The most hardcore hiking enthusiasts don’t let a little cold weather (or a little more than a little at times) stop them from enjoying what they love to do. The thing about hiking during the winter is that it’s of the utmost importance to wear the right pants.
It’s always important to wear proper bottoms while hiking, but it’s amplified in the winter. Winter pants women wear for hiking during colder months should keep them warm but should also perform well for the activity.
Indeed, the focus is on women today. We want to present five of the best winter hiking pants for women…sound like something you’d be interested in?
1. Arctix Insulated Snow Pants
For the record, this isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not always that the most popular item is the best of its kind. However, when it comes to these winter hiking pants, when you factor everything in, these are about as good as it gets.
Of course, it all starts with the warmth. The combination of the 85-gram synthetic Thermatech insulation and the Thermalock durable coating that blocks the wind, snow, and water will keep you warm during those cold, winter hikes.
As far as build quality, the 600D ballistic reinforced hem guards, scuff, and ankle can resist wear and tear very well. Additionally, there’s a zipper on the side of the ankles that can allow these pants to fit perfectly over your boots.
And if you’re looking for a stylish pair of pants, you’ll probably very much appreciate the vast variety of style options present here. Also, one last thing, these have been known to run a little long.
- Loads of colors are available
- There are zippers at the ankles
- Designed to resist the cold
- The waist may be too loose
- Can run a little long
- The pockets don’t stay dry
2. Camii Mia Winter Pants
These were so close to securing the top spot on this list, and we can’t think of a better runner-up than these winter pants women will most certainly admire. In addition to the really fair price (as hiking pants can get pretty expensive), the design as a whole is fantastic.
All in the meanwhile of being waterproof, windproof, and warm, these pants also function fantastically as hiking pants. They sport reinforced articulating knees for ideal mobility and flexibility. As for the aforementioned warmth, that’s pretty good too.
The high-density textile fabric provides good wind protection while the waterproof fleece keeps your legs warm and dry. Even the zippers have been designed to be waterproof. Speaking of which, though, one of the few shortcomings here is that the zippers could be of higher quality.
Something also to note is that these pants do fit somewhat high on your waist. Keep that in mind as if that’s a dealbreaker for you, these hiking pants may not actually be the best choice for you.
- Very comfortable to wear
- Will keep you warm
- Designed with articulating knees
- Fit somewhat high on your waist
- The zippers could be better
- Can run small for some
3. Camel Crown Fleece-Lined Pants
Now, you want to really talk about an impressive pair of winter hiking pants. There’s really only one design flaw, so to speak, that holds these back from being any better. Everything else, however, is just plain great.
These winter pants women tend to love for so many reasons. Whether you want to point to the gusseted crotch and 3D knee articulation for full mobility, the insulated fleece lining that locks in body heat, or the IPX4 water-resistant and windproof shell for optimal weather protection, these pants just plain rock.
Oh, and these are also pretty darn comfortable, and they even come with an insulated, zippered hand pocket on each side (and even a back, zippered pocket).
So…what gives? Why did these only land third on this list? Well, for starters, third on a top-five list certainly is nothing to be ashamed of. However, the reason these aren’t on top is due to how loud they are. While hiking, the fabric rubs together and is quite noisy.
- The quality is really good
- Comes with insulated hand pockets
- Provides ideal range of motion
- They’re noisy
- Might be too thick for some
- Somewhat stiff
4. Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
Okay, so here’s the deal with the Ferrosi Pants. Technically speaking, they’re not really winter pants. However, they’re so fantastic in their design and if you pair them with a base layer (such as warm leggings), they can still be great in the winter.
Plus, what helps in the winter is the fact that the Ferrosi Pants are both wind-resistant and water-resistant. Regarding performance, these are about as good as it gets for hiking. From the articulated knees to the mirroring stretch to the quick-drying fabric to the UPF 50+ protection, there’s so much to love about these.
If you want to go out in the cold and would prefer to not wear a base layer, though, these won’t offer enough warmth. On that basis, when talking about winter pants women like, these might not be on the top of the list.
Paired with that base layer, though, you have a winner. Plus, when the weather’s not too cold but is still brisk enough for pants, these will work superbly. In other words, they could probably be used in all seasons (though summer might be pushing it).
- Lightweight and stretchy
- Incredibly comfortable
- Designed with UPF 50+ protection
- Might be too short for some
- Still will need a base layer
- Not the best for thicker thighs
5. The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants
There are some clothing brands out there that virtually everyone’s heard of, and The North Face is probably one of those brands. That just means the brand is popular enough that so many consumers love wearing the products, and these winter pants women love for many reasons from The North Face.
Lightweight, comfortable, and water-resistant, these pants are equipped to handle a good, winter hike. FlashDry technology wicks away moisture while the DWR finish helps to keep water at bay.
As for the fit, these come with a drawstring closure system and feature a wide, rib-knit waistband. The pocket design is also pretty darn good with front hand pockets and even a hidden, zippered pocket which many women will really appreciate.
Unfortunately, these pants do have a static issue and that means that it’s easy for stuff to cling onto them. When hiking, this can, admittedly, be a little annoying. Thankfully, in the winter, it shouldn’t be as big of a deal.
- The hidden pocket is brilliant
- Light and comfortable
- Has four-way stretch
- Some think the fabric feels weird
- Can catch on objects
- A little too staticky
Frequently asked questions
Are hiking pants supposed to be tight?
Hiking pants, ideally, shouldn’t be too tight but they also shouldn’t be too baggy, either. Winter pants women tend to like will be that perfect medium of tight and baggy. At the end of the day, they should be comfortable to wear.
You don’t want them to chafe your skin, but you also don’t want them to restrict your movement. There’s a reason why specific pants should be bought for hiking.
Are jeans bad for hiking?
This is a really good question and, quite honestly, the average Joe may wonder why they can’t just go out on a hike in their jeans. Well…there’s nothing stopping you from going hiking in your jeans. Let’s just say that it’s not exactly advisable, though, as denim isn’t a good material for hiking.
The best hiking pants should be flexible, water-resistant, comfortable, moisture-wicking, and so on and so forth. If you only hike for a little while, you may find that jeans work okay. Yet, for anything serious, stay away from jeans.
Can you hike in gym leggings?
Are the best winter pants women love simply just leggings? Leggings are insanely popular nowadays and to answer the question of whether or not you can hike in them, you can. In fact, they do make winter leggings. However, actual hiking pants offer some advantages over them.
Most obviously, hiking pants will offer better durability. Oftentimes thicker and more resistant to abrasions, they’re a better choice overall. Leggings could work great as a base layer if you’re really worried about getting too cold on your hike, though.
Why is hiking gear so expensive?
This question also includes hiking pants, but we just figured we’d answer the question as a whole. If you’ve done a lot of shopping to get the best hiking gear you can get, you’re probably well aware that the cost can add up really quickly. Individually, hiking pants can certainly add to that total very fast.
So, why is this the case? Well, for one, optimal hiking pants (and gear, in general) need to be designed to have many attributes such as comfort, durability, water resistance, wind protection, etc. Another factor is, more than likely, the low demand that the market has. Adding to that is the fact that there are many players playing the game. In other words, many manufacturers exist in the hiking market.
Don’t let price play too much of a role, however, as you really don’t want to get cheap pants (or gear) on your winter hiking adventures.