This post is part of a series called 2020: The Year of the Pants. Catch all of the posts via the YOTP tag.

So what, exactly, constitutes a "perfect" pair of hiking pants?

  1. FIT! And not just fit "well enough," either: when I'm out on the trail, I want to spend the time hiking to the top, not hiking my pants up! This means no gaping at the waist, no bunching at the hips, and the ability to stand up and sit down with ease.
  2. Unrestricted movement. I'm hiking, not standing against a tree! I should be able to pull my knees up past my waist if I'm otherwise physically able to, and I should be able to climb over a fallen tree without the risk of accidentally mooning my hiking buddies.
  3. Water resistance. It's not uncommon for me to take a rest while on the trail, and often that means sitting down on a log or a rock. Sometimes, that log or rock is wet or damp. Or, you know, weather happens and you get soaked. Regardless, soggy bottoms are a no-no. (If water resistance isn't an option, quick-dry is generally okay, too.)
  4. Abrasion resistance. Avid hikers and climbers will think I'm talking about knee abrasions as I'm climbing over some rocks or walking through a field. Folks with thighs that touch know what I really mean is that I'm tired of wearing out a pair of pants in six months because the fabric is too thin to withstand the basic act of walking in life.
  5. Pockets! For the love of all that is good, pockets are an act of rebellion against the kyriarchy. I'm done with the "fashionable" pocket that can't even hold my keys, much less my phone.
  6. A reflection of my personality in the overall design. If we hang out in person, you know that I like a pop of color in my wardrobe. The louder the color, the better! A lot of clothing made for people of my size (and larger) tends to be bland in color and overly simplistic in design.
  7. None of that silly zip-off business. If I want shorts, I want shorts. If I want pants, I want full-length pants! The zipper thing never works and adds unnecessary weight. I've used the tabs on the rollup pants a few times, though, so that's not a total dealbreaker for me.

Let's stop there for now - what would YOU want in your ideal pair of hiking pants? Comment below, or reach out on social media!