We've tested walking trousers in locations as varied as the Cairngorms, the Lake District, Iceland, the Dolomites, the Atlas Mountains and Slovenia to name but a few so you can be sure that our pick of the best walking trousers of 2016 is based on many miles of walking in a range of different climates.
Fjallraven Vidda Pro walking trousers
The Vidda Pro are not the most technical trousers available instead being aimed more at wilderness users than alpinists. But what they are is tough and dependable, which the 540g weight rating hints at. That’s mainly thanks to the proprietary G-1000 fabric (a polyester/cotton mix), which is hardwearing and gives good wind and water resistance and dries quickly too. It is double layered over the knees. It is, however, perhaps too warm for high summer conditions.
Comfort levels are good, although the waist is quite generous, so you may need to add a belt.
A rough and tough pair of wilderness trekking trousers which will appeal most to non-technical outdoor users.
Berghaus Explorer Eco walking trousers
Made for ‘hillside adventures’ the Ecos are all about comfort and durability. They have a loose and casual fit, weigh 389g and boast very impressive green credentials too. With all that in mind they could be the ideal outdoor trousers for the general user.
More suited to scrambling or climbing than walking around in high and windy mountain environments, but comfort levels are absolutely excellent, they come with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, UPF 50 sun protection and six truly superb pockets.
Superb outdoor trousers that marry excellent design to luxurious comfort, with genuinely green credentials
Montane Super Terra pants walking trousers
For both tough mountain adventures, and pleasant trails, the Super Terra are serious trousers with a coarser feel than some – but this adds to the feeling of robustness. A belt is included and there are sizeable venting zips from the knee down.
The fabric is nicely wind and water resistant and quick drying, as well as being rated to UPF 50.
The eye-grabbing Cordura Hydro patches on the knees, seat and instep are not just for looks but fabulously handy for keeping off rocky scrapes and crampon points, and are especially water resistant for snow and ice work too.
The Super Terras are double tough, bomb proof trousers that perform brilliantly in challenging conditions
Vaude Defender Pants III walking trousers
Stretchy, windproof and fast-drying, the 450g stretchy Defenders IIIs are comfortable from the off. All five pockets are zip protected but are best used for venting, rather than heavy or sharp objects. The belt is in-built and easy to adjust, if not remove. There are also zips at the ankles and a slightly elaborate, but well-functioning draw-cord system.
The fabric is a little rougher than some, but we found it extremely well suited to resisting high winds and light rain. It’s also not particularly thick, making the Defender IIIs a viable year-round option for winter or high mountain adventures.
A solid mountain product that ticks every box for climbers, mountaineers and climbers to use year round
Mountain Hardwear Chockstone walking trousers
The Chockstone Midweight Active trousers are aimed at users keen on ‘hiking and technical climbing’. Consequently they’re built of a stretchy, weather-resistant soft shell fabric, the cut is athletic and the design is neat, simple and tidy.
The comfort of the Chockstone is immediately noticeable, and when in motion that four-way stretch really comes into its own. The Chockstones only weigh 388g, too – which explains the light, minimalist feel in use. Storage points are few but well judged, adjustment is minimal but effective, and the inside waist is lined with a micro-chamois fabric – which is a very nice touch indeed.
Accomplished technical trousers ideal for serious outdoor use, and casual enough for everyday outdoor use.
Houdini Motion Light walking trousers
Houdini describes the Motion Light pants as ‘stretchy soft shell pants for all year around use: city biking to backcountry adventures both summer and winter’. So if you’re a general outdoor user, they're aimed at you.
Comfort levels are excellent, as the fabric is tremendously supple and stretchy – giving these trousers the free feeling of yoga pants. There are small ankle zips for widening the bottom of the trousers slightly, but no further adjustment.
Weighing 266g they are certainly light, thanks to minimal design and a polyester-based Motion Light Comfortshell fabric. Stretchy and comfortable, they also come with a quick drying DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
Expensive, but extremely comfortable and lightweight outdoor trousers for eager multi-sport users.