Last Updated on March 18, 2022
Hiking in leggings? Yes, please. Leggings are the perfect choice for a hike, whether you’re a beginner hiker or an experienced hiker.
Hiking leggings provide the comfort and flexibility you need to hike any trail. Plus, they’re breathable and they dry fast to keep you cool on hot days.
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What are the best hiking leggings for women? There are a few factors to consider when choosing leggings for hiking.
In this article, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about hiking leggings. We’ll also share what we think about eight different pairs of leggings.
Can I Wear Leggings While Hiking?
Yes, you can wear leggings while hiking. They’re a perfect choice because they give you total freedom of movement and they look great, too.
Many women agree that leggings are the most comfortable for hiking, especially when they have multiple pockets. Consider these factors about hiking leggings:
* Leggings are form-fitting, meaning they won’t snag on foliage. They’ll protect your legs from scratches, too.
* Leggings can protect against ticks and poison ivy in the hot summer months thanks to full leg coverage.
* Insulated leggings work in winter, while breathable, lightweight leggings are good for warm weather hiking.
* Hiking leggings won’t restrict your range of movement, like when you need to scramble rocks.
Leggings won’t be the top choice for every hiker, but many women love them. Even if you don’t like the feeling of form-fitting leggings, there are options for you.
What Leggings are Best for Hiking?
When choosing hiking leggings, consider the climate and the range of activity. Leggings made from moisture-wicking material are ideal for summer hikes.
For hiking in warm weather, opt for a lightweight pair of leggings that allow your skin to breathe. Stay away from leggings made from cotton.
Cotton is not breathable and holds on to moisture. This can cause chafing and odor. Look for synthetic materials, like polyester, spandex, nylon and lycra.
The best hiking leggings have reinforcement panels where you need them the most, like in the crotch and inner thigh area. Some have panels in the knees, too.
Pockets are also a huge plus. Some hiking leggings have multiple zippered pockets that are perfect for storing your cell phone, small snacks or your car keys.
Other leggings have fewer pockets or no pockets at all. Pockets are definitely not a make-or-break feature, but they can be extremely handy on the trail.
Is It Better to Hike in Shorts or Leggings?
Hiking in shorts or pants vs hiking in leggings is a personal preference. However, here are a few considerations:
* Will there be poison ivy on the trail?
* Are ticks bad where you plan to hike?
* Do your legs sunburn easily?
* Will the trail be overgrown? This can lead to scratches, ticks or chiggers, etc. Additionally, shorts (and pants) can snag, but leggings typically won’t.
If you’re worried about being too hot while hiking in leggings, it’s important to note that some leggings are very lightweight and breathable.
In the end, it’s up to you and your personal level of comfort. Some of us love shorts, while others wear leggings every day of the year. It’s all up to you.
Hiking Leggings are Great for Any Season
The leggings in this article are best for warm weather hiking. But the truth is: there are hiking leggings perfect for any season.
Cold weather hiking leggings come in fleece-lined options that can be worn alone. Or, you can buy wool leggings to layer with your favorite pants.
It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, hot, or somewhere in between. Hiking leggings are for all people and for all seasons.
The materials for cold weather and warm weather hiking leggings are mostly similar. It’s how they’re made that makes all the difference.
When shopping for hiking leggings, be sure to read descriptions and reviews.
* Insulated or lined leggings = cold weather hiking
* Non-insulated or non-lined leggings = warm weather hiking
* Cotton leggings = no-go for hiking in any season
Best Hiking Leggings
Now that you know the benefits of hiking in leggings, let’s dive into our top picks. There are leggings for all budgets and all great for warm weather hiking.
The Mountain Hardwear leggings are one of the best pairs of women’s hiking leggings. They’re available from XS to XL and have 4 colors to choose from.
Plus, the Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Rock Tights are super comfortable. These leggings have UPF 50+ fabric to shield harmful UV rays.
They’re made with nylon and elastane and have knit accent panels for style and durability. They also have a nylon and elastane inner reinforcement panel.
The high-waist cut provides full coverage and layers well with hiking fanny pack, too. These leggings have a tapered cut and look good on everyone.
Additionally, these leggings have a stretchy zippered pocket. That means no worrying about losing your essentials on the trail.
These leggings aren’t extremely tight, but also they won’t be too loose that they’ll snag on branches. The cut is more like a slim jogger than a true legging.
They taper down to the ankle, but aren’t baggy anywhere. This pair of leggings has style, a high waist and a zippered pocket, which makes them a perfect pick.
These high-rise capris are among Eddie Bauer’s top selling trail tights. They’re perfect for summer days, and even have a UPF 50+ sun protection rating.
They’re made from a moisture-wicking and breathable polyester and spandex material that will keep you cool and dry on even the hottest days.
These tights also enjoy the advantage of a patented Polygiene odor control technology, which prohibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
But don’t worry – it’s only on the outer fabric. These leggings have a chemical-free reinforced crotch panel.
These leggings are high-rise and sit at your natural waist. The waistband has a drawcord so you can adjust them to fit you perfectly.
They have two drop-in cargo pockets and one vertical zippered pocket so you can keep your essentials close at hand and secure.
The Power Mesh Waistband is also comfortable and stays in place, even when you’re sweating.
The Free Leaper camo leggings are a great budget choice if you want style and functionality. The buttery-soft fabric feels great against your skin, too.
These hiking leggings come in sizes from XS to XL. There are six different colors and camo patterns from which to choose.
They have a high waistband for tummy control and a butt lift for contouring. Customers love how soft and stretchy the material is for any active activity.
They also have a deep pocket on each leg, making them perfect for storing your essentials while you hike.
Wear these leggings for hiking, yoga, pilates, running, errands, or just lounging around the house.
They’re made of a moisture-wicking nylon and spandex blend that will keep you cool and dry no matter what you’re doing.
If you’re looking for a great pair of hiking leggings that won’t break the bank, these are a great option.
The Abisko trekking tights come in seven colors and are available in sizes from XXS to XXL. These leggings are technical, hardwearing, and super durable.
They’re made from a high-performance stretch fabric that is also durable and wicks away moisture. The material is a polyamide, spandex and polyester blend.
While they’re technical and durable, these leggings are also incredibly cute. If fashion is just as important as function to you, you’ll love these.
The waistband is comfortable with a drawstring. There’s a map pocket on the right leg, a zippered pocket on the left leg, and a security pocket in the waistband.
They have reinforcements at the knees for extra durability and protection in rough terrain or kneeling on damp ground.
For added convenience, there’s also a clip-on loop at the hip for attaching gear. Finally, the crotch panel is reinforced and has flatlock seams to prevent chafing.
The PrAna 7/8 Layna leggings are comfortable and sustainable. What more could you need?
These leggings are made from an ultralight sustainable fabric that is lightweight and breathable. PrAna describes these leggings as a ‘second skin’.
The supportive high waistband provides a snug and comfortable fit, while the fast drying material prevents you from feeling sweaty on hot days.
PrAna is a Fair Trade Certified factory, so if sustainability is important to you then these leggings are a great choice.
They have a reinforced crotch with flatlock seams to prevent chafing. Additionally, these tights are UPF 50+ rated for the ultimate sun protection.
There is only one pocket in the waistband – not ideal for storing your phone, but still functional. These leggings are available in seven colors and sizes from XS to XL.
So, if you’re looking for a sustainable, comfortable, and supportive pair of hiking leggings, the PrAna Layna 7/8 leggings are a great choice.
The CRZ YOGA Women’s Naked Feeling Capri Leggings are perfect for those who want buttery-soft leggings for hitting the trails.
These comfortable leggings have a high waist for tummy control and support. For a custom fit, the waistband has an internal drawstring.
Plus, with 20 different colors and patterns to choose from, you’re sure to find a pair that you love.
The leggings are available in a huge range of sizes, from XXS to XL.
The material is a moisture wicking, breathable blend of polyamide and spandex, making them perfect for active days.
Plus, for added convenience, each leg has a deep pocket. Store your phone, keys, snacks, or whatever you need.
These leggings have 4-way stretch and were designed for movement and activity.
The KUHL Transcendr leggings are perfect for rugged trail days. These leggings come in two colors and sizes from XS to XL.
If it’s sturdiness you want, look no further. These leggings have built-in stretch panels for flexibility and a durable water repellent finish to shed moisture.
The high-rise fit has an internal drawstring waist. These leggings provides great coverage and security for high-stretch activities.
There’s an envelope pocket that safely stores your phone at the right thigh and a security pocket in the waistband.
UPF 50+ fabric shields against harmful UV rays and reflective trim at the hem enhances your visibility in low-light conditions.
These leggings are made from a nylon and spandex blend. They are made with flatlock seams for comfort no matter the activity you have planned for the day.
KUHL leggings are perfect for strenuous trails, yoga, running or simply for carrying out errands around town.
The Gym People Women’s Joggers are a great hiking legging choice for those who love the look and feel of leggings but hate the form-fitting compression feel.
These lightweight tapered pants are comfortable, breathable and stretchy without feeling tight and form-fitting.
They’re made with a polyamide spandex blend with four-way stretch. They’re breathable, lightweight and super comfortable.
As for pockets, these leggings have two fixed side pockets that are thankfully deep enough for a phone, keys and a small wallet.
The wide elastic waistband stays in place and provides a bit of tummy support without being too restrictive.
These leggings are available in 13 colors and sizes range from XS to XL.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable hiking legging that doesn’t have the compression feeling, these are perfect for you.
Wrap-Up Notes: Hiking Leggings
Hiking leggings are a must-have for any woman who loves the outdoors. With so many great options, it may be hard to decide which pair is best for you.
Whether you’re looking for durable reinforced leggings for rugged terrain or soft and comfortable leggings for a leisurely hike, we hope you had you covered.
Whatever your needs, there is sure to be a perfect pair of hiking leggings for your next day hike. Happy trails!