woman standing on rock in gray pants

The 2020 Fall Guide to Perfect Women’s Hiking Pants

November 16, 2020

Fall is, arguably, the best season of the year for hiking, and we were patient all summer long.

There’s a pleasant lack of bugs (and other people, for that matter), an abundance of beautiful foliage, and a comfortable chill in the air that makes autumnal hiking pure bliss. So, whether you’re gearing up for the ultimate fall color hike in New Hampshire or just traversing your neighborhood trail this weekend, you’ll need the right clothes for the job.

Complete every thru-hike, out-and-bike, and scramble with aplomb this Fall! We’ve made a guide on selecting the right women’s hiking pants to give you a leg-up before you’re off to that fall-inspired weekend getaway.

Let’s Talk General

Before we begin, let’s address a few things about scoring the perfect pair of hiking pants. 

Know what you need from your hiking pants

This seems obvious, but take a moment to seriously consider what you intend to do in your pants.

Will you be wearing them all day long? Will you bend, twist, squat, or lunge in them? Do you expect to encounter water, dense bushes, desert terrain? Do you need storage space? What about the weather conditions?

Answering questions like these will help you select a style to wear and point out all the additional superpowers you’re going to need on your pants, like vents, improved durability, water-resistance, sun protection…

How to measure yourself for hiking pants

Knowing your measurements will help with determining the exact fit you’ll get from each different style. When shopping online, compare your measurements to the size guide on every product page to make sure you’re buying the right size.

If you’ve never measured yourself for hiking pants before, check out the guide below:

Getting the right measures is half of the work.

Choose Style AND Comfort

While shopping for the trip in an outdoorsy apparel store, you find hiking pants that look amazing on you. Next minute, you’re already halfway to the checkout, thinking: “That’ll do.” Familiar?

Always remember to perform this quick test: imagine hiking four miles, uphill, in the cold rain in those pants. Still comfortable? Great! But if not, it’s time to pick another pair. Because once you’re on the trail, you’ll never regret those extra 20 minutes looking for the right pair. You’ll only regret the opposite, feeling bad over your soaked, cold, sad legs.

That, of course, doesn’t mean you need to look like a walking square with oversized cargo pockets and depressing colors. You can enjoy nature while looking good and feeling even better in hiking pants that have all the advanced features, skinny fit, and bright colors.

Which Hiking Pants Are Best For The Fall Season?

Hiking pants are designed to perform in a similar way as athletic clothes. They don’t retain moisture; they’re comfortable to move in; and they’re dependable and strong in action.

Due to cold and rainy days in the mountains, the best women’s hiking pants for the fall season should be:

  • very good at regulating body temperature
  • quick-drying, moisture-wicking and even water-resistant
  • able to provide unrestricted freedom of movement

The Fabrics

KÜHL has developed fabric blends that combine and optimize the natural features of individual fabrics so you get maximum utility from your pants.

REFLEX™ fabric of the HÖRIZN™ Skinny Pant is a great example. This super-soft fabric with a four-way stretch provides the ultimate comfort and follows your body’s movements. Strong, ripstop fabric adds to the durability and protects your skin from rugged terrain. These pants are moisture-wicking and quick-drying while also featuring DWR finish. That makes the HÖRIZN Series perfect for higher elevations, high-humidity areas, and wading through wet vegetation.

woman sitting on a rock next to the lake
Pick moisture-wicking pants to keep your body dry. Product shown: Hörizn™ Skinny.

The Technologies

Let’s mention some of the most important technologies women’s hiking pants for fall should have.

Moisture-wicking technology is a special fabric feature that draws water and sweat away from your skin. That leaves both your body and hiking pants dry to the touch. This way, you can regulate your body temperature much more efficiently than if you were soaked through, and also keep yourself from feeling sticky or chilled when you sweat.

Hiking pants that have been integrated with stretch capabilities give you all the flexibility you need, minus the sagging and loss of structure that usually accompanies stretchy fabric. The woven, resilient fibers used for this technology keep you looking sharp and feeling comfortable for miles without compromising your flexibility and range of motion.

Forget ripped or uncomfortable seams: KÜHL uses saddle stitching to provide durability on the trails, minus all the unnecessary bulk. This reinforced stitch style, coupled with ultra-strong Nylon thread, gives the hiking pants distinctive durability without compromising comfort. 

The Features

Protecting your skin while you’re out on the trail is a must, no matter the season. In addition to applying sunscreen, wearing ultraviolet-protective clothing offers you a suitable UPF rating in the heat of the day. Similarly, draw cords in the waistband and ankles allow you to adapt to unpredictable weather and rough terrain without breaking your stride.

Every hiker knows that hiking in the rain can be miserable without the right apparel. Water-repellent fabrics and a durable water repellent or wax coating help you to stay dry and cozy while you’re traversing the trails.

a woman zipping her pocket in the outdoors
A pocket in the right place is a game-changer for the hiking pants. Product shown: Innovair™ Skinny.

Most flattering, stylish pants have impractical pockets that can’t hold more than a tube of lip balm. When selecting a pair of hiking pants, check out the pockets in addition to the adjustments to see if they can get the job done. With options like water-repellent reverse-coil zippers, lightweight mesh pocket bags, and hidden interior pockets for your valuables, you’ll be prepared for anything.

The features don’t stop there. Gusseted crotches for extra mobility, double front pants with an amazing level of utility, and quick-dry fabric that drives the dampness away give top-notch women’s hiking pants their signature edge. 

Type & Fit

When you’re choosing your next pair of hiking pants, consider the styles and types that are available. Beyond all the pockets and features, look for a pant that is both flattering and functional. 

  • Roll-Up Pants. These versatile hiking pants can be rolled up and buttoned or snapped in place with a strap to prevent them from falling back down. Great for cooling off, staying dry, or just lacing up your boots.
  • Convertibles. Fall weather is unpredictable, but convertible-style pants are just as adaptable as you are. Convenient zippers allow you to easily convert your pants into shorts and vice-versa, making you ready for any seasonal challenge.
  • Leggings. The top-notch hiking bottoms that fit like a dream! And they’re not only for summertime. Wintr Traverse™ Leggings are lined with fleece for added warmth and softness in the cold season.
  • Capri. Not short enough to be shorts, but long enough to protect your skin from rough terrain, all while keeping you cool. Capri pants give you a wider range of mobility with a slight breeze to boot.
  • Cargo. Yes, there are cargo pants for women, and they sure look good! Top performance combined with deep, zippered pockets for anything you might want to bring along is the definition of a good pant.

When it comes to the fit, we’ve got your six. If you’re looking for a tailored style that flows seamlessly between the office and the trails, get a skinny fit. Some ladies find the skinny fit uncomfortable and like their pants a bit more loose in the legs. If you’re in this group, go for the straight fit pants. And if you love to be free all the way, the relaxed fit is just right for you.

Skinny, Straight and Relaxed Fit. Products shown: Kontour™ Skinny, Trekr™ Pant, Splash™ Roll-Up Pant.

Here at KÜHL, we march to the beat of our own drum, just like you do. We believe that every adventure is epic; our gear is designed with you and your journey at the forefront of the development process.  No matter where you go this fall, pick good women’s hiking pants and get the most out of every step.

KÜHL Women’s Hiking Pants
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