

When you switch to hiking leggings, you’ll notice several benefits. There’s always a trade-off, though, and we’ll explain more below. Hiking tights give comfort and versatility you won’t get from a pair of hiking or riding pants. The options below will look great on and off the trail.

You get the highest mobility for climbing over obstacles since tights are form-fitting. And many of the tights listed have pockets—ladies, rejoice!—for easy access to your phone to take a picture and do many more things.

Best Leggings For Hiking – Buying Guide

With our much research, we find out the leggings and tights for women and men. Check out our guide and leggings.

Women’s Best Tights & Leggings For Hiking

1. The North Face Women’s Perfect Core High Rise Tight

While not being the most comfortable legging for Yoga, the TNF Perfect Core is durable and resistant while also making sure that everything will remain in place during a long hiking trip. You’ll feel very supported and guarded on the trail, but we don’t recommend them for the gym.

The fabric has great breathability perfect for those faster more intense hikes. But we wouldn’t support them for climbing, we found that they do not afford you that much mobility.

Wrapping it up, this is a resistant and durable legging that will make you look stylish while feeling supported and protected, but it’s not the most comfortable one for just hanging out.

The North Face Women Perfect Core High Rise Tight

Features and Spec:

  • High-rise waist with mesh-lined waistband
  • Compression at the lower waist boosts core support
  • Flatlock seams decrease the incidence of chafing
  • Smooth, wide waistband with internal pocket
  • Screen printed logo on right calf
  • Fitted

2. Arc’teryx Oriel Legging Women’s

Arc’teryx has always been characterized for designing great quality products for committed hikers. These leggings are no exception. Rugged, comfortable, and durable, these are the perfect pair of leggings to pack for long hikes with unpredictable weather conditions.

The fabric used to manufacture the Oriel is incredibly resistant to abrasion; you can pretty much drag your lower body on any kind of surface and these will still look like new.

Its pockets are very functional and will enable you to carry your phone very comfortably. What we loved the most, is the mobility these present, you’ll move freely while hiking, climbing, or performing any kind of exercise. Are there any cons? So far not any that I have found.

Arcteryx Oriel Legging Women

Features and Spec:

  • Durable knit legging for comfort in climbing and everyday wear
  • Nylon weave withstands extensive use against rock and daily wear
  • Elastane fibers deliver great stretch for freedom of movement
  • Mesh-lined waistband wicks moisture for comfort in hot temps
  • Harness friendly cargo pockets accommodate your small necessities

3. Eddie Bauer Women’s Trail Tight Leggings

This one is another great legging perfect for hiking all year round in any kind of condition. These high-rise leggings are rugged, light, and absolutely ventilated for long strenuous activities.

The fabric technology features sun protection, moisture-wicking, and odor control, which makes these leggings an exceptional option to pack for long hikes or backpacking.

These also feature three functional pockets so you can access what you need easily. These leggings are very supportive and remain in place even when you’re wearing a heavy backpack.

They also give you mobility, even when hiking on steep trails or climbing. All these aspects make these Eddy Bauers one of the best options for multi-day hikes. These are great leggings for bigger thighs.

Eddie Bauer Women Trail Tight Leggings - High Rise

Features and Spec:

  • 88% polyester/12% spandex
  • Power Mesh waistband for a secure fit that won’t inch down in the back during activities
  • Hidden waistband pocket at right hip holds ID or keys
  • Supportive, figure-flattering high-rise style
  • Angled side pockets with chafe-free zips

4. Merrell Women’s Soto Leggings

These leggings feel very silky and comfortable. This will look fantastic with hiking boots. The manufacturer doesn’t specify if the fabric is made out of cotton, spandex, or polyester; nevertheless, it feels greatly soft, lightweight, and breathable.

It is the most durable hiking leggings on this list, but as long as you take care of them properly, they should last for some time without losing shape. These leggings fit great from ankle to waist without being too tight. You can perform any kind of intense activity as the fabric offers moisture management.

Make sure to check the sizes well before purchasing as they may become see-through if the fabric is overstretched. These leggings work very well in both warm and cold. You’ll always feel stylish, protected, and comfortable while wearing the Zerdocean Modal leggings.

Merrell Women Soto Leggings

Features and Spec:

  • 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane
  • Design Features: Wide elastic waistband for a comfortable fit
  • M Select WICK keeps moisture off of your skin and dries quickly
  • Run-Ready – flatlock stitching decreases chafing
  • Slim Fit – body-hugging design
  • Pockets: Interior at waistband

5. ExOfficio Women’s BugsAway Impervia Legging

If you have had bad experiences with bugs, then the Exofficio Bugsaway Impervia legging is for you. These leggings feature an insect repelling technology that will guarantee a mosquito-free hike.

The fabric also contributes a lot of protection against UV, so you won’t have to worry about sunburns either. You will enjoy breathability and mobility with these while also feeling very comfortable.

We think these leggings are perfect for warm, humid hikes; but if things get too cold, you can always layer them. In our opinion, these leggings excel in tropical conditions. And they have a great fit too.

ExOfficio Women BugsAway Impervia Legging

Features and Spec:

  • 82% Polyester, 18% Spandex
  • Machine Wash
  • Hidden security zip pocket on the right leg
  • Soft jersey material construction
  • Built-in Insect Shield insect repellent

6. Icebreaker Merino Women’s Comet Tights

These leggings are one of the warmest options, perfect for winter activities ensuring comfort and protection. Notwithstanding the fabric being made out of wool, polyester, and spandex, these leggings are still wearable during the warm months due to their natural breathability and excellent fabric technology.

The Icebreaker Comet is very comfortable to wear, either on its own or as a layer. The fit is great and it offers a classic style so you can wear them even when you aren’t hiking.

Icebreaker Merino Womens Comet Tights

Features and Spec:

  • 39% Merino wool makes these a great pair of warm leggings for hiking.
  • Odor resistant.
  • Flat seams and gusseted crotch for excellent mobility.

7. Fjallraven – Women’s Abisko Trail Tights

This hiking legging has gained a lot of popularity recently thanks to its breathability and durability. The Abisko trekking is a rugged legging manufactured specifically for hiking in a wide variety of conditions. With its perfectly placed pockets and its wide waist, you’ll feel very comfortable during those long hours of hiking.

Even if these feel a little odd at first, the thick silky fabric will give you a lot of protection against vegetation and bug bites. The only downside to these leggings is the lack of good weather protection. The fabric will be ok with some rain, but against harsher weather, you will have to layer it.

Fjallraven - Women Abisko Trail Tights

Features and Spec:

  • Durable four-way stretch with panels in light, extra well-ventilated material.
  • Discreet reinforcements with ceramic print over the knees and rear.
  • Two leg pockets, one with an overlapping closure and one with a zipper.
  • Comfortable, high waist with an internal drawcord and security pocket at the back.

8. Fjallraven – Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights

Fjallraven is known for making some of the best hiking clothing on the market and their Abisko tights are no exception. The Fjallraven Abisko is astonishingly comfortable and well made. There’s a drawstring in the waist that provides them a little more adjustment than most leggings, which usually just have an elastic waistband.

Also unlike most leggings, their pockets are actually usable and will fit your phone or even a little map. The butt and knees on the Abisko’s are reinforced with thick patches to give them a little extra durability. However, those reinforcements do add a little bit of extra weight (they come in at about nine and a half ounces) and reduce breathability to a certain extent.

If you’re doing hikes in the heat of summer, these probably won’t be your go-to leggings. As with many of Fjallraven’s tights, the reinforced sections of the Abisko’s are a different color too, which draws some unwanted attention.

You’ll probably want to change out of them before grabbing beers after a hike. If you need the most durable set of hiking leggings and aren’t too particular when it comes to style, the Abisko is a perfect choice. These are great hiking leggings for women, but they also come in a men’s version.

Fjallraven - Women Abisko Trekking Tights

Features and Spec:

  • The movement-mirroring stretch gives freedom of movement; fabric has the toughness of trekking trousers
  • Water-resistant face fabric inhibits moisture from penetrating if you sit or kneel on damp ground
  • Strategic reinforcements resist abrasion from sharp rocks and stones
  • Large map pocket; small zippered compass pocket; zippered hand pockets
  • Wide waist adjusts with a drawcord and is comfortable next to skin
  • Waist loop for attaching gear or keeping a layer close at hand

9. Montane Women’s Ineo Pro Jeggings – Top Pick

These 3-season hiking leggings are an ideal must for you ladies out there that value looking good as much as comfort, function, and quality.

The Montane Women’s Ineo Pro jeggings are created of high-performance stretchy fabric, which is abrasion-resistant and wind-resistant. The fabric also has a DWR coating to make the pants water repellent.

Boasting articulated knees, a gusseted crotch for greater flexibility and comfort, and two discrete zippered hand pockets, these are full-featured hiking pants disguised as form-fitting, mega comfortable casual leggings.

But the best bit? They’re the kind of leggings that you could wear to the office with everyday clothes as well as on long and demanding treks deep into the mountains.

Montane Women Ineo Pro Jeggings

Features and Spec:

  • Super comfortable
  • Excellent fit
  • Highly weather-resistant
  • Work well as casual pants
  • Warm
  • Have elasticated waist with a drawstring

10. Arc’teryx Sabria Pant Women’s

A great set of hiking leggings that is durable, nearly waterproof, and lightweight.

“Hiking Pants? we thought this was supposed to be about the best hiking leggings.” Well, that all depends on how you define leggings. The Sabria leggings are form-fitting, have an elastic waistband, and are incredibly comfortable – sound like leggings to us. But they differ from a standard pair of Lululemons in the most important way possible, they’re tough as nails.

The Arc’teryx Sabria is a great set of hiking leggings for women. Being a higher-end product they are durable, nearly waterproof, and lightweight (just under half a pound). Unlike most leggings, the Sabria also comes equipped with two thigh pockets. But they’re too small to be very useful – your phone will not fit in them.

The only complaint with them is their fit. There’s not a lot of giving in the waistband, which can make them uncomfortable if you don’t have the right body shape for them. There’s also a drawstring in the waistband, which is annoying because it’s clear there because the elastic in the waist was not made stretchy enough.

The Sabria is best suited for ladies who want high-performance gear and are willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfort to get it. Arc’teryx also produces a nearly identical version of them for men called the Sabers.

Arcteryx Sabria Pant Women Best Leggings For Hiking

Features and Spec:

  • Very lightweight, given their durability.
  • Repels water and dries quickly.
  • Has two thigh pockets.

11. Adidas Originals Women’s Trefoil Tights

Pulling inspiration from the archives, these tights put a new spin on Adidas heritage. Signature 3-Stripes down the sides are interrupted by contrast Adidas Trefoil logos.

They’re made of soft, stretchy jerseys for a comfortable feel. Excellent hiking piece of leggings. Which give you a skinny fit through hips and thighs.

adidas Originals Women Trefoil Tights

Features and Spec:

  • Skinny fit through hips and thighs
  • Skinny leg
  • Pull-on styling
  • Classic Adidas logo at ankle
  • Cotton/spandex
  • Machine washable

Best Tights and Leggings For Hiking for Unisex

1. Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Tights – Top Pick

Not quite ready for skin-tight hiking leggings? We get it. OR’s Radiant Hybrid Tights would be a great transition from pants to tights thanks to their looser fit. Get the durability of pants and the mobility of tights thanks to the polyester-spandex blend. And they are super comfortable.

Lightweight, quick-drying, and sweat-wicking qualities make these hiking tights an excellent choice for three-season adventures. They have Polygiene® anti-odour protection, too, for the benefit of you and your hiking buddies after a long, hot day on the trails.

Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Tights
s

Features and Spec:

  • 100% Polyester
  • Wicking, breathable
  • Hybrid mapped construction
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
  • Movement-mirroring stretch, anti-odor
  • 95% POLYESTER 5% SPANDEX KNIT
  • Radiant Hybrid construction
  • Radiant Fleece legs for maximum warmth, Radiant LT Fleece waist and inseam for maximum breathability
  • Machine Washable, no bleach, medium heat

2. Lululemon Align II Stretchy Pants

This legging is really popular. And that popularity is for a reason: these leggings are amazingly lightweight and comfortable. The “Nulu” fabric feels very soft and feels like you’re not wearing anything at all.

The high waist doesn’t come with elastic, instead, it features a reinforced waistband that feels very comfortable and keeps the legging from slipping down. The waistband also features a small pocket that permits you to carry cash or a credit card without anyone noticing it.

On the downside, the fabric is not particularly resistant, so we wouldn’t wear these in densely vegetated areas or on rocky trails. For the price, we would recommend caring for them well.

Lululemon Align Stretchy Yoga Pants - High-Waisted Design

Features and Spec:

  • High Rise, 25″ Inseam
  • The waistband lies flat and won’t dig in.
  • Waistband pocket
  • Sweat-wicking, four-way stretch, added Lycra fiber for stretch and shape retention

Best Tights and Leggings For Hiking for Men

1. 2XU Men’s Core Compression Tights

The quality of the material and the flatlock seams are excellent. According to 2XU, the tights have a circular knit which helps achieve a 360° graduated compression. At the ankle, the garment has a neat and clean hem. This is both comfortable and does not leave any marks on the skin when taken off.

The waist has a narrow elasticated band with a drawstring. This is our only gripe with the comfort as it tends to dig in a little, a thicker band would be better. Having said this they are attractive to wear giving some warmth too.

We personally find the graphics a little overkill but they may be to some people’s taste if not mine. Durability wise the compression has not deteriorated, but, if you do like the graphics you may be disappointed to hear they haven’t lasted as well. By 2XU’s own admission logos “may crack and discolor”.

2XU put forward plenty of advantages for using the tights, some more applicable to cycling than others. For example, we do not feel we have “heightened agility” whilst using the tights nor have they saved us from deep vein thrombosis.

We can say however that they do give a noticeable improvement to the speed of recovery. Given the technical application of the garment we were expecting to have some kind of instructions explaining how to get the best results, the 2XU website has no advice on the matter either. With or without instructions we have noticed improved recovery between sessions, albeit unquantifiable.

2XU Men Core Compression Tights Best Leggings For Hiking

Features and Spec:

  • Drawstring closure
  • Machine Wash
  • 72% Nylon / 28% Elastane (Invista LYCRA)
  • The only graduated compression technology has proven to improve performance and speed recovery
  • This item is made of our PWX (Power-Weight-Flex) signature fabric that provides an unparalleled combination of powerful compression, lightweight feel, and maximum flexibility
  • Drawstring elastic waistband for a secure and comfortable fit
  • Moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry and flatlock seams to help with chafe prevention
  • Antibacterial

Hiking Leggings or Hiking Pants?

Let’s face it. Hiking pants are more durable (their materials) and will help you during different conditions on a trail.

Bushes, rocks, thorns will be along your trail and pants will protect you. Leggings are less durable; they will tear apart easily and have no pockets.

Not that pockets are always an asset, since the more you put in your pockets, the more you make walking more difficult. That is why we use a backpack or chest-level holsters.

Nevertheless, hiking leggings (and tights), are elastic. That means way too easy to walk; it feels like almost wearing nothing.

When the weather gets cold, it is more comfortable to wear an extra pair of pants on top of them.

If the weather gets hot, you can easily roll them up, but you can do that too with your pants (if they have the special binders).

If it rains, get prepared for longer drying times. Walking through locations with lots of insects can be an adventure while wearing hiking leggings.

Finally, when you sweat a lot, it gets a bit sticky.

More: Hiking Shirts

Things To Consider When Buying Hiking Leggings

FABRIC

When selecting hiking leggings, or any kind of workout clothing for that matter, it is greatly important to consider the fabric! Did you know that cotton locks in sweat and other moisture?

You wouldn’t want to wear it on a hike. Instead, look for fabrics that are “moisture-wicking” and “quick-drying” like spandex and polyester. Almost all of the leggings on this list have these drying and cooling properties.

LENGTH

Hiking leggings also come in a number of different lengths. Perhaps you’re looking for full-length coverage, or maybe you want to show off a little calf action. When considering length, think about the kind of style you want to wear, but also the climate you will be hiking in.

For example, if you’re going to take on a bunch of dessert hikes, you probably want to opt for a shorter legging that will keep you cooler. The opposite is true if you plan to seek out peaks in cooler climates. For a general overview of how to choose hiking clothes, check out this helpful article from REI Expert Advice.

WAISTLINE

Think about how you like your everyday pants to fit. Are you the high-waisted type or do you like the hip-huggers? The waistlines on hiking leggings are designed to fall in several places along your torso, so before you buy, think about where your sweet spot is for comfort and confidence.

Make It Last: 3 Leggings Care Tips

Now that you’ve found the perfect pair of leggings, you want to make them last as long as possible.

  • Hang up or rinse immediately after hiking or working out. It’s tempting to wad up your sweaty leggings and toss them in the bottom of your bag, but take a few extra seconds to treat them with care. At the very least, hang them out to dry while you get changed and then lay them flat in your bag. Even better, give them a rinse to remove sweat and bacteria that can break down the materials.
  • Wash in cold water with mild detergent. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach, as these speed up the fabric breakdown and can inhibit the wicking properties. Consider using a specialty soap like our favorite Granger’s Active Wash.
  • Skip the dryer whenever possible to avoid overheating, stretching, and misshaping your favorite leggings. They’re made of quick-drying materials, so simply hang up or lay flat to dry.

Bottom Line

Hiking leggings and tights are a combination of the comfort women love in yoga pants and leggings and the durability of hiking pants. On the other hand, some ladies prefer hiking in pants with a looser fit and more durable material.

Whether you want a pair of pants that can stand up to anything or leggings that can double as a base layer, one of the hiking bottoms on our list is sure to fit your needs this season. However, our top pick for women is Montane Women’s Ineo Pro Jeggings and our top pick for men is 2XU Men’s Core Compression Tights.

Suit-wearng-by-waheed-ali

I’m Waheed Ali owner of humanlifeessentials.com. I’m is a professional writer and a true lover of dressing. I have a great experience of over 10+ years with shoes and clothes. I shared my experience and provide quality material for you.


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