Hiking in winter can throw up some pretty tough conditions so it’s imperative that you have the right gear and attire to protect you. Hiking pants for winter need to be durable with a few special features to protect you from the cold. The best winter hiking pants are generally windproof and waterproof to keep you safe on the trail. Unlike regular hiking pants, cold weather hiking pants are fleece lined and insulated to provide you with extra warmth.
While the best snowshoes for hiking will keep your feet warm, you want to be sure that your hiking pants for snow keep you warm too. Some of the best waterproof hiking pants also double up as good hiking pants for winter. Combined with the best underwear for hiking, you can be sure you’ll have a memorable time on the trail.
How To Choose The Best Hiking Pants For Winter
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes down to choosing hiking pants for winter with the wide choice that’s out there. However, as with any winter gear that you buy, whether you’re looking at the best snowshoes for kids or the best-heated socks for skiing, there are certain features that you need to keep in mind to get the most out of your gear.
Like we stated earlier, winter can throw up some unpleasant weather conditions so it’s important that your hiking pants for winter are weatherproof. There are several features that contribute to good weatherproofing that is an added bonus in winter.
- Windproof or Wind resistant – This important for keeping the winter chills out. While wind-resistant hiking pants will provide some kind of protection they won’t keep the wind from penetrating your core like windproof hiking pants.
- Water-resistant or water repellent – Some fabrics are treated with durable water repellent (DWR) that prevents light rain or snow from seeping in. However, these hiking pants for winter treated with DWR will not keep you dry in wetter conditions.
- Waterproof – If you’re going to be hiking in heavy snow or heavy rain for a longer time then it’s best to get waterproof hiking pants. Some hiking pants for snow have a waterproof breathable membrane like GORE-TEX to provide extra protection from the elements.
Even though you’ll want to be snug in the winter, the best winter hiking pants are those that are warm yet breathable. When you’re out on the trail you don’t want to be uncomfortable with gear that feels too heavy or overheats. Apart from the breathability, it’s also important that your pants fit well yet leave enough room for layering underneath. Pants that fit too snug or are too baggy can cause discomfort. A gusseted crotch and articulated knees are an added bonus as these will enhance mobility.
Whether you go for insulated hiking pants for winter is a matter of personal choice. That being said, it’s a better idea to avoid insulated pants if you’re hiking as this can lead to sweating and overheating. Insulated pants are ideal for activities where you’ll spend a fair amount of time sitting. The best winter hiking pants come with an outer shell to provide the extra protection you’ll need in the chill.
Is It Necessary To Wear Waterproof Hiking Pants For Winter?
The kind of hiking pants that you choose will depend on the conditions that you plan to trek in. In areas that receive heavy snow or rainfall, you’ll do well to invest in waterproof hiking pants for snow. However, for drier conditions, water-resistant cold weather hiking pants are also good enough.
Are Snow Pants Good For Hiking?
As we mentioned above, pants that are insulated are not a good idea for hiking as they can get a little too warm on the trail. The best ski or Burton snowboard pants are generally insulated which is good for those conditions but not ideal for hiking.
Outdoor Research Men’s Cirque Pant
Outdoor Research is a renowned name in outdoor clothing and the Men’s Cirque Pant is a testament to why the brand is so popular. These hiking pants for winter are built for high-energy climbing, hiking, and skiing in alpine environments. You’ll find them in both the men’s and women’s stores, so if you’re looking for women’s winter hiking pants these are an excellent choice.
They are durable with a soft shell and also highly breathable. The stretch woven fabric is excellent for high-mountain conditions as its double weave is breathable as well as wind and weather resistant.
Zippered thigh pockets are convenient for your energy bars, maps, and phone. Also, the trim fit with a gusseted crotch allows for dynamic movement without hindering your progress.
- Stretch woven fabric
- Double weave and breathable
- Wind resistant
- Zippered hand pockets, thigh pocket, and back pocket
- Gusseted crotch
- Quite pricey
Fjallraven – Men’s Keb Trousers Regular
Though the price on the Fjallraven Men’s Keb Trousers may be a little hard to swallow, these technically advanced trekking trousers are worth it. The attention to detail is what makes these pants one of the best hiking pants for winter. They have an optimized fit with a pre-shaped rear and knees.
The strong seams on these provide just the right balance for durability and mobility. What sets these apart from most hiking pants is the G-1000 Eco fabric at the rear and front of the legs that enhances mobility. The G-1000 fabric is a tightly woven fabric that has wind and water resistance. Reinforced fabric at the knees and inside the bottom of the legs adds to the durability.
A connecting fabric panel on the inside of the thigh reduces chafing and wear. Also, a zippered opening from knee to hip and along the calf releases excess heat so you won’t be uncomfortable on your hike.
A strap adjustment with a button and hook at the end of the trousers is a convenient addition for securing your hiking boots or ski boots. Multiple pockets on these pants provide good storage options.
- G-1000 fabric that protects from wind and water
- G-1000 Eco fabric at rear and legs to aid mobility
- Reinforced knees and bottom of legs
- Connecting fabric panel to reduce chafing and wear
- Multiple pockets
- Couldn’t find much to fault about these impressive winter hiking pants
Columbia Men’s Bugaboo IV
The advanced internal materials on the Columbia Men’s Bugaboo IV pants ensure you’ll be warm on a cold hike. With the chamois touch tricot lining, these pants can be worn all day in any cold environment. They’re also breathable so you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable if it gets too warm.
The patented Omni-Heat reflective garments provide the ultimate heat management in the outdoors. You’ll find a metallic dot pattern on the interiors, designed to retain heat. At the same time, the breathable fabric dissipates moisture to keep you cool.
With the Omni-Tech technology, you’ll get waterproof, breathable protection from the elements plus warmth. These pants are also designed to give you a perfect fit with the exterior adjustable waist and internal leg gaiters. Zippered front hand pockets provide you with storage convenience.
- LIght insulation
- OmniHeat technology
- Adjustable waist
- Internal leg gaiters
- Zippered front hand pockets
- Comfortable fit
- The legs are a bit baggy so for someone who prefers a slim fit these may not be ideal
Camel Crown Women’s Waterproof Softshell Fleeced Lined Hiking Hunting Trousers
Featuring windproof and IPX4 water resistance, the softshell Camel Crown Women’s Waterproof Fleece Lined Hiking Trousers are another excellent choice for women’s winter hiking pants. Made from a moisture-wicking breathable fabric these pants will leave you feeling quite comfortable.
They come with a skin-friendly, anti-static, thickened fleece lining that makes them an excellent choice for the cold outdoors. Hiking in these cold-weather hiking pants is comfortable as they feature a partially elasticized waist and gusseted crotch. In addition to this, you’ll find 3D knee articulation that enhances mobility.
When it comes to keeping your small items safe, two zipper insulated hand pockets on the sides and a convenient back zipper pocket provides enough space. These definitely stand out as one of the best winter hiking pants as they’re big on comfort, durability and are easy to maintain.
- Elastic waist
- Zipper pockets
- Fleece lining
- Articulated knees
- Gusseted crotch
- With these pants too the size seems to be an issue
Arctix Women’s Sarah Fleece Lined Softshell Pants
Women will love the warmth that the Arctix Women’s Sarah Fleece Lined Softshell Snow Pants provide. These pants are lightweight but warm enough to allow a wide range of movement. The multi-layered construction makes them one of the best women’s winter hiking pants.
It features abrasion-resistant and wind-resistant protection plus a soft, brushed inner face for retention of warmth. Reinforced critical seams keep you warm and dry while articulated knees protect as well enhance mobility.
Apart from the articulated knees, the stretch material also enhances mobility while staying breathable. Between the outer shell and insulation, you’ll find a unique moisture-wicking material to help you stay dry if you start sweating. Belt loops, boot gaiters, and handwarmer style pockets take the functionality up a couple of notches.
- Water and wind-resistant
- Boot gaiters with grippers
- High stretch for improved motion
- Breathable inner layer
- Handwarmer style pockets
- The sizing of the waist is a bit off as it can either feel a little tight or too loose
TBMPOY Men’s Snow Ski Waterproof Fleece Lined Hiking Pants
With its slim fit and flexible knee design, the TBMPOY Men’s Snow Ski Waterproof Fleece Lined Hiking Pants are ideal for the trail. This brand has three kinds of hiking pants, Thick 01 and 02 for cold conditions and the thinner 03 for warmer conditions.
Made from softshell polyester, the surface layer is both waterproof and windproof. The inner comfy fleece provides just the right warmth for chilly conditions. A flexible knee design enhances mobility, allowing for big movements on the trail.
The pants come with an adjustable belt with a stretchy waist that gives you the option of dispensing with the belt. Multiple pockets provide you with various storage options.
- Flexible knee design for better mobility
- Adjustable stretch waist
- Available in three styles
- Multiple pockets
- The snap button is not very efficient as it tends to pop open
Rdruko Women’s Waterproof Windproof Fleece Lined Hiking Pants
Another stylish yet functional pair of women’s winter hiking pants is the Rdruko Women’s Waterproof Windproof Fleece Lined Hiking Pants. With the fleece lining on these pants, you can be sure you’ll be warm and dry in cold weather. The windproof technology fabric also blocks the chilly air to keep you snug.
As far as comfort goes, the elastic waistband with belt loops allows you to adjust the pants for individual comfort. Added to this, the splicing design on the knees enhances mobility. Though the pants appear to be form-fitting, there is enough room to add a base layer if necessary. Four functional pockets make these pants a convenient option for the outdoors.
Once you’re done with your trek, you can throw them into the washing machine or hand wash them according to your preference.
- Fleece lining
- Windproof technology fabric
- Stylish design
- Four functional pockets
- Machine washable
- Splicing design
- Not durable for super rugged areas
Asfixiado Kids Fleece Lined Winter Hiking Outdoor Pants
If you’re looking for the best winter hiking pants for kids the Asfixiado Kids Fleece Lined Winter Hiking Outdoor Pants are a good option. Featuring a three-level lotus leaf water repellent softshell surface layer plus a quick-dry stretch mid-layer, your kids will stay dry and warm in these cold-weather hiking pants.
The inner layer is made from high-end fleece that not only provides warmth but keeps the kids dry. The loose-fitting pants are comfortable for kids engaged in hiking or other winter activities. They have an elastic adjustable waistband with a belt.
With the articulated knees and loose fit, your kids’ movements will not be hampered. The boot fit design and wear-resistant film in the knee area prevent cold from entering.
- Inner layer made from high-end fleece
- Boot fit design prevents cold from entering
- Loose-fitting with an adjustable elastic waistband
- Articulated knees with wear-resistant film
- The hook on the waist is a little flimsy
Tofern Women’s Winter Warm Breathable Hiking Pants
Made from a blend of Polyester and Spandex with a TPU membrane, the Tofern Women’s Winter Warm Breathable Hiking Pants are flexible and warm for the chill outdoors. The polar fleece lining makes them super warm making them ideal for temperatures below 0 degrees up to -10 degrees celsius. They’re also waterproof, windproof, and breathable.
That’s not all there is to these cold-weather hiking pants. The high-density elastic textile materials make them abrasion-resistant, anti-scratch, and tear-resistant. Additionally, the TPU moisture discharge membrane keeps you dry even if you get sweaty.
Big movements on the trail are also easy with these pants due to the 3D tailor technology. It allows you to move freely without restriction.
- Super warm polar fleece lining
- Waterproof, windproof, and breathable
- Abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant
- Moisture-wicking TPU membrane
- 3D tailor technology for better movement
- Not long enough for tall women
- Could do with more pockets
Jessie Kidden Mens Waterproof Hiking Pants
Durable and affordable, the Jessie Kidden Men’s Waterproof Hiking Pants are a great option for winter or the snow. The wear-resistant stretch nylon surface layer with a waterproof coating will provide effective protection from the snow. Besides this, they’re also insulated and windproof to give you the warmth that you’ll need in chilly conditions.
The inner layer is made from a skin-friendly warm fabric that also has superior moisture-wicking properties. When it comes to mobility, these warm, softshell pants score well on that front too with their articulated knees and ripstop fabrics. The fabric is also scratch-resistant and tear-resistant.
In addition to all this, the pants are big on storage with four large capacity pockets and two button back pockets.
- The three-stage waterproof outer shell
- Wear-resistant and scratch-resistant
- Multiple pockets
- Articulated knees
- Stylish, slim fit
- Fleece inner layer
- Not the right choice for someone on the heavier side
Toomett Women’s Snow Fleece-lined Soft Shell Insulated Hiking Pants
The best winter hiking pants are those that protect you well from wind and snow such as the Toomett Women’s Snow Fleece-lined Soft Shell Insulated Hiking Pants. The surface layer of these pants is made from a water repellent breathable coating. They also feature a high-end fiber fabric in the mid-layer and an inner polar fleece layer.
Whether you’re hiking or skiing, these hiking pants for cold weather will keep you well protected. With the adjustable elastic waistband on these, you won’t have to worry too much about finding the right fit. Apart from this, you’ll find patchwork knees with steric knee darts for better mobility.
Unique zippered cargo pockets on the thigh are a convenient option for your small necessities. There are also zippered front pockets as well as multi zipped pockets for your personal belongings. All in all, these stylish hiking pants for snow are ideal for a large number of outdoor activities.
- Water repellent surface layer
- Breathable coating
- High-end mid-layer fiber fabric
- Adjustable elastic waist
- Patchwork knees with steric knee darts
- Multiple zippered pockets
- The two different styles of these pants have two different fits so if you’re ordering two styles you need to be aware of that.
Mountain Hardwear Mens Yumalino Fleece-Lined Pant
Fully lined with microfleece, the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Yumalino Fleece-Lined Pants are an impressive pair of hiking pants for winter. Besides providing you with ample warmth, the lining also has moisture-wicking properties in case you get too warm.
In addition to the warmth, you’ll also be protected from light rain due to the DWR exterior finish. This helps repel water off your pants which adds to the durability. Hiking in these pants is easy as the four-way durable stretch fabric combined with a full-length inseam gusset assures mobility. It also has a regular relaxed fit and a soft drawcord at the wide, low profile waist to enhance comfort.
A sizable side zip pocket is a convenient space for storing your small valuables. The pants come with a limited lifetime warranty that covers material defects and workmanship.
- Cozy soft fleece lining
- Durable, four-way stretch fabric
- Side zip pocket
- Wide, low profile waistband
- DWR finish
- Full-length inseam gusset
- They run a little large so you need to consider the fit
BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Waterproof Windproof Fleece Hiking Pants
One of the best women’s winter hiking pants is undoubtedly the BenBoy Women’s Outdoor Waterproof Windproof Fleece Hiking Pants. Stylish, with some great features, these cold-weather hiking pants will keep you quite happy on the trail. They’re available for men and women which is an added bonus.
The wide range of colors and hiking features is a definite standout. You’ll find an adjustable waistband with a belt plus patchwork knees and steric knee darts. For protection from the cold, the fleece lining, softshell polyester fabric, and waterproof finish ensure you’ll be cozy and dry.
What also stands out is the fact that they’re wrinkle-free and anti-friction. You can pack them into a small corner without worrying about them creasing. The icing on the cake is the affordable price tag!
- Wide range of colors to choose from
- Stylish and versatile
- Good value for money
- Anti-friction and wrinkle-free
- Softshell polyester fabric
- A with most hiking pants for cold weather, sizing could be an issue