Can You Hike In Ski Pants?

Hiking is always a good idea to stay active, to spend time with your friends, have fun and boost your mood and health. You can do it in the middle of the winter, or in the summer. You can hike on a slow pace or on a faster mode, in the mountains or in the desert.

The place you choose can expose you to cold temperatures and it doesn’t even have to be winter!

Hiking pants are a very important piece of gear not only for hiking but for any outdoor activity.

A good pair of pants will offer the right protection, freedom of movement and will stay fashionable for a long time.

man hiking in ski pants

3 important things to look for in a good pair of hiking pants:

  • To keep you warm
  • To keep you dry
  • To ensure free movement

Ski pants are all about warmth materials, waterproof and comfort. This makes them an excellent choice for your hiking experience. It’s important to pick something well fitted that is not bulky. Baggy ski pants are fine, but more suited to snowboarding ro skiing rather than actually doing alot of walking in them. You don’t want your pants to slow you down and make you feel heavy while still having many miles to go.

When looking to purchase a nice durable pair of ski pants for hiking, keep in mind you need them to be light, to provide comfort and to be made from materials that keep you dry and warm. These details matter so much that we decided to cover them in this article. It all comes down to these three points:

1. Type of Fabric

In matter of fabric, there are different types you can choose from, depending on your needs.

ski pants used for hiking
Depending also on the weather condition you will be exposed to, you might need to choose between fleece lined insulated pants, or some lightweight made from synthetic materials that are quick drying. Here are some proprieties of each type:
  • Fleece lined insulated pants

These pants have an outer layer that is waterproof while the inner layer is insulated. These ski pants will make sure to keep the water out and warmth in.

  • Softshell type of pants

Softshell ski pants are pretty famous in providing protection against cold, water and snow. They are made from different layers, usually two or three. This layering ensures you a great warm skin experience with an insulated coating on the interior of the pants, while the exterior comes with a water-repellent coating.

  • Hard shell type of pants

The hard shell ski pants are fully waterproof. They are the best in wet conditions. However, you might find them less breathable than other types of men / women's ski pants, so it is very important to take them in consideration particularly in wet weather conditions like rain, snow or strong wind.

2. Type of Fitting

Fitting will always be a matter of comfort, protection, and good performance. A stretch pant is a great choice in providing you free movements, comfort, and style. Look for a snug fit in the ski pants you want to purchase. However, keep in mind that when you choose the right fit, you should take in consideration to have enough room for another piece of garment underneath. 

Hiking is all about moving freely avoiding heavy clothing as much as possible. Also, tights and leggings type of pants are the new thing in winter hiking that becomes more popular among hikers because of their athletic cut that ensures a great performance in hiking.

3. Other Details

  • Pockets and zippers

When you choose your ski pants, other details like zipped pockets, stretch fabric, or color are very important since these kinds of features could improve your comfort. Pockets can be a great help especially if they are zipped. You will be able to carry safely anything you need and have different little tools on hand.

  • Stretch feature

Stretch feature in the material of your ski pants has a lot to do with how your pants will adapt to different movements you will make. There are 2-way stretch pants that stretch in one direction: lengthwise or crosswise. And there are 4-way stretch pants that stretch on both crosswise and lengthwise direction.

  • Color

About color, you should know that darker colors absorb more heat and show dirt harder while lighter colors easily show any dirt spot and of course, absorb less heat.

hiker in ski snow pants
After considering this technical aspect, feel free to choose anything that reflects your personality and taste. Also make sure it is a color that suits you well. After all, color is one of the first things to decide a nice style.

When choosing the right gear for hiking don’t stop to ski pants. Think about other pieces that you will wear. Things like a good pair of socks made from merino wool, a good base layer, boots and stuff like these. You should also think about water resistant materials and whether you will choose a mid layer type of equipment or something else.

Along with this thought, gaiters are also a nice piece of equipment you would want to consider. They are made of synthetic material and can be worn on the outside of your boots keeping you dry and warm.

Many people find that dressing in layers is very practical. It allows you to remove some clothing if you feel too hot at some point while hiking and avoid being sweaty. 

lady wearing hiking trousers

Finding the right hiking pants means first to establish what are you hiking goals, and to what environment you will be exposed to. When you have a clear perspective of your hiking experience you will know what kind of pants will be more suited for your needs and what kind of pants won’t. Also, you shouldn’t hesitate to choose something that suits your taste and feelings and even choose a ski jacket and pants set. You should be able to feel good and look good while hiking all day from the base of the mountain to its top. Let your personal preference guide you in choosing the hiking gear and wear only the things you like: from base layers to hiking boots, everything should make you feel good.  When you wear the right gear, you will love hiking even more!

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the ski and snowboard space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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