Best Hot-Weather Hiking Pants For Staying Cool on the Trail

Nothing spoils a summer hike like being sweaty and uncomfortable. Explore our guide to the best hot-weather hiking pants to avoid trail discomfort.

Gaby Avatar
Written by: | Reviewed by: Kieran James Cunningham
Last Update:

Staying cool during hot weather hikes requires the right attire. While many trekking pants are available, not all provide the necessary breathability for warm conditions. For the perfect option for your summertime adventures, we’ve compiled a guide to the most moisture-wicking and breathable pants for hot weather.

We selected the Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2 as our top choice for hot-weather hikes and recommend the Prana Stretch Zion, Arc’teryx Lefroy, Outdoor Research Ferrosi, Marmot Arch Rock, Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer, Helly Hansen Tinden Light, KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible, Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible, Prana Halle, and The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible as well.

In addition to explaining our 11 favorite options, we also discuss key factors to look out for when searching for hiking pants for summer, including breathability & ventilation, fit, mobility & comfort, materials, versatility & style, and weight.

My Open Country Store Tee Banner Ad

Which are the best hiking pants for hot weather?

We’ve reviewed the following pairs of lightweight hiking pants for hot weather in our quest to find the best.

  • Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2
  • Prana Stretch Zion
  • Arc’teryx Lefroy
  • Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
  • Marmot Arch Rock Pants
  • Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Pants
  • Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants
  • KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible
  • Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible
  • Prana Halle Pant
Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Chockstone/2 Pant, Black Sage, 28 x 32

Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2

Editor’s Choice

A favorite among fans, the Mountain Hardwear Chockstone/2 is also our top choice for hot-weather hiking pants.

As one of the most technical trousers in the company’s lineup, the Chockstone/2 is an ideal choice for a range of activities. For starters, they’re made with a nylon/elastane blend fabric with a UPF 50 rating for overall functionality.

Additionally, the Chockstone/2 has a removable belt for the perfect fit and a harness-compatible waist for alpine adventures. It also comes with a gusseted seat for mobility and an adjustable cord at the hem if you want to cinch them around your ankles for ventilation.

That being said, the Chockstone/2 is one of the most expensive pairs of trousers in our review, which is a bit of a disappointment. Nevertheless, if you’re okay with spending more for quality, these pants are a worthy choice.

  • PROs

    • Adjustable belt for a better fit
    • Very stretchy fabric
    • Gusseted crotch provides increased mobility
    • Harness compatible waist for vertical adventures
  • CONs

    • Fairly pricey

Bottom-Line: A solid all-around performer in warm conditions, it’s hard to find fault with the Chockstone/2.

prAna Men's Standard Stretch Zion Pant, Charcoal, 32W x 30L

Prana Stretch Zion

Best for Versatility

A versatile option for hot-weather hiking, the stylish Prana Stretch Zion is an ideal choice for all-weather adventures.

They’re made with Prana’s Stretch Zion fabric, which mixes nylon and spandex for added performance and mobility in hot weather. Furthermore, they feature UPF50+ sun protection to shield you from harmful UV rays.

In addition to their PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) treatment, these trousers are also quick drying. That makes them ideal for occasional drizzles on the trail. These roll-up pants also have a ventilated inseam gusset to provide increased breathability as you hike.

The downside to these trousers is that their fabric is a bit on the thick side. However, most folks will find that this is offset by the Zion’s exceptional breathability and handy ventilation features, both of which make them a great option for warm conditions nonetheless.

  • PROs

    • Built-in ventilation
    • Eco-friendly DWR treatment for water-resistance
    • Quick-dry design
    • Comfy Stretch Zion fabric (97% nylon, 3% spandex)
  • CONs

    • Fabric is a bit thick for summer trousers

Bottom-Line: If you need a pair of pants that’s versatile enough for all your outdoor activities, the Prana Stretch Zion are a sure bet. 

Arc'teryx Lefroy Pant Men's

Arc’teryx Lefroy

Best for Breathability

When breathability is your priority, we recommend the Arc’teryx Lefroy as a solid choice.

These high-quality trousers are ideal for hiking in hot weather because they’re made with Fair Trade Certified Aequara AirPerm fabric. This fabric has a high percentage of elastane to provide increased breathability and stretch as you hike.

Furthermore, Aequara AirPerm fabric is designed to wick sweat to keep you cool during high-octane pursuits. It also has a gusseted crotch and articulated knees to ensure that you have full range of motion at all times.

Do keep in mind, however, that the Lefroy doesn’t have DWR or a UPF rating. As such, it may not provide a lot of sun protection or be as water-resistant as other models on our list. But if ventilation and quick-drying abilities are your key concerns, the Arc’teryx Lefroy is a winner.

  • PROs

    • Fair Trade Certified fabric and production
    • Very stretchy Aequara AirPerm fabric (86% nylon, 14% elastane)
    • Crotch gusset and articulated knees provide extra mobility
  • CONs

    • No DWR treatment for water-resistance
    • Doesn’t have a UPF rating

Bottom-Line: They may not be ideal in rainy conditions, but in warm weather, the Arc’teryx Lefroy truly come into their own.

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants, 32” Inseam – Climbing & Multi-Sport Pant

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Best for Sunny Conditions

If sun is forecasted for your next hike, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants are our top choice.

Built using Outdoor Research’s famous Ferrosi fabric, these trousers are both highly breathable and stretchy as can be. Their blended nylon/spandex construction also boasts a UPF 50+ sun protection rating, so they’re perfect for hiking in hot climates or users particularly concerned about protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

That said, the Ferrosi trousers aren’t just for those super-sunny conditions alone. In fact, their DWR treatment makes them water-resistant and quick-drying enough for hiking in light rain showers. Plus, they offer a zippered thigh pocket for gear storage and a harness-compatible waist for alpine ascents.

The Ferrosi are a bit too thin for use in cool and windy conditions. Nevertheless, if you plan to stick to summertime adventures, it’s hard to find any further fault. 

  • PROs

    • UPF 50+ sun protection
    • Very stretchy fabric for range of motion
    • DWR-treated fabric 
    • Highly breathable materials 
  • CONs

    • Thin fabric isn’t very versatile or rugged

Bottom-Line: These highly breathable UPF 50+ trousers are ideal for use in especially warm temps.

Arch Rock Pant Short Desert Khaki

Marmot Arch Rock Pants

Best for Variable Weather

The Marmot Arch Rock Pants are our preferred choice for variable weather, offering a lightweight design that remains waterproof to keep you cool and dry in any condition.

These abrasion-resistant pants are made with bluesign-approved fabric with a UPF 50 rating for superior all-mountain, all-weather performance. They also have articulated knees for freedom of movement and a slew of front, thigh, and back pockets for gear storage.

At the same time, the Arch Rock Pants have a DWR finish to keep you dry in inclement weather and dry as quickly as any other pants we’ve ever had the pleasure of pulling over our pins.

While some folks might find that the fabric in these trousers is a bit noisy on the trail, most hikers will be too focused on the scenery to notice. Ultimately, these trousers are a reliable choice for variable conditions during the hotter months of the year.

  • PROs

    • DWR finish for water-resistance
    • UPF 50 rating provides protection from the sun
    • Bluesign-approved material (94% nylon, 6% elastane)
    • Excellent range of motion
  • CONs

    • Fabric can be a little noisy

Bottom-Line: When the weather doesn’t want to cooperate during the summer months, the Marmot Arch Rock Pants should be your go-to gear.

Fjällräven Abisko Midsummer Trousers Savanna/Light Olive 48 (US Mens 32) R

Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer Pants

Best for Durability

If you’re tired of trekking pants that wear out after a few seasons on the trail, then the durable Fjallraven Abisko are the pants you’ve been looking for.

These durable hot-weather hiking pants are made from award-winning G-1000 Air Stretch fabric (65% polyester, 35% cotton). This quick-drying material is exceptionally breathable and is made from recycled polyester for eco-friendliness.

Furthermore, Fjallraven crafted these trousers with zippered vents on each pant leg that provide all the breathability you need on a hot-weather hike. This pair of hiking pants also has some of the best pockets we’ve ever seen, including two front cargo pockets on the thigh.

With that in mind, the Fjallraven Abisko are far from cheap and they’re not water-resistant unless you treat them with Greenland wax. Nevertheless, if durability is your chief concern, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better.

  • PROs

    • Highly durable G-1000 Air Stretch Fabric
    • Eco-friendly materials
    • One cargo pocket on each thigh
    • Zippered side vents
  • CONs

    • No built-in DWR coating
    • Fairly pricey

Bottom-Line: Burly as can be, in tough terrain the Fjallraven Abisko Midsummer are some of the best lightweight hiking pants for hot weather.

Helly-Hansen Mens Tinden Lightweight Mountain Pant

Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants

Best for Freedom of Movement

If you enjoy maximum freedom to move while cruising up the trail, the Helly Hansen Tinden Light Pants are just the ticket for you.

With these high-quality trousers, Helly Hansen used 100% polyamide fabric. As a result, they feature a lightweight construction and 4-way stretch without skimping on durability. 

Additionally, the Tinden Light has an integrated belt, articulated knees, and a gusseted crotch for an improved fit. For added convenience, these trousers also come with two front and rear pockets so you can safely stash all your essential items on the go.

However, the Helly Hansen Tinden Light don’t have a UPF rating, nor any DWR coating for rain-resistance. As such, they’re best for situations where range of motion is your main priority.

  • PROs

    • Super stretchy polyamide fabric to keep you cool
    • Great selection of pockets
    • Integrated belt for adjustability
    • Articulated patterning provides a better fit
  • CONs

    • No UPF rating
    • Doesn’t have a DWR treatment

Bottom-Line: They might not be the best in rainy conditions, but the Helly Hansen Tinden Light is second to none in terms of stretch and comfort.

KUHL Renegade Convertible Pants

KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible

Best Convertible Pants

Offering functionality and durability, the convertible KUHL Renegade Cargo is a trekker’s best friend in sunny locales.

They’re made with a DURALUX fabric that combines nylon and spandex for both stretch and abrasion-resistance. The Renegade are also rated to UPF 50 and they have a DWR coating to help keep you dry in a drizzle.

The best part about these trousers is their convertible pant legs, which use KUHL’s incredibly convenient, easy-to-use STEALTH zippers to simplify the on/off conversion. Meanwhile, these zippers stow away nicely when not in use to give you a stylish trouser in colder temperatures.

Some folks do find that the zippers on these convertible pant legs rest a little too low on the thigh for comfort. However, if you plan to use them mostly in shorts mode anyway, this might not be a major concern.

  • PROs

    • Highly abrasion-resistant DURALUX fabric
    • UPF 50 protection from UV rays
    • Converts from full-length pants to shorts
  • CONs

    • Zippers are sometimes too low on the thigh for comfort

Bottom-Line: For folks who value both durability and versatility, a rugged option like the KUHL Renegade Cargo Convertible is well worth considering.

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Convertible Pant Grill Pants 28 X 32

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible

Best Value

For budget-conscious hikers, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible zip-off pants offer great value.

Designed for functionality, these convertible pants are made with OMNI-SHADE fabric to keep you cool on the trail. This fabric is as moisture-wicking as it gets and it has UPF 50 protection against harmful UV rays.

Furthermore, Columbia crafted these trousers with breathability in mind, using several built-in mesh panels for ventilation on the go. They also come with 2 hand pockets, two zippered pockets at the back, and one thigh pocket for gear storage.

Although these trousers are a pretty solid deal, however, they don’t offer any water-resistance. They’re also not very stretchy, meaning they offer less mobility than other items on our list. Nevertheless, when affordability is a priority, the Silver Ridge Convertible are well worth a place on your list.

  • PROs

    • Built-in mesh panels for breathability
    • Plenty of hand, thigh, and back pockets
    • Superb moisture-wicking abilities
  • CONs

    • Fabric isn’t very stretchy
    • No water-resistance

Bottom-Line: A practical and functional low-cost option that doesn’t compromise excessively on performance.

prAna Women's Standard Halle Pant, Coal, 0

Prana Halle Pant

Best for Women’s Hiking

Finding women’s specific trekking trousers isn’t always easy, but the high-quality Prana Halle Pant is a must for ladies with a smaller frame.

Built out of the same Zion fabric used in Prana’s other award-winning pants, the Halle are stretchy, lightweight pants ideal for all keen adventurers. It is quick to dry, rated to UPF 50+, and fantastically durable, so it’s a nice option for long days in hot locales.

For extra functionality, Prana also crafted these trousers with a roll-up leg. As a result, you get all the style and benefits of full-length trousers with the option to roll up your pant leg in very warm conditions.

Like many pairs of women’s trousers, however, the Halle has a fairly narrow fit, so won’t be ideal for everyone. But if durability, versatility, and breathability sound awesome to you and you don’t mind a slightly tighter fit, the Halle Pant might be just what you need.

  • PROs

    • Roll-up leg for extra ventilation 
    • UPF 50+ protection from the sun
    • Nicely stretchy fabric
    • Women’s specific design
  • CONs

    • Fit is quite narrow, so it’s not ideal for folks of all body shapes

Bottom-Line: For a women’s trekking trouser that’s as functional as it is stylish, the Prana Halle Pant is in a class of its own.

THE NORTH FACE Men's Paramount Trail Convertible Pants, Twill Beige, 30 Regular

The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible

Quickest-Drying

In hot, muggy conditions, quick-dry trousers are a must, with The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible ready for any adventure, rain or shine.

Engineered out of lightweight FlashDry fabric, the Paramount Trail is a great choice for outdoor activities. Their breathable fabric is designed to dry quickly to help wick away moisture as you cruise toward the summit.

Meanwhile, the trousers’ zip-off legs allow you to seamlessly transition into shorts when the sun is out in full force. Regardless of whether you’re in pants or shorts mode, the Paramount Trail also boasts a gusseted crotch and an integrated belt for an improved fit and increased mobility.

While these trousers might be great at drying off after a light rain, their lack of thigh pockets leaves a lot to be desired. Lack of pockets aside, however, it’s very hard to find fault with these very trail-worthy and comfortable pants.

  • PROs

    • FlashDry fabric is very quick to dry
    • Zip-off legs for added breathability
    • Gusseted crotch for freedom of movement
    • Integrated belt allows for a better fit
  • CONs

    • Poor selection of pockets

Bottom-Line: Inclement weather and muggy trail conditions can’t hold you back with The North Face Paramount Trail Convertible.

What to look for in summer hiking pants?

Trekking trousers might seem like your run-of-the-mill pants. However, there’s a whole lot of technology that goes into designing the perfect hot-weather trousers for mountain pursuits. Here are some key things to look for as you shop for trekking pants for hot weather.

  • Breathability & Ventilation
  • Fit, Mobility & Comfort
  • Materials
  • Versatility & Style
  • Weight

Breathability & Ventilation

If you’re planning on trekking in hot conditions, the breathability and ventilation of your hiking pants are of utmost importance. Therefore, pay particular attention to the following ventilation-focused features as you shop.

  • Built-in side vents with zippers
  • Mesh paneling in the crotch gusset
  • Fabrics with high percentages of spandex
  • Moisture-wicking fabrics
  • Roll-up legs for ventilation
  • Zip-off legs (a.k.a. convertible trousers)

Each of these features allows for increased breathability on the trail, either by wicking away moisture or allowing for ample airflow to your legs. So, if ventilation is a concern, keep an eye out for these features as you shop.

RELATED: Best Mountaineering Pants

Fit, Mobility & Comfort

While fit, mobility, and comfort are subjective, the design of some trekking trousers are more likely to provide all-day comfort in high temperatures.

In particular, comfort-focused trousers for hot weather will often have a crotch gusset or articulated patterning around the knees to improve mobility. Both of these features help give trousers a more natural ergonomic shape, improve your range of motion, and provide more airflow.

Furthermore, you’ll want to look for models that have a high quantity of spandex in their fabric. That’s because spandex is super stretchy and allows for unrestricted movement while you hike.

hiking wearing bright red hiking pants and green shoes
Fjallraven typically style their articulated knees in a darker shade to the main trousers – like it or loathe it, they do provide great mobility

Material

The majority of trousers designed for outdoor activities are made with materials such as nylon, spandex (a.k.a elastane), and polyester. Most companies craft pants using a blend of these fabrics, creating a comfortable yet durable option for mountain environments.

Pants with high nylon content are typically the most rugged and durable, while those with a high polyester content are usually the most breathable. 

Whichever type you choose, it’s important to look for a model with a large percentage of spandex in their fabric. That’s because spandex is both highly breathable and really stretchy—two characteristics that are prized when trekking in the heat.

hiker wearing dark hiking pants with draw string bottoms

Versatility & Style

When it comes to hot-weather hiking pants, versatility and style become important for wearing them off the trail as well as on, or for converting them from pants to shorts with convertible models.

Straight-leg models are your standard type of trousers, so they’re versatile enough to wear on a regular basis. They’re designed to completely cover your leg, though they can be rolled up at the ankle in hot weather.

Alternatively, convertible trousers have zip-off legs that allow them to change into shorts. These are useful if you expect that on-trail conditions will change so much that wearing trousers is just impractical. However, convertible trousers usually aren’t overly stylish and might not be the most suitable for that post-hike date or visit to the in-laws!

Weight

The weight of your trousers is a concern for hot-weather hiking as it is directly linked to breathability.

Thin, lightweight fabrics tend to be the most breathable option, which is ideal if you’re trekking in hot weather. However, buying pants made with lightweight materials often means compromising on durability and ruggedness. Such models, of course, are generally less versatile because they lack the insulation needed outside of the summer season. 

This being so, if you think that you may want to use your trousers throughout a range of adventures and not just in hot weather, you’ll need to find a nice balance between fabric weight and breathability.

hiking pants and boots in utah
Choosing a thinner lighter fabric is generally a good idea in hot weather conditions

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

My Open Country Store Tee Banner Ad
Gaby Avatar

Gaby is a professional polar guide, wilderness medicine instructor, and freelance writer with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She splits her time between the northern and southern hemispheres, chasing the midnight sun and helping others get outside to experience some of the world’s most beautiful places.

As an outdoor educator, Gaby is passionate about making the outdoors as accessible as possible for anyone looking to get into the mountains or out on the water. She is a certified Polar Guide, an AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Course Provider, a NOLS instructor, and an accomplished climbing guide with a penchant for telemark skiing.

When she’s not hanging out with penguins in Antarctica or scouting for polar bears in the Arctic, you can find Gaby backpacking in Wyoming’s Wind River Range or drinking debatably excessive amounts of espresso and reading French existentialism in a quirky café.

Email - Instagram - Personal Website

Leave a Comment