Are you on a quest for the best budget hiking pants?
Look no further, because WWB Writer and budget shopping expert, Dilyana, got you covered!
This elaborately crafted and researched article gives you the top 11 of the most affordable hiking pants of all kinds for her, for him, and any occasion.
Additionally, it will also provide you with tons of valuable information.
Do you know what the different types of hiking pants are? Or, what to take into consideration when buying your next pair?
Stick till the end to find out.
Here are the contenders at a glance:
- Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail II Convertible Pant
- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
- MOCOLY Women’s Cargo Hiking Pants
- Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pant
- CQR Men’s Tactical Pants
- BenBoy Women’s Winter Hiking Pants
- TBMPOY Men’s Hiking Pants
- Nonwe Women’s Quick Drying Lightweight Hiking Pants
- Nonwe Men’s Snow Hiking Pants
- REI Co-op Savanna Trails Pants – Women’s
- REI Co-op Sahara Roll-up – Men’s
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Top 11 Best Budget Hiking Pants
Before we dive deep into the top 11 best budget hiking pants, consider the following:
- After careful research, I concluded that the best inexpensive hiking pants vary in the range of $30-$60. Some of the best budget hiking pants will cost a bit more, but others will be less.
- For some pants, there is not a fixed price, but a range. It’s because the price varies according to the size and color.
This variation is only one of the things to pay attention to when buying hiking pants. Find out the others below.
- I have organized all contenders in ascending order, considering the lowest possible price.
- The list includes both men’s and women’s entries, so both you and your companion/s can get their pair of best budget hiking trousers.
Now, we’re good to go!
We start with a classic brand when it comes to outdoor activities and the first of the best budget hiking pants. Columbia has long become a household name, and these pants are no exception. Coming in 15 different colors, from the material to the design to the features, they tick all boxes:
- Columbia’s signature fabric, called “Omni-shield”, keeps liquids and stains away, protects you from the harsh sun with UPF 50, and is quick to dry.
- A partially elastic waist, articulated knees (= following knees’ natural bend), and a gusset (a piece of fabric inserted into a seam to add breadth or reduce stress from tight-fitting clothing) ensure your new pair fits like a glove and allow you free and easy movement.
- Two back pockets with velcro closure and a side pocket with a zipper make sure your essentials are safe and within easy reach.
And just when you think things cannot get any better. As their name suggests, these cheap walking pants are convertible.
Whenever necessary, you can simply zip off the bottom part of the legs and get a pair of 10-inch-inseam shorts.
Now, how cool is that?
|Fabric||96% Nylon, 4% Elastane|
|Belt included||No, but the waist is partially elastic|
|Pros||Great value for moneyCertain sizes and colors are way below budget|
|Cons||Certain sizes and colors are way above budgetFront pockets have no closureThe part where the convertible zippers are might feel tight|
Meet the male version of our first contender. Apart from all its goodies, these pants come in…35 different colors.
And then they call us ladies vain!
Other differences include two bigger side pockets – one with velcro closure and another with a zipper.
These pants are made of 100% nylon and thus are extremely lightweight and breathable yet durable.
Having said that, if you consider rougher hiking with mountain scrambling and similar, they might not be your best choice.
|Pros||Great value for moneyExtremely light and compactCertain sizes and colors are way below budget|
|Cons||Certain sizes and colors are way above budgetFront pockets have no closure|
The next contender for the best cheap hiking pants comes in two versions – long pants and capris.
Both feature an elastic waistband with drawcord and bottom cuffs with cord lock.
If you’re as short-legged as I am and always step on the legs of your trousers, this pair will solve all such problems.
The waistband drawcord closure makes these pants also suitable for people with nickel allergies. The latter are usually triggered by metal buttons and/or zippers.
In addition, all four pockets – one back, two front, and one side, are zipped. The two front pockets are big and deep enough to fit your beloved smartphone.
Have you ever tried putting your smartphone in a small pocket just to find it all sticking out? Then you know how important it is to have big enough pockets.
Lastly, for all you fair-skinned ladies, these cheap outdoor pants are made of stretch-woven fabric with built-in UPF 50+.
|Fabric||90% Polyester, 10% Elastane|
|Belt included||No, but featuring elastic waistband with drawcord|
|Pros||VersatileExtremely lightweight and compact|
|Cons||Not so elegant|
Another representative of the Columbia family, these pants are the non-convertible version of the previously presented pair.
They include all the latter’s goodies such as UPF 50 protection, articulated knees, and a gusset.
The pants’ most prominent feature, however, is Columbia’s trademarked moisture management technology.
Gentleman, you can truly enjoy all the fun in the sun without the annoying trickling.
The technology quickly transfers moisture from the skin to the fabric and spreads it across.
29 colors, an adjustable belt, and seven pockets, including a zippered security pocket, add the final touches for this contender for the best cheap hiking pants.
|Fit||Straight leg – classic fit|
|Belt included||Yes + partially elastic waist|
|Pros||Great set of featuresCertain sizes and colors are way below budget|
|Cons||Certain sizes and colors are way above budgetFront pockets have no closure|
Well, these pants scream masculinity.
Although this is not their most important feature, they come in 44 different colors!
As their name suggests, these are tactical pants built to endure the intensity of military and law enforcement professionals’ daily life.
Eight multi-functional cargo pockets ensure even the wildest EDC has its secure space.
Duratex ripstop fabric allows for maximum mobility and prevents any liquids, dirt, or other contaminants reach the skin.
Small but valuable touch are the two black nickel-plated D-Rings on the front of the trousers. They facilitate easy hook-on installation of tactical accessories.
Gents, if you’ve ever dreamed of being like Rambo, this is your chance!
|Fabric||Polyester, Cotton Ripstop|
|Closure||Button with zipper|
|Belt included||No, but featuring elastic waistband|
|Pros||Sturdy and durableLoads of storage options|
|Cons||A bit heavierNot so stretchy|
You could have the next contender for the best cheap hiking trousers in 10 different colors, including lovely deep pink.
They already got me here, but I guess this is just me!
These stylish winter pants could easily become your new best friend in the winter wonderland.
Apart from the color variety, they are softshell with a fleece lining so that you can move with ease while also staying warm during your snow adventures.
The design is elegant and slim, but it allows enough space to put any leggings or jeans underneath.
Be it hiking, skiing, or snowboarding, the water-resistant, windproof, and anti-friction material will ensure your day doesn’t finish sooner than it starts.
These cheap walking trousers also have plenty of storage opportunities with five zippered pockets.
Lastly, they come with a handy belt and adjustable waistband for maximum fit.
|Fabric||92% Polyester, 8% Spandex|
|Pros||ElegantComfortableGreat set of features|
|Cons||Might not be warm enough for extremely low temperatures|
Our next contender for the best affordable hiking pants has already earned some accolades.
And it couldn’t be otherwise! The price is on point. The design is elegant and sharp.
The pants are made of light, stretchy, quick-to-dry fabric with durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
Articulated knees will help you climb up with ease, while the four zipped pockets will keep your essentials and much-needed snacks at hand.
Any downsides? Well, there are only eight colors.
A thicker fleeced version for winter and colder conditions is also available.
However, my personal favorite for cheap men’s walking trousers for winter adventures is yet to come.
|Fabric||88% Nylon,12% Spandex|
|Belt included||Yes + elastic waist|
|Pros||Elegant designGreat set of featuresDurable|
|Cons||Only 8 colorsSome find them baggy|
This pair of cheap hiking pants for women combines elegance with practicality and versatility.
The zip fly with a button adds to the first, while the bottom cuffs with cord lock fulfill the latter.
The versatility comes in the pants being something in-between convertibles sans the zippers and roll-ups, but with a cord lock.
These were the main reasons why I picked them.
Other reasons include the partially elastic waist for a perfect fit, the quick-to-dry, breathable, and water-resistant fabric, and the six multi-functional pockets.
|Cons||Front pockets have no closure|
Finding a pair of quality softshell fleece-lined pants at a reasonable price yet having an expensive look might seem mission impossible.
But our next contender will make you rethink the previous sentence.
In addition to meeting the above criteria, the pants are available in 18 colors, have a slick design, and are made of water-resistant, windproof fabric, featuring an adjustable waist, and a galore of pockets.
They also have a self-locking zipper fly with a metal button closure to prevent any unexpected and undesired exposure while in the whirlwind of winter adventures.
|Fabric||95% Polyester, 5% Spandex|
|Belt included||No, but a partially elastic waist|
|Cons||Might need to wear additional clothes underneath to keep warm in the lower temperatures|
These pants are our most expensive (in terms of fixed price) contender for the best budget hiking pants.
But the price is for a reason.
They combine the majority of the features making up for a great all-around pair of hiking pants.
Breathable, moisture-wicking, treated with a DWR finish, and offering UPF50+ protection fabric will keep you cool and dry even in the desert.
Articulated double-layer knees, elastic waistband, and bungee drawcords at the cuffs facilitate maximum fit while also giving you freedom and stability of movement.
A handy detail is that some of the big pockets feature small hidden security pockets.
What I also loved very much is that these pants contain sustainable materials, meeting the bluesign® criteria.
If sustainability is among your priorities, then this is the pair for you.
|Fabric||94% Nylon, 6% Spandex|
|Pros||Great value for moneyDurableHidden, zippered stash pocket|
|Cons||Only three colorsNo closure of front pocketsNot versatile|
We finish our top 11 of the best budget hiking pants with the male counterpart of the previous contender.
It has all its goodies but takes things up a notch by being a roll-up and easily converting to 17.5 in. and 25 in. inseam lengths.
Among the other better features are a gusseted crotch and a hidden passport pocket.
|Closure||Zip fly with button|
|Pros||Great value for moneyDurableVersatileHidden passport pocket|
|Cons||Only two colorsNo closure of front pockets|
Why Do You Need Hiking Pants?
Can you go hiking in your regular sweatpants or maybe your jeans?
Of course! If you’re going for a walk to the nearby park.
But when it comes to a long hike through mountainous terrain and possible severe weather conditions, then your clothes are the second most important thing to consider after your shoes.
And even if you like extremes, I doubt you would like to have yourself or any of your companions fainted after a heat stroke or frozen to death.
Alternatively, get soaked to the bones and catch a cold or pneumonia.
And don’t even get me started with chafes.
A pair of good hiking pants can prevent all of the above. And the good news is that, as you already saw, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one.
The Different Types Of Hiking Pants
Hiking pants vary according to their design and purpose.
These include convertibles and roll-ups. The first ones turn into shorts by zipping off the bottom part of the legs. The latter, as the name suggests, fulfill the same purpose by rolling the legs up.
Here we have general/all-purpose hiking pants and winter hiking pants.
Important: Bear in mind that hiking pants are not the same as rain pants.
The latter are specifically designed to withstand rain/water. And while the majority of hiking pants are water-resistant, they are not waterproof.
More about this topic below.
How To Choose Hiking Pants
There are several crucial points to consider when choosing your new pair of hiking pants:
Fabric is what will make or break your hiking pants.A very important thing to consider during the search for the best budget hiking pants
Even if you’re a fan of all-natural materials like cotton and linen, when it comes to hiking pants, synthetics such as nylon, spandex, and elastane, are the best choice.
They are light, stretchy, breathable, durable, and do not absorb moisture. All crucial qualities for ensuring you’re cool, dry, and can move with ease and without any chafes.
As you read above, nowadays, fabrics have become so sophisticated to even protect you from the harmful effects of the sun.
Important: Bear in mind that water resistance and waterproof are not identical.
The first means that the fabric will resist water, but to a certain extent. The latter that it won’t allow any water in.
So, before you start dishing out complaints, make sure that you are familiar with the terms.
Before buying your next pair of hiking pants, you must know the answers to the following questions:
Are you going on a lighter and shorter hike? Or, will it be a strenuous, longer one, with a lot of climbing and scrambling?
Are you going in the summer or the winter?
They are all connected with the next category.
While you cannot expect to use the same hiking pants in cold and hot weather, there is still space for versatility.
We already learned about the different types of hiking pants. Versatility is closely related to them.
A pair of convertibles or roll-ups will serve you better than a non-convertible, non-roll-up pair.
Weight might not be an obvious thing to consider, but when you start packing for a longer hike, every ounce matters.
Trust me, you’ll feel it, especially on the way up!
Lighter pants will be more compact too. With the limited space of a backpack, you need to utilize every inch to its maximum.
Think of pockets, articulated knees, gussets, integrated belts, adjustable waistband, drawcord cinch, and so on.
Out of these, the most variable ones are pockets, so let me elaborate a bit more on them.
First, not all pockets are equal.
Second, having more of them doesn’t necessarily make a pair of pants better.
The most common types of pockets are: back, front, and side.
Out of them, the side ones are the most functional, so your new pair of pants better have such, and they better be big enough.
How about the back and front ones? Consider the following scenarios:
- You have put your phone, your keys, and who knows what more in your front pockets. Will you be able to bend your leg when climbing up without them piercing your flesh, or you potentially smashing your phone?
- Your phone is in your back pocket, your big and heavy backpack is on your back, with waist straps on. How easy do you think it will be for you to reach your phone?
Alternatively, will you be able to sit with your stuffed back pockets?
As you already saw, nowadays, it’s all possible to get good-quality hiking pants without breaking the bank.
But here are few more things to pay attention to:
- A reminder that some pairs’ color and size result in different prices. It could be both higher and lower.
- Keep your eyes on discount hiking pants. And I don’t mean only expensive pairs. Even already cheap hiking pants can get cheaper.
- As with anything else, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality or overall better pants.
And there you have it, top 11 of the best budget hiking pants, as well as all you need to know when buying your next pair.
If you made it that far, CONGRATS!Give yourself a good pat on the back, and consider yourself a hiking pants pro!
Happy shopping and happy hiking!