Best Leggings for Hiking [2020 Update]

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Best Hiking Leggings for Women

Everbrand Sweatflow

Everbrand make some big bold claims with their marketing of these leggings designed specifically for hiking and backpacking. They dry faster, are less prone to odor-causing bacteria meaning you can hike in them for longer and further.

Testing them out on some pretty muggy hikes this summer, we can fully believe their bold claims. The Sweatflow leggings were by far the most comfortable leggings for women on our list and also outperformed the rest of the pack when it came to breathability/drying and style.

After multiple workouts down the gym, we can attest that whatever tech they’ve used in their leggings certainly does keep the ‘pong’ level down. Great for hiking, these are hugely comfortable leggings that you can wear continuously on a multi-day hiking adventure.

Best Hiking Leggings for Men

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Compressions

Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour 2.0 Leggings , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium

Not long ago, many men wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing leggings out on the mountain. Fast forward 20 years, and they’ve become popular hiking attire for a number of reasons.

From warmth and weather-resistance to compression and breathability, there are several things to look for in a great pair of hiking leggings. While very few provide the perfect combination of all of these attributes, Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Leggings hit the mark in nearly every category.

In addition to providing superior compression and support, the moisture-wicking fabric is soft, lightweight, breathable, and comfortable as can be. While more and more men’s hiking leggings are hitting the shelves these days, we’re confident these will allow you to get the most from trail running to a multi-day trek!

The 9 Best Leggings for Hiking in 2020

If you want to find the best hiking leggings we’ve done the research for you to narrow down the top 8 leggings for both men and women

Brian Connelly
Brian Connelly
Last Updated: July 17, 2020

Looking for the Best Hiking Leggings?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Why you need a pair of hiking leggings
    • What you should consider when buying.
    • Reviews of the best hiking leggings for women & men
    • Our unbiased recommendation on the best leggings for hiking

Ever trek up a mountain in inferior hiking pants, or even worse, in shorts or blue jeans? It was miserable, right? If your legs weren’t sweating from lack of airflow or all cut up from lack of protection, the waist band was probably riding up to your chest, or you suffered chafing in all the wrong places.

Fortunately, there are some terrific hiking leggings out there that solve these issues and more. Keep reading to learn more about today’s camping leggings, the differences between them, and how to choose the best hiking leggings to suit your body, climate, and outdoor pursuits!

We researched over 40 pairs of hiking leggings/tights and slowly narrowed down our list to just nine pairs – 5 for the ladies and 4 for the gents.

Hiking Leggings for Women

  • Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Tights
  • Merrell Women’s Soto Redux Leggings
  • Adidas Outdoor Women’s Hike Tights
  • Duofold Women’s Mid Weight Fleece Lined Thermal Legging
  • Everbrand Sweatflow Leggings

Hiking Leggings for Men

  • Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression Leggings
  • Mens Cool Weather Leggings with Zipper Pocket by X31 Sports
  • 2XU Men’s Compression Tights
  • Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermal Cycling Running Tights

What to Look For in Hiking Leggings

From material to fit and everything in between, there are a number of things to look for when picking leggings that are great for hiking and backpacking. That being said, here’s a look at some key considerations to keep in mind before you click the “Buy” button and hit the trail.

Check out our related guides on hiking clothing:

  • If you are new to outdoor adventure, then check out our guide to the best clothes to wear hiking.
  • If you are concerned that leggings will not adequately protect you from the elements, then consider pairing them with a pair of waterproof pants for hiking.
  • Don’t forget to protect your head by checking out our reviews in our quest to find the best hat for hiking.
  • If you are looking for a pair of warm hiking socks that won’t blister, then read our review.

Comfort and Fit

When shopping for hiking leggings, comfort and fit is paramount. They can feature the best breathable fabric or the warmest fleece lining, but if the fit is wrong and they’re not comfortable, then all of the other attributes go out the window.

Despite their form-fitting designs, different hiking tights will fit your body shape better than others. Some are ideal for long skinny legs and small bums, and others are ideal shorter legs and a more prominent caboose. Don’t want to try on a gazillion different pairs? Keep reading to learn more about the cut and comfort of some of today’s top hiking leggings.

Silhouette of a Woman Jumping Over Dirt Trail in Hiking Leggings


The best hiking leggings should stretch to conform to your physique for ultimate comfort and freedom of movement. Unlike traditional hiking pants, which provide protection for serious bushwhacking but tend to fit loose and flop around with each step, stretch hiking leggings should fit like a glove. However, keep in mind that some cheaper leggings can become somewhat see-thru once stretched. If you aren’t shy then maybe that isn’t a problem, but we would personally suggest spending a touch more money on quality leggings to keep your privates private.


One of the biggest bands of the avid hiker is chafing in all the wrong areas, with moisture AKA sweat being the main culprit. The best hiking leggings should be designed with fabric that are moisture-wicking – drawing the sweat away from the skin.

Gusseted Crotch

A gusseted crotch features an added piece of sewn-in material to prevent all four seams from converging in one spot down below, providing you with less restriction and greater comfort. Since the seams are located in different areas, the stress is dispersed allowing for more durability as well.

Flat Sewn Seams

Flat sewn seams are another critical feature of well-made pair of hiking leggings. Unlike traditional seams, they’re sewn flat against the legging fabric to minimize chafing and skin irritation around the ankles, waist and up the legs. Most hiking leggings feature this type of seam construction, but it’s best to double-check before hitting the trail in an inferior product.

Articulated Knees

Hiking leggings and pants should anatomically mimic the shape of your legs to comfortably hike varied terrain, traverse boulders, and kneel at camp. The cut should allow free movement, while not riding up or trying to twist while you walk.

mature backpacker on a mountain ridge in hiking tights


Compression hiking leggings are all the rage these days and for a good reason. Compression leggings are designed to reduce fatigue and improve your performance out on the trail. If you want to hike longer and feel better, compression leggings will help you do precisely that.


Many hiking leggings are breathable and not fully water-resistant, but others are. Unless they feature a special water-resistant coating, chances are you may have to choose between breathability and water and wind-resistance.


Pockets are a personal preference. You either like them for their utility or consider them a nuisance. If you want to have a space to store your keys, ID, and other essentials when out on the trail, you’ll be happy to know you’ll find plenty of hiking leggings with a side or thigh pocket to allow you to do precisely that.

Zipper Cuffs

Some hiking leggings have zippers down at the cuffs to make them much easier to put on and take off. This is more of a convenience feature, which you may or may not appreciate.

What are the Benefits of Hiking Leggings Over Traditional Hiking Pants or Trousers?

Hiking pants and trousers are great for bushwhacking and blazing trails through dense brush, but modern hiking leggings provide a number of unique benefits other types of pants just can’t match. For starters, many hiking leggings provide compression.

Hiking leggings with compression help increase endurance and minimize fatigue. Not all hiking leggings are designed for compression, but the ones that have a distinct advantage over traditional hiking pants concerning performance.

Unlike traditional hiking pants and trousers, hiking leggings also stretch to conform to your body and fit like a glove for ultimate comfort and freedom of movement. They’re slim, trim, and not baggy at all.

Then, there’s the breathability factor. Many hiking leggings are designed to provide plenty of airflow to keep your legs and bottom cool, dry, and sweat-free. The majority of these leggings are made of moisture-wicking stretch fabric to keep you comfortable and dry.

Some, on the other hand, are fleece-lined and designed for warmth. In fact, they’ll keep you warm in temps as low as 40 degrees, and even lower when worn as a base layer for colder weather.

What are the Downsides?

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about hiking leggings. However, there are a few downsides to trekking in these types of pants as well. For instance, they’re not great for bushwhacking and are likely to tear or get ripped if going off the beaten path.

Since many hiking leggings are designed for sweat-wicking breathability, the material is not always ideal for wet hiking adventures and environments. However, due to their slim nature, they pair brilliantly with a pair of rain pants, thus acting as a great base layer.

Furthermore, 99 percent of hiking leggings are black (ok this may be a bit of an exaggeration), so they get hot whenever the sun is beating down. Lastly, hiking legging options are slimmer for men than women. In fact, women probably have hundreds of more options, sizes, and prices to choose from.

Woman climbing on the rocky route up the mountain in hiking leggings

Why You Should NEVER Wear Cotton Leggings for Hiking

Cotton clothing is one of the worst things you could wear when hitting the trail. Why do you ask? The answer is simple: cotton absorbs moisture. Sweat is inevitable when hiking. If you’re wearing cotton leggings, moisture from your sweat will make them damp or wet.

When cotton gets wet, the air pockets within the fabric become filled with water, hindering its insulating ability. If you wear cotton when hiking in the cold rain or snow, you’ll clothing will get wet and stay wet, increasing your chances of hypothermia tenfold. Instead of walking or driving out of the wilderness on your own, you may end up medevacked or not come out at all. So don’t be tempted to pull out and go hiking in yoga pants made from cotton.

The Results

Everbrand Sweatflow Leggings

Best Hiking Leggings for Women

Everbrand makes some bold claims about their Sweatflow Leggings. Lab testing shows their EvDry fabric is 71% faster than their sweat-wicking peers and after several humid hikes we can believe this claim. In addition, their tech folks have embedded silver into the fabric to battle against odor-causing bacteria enabling you to wear them several days without washing – perfect for those longer backpacking and hiking adventures.

Whether you are going hiking, working out or just cleaning the house the Sweatflow leggings are incredibly comfortable. The flexibility in the fabric makes these leggings feel like second skin. There are no seams or pocket zippers to annoy your backside, or hips, as the pockets sit almost invisibly on the outer side of both thighs. Perfect for your phone or even a bottle of water.

As wonderful as they are, if we are to pick on them a little bit, then the inside-out style of seaming which makes them so comfy can be prone to a little bit of bobbling after multiple washes.

  • PROs

    • Moisture-wicking fabric dries super fast.
    • Anti-odor tech stops the leggings from smelling like a forgotten gym bag.
    • Amazing and comfortable fit with high wide waistband. No pinching & they are not see-through!
    • Portion of their profits goes to helping developing communities
    • Stash pocket for your phone
  • CONs

    • Seams can get a little ‘bobbly’ after multiple washes.
Bottom-Line: If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of lettings that can bear the brunt of several days of wear, then it’s difficult to see past Everbrand’s Sweatflow leggings. Definately our pick for lightweight leggings for summer and taking the overall title of best hiking leggings for women.

Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Women’s Leggings

Outdoor Research Women’s Radiant Hybrid Tights, Black, Large
  • Wicking, breathable
  • Hybrid mapped construction
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
  • Movement-mirroring stretch, anti-odor

Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Tights are a rare breed. Not only are they designed for mobility and breathability, but they’re made to keep you warm and comfortable on snow days as well. In this respect, they’re the ultimate hiking legging.

Midweight radiant fleece panels trap heat and keep your muscles warm and primed for peak performance in cooler weather. Meanwhile, lightweight, breathable radiant fleece panels in the waist and inseam allow heat to escape in all of the right places.

Nonetheless, if you’re hoping to find a pair of hiking tights to wear as a base layer underneath your pants, trousers, or jeans, these Outdoor Research Radiant Hybrid Tights aren’t for you. However, if you’re searching for the comfiest and warmest hiking leggings for winter use, chances are they won’t disappoint. In our opinion, probably the best warm leggings for winter.

  • PROs

    • Very comfortable and keeps legs super warm
    • Breathable, quick-drying & moisture-wicking fabric
    • Great stretch and movement
  • CONs

    • A little thicker than many hiking tights
    • Not ideal for hot weather hikes

Merrell Women’s Soto Redux

Merrell Women’s Soto Leggings
  • Design Features: Wide elastic waistband for comfortable fit
  • M Select WICK keeps moisture off of your skin and dries quickly
  • Run-Ready – flatlock stitching reduces chafing
  • Slim Fit – body hugging design
  • Pockets: Interior at waistband

If you live in a warm climate or just want a great pair of summer day hike leggings, it’s hard to go wrong with Merrell’s Women’s Soto Redux Leggings. The breathable stretch fabric is made of 100 percent polyester M Select WICK for a superior breathable & moisture-wicking fabric.

With flatlock stitching and a wide waistband as well, they’re also super comfortable and designed to minimize chafing. Plus, they come in adorable bold print rather than dull black, so you’ll look good and feel good when out on the trail.

On the downside, Merrell Women’s Soto Redux don’t provide compression, and they’re also not ideal for women with larger bottoms. That being said, they’re perfect for working out, running, or hiking with friends.

  • PROs

    • Look great with adorable print
    • Very lightweight, soft, and comfortable
    • Super stretchy and moisture-wicking
    • Wide waistband for comfortable fit
  • CONs

    • Not ideal for women with larger bottoms
    • No compression

Adidas Outdoor Women’s Hike Tights

adidas Women’s Terrex Hike Tights
  • Durable Water Protection (DWR) sheds rain and snow, quick-drying. Stretch…
  • Durable Water Protection (DWR) sheds rain and snow, quick-drying
  • Stretch fabric

The Adidas Outdoor Women’s Hike Tights are right up there with some of the best cold-weather tights in the business. These stretchy and supple hike tights are fleece-lined and feature Adidas’s ClimaWarm fabric to maintain warmth and regulate the temperature in cold climates. In warmer weather, however, you’ll be burning up, so check the weather report before heading out to the trailhead.

Worried about keeping dry? Weather resistance is at the forefront of their design as this model is designed with front overlays to repel cold, wind, and rain to keep you warm and dry.

Adidas Outdoor Women’s Hike Tights also fit exceptionally well and feel great on your skin. With stretch polyester and jersey fabric, they’re soft and provide excellent freedom of movement for traversing any terrain.

  • PROs

    • Excellent thermal insulation and warm fleece lining
    • Water resistant thanks to overlays
    • Stretch fabric for freedom of movement
  • CONs

    • Only suited for cold climates

Duofold Women’s Mid Weight Fleece Lined Thermal Legging

Duofold Women’s Mid Weight Fleece Lined Thermal Legging
  • Quick drying Vapor technology evaporates moisture fast
  • Brushed fabrication helps prevent the loss of body heat and provides warmth…
  • Stretch for ease of movement
  • Chafe-resistant super soft stitching helps keep you comfortable

These thermal Duofold tights are another excellent option for frigid weather conditions. The inside of these Duofold’s are fleece-lined and feature Varitherm technology, which is a brushed thermal layer of insulation designed to trap body heat and keep you warm.

Like any good product should be, they also evaporate moisture and are quick-drying, so you can hike for miles on end in the Pacific Northwest and feel like you’re down in the Arizona desert. When you factor in the Duofold’s excellent stretch polyester and Spandex construction, pull-on closure, and soft chafe-resistant stitching, there are plenty of reasons to add them to your collection of hiking gear.

That being said, not all hiking pants are great for everyone, and these Duofold Women’s Mid-Weight Fleece-Lined Thermal Leggings are no exception. Also being a little too thick and warm for use in hot temps, they have a longer crotch area, so they’re best suited for women with longer torsos.

  • PROs

    • Really warm and comfortable for cool weather hiking and camping
    • Very stretchy for more exceptional comfort, fit, and movement
  • CONs

    • Not ideal for hot weather or women with short torsos

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression

Best Hiking Tights (Men’s)

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour 2.0 Leggings , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium
  • Tough, lightweight HeatGear fabric, with all the performance benefits of UA…
  • Stretch-mesh gusset & inseam panels deliver strategic ventilation
  • Updated ergonomic design keeps seams off high abrasion areas & increases…
  • 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
  • Material wicks sweat & dries really fast

Whether you live in the Sonoran Desert or like merely making the most of the summertime with grueling summer hiking in the heat of July, Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Amour Tights have your back.

Not only do they fit super tight for superior compression and support, but their soft, lightweight construction makes them super comfortable as well. They’re also breathable to provide ample airflow when it’s high noon and 90 degrees outside.

Despite not being designed for colder weather, they still provide plenty of warmth when the temp’s dip, so they’re great for overnight camping trips as well.

  • PROs

    • Great for hot weather
    • Very breathable
    • Excellent compression
  • CONs

    • Not ideal for freezing conditions

X31 Sports Mens Cold Weather Tights

X31 Sports Mens Running Tights, Cycling Pants, Cold Weather Leggings with Zipper Pocket (Black, Medium)
  • STAY WARM: Cold weather during winter workouts shouldn’t deter you from your…
  • EASY TO PUT ON: Ankle zippers and a silicone grip hem make these leggings a…
  • NEVER LOSE YOUR KEYS AGAIN: A rear zipper pocket in the back, makes for a…
  • STAY SAFE WHILE OUTDOORS: Reflective strips along the lower leg, and reflective…
  • SYLISH AND FUNCTIONAL: Fashionable and functional without breaking the bank….

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the X31 Sports Men’s Cold-Weather is designed to keep your legs nice and warm for sufficient blood flow and improved performance during wintertime treks.

The nifty cold-weather tights are made of a superior spandex and polyester blend for stretch and breathability and feature ankles zippers, an internal drawstring, and a unique silicone beading along the hem, making them extremely easy to put on and take off as well.

To top it all off, a rear zipper stash pocket and reflective details are also included. These features are a surprisingly lovely finishing touch, especially considering X31’s are on the lower end of the price scale. If you want a great, all-around pair of winter model, these may be the right fit for you. Our pick for the mens best leggings for colder weather.

  • PROs

    • Very warm for winter hikes and workouts
    • Wide-variety of thoughtful design features
    • Fit and feel great
  • CONs

    • Reflective strip would be better served on the back of the calves, not the front

2XU Men’s Compression Tights

2XU Men’s Core Compression Tights, Black/Silver, Large
  • 72% Nylon / 28% Elastane (Invista LYCRA)
  • Imported
  • The only graduated compression technology proven to improve performance and…
  • This item is made of our PWX (Power-Weight-Flex) signature fabric that provides…
  • Drawstring elastic waistband for secure and comfortable fit

Looking for quality mens winter leggings? If so, the Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermal Tights may be worth a look. Made of a stretchy, moisture-wicking Lycra spandex material and featuring a soft and warm fleece-lined interior, they provide long-lasting comfort and warmth when trekking, skiing, running or doing any winter outdoor sports.

These well-made thermals also come with several reflective elements for low-light visibility, gel padding in the crotch for cycling, a zippered rear pocket, and zippers on the legs that make putting them on and taking them off a breeze.

Unfortunately, the fit of the Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermals is better suited for tall and lanky body types. If you’re short and stocky, be forewarned. Other than that, they knock it out of the park.

  • PROs

    • Warm and great for the winter
    • Wide-variety of features and excellent design details
  • CONs

    • Sizes run a little large

Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Tights

BALEAF Men’s Thermal Running Cycling Tights Athletic Outdoor Compression Pants for Bike
  • Lightweight,Stretchy, breathable fabric wick sweats away
  • Soft fleece inside provides long lasting warmth and comfort
  • Reflective elements for visibility in low light
  • Leg zippers for easy off and on, provide great convenience
  • Ideal for cycling, running, Hiking,climbing,skiing and other winter outdoor…

Looking for quality mens winter leggings? If so, the Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermal Tights may be worth a look. Made of a stretchy, breathable Lycra spandex material and featuring a soft and warm fleece-lined interior, they provide long-lasting comfort and warmth when trekking, skiing, running or doing any winter outdoor sports.

These well-made thermals also come with several reflective elements for low-light visibility, gel padding in the crotch for cycling, a zippered rear pocket, and zippers on the legs that make putting them on and taking them off a breeze.

Unfortunately, the fit of the Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermals is better suited for tall and lanky body types. If you’re short and stocky, be forewarned. Other than that, they knock it out of the park.

  • PROs

    • Warm and great for the winter
    • Wide-variety of features and excellent design details
  • CONs

    • Fit is designed for tall and lanky body types

Last update on 2020-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API