One of our favorite activities, when we have settled into our campground, is hiking. Having the right hiking pants can make a difference in how well you’ll enjoy your hike. I’d like to share with you what we now consider to be our favorite hiking pants.
Please note: In exchange for my unbiased review I was provided two free hiking pants of my choice by Kuhl. This review is based on my actual use of the product over the 2021 Labor Day Weekend.
What are hiking pants?
Hiking pants are not your typical pair of pants. Hiking pants are made from various types of nylon and quick-drying, lightweight and comfortable to wear.
They are manufactured with lots of pockets and are not bulky. These characteristics make them suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities. Let’s dig into a little bit more detail
What are hiking pants made of?
Hiking pants are usually made of a synthetic material such as nylon and in some cases made of a blend of cotton and synthetic material. The material you choose depends on your type of hiking and the climate you are hiking in.
If hiking in warmer weather is more to your liking then nylon hiking pants are a better choice.
If hiking in cooler weather cotton is going to keep you warmer but you are not going to get much ventilation and/or flexibility in the pants when climbing.
The temperature during the Labor Weekend on Lake Texoma was in the low 90’s. Tammy and I wore our Kuhl hiking pants around midday as we walked along the shoreline looking for a good spot to fist.
We were both very comfortable even though it was hot and a bit humid. If we were wearing jeans or cotton we would have been miserable.
Features of Hiking Pants
So what makes a pair of pants hiking pants. Let’s take a look at some of the features and/or characteristics of hiking pants.
- Flexibile – Hiking pants are flexible allowing them to give a little bit when you are climbing, bending, crouching etc.
- Breathable – They are designed to breathe, unlike a pair of jean that restrict air. This makes hiking pants comfortable in hot weather.
- Loose Fit – Hiking pants are design to fit loosely on your body. Loose doesn’t mean baggy. This prevents the pants from rubbing against your skin and give you more freedom of leg movement.
- Fast-drying – Hiking pants made of synsthetic material or a synthetic blend will dry quicker than other jeans for example. If you are hiking in areas where you are going to get wet wearing hiking pants is a good idea. The last thing you want is to be hike during your entire hike.
- Lightweight – Another feature of hiking pants is their weight. They are very lightweight compared to jeans. See the chart below for comparision of hiking pants, jeans and shorts.
|Type of Pants||Weight in GSM (grams per meter)|
|Light Denim Jeans||400 GSM|
|Medium Denim Jeans||450 GSM|
|Heavy Denim Jeans||600 GSM|
|Lightweight Casual Fleece Shorts||240 GSM|
|Kuhl Renegade Pants For Men||150 GSM (very light)|
Our Favorite Hiking Pants Are Kuhl
Let’s get to the reasons we now consider Kuhl hiking pants one of our favorites if not our favorite. When we first got these hiking pants the first thing that struck me was the packaging. Two pairs of Kuhl came in a very small box.
The package was light and small meaning the pants were not bulky and the fabric was lightweight.
Closeup of the Stitching
The next thing that caught my eye was the stitching. The stitching was very well done no loose ends, and consistent through both pairs of pants that I received. Here is a close-up of the stitching around the waistband.
Lots of Pockets For your Stuff
When it comes to the number of pockets on Kuhl hiking pants I can assure you there are plenty.
My pair of Kuhl Renegade has a total of 8 pockets. You’ll find two front hand, two back, two zippered sides ( very handy), one stealth cell phone, and one 3D cell phone.
What Type of Fabric Does Kuhl Use For Their Hiking Pants?
The Renegade pants I received are made from Kuhls exclusive DURALUX fabric. DURALUX is a fabric composed of 95% Nylon and 5% Spandex. It’s easy to care for and soft to the touch. It breathes quite well and it’s strong, which is what you want in a good pair of hiking pants.
Tammy’s pair of the “FreeFlex Roll-Up” hiking pants are made of a different blend of material. The FREEFLEX fabric is made of 50% polyester and 50% Stretch Polyester. They are soft, have a bot of stretch in them for comfort and flexibility, and are water repellent.
They easily roll up and are secured with snaps. Pockets included snap closure back pockets and thigh pockets.
Overall we really like the KUHL hiking pants. Compared to others we have owned these are better made, more versatile, and very stylish. We like that they are very comfortable and we enjoy wearing them as casual clothing not just for hiking.
Once we’ve had them for some time I’ll come back and update this post and comment on durability and how well they perform after a dozen or so washes. These make a great gift for RVers.