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How To Find The Right Hiking Pants - Complete Guide
How to find the right hiking pants
A comfortable pair of hiking pants belongs in everyone's closet. On the one hand, they are useful not only when hiking but for all outdoor activities; on the other hand, they are more durable than all fashionable trendy pants. However, nowadays there is so much variety that you should never buy just any pair of hiking pants. Because: if you choose the wrong style, the pants might not be practical!
What is the difference between hiking, trekking, outdoor, or functional pants?
The four terms are often used synonymously. Strictly speaking; however, this is not correct. The fact is: hiking pants are specially designed for hiking and are therefore abrasion-resistant, breathable, elastic, and have practical details. In sum, all this makes the pants very functional.
Trekking pants differ from hiking pants only in that they are processed even more robustly, and this is because they need to be comfortable for several days at a time when trekking. They should also be quick-drying.
Outdoor pants" or "functional pants," on the other hand, are umbrella terms that include all areas of use in nature and are thus less clearly defined. With one manufacturer, outdoor pants or functional pants can be very functional; for others, however, they differ from conventional cotton pants only by small details suitable for outdoor use. In addition, many functional pants are now suitable for everyday use.
At Cycorld Sports, you will find both functional pants suitable for everyday use and technically advanced hiking pants. And basically, all our pants are functional and suitable for active outdoor use.
The only important difference for you: Our hiking pants are specially designed for long distances in nature. In addition, at Cycorld Sports you'll also find true all-purpose outdoor pants like the all-weather for hiking and traveling - multi-award-winning hiking pants with countless functions and practical features.
Fit: Hiking pants must fit perfectly!
Hiking pants, or functional pants, must be able to do everything: Fit advantageously but allow great freedom of movement. Fit tightly, but do not cut in anywhere. Fall over your hiking boots, but it won't get muddy.
Since waist circumference, thigh width, hip width, leg muscles, and leg length vary greatly from person to person, and the right fit is the be-all and end-all for a comfortable fit, So we recommend buying; please compare the product size chart and your size first
Cut: Which cut is suitable for hiking?
In addition to material, workmanship, and features, it is also the cut that distinguishes hiking pants from everyday pants. To be able to step easily on wide and high steps when climbing and light climbing (or kneeling), the knee section should be pre-shaped, and the pants are thus cut slightly curved. Details such as pockets - even when filled - do not restrict freedom of movement or cause friction.
The question remains as to whether hiking pants should be more form-fitting (slim) or loose (regular). Both have their advantages. Fashionable body-fitting hiking pants chafe less and do not flutter. Looser-fitting pants wear more relaxed and offer better ventilation. Just try and choose for yourself which variant you feel comfortable in!
Functional material: What material should my hiking pants be made of?
The greatest demands are made on the material of a pair of hiking pants. On the one hand, you never know 100% how the weather will be. On the other hand, you don't want to have to buy special pants for every weather scenario. The good news is that if you rely on quality materials, you won't have to!
Modern textile technologies manage to combine high breathability, insulation, strong elasticity, quick-drying, wind resistance and impregnation against water. Cotton cannot do this.
However, you should know one thing: There is still no textile technology that guarantees all requirements 100%. So you always have to compromise on one or the other property! The questions you should ask yourself and that only you can answer:
- - What requirements must my hiking pants meet?
- - How environmentally friendly is the material?
However, when it comes to the requirements for hiking pants, you must first decide for yourself which hiking tours you are planning. How sweaty will it be? What will the weather be like? And how long is your tour?
Waistband solution: Which waistband is right for me?
A perfect fit comes from more than cut, length, and width. The right waistband is crucial, and it must fit, must not be too tight or wide, and should follow every movement.
The perfect belt requires extensive knowledge of ergonomics. You have to get to grips with body shapes and recognize the relationship between the waist, buttocks, and hips. The right waistband requires technical understanding, creativity, and craftsmanship.
At Cycorld, we have developed a variety of waistband solutions based on years of experience to ensure that our pants fit. Different waistband solutions for different uses, styles, and body shapes.
- Classic waistband with elastic: In this proven waistband variant, side elastic bands provide flexible adjustment and perfect fit in any situation. Belt fans will be pleased with an included lightweight and practical belt.
- Sporty drawstring waistband: You can keep it loose or tight,depending on your required comfort level.
- Vario waistband: This innovative waistband is highly elastic, slightly wider,and raised, and it hugs the waist almost like a small corsage. It adapts to the body in all situations and follows every movement, and a belt is superfluous here.
Insulation: What insulation should my hiking pants have?
It is quite easy to answer the question about hiking pants' insulation or thermal performance. There are three types of hiking pants: padded and lined and those that are neither padded nor lined.
As a rule, you need padded or lined hiking pants at temperatures below 10°C. Padded is always something warmer than lined, and padded is always slightly warmer than lined. What you choose depends on your cold sensation and the temperatures in which you are traveling.
Also important: hiking pants should not be thickly lined anyway! Because over the legs, you give off only a little heat. Instead, hiking or active movement ensures good blood circulation and thus "warms" in a natural way.
If, on the other hand, your pants are chosen too warm, heat can quickly accumulate, and it becomes uncomfortable. Therefore, you should only consider robust, padded winter functional pants or hiking pants for winter activities.
Waterproof: What are the differences in the waterproof of hiking pants?
The most important info to start with: the more waterproof a garment is, the less breathable it can be. Thus, if you're looking for hiking pants that can withstand heavy rain (rain pants), they're only suitable for heavy rain. As soon as the sun comes out and it gets warmer, they won't offer the same comfort as pants that don't protect as well against rain.
This means that since you generally avoid hiking in continuous rain, breathable hiking pants should always be your first choice. If you get into light or short rain with these, they will repel some moisture and dry quickly again. Rain pants are only recommended in addition, not as a replacement.
Processing: What should I look for in the processing of my hiking pants?
In our opinion, two points are important when it comes to processing: quality and sustainability. For this reason, not only the hiking pants from Cycorld, but the entire range of our outdoor clothing is PFC-free. This means no per- and polyfluorinated chemicals, which are difficult to degrade and pollute the environment for years and decades!
And the quality? We are convinced that high quality is only what meets your requirements and lasts a long time.
Our philosophy: What should work must first and foremost fit. Functional pants must not rub, not slip, not pinch and not drag on the ground. Because that's the only way you'll feel comfortable and the only way a functionally designed garment will fulfill its full function.
Equally important are this buying guide will help you find the ideal hiking pants model for you.
Exquisite details: What details are practical in hiking pants?
Additional functions and features such as pockets, turn-up legs, detachable trouser legs, reflective elements, adjustable leg widths, mesh lining or zipper covers are what make hiking pants so versatile and practical.
Zip-Off convertible pants: The quick-change artist
The legs of zip-off convertible pants can be removed via a zipper or can be zipped off. Some models can be shortened to the length of either short, 3/4 shorts or both. This type of trekking pants is available both as straight stretch pants and in the form of cargo pants and is particularly suitable for longer tours.
By combining the short and long versions in one, you save the weight of additional shorts. This weight saving can make all the difference on all tours where you carry the luggage on your back. Most of the time, when hiking, the pant legs get dirty first. Zip-offs allows you to wash the lower leg sections separately without changing completely immediately. Some of them have an all-around zipper on the leg and a side opening so you can remove the pant legs on the mountain without taking off your shoes. Pants without this side opening have the corresponding disadvantage: the detached parts are either around the ankles until the next stop, or a break is needed to take off the shoes. Another disadvantage for some is that the zip-off does not necessarily meet the fashion requirements for work and everyday life (which, of course, varies according to taste). However, since it is primarily intended for outdoor, this criterion should not be the deciding factor.
Roll-Up Pants: For those who prefer rolling instead of zipping
Hiking pants with roll-up legs are visually more discreet than zip-off shorts and add less weight than zippered models. In this case, there is usually a button on each side. When the pant leg is rolled up, a loop is revealed that is attached to the button and holds the leg up. Here, too, there are different solutions, which set the fastening sometimes higher, sometimes lower.
The disadvantage is that the carded fabric, and therefore its weight, remains permanently on the knees and dirt can collect in the crease. All these different shapes are made of different fabrics, depending on the design. So that you always feel comfortable in terms of temperature and moisture balance, there are also a few things to consider here.
What you should pay attention to when trying on hiking pants
Freedom of movement and a comfortable fit are the two most important requirements. You should always keep in mind that anything that pinches, squeezes or chafes can only get worse after several kilometers and several thousand steps. So in any case, take some time to try on your new hiking pants.
Even if you can't complete a full hike in the store or at home, of course, there are a few things you can do to test the hiking pants:
- Sit down. While you'll be mostly walking when you hike, you don't want it to be uncomfortable even when you're taking a break.
- Bend your knees and pull your knees up while standing. If you have the opportunity, go up and down a few flights of stairs. After all, if you want to take a picture of a flower, light a campfire, or tie your shoes, you don't want your fellow hikers to get an involuntary glimpse.
- And at least to some extent, freedom of movement during ascent and descent was also tested.
- Which hiking pants do I need for which season? In the fall, long pants with a warm lining are best.
- Finally, of course, there are steps you should take to see if it is restricting you in any way, limiting your activities, or scuffing. With these tests, you can find the right hiking pants and save yourself a lot of trouble.