Hiking pants

Hi there!

Can anyone recommend comfortable and affordable hiking pants for winter? I’ve always been interested in those hella fancy pants with the soft shell areas around the bum and knees, but expect them to be very expensive. Having the legs zip off is probs also a nice feature?


I have been super happy with the First Ascent Stretch Fit hiking pants: Men's Stretch Fit Hiking Pants - First Ascent

Comfortable, fitted, reasonably breathable and way more durable than I expected. Been bashing through fynbos for 2 years and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. “Fancier”, cotton-based hiking pants just get shredded in the fynbos. I’ve worn through 2 pairs of Prana Zion stretch pants, due to off-trail walking.

Thanks Arno, I’m going to go and check them out! My shorts are also First Ascent, so happy with the brand!

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R100 cheaper at SportsmansWarehouse :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Or try these - The legs zip off


agree first ascent or cape storm

Hi Tallguy,

I guess it depends what you want to use them for.

I own both soft and stretchy as well as the typical FA non-stretch zip off pants. I hike mostly in the Drakensberg, and if I stay on paths then either will work fine. There are, however, areas like the approach to Ships Prow pass where one hike will absolutely destroy them.

The soft version works better if you have to do a lot of stretch work, i.e. climb over high boulders etc.

I do find the stretchy pants tend to run hot, perfect for winter, not so great for summer hiking.

Lastly, zip-off pants. I own a bunch of them and have only once used this feature. Granted, it was on a super hot day. Never used it since, but, different people have varying heat tolerances.

If in doubt, buy all 3 and test them out :slight_smile:

Forgot to clarify - the Ships Prow section will destroy the soft pants. The harder versions also take a beating, but don’t get ripped and torn.

I’ve used Cape Storm Tech Longs, Pretty durable, block cold wind well, dry quickly and cool enough for summer hiking. Best feature are their front pockets, which has a zipped-pocket on the deeper hand pocket, good for storing bits and bobs. Mine are older, like 10-15yrs so not sure about "new C.Storm " quality but after-service is pretty good with repairs in gen. Also, they don’t “swish-swish” when you walk. And block sun. I don’t like smearing on sun-block so prefer to cover up. Shorts will always be cooler.

Problem I’ve had with zip-off-legs is that the zip has sheared off due to leg action pumping on a climb (with other brands not CS) so I avoid them now and carry super light running shorts as alternative/back up when the heat is unbearable…but in mountains there’s always a little breeze building

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Columbia recently had a sale and I picked up a pair of pants for R700 and used them on the Whale Trail last week. Was very pleased - the one pocket tore when I put my iPhone 11 in it and bent down - more the phone’s fault I guess. Other than that, even when it got semi-hot I didn’t feel the need to zip of the legs. Only after a few beers and advanced yoga stretches did I need to get rid of the legs. Note that columbia pant sizes are a bit small - I normally wear a 38 and went with the 40 (which fits great).

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