Both lightweight and comfy, hiking in leggings means you don't have to deal with things like heavy buckles, bulky zippers, and constrictive waistbands. The best hiking leggings will be comfortable, quick-drying, and super durable. When you're shopping around, there are two key factors to keep in mind.
First, consider moisture management. You sweat a lot when you hike, and you're often contending with rain, dew, and other damp elements. For that reason, you'll want tights that can wick moisture and transport it to the outer layer of the fabric. It's also important for them to be quick-drying and anti-microbial (aka odor-reducing). For all of these traits, opt for leggings made with synthetic materials like polyester and nylon.
Next, think about comfort. This is determined by both the fabric blend and the construction. Materials like elastane and spandex will add flexibility, while designs like four-way stretch will offer increased mobility and comfort. These factors will also prevent chafing caused by tights rubbing against your skin. As for the waistband, it should be soft and comfortable yet secure enough to keep your leggings from slipping down.
To help you make a decision, I've rounded up the best hiking leggings I could find. Take a look at the list below, so you can get ready for your next adventure.
1. The Best Overall: Moisture-Wicking Leggings That Come In Regular And Tall Sizes
What's great about them: Made with a high-quality blend of polyester and spandex, these women's hiking leggings are quick-drying and extra stretchy. They're designed specifically for hiking, so even if you're sweating hard, you won't be left feeling damp and sticky. Not only that, but they're also coated in Polygiene, which helps prevent bacteria (and therefore odor) from building up. The fabric is machine-washable, chafe-free, and treated with UPF 50-plus sun protection. Best of all, every size comes in both regular and tall lengths.
What fans say: "Hiked and slept in these for multiple days on a dirty backpacking trail and they were awesome. Love the pockets and big enough for a knife and a folded up map and snack ... As anti-microbial (anti-stink) as you could expect for any leggings. Extremely comfortable for hiking."
- Available sizes: XX-Small - XX-Large
2. The Runner-Up: Four-Way Stretch Tights That Come In Straight And Plus Sizes
What's great about them: These high-waisted hiking leggings are constructed with a mix of polyamide and elastane, making them moisture-wicking and flexible. The material, which features comfy, four-way stretch, dries quickly and is safe to toss in the washing machine. For added convenience, the back of the waistband has a built-in pocket to keep your phone and some cash. On top of all of that, they come in four different colors and a wide range of sizing options.
What fans say: "I LOVE these leggings! They are really great quality and super stylish. I am usually not someone who wears leggings out casually but I can with these! ... I have bought every brand of leggings under the sun but these are definitely worth the price."
- Available sizes: X-Small - XXX-Large
3. The Best Budget Pick
What's great about them: These Spalding hiking leggings aren't super technical, but they do offer decent-quality fabric and plenty of stretch at an unbeatable price. Well-loved on Amazon with over 1,500 reviews, fans rave about how comfy they are. The material is a flexible blend of 92-percent cotton and 8-percent spandex, and the waistband is extra wide with a stylish, mid-rise cut. On top of all that, they're machine-washable, too.
What fans say: "Very very good. I wear them A LOT. I wear them for running, hiking, inside home. Love them. Not too tight, not loose, do not stretch out after wash, very comfortable and feel soft. I highly recommend them. Will buy again."
- Available sizes: Small - XXX-Large
4. The Best At Staying Up
What's great about them: I personally own these women's hiking leggings, and they're pretty much the only tights I have that I don't have to constantly tug up. They're made with a durable polyester-elastane blend that's fully opaque with a solid feel. The material is also moisture-wicking and anti-microbial. In addition to all that, the leggings feature "HeatGear" fabric that pulls heat from your body to help keep you cool while you're trekking along. I find that they're great for long walks and hikes where you want to be able to move freely.
What fans say: "Absolutely love these leggings, and would highly consider buying more. They arrived promptly and fit like a glove."
- Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
5. The Best For Hardcore Hikes
What's great about them: If you're a serious hiker who takes multi-day trips or spends time scrambling up technical terrain, these reinforced hiking leggings are a fantastic choice. True performance tights, they're designed specifically for rugged hikes and feature an extra durable polyamide-nylon material. The leggings boast special panels on the knees and butt so you can sit down on rocks or scurry up dirt embankments without ripping them.
Additionally, they have a large, slip pocket on one leg, a smaller, zippered pocket on the other, and a clip-on loop at the hip for attaching gear. The crotch is gusseted to minimize chafing, and the fabric feels soft despite being thick and tough. While these tights are much pricier than the other options on this list, they're worth it if you spend lots of time in the wilderness.
What fans say: "Wow, I was very much skeptical with the price tag, but these tights are seriously technical ... They truly allow a full range of motion, which is great for scrambling ... The reinforced butt part kept my behind injury-free and the tights didn't rip or snag at all!"
- Available sizes: XX-Small - XX-Large
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.