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Choosing the right hiking pants

Have you planned a family outing on shallow terrain? A solo itinerant hike on unmarked trails? Or a snowshoe outing in the snow or a trek? Regardless of the type of excursion, you must choose the right hiking pants.

For a few hours or several days, the ideal garment exists and allows you to make the most of the landscapes and your hiking trip. Discover the different types of hiking pants! You are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the equipment that suits you best.

Day trip: simple hiking pants

First reflex: check the weather conditions. Then, if the weather promises to be good, you just need to choose a simple hiking pants, in cotton or synthetic fibers, in a loose fit if you want greater freedom of movement.

You can even opt for a template short convertible if the heat is there. You will enjoy feeling at your ease in high temperatures!

However, some people with skin sensitive to sunburn will prefer to wear a long model.

In case of uncertain weather, especially in the mountains, do not hesitate to bring a rain jacket in your bag to put on at the last moment. Or take water-repellent pants from the start.

Don’t worry, the choice of hiking pants is vast. We will offer you, a little further down, a selection of models. Some simple pants even offer interesting accessories (zipped pockets with zippers, belt…) that you can find basic on more technical pants.

A trek on the GR20 in Corsica? Choosing the ideal hiking pants

You have programmed a itinerant hike on a long-distance hiking trail (GR) or, whatever the location, a Trek several days or even a long trip? In this case, the hiking pants for trekking must meet more criteria than the simple pants intended for a day trip.

Indeed, you are not immune to capricious weather conditions. In addition, the variety of trails and terrain encountered requires pants that allow you excellent freedom of movement and great comfort for the practice of this sport.

Your goal, whatever the hike: do not weigh down your backpack by placing too many clothes in it. Solution: the principle of layers ! Layering your clothes is the best way to regulate your body temperature. You will thus be able to adapt to the different weather situations that you will encounter along your journey, by removing or adding layers. Keep the heaviest item of clothing on you, so your backpack will be as light as possible. Your back and legs will thank you!

Your main pants can be, again, a model convertible into shorts. Essential element: a large number of pockets, to store a bunch of small things. Since this type of pant has more fabric than a lightweight model without pockets, it will certainly take longer to dry. But the disadvantage of the weight of the pants is compensated by the fact that you will not have to carry this garment in your bag, since you will be carrying it on you.

If you are doing your trek at altitude, do not hesitate to plan a tights : thus, it will complement the heat retained by the pants and you can even wear your tights at night in your sleeping bag, if you are cold.

Another essential accessory in our eyes: the waterproof overpants. It is very light to transport and will save you money in the event of heavy rain. You will be able to continue your trek while staying dry. Some overpants are zipped on the sides, the good thing is convenient to put on over your hiking pants, without having to take your shoes off.

In short: you wear breathable multi-pocket pants with you, and you only add a pair of tights and a light overpants in your backpack. So you can vary the possibilities clothing according to climate and weather. You will know how to adapt to all situations!

Trick : While your main pants are drying after a wash, you can wear your tights under your over pants, if the weather is bad. So you still stay dry. Otherwise, if the sun is out, light shorts will suffice while the pants dry.

You will find many models of long hiking pants on the internet. The range of outdoor clothing is very extensive, especially technical and durable pants. If possible, choose a waterproof model with a membrane recognized for its breathability and his lightness.

Snowshoeing or mountaineering: the right pants at altitude

The right clothing must also be chosen with care for winter hikes, with or without snowshoes, for ski touring or mountaineering. These outings in high altitude obviously require well-thought-out pants.

Pants in soft shell may be sufficient for mountaineering summery. Breathable and windproof at the same time, this durable garment is comfortable, light and elastic, so you can walk comfortably in the mountains without feeling in any way. You find them with reinforcements on the knees (even on the lower legs and buttocks), very practical on rocky massifs because they prevent you from scratching your skin on very stressed areas of the body during a committed hike.

But rocky mountaineering is also practiced in sometimes extreme weather conditions. You then need hiking pants worthy of the name, very robust, qualified as hard shell (“Hard shell”). Hardshell pants are waterproof and breathable, while ensuring impeccable protection against all bad weather : wind and rain of course, but also hail and snow. Real armor! These pants, with all the necessary reinforcements, are essential for rather committed winter mountaineering or any itinerant hike in winter.

Indeed, choosing the right hiking pants for mountaineering cannot be improvised, just like choosing a jacket. You must anticipate the conditions, sometimes extreme, in which you will evolve to adapt your equipment and in particular your technical clothing. 2-layer pants are, of course, more flexible, but it is better to opt for 3-layer pants, more robust and protective or, at least, 2.5 layers.

The top remains a 3-layer pants, which resists friction against rock and soil moisture due to ice, snow or rain. It is really ideal for corridor hikes because your pants will be waterproof and very solid at the knees and other stressed areas. Admittedly, it is quite heavy, for hiking pants; but it doesn’t matter: you won’t be carrying it in your backpack, again, but on you.

Think about the pants with side zips, for summer or mid-season hikes: during the approach walk, with hiking conditions remaining easy at the beginning, these openings will constitute real ventilation grilles for your pants.

advice : do not forget the essential tights, again, because they can be useful to you in all kinds of hikes. Always think about the weather conditions and especially the cold.

Here is our selection of current models of hiking pants, modular or not, for men or women and in different price ranges. The material of these pants can be made of natural or synthetic fibers, be treated against UV rays, mosquitoes, odors and bacteria … The color can be neutral (beige) or more conspicuous but, in this case, pay attention to the attraction insects for bright colors. All these hiking pants will protect your legs, in complete comfort and dryness, during your family walks, backpacker treks or snowshoe hikes, whatever the weather. outside temperature and theintensity of your efforts. As the choice of pants is vast, take a good look at the qualities and characteristics of the products on offer and choose the pants really suited to your hiking activity!


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