The best walking trousers 2018: trek, clamber and climb in comfort

Discover the top walking trousers for men and for women that will keep you comfortable whatever the weather

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They may not seem like a particularly high tech piece of trekking kit, but walking trousers aren’t just a glorified pair of chinos. 

Specially developed with materials that offer anything from water resistance to total water and wind proofing, as well as durability against slips and trips on rocky crags without compromising on flexibility and comfort, there is more to the humble walking trouser than you might think.

As you’ve landed here, we expect you’ve found out the hard way that old chinos, jeans or shorts will not suffice for the semi-serious to pro walker.

If you are a frequent walker, a pair of hiking trousers that is designed for the elements as well as for comfort will revolutionise you strolling sessions, trust us.

And now is a great time to pick up a pair or two. Retailers are discounting stock now that the summer is over, and the Black Friday sales mean that those discounts are set to get bigger, for some items, at least. We check the prices we show below every day, so when prices do drop you'll always see the best price. Happy shopping!

 How to buy the best walking trousers for you

Our pick of the best walking trousers at the moment is the Berghaus Explorer Eco, but that’s not to say they are the best walking trousers for everyone. 

From walking trousers with zip off legs that convert longs to shorts in an instant, through to multi-pocket trousers that have a space for every gadget and accessory possible, this outdoor wardrobe hero is a game changer when it comes to trekking.

When browsing our list of the best walking trousers, consider what weather and terrain you want to wear them in, and opt for lighter wicking materials for warmer climates and thicker, fleece lining for colder walks. 

Also think about how you want them to fit and how important style is to you, as well as how many pockets you need. Are you hoping pockets will suffice in place of a rucksack, or do you need the additional room and easy access of having your gear about your person?

There’s also the question of breathability. Highly breathable trousers are great for keeping you cool when walking in hot weather or for long periods, but not always necessary, and this feature often increases the cost of the best walking trousers. 

Fit and style are usually down to personal preference but typically all walking trousers tend to be styled on the looser side. When you’re striding through the countryside or clambering up hills, you want to make your walk as comfortable as possible, so be sure check the waist size of the trousers you pick; remember, you can always tighten up the belt fastening on your trousers, you can't magically make them bigger so opt for the higher end of your waist measurement when selecting walking trousers.

We’ve selected our top picks this season based on durability and comfort to help you find you perfect walking slacks.

Our pick of the best walking trousers to buy today

Berghaus Explorer Eco

1. Berghaus Explorer Eco

Be prepared come rain or shine

Best for: Comfort
UPF: 50+
Material: Nylon
Pockets: 5
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable fit+Eco-friendly manufacture
Reasons to avoid
-Baggy around the bum

If comfort prioritises over style, you won’t get much better. These trousers have a generous fit and a non-elasticated waistband which means no digging in! 

There’s not one, but five pockets - so make sure you don’t forget where you put things. Having said that, two of the pockets are designed for hand warming - so now who’s laughing? 

Add to that the eco-friendly manufacturing process, and you can be completely satisfied that you’re doing your bit to ensure that your favourite walks will stick around for future generations to enjoy. 

The Berghaus Explorer Eco are simply designed meaning that they go with anything and have the added bonus of zip off lower legs so you can convert the walking trousers to walking shorts in no time at all. 

Fjallraven Vidda Pro

2. Fjallraven Vidda Pro

Clue is in the name - for the go hard or go home types

Best for: Hardcore trekking
UPF: n/a
Material: Polyester & Cotton
Pockets: 7
Reasons to buy
+Extremely durable+Incredibly waterproof
Reasons to avoid

These are serious walking trousers for Bear Grylls wannabes. Thanks to the G-1000 Original fabric, you won’t be getting wet or cold any time soon regardless of what weather you chuck at these trousers. 

What’s also good to know is they’ve also been inbuilt with additional bum and knee support - so slipping and sliding down banks and tripping over tree roots aren’t so much of a rip hazard. With 7 pockets, all of which having their individual uses, you know these trousers aren’t messing about.  

Peter Storm Men's Packable Pant

3. Peter Storm Men's Packable Pant

Value for money performance

Best for: Value for money
UPF: n/a
Material: 100% Nylon
Pockets: 2
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most durable on this list

If you’re more of a casual, intermittent walker looking for something simple, we recommend these Peter Storm packable pants. At RRP £15 they’re a steal, and they’re waterproof to boot. Made from nylon, these walking trousers are recommended for trekking, hiking and backpacking as they’ll do a solid job of protecting you from the elements. 

Our favourite thing about them is that they come in a stuff sack and can be packed away into this small, waterproof holder. Ideal for walking and backpacking!

Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Trousers

4. Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Trousers

A technical trouser with excellent stretching ability

Best for: Ease of movement
UPF: 50
Material: Nylon & Elastane
Pockets: 4
Reasons to buy
+Great for multi terrains+Suitable for rock climbing
Reasons to avoid
-No-go if you prefer baggy

If you like a fitted trouser, then these are the ones for you. Keep in mind that one of their main selling points is the stretchiness, so you don’t need to worry about being restricted. While they are waterproof and wind resistant, these  Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Trousers aren’t the most heavy duty on the market - so if you’re planning on going right into the wilderness, perhaps step it up a gear and opt for the Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers. But, for an avid hiker who likes the odd rock climb or scramble, these are a great middle weight trouser that will last years.

Montane Terra Ridge

5. Montane Terra Ridge

Move mountains with these trousers

Best for: Sports
UPF: 50+
Material: Granite Stretch
Pockets: 4
Reasons to buy
+Fast drying fabric+Reinforced for extra strength
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most waterproof 

These women’s trousers are primed for mountain hikes.  Featuring GRANITE STRETCH Dynamic fabric, they dry faster than you can say ‘rain drop’. But, having said that, they don't feature the strongest waterproofing so save these for when the mountains are green rather than covered in snow. 

Lightweight yet tough, these should be your first choice if you’re planning on attacking the Alps or hiking the Highlands when the weather is warm. And let’s not forget the side vents incase you need to air yourself out a little. If you are heading off on the 3 Peaks Challenge and want a pair of walking trousers that is comfortable and low maintenance, these are the ones.

The North Face Women Venture 2

6. The North Face Women Venture 2

Best waterproof trousers for women

Best for: Wet weather walks
UPF: n/a
Material: 100% polyamide
Reasons to buy
+Totally water and windproof +Elastic waist for extra comfort
Reasons to avoid
-Only available in black

If you’re looking for stronger waterproofing than the Montane Terra Ridge can offer, we’d recommend the North Face Women’s Venture 2 walking trousers. 

They offer maximum waterproof protection, including a seam-sealed shell and  velcro ankle tabs to keep you dry even down to your socks! As well as waterproof, the fabric is 100% windproof. 

Recommended for all weather types, including snow, these comfortable, casual trousers are one of the best walking trousers available for women right now. 

PrAna Bronson Pant

7. PrAna Bronson Pant

For the fashion conscious

Best for: Closest thing to regular trousers
UPF: 50+
Material: Cotton & Spandex
Pockets: 5
Reasons to buy
+Available in range of colours+Organic cotton
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof

These chino-esque walking trousers are for those that love walking but want to adopt a more stylish approach to covering some countryside mileage. Okay, so they’re hardly going to be your next pair of Armani jeans but the organic cotton fabric weaved with spandex provides you with a sturdy, durable trouser that’s comfortable to wear whether you’re popping to the pub or taking the dog out for a run around the fields. 

If you normally opt to go out walking in your 'normal clothes' but want to upgrade with some trousers that are walking specific without looking like Ray Mears, opt for these.

Berghaus Navigator II Stretch Pant

8. Berghaus Navigator II Stretch Pant

A great everyday walking trouser

Best for: Long legs
UPF: 50+
Material: Nylon & Elastane
Pockets: 6
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Dry quickly
Reasons to avoid
-Sizing comes up long

If you are looking for a reliable item to take on your annual walking holiday, look no further than this trusted Berghaus walking trouser. Offering high durability and abrasion resistance, these trousers are tough enough for you to tackle even the rockiest terrain. 

If you happen to come across a stream or two or the heavens open halfway, they’re also packing a highly water repellent finish, making them a great all-rounder for the walking wardrobe. They dry quick, have 6 pockets and, whilst a little baggy, look pretty good too. If you want a trusted brand and you're not too fussy about fit and style, these are a great option.

Looking to kit the kids out or your next hike? Check out the best walking boots for kids to ensure you have a whole team of happy campers!