Patagonia Field Pants | £80
BEST FOR Tough adventures in cool, wet conditions
Stretchy, water resistant, sun-blocking, and incredibly rugged, the Field Pants are up to the toughest of travel adventures. The primary material is nylon, with a touch of Spandex for comfortable movement. The front of the leg is three-quarters covered in a tougher 500-denier nylon, which Impressively doesn't add too much weight with the pants coming in at 453g. In travel use, that double-layer construction makes them warm but not too hot for a British summer, for example.
VERDICT Excellent Patagonia construction, toughness and styling available at a very reasonable price.
Rohan Stretch Bags | £49
BEST FOR Any active travel where articulation is needed
Rohan’s Multiflex Light stretchy fabric is a triumph, with the pants allowing completely unrestricted movement despite their tight fit. This next-to-skin fit certainly helps wicking and breathability, as they stayed comfortable and sweat-free even on hard, hot days. Although lightweight, the Stretch Bags are easily warm enough for winter, with great wind-proofing. Other features include a D ring on the front, rear zipped pockets, reinforced seat and knee panels and UPF 40+ sun protection.
VERDICT Versatile, subtly technical walking pants, which will move easily with you no matter how high or hard your walk.
Fjallraven Abisko Shade | £130
BEST FOR Hot weather adventures of any length
The Abisko Shade trousers are designed for hot weather hiking with a slew of features including new lightweight G1000 Air material, rear ventilated yoke, and side zipped vents.
But despite all these features (and more) the Abisko Shade model still has a sleek, unassuming look and a smart cut that lends itself to every-day travel wear. Other active-travel-friendly features include zippered thigh pockets, a minimalist gear loop and a built-in belt – all executed with Fjallraven's dependably excellent build quality.
VERDICT It's possible to buy cheaper gear and love it, but we often find compromising on price leads to buying twice…
Craghoppers Nosilife Convertible Pants | £65
BEST FOR Warmer weather walking needing full protection
The Nosilife Convertible pants provide protection from the sun and mosquitoes, and the zip-off factor is also a clear winner for travellers, particularly in variable climates and from a light packing point of view. The zip is also at just the right height.
One of the nice surprises is the plethora of secure pockets. In addition, a really nice touch is that Craghoppers have included a removable waterproof pouch, which is well sized for a phone, passport or paper money.
VERDICT These pants will excel more on the hill than in the bar but they're packed with features and well priced.
Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo pants | £45
BEST FOR Hot, casual hikes in sunny climes
Using Columbia's Omni-Wick and Omni-Shade fabrics for protection from sun and sweat puts these Columbia cargo pants firmly in the 'warm weather' category. They also boast a very lightweight and airy material which combined with the UPF 50 sun protection offers a very cool and comfy micro-climate. A loose and unrestrictive fit plus gusset detail for movement, all add to that suitability. The roomy fit won't help in a cold wind and they have no wet weather protection but that's not what they're designed for.
VERDICT As long as you're heading to the sun, these pants will leave ample spare change to fill their many pockets.
Prana Brion | £77
BEST FOR Seamless transitioning from travel to trail
At first glance the Brion Pants are essentially stretchy nylon/spandex jeans. But Prana have made them from their Stretch Zion material – beloved of climbers – which adds wrinkle resistance, DWR and quick drying properties, not to mention great freedom of movement.
So, imagine your favourite pair of jeans, crossed with a pair of pyjamas. They're that comfortable. On a plane or train, that material is a godsend, and the wrinkle resistance makes them very travel friendly. On the hill they work great; the stretch and lightness of the material making a seamless transition from town to trail.
VERDICT The Brion's are well-judged for the active/travel cross-over category, and at £77 are our best budget pick.