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Arcteryx Jacket Sale - 14 Practical, Comfy Leggings You Can Actually Wear Hiking

For an activity that’s supposed to be soothing and get us closer to nature, hiking comes with its share of bumps, scrapes, and stumbles. Only the best hiking leggings—ones that feature the versatility and stretchiness we associate with regular workout leggings, as well as the abrasion resistance we expect from outdoor gear—will get us through our outdoor adventures without snagging or chafing.

While we love a good pair of hiking pants, a pair of leggings might be preferable if you know you'll want greater freedom of movement (say, if you have to bend and high-step through rocky terrain). They’re also easier to tuck into hiking boots to keep bugs out and can offer plenty in the way of sun protection and breathability. Plus, you can use a pair of leggings as a base layer under your go-to soft-shell or rain pants during cold weather hikes. 

Of course, the best leggings for hikers borrow some of the technical features that we love about hiking and rock climbing pants, including some degree of weather resistance, tough fabrics that won't rip against rocks or trees, and, for extra points, reinforced panels to prevent wear and tear. They also need to be comfy, but that should go without saying. 

While it may sound challenging for a pair of bottoms to strike the fine balance between stretchy and tough, there are quite a few hiking tights out there that do just that. Here, we've highlighted some of the best hiking leggings from top-rated outdoor brands and retailers like Arc'Teryx, The North Face, Patagonia, and more. Read on to find your faves and gear up for the fall hiking and backpacking season.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Dark grey hiking leggings

    Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tight

    Between its reinforced knees and seat, zippered pockets on the legs and waist, and moisture-wicking fabric, this is one seriously sleek yet technical pair of leggings. As far as fit goes, one satisfied reviewer even noted you can wear them for multi-day stints without experiencing any sagging.

    Available in sizes XXS to XXL. 

    $175 $131 AT MOOSEJAW
  • Arcteryx Essent High Rise Leggings 26 in

    Arc'teryx Essent High-Rise Leggings 26"

    Made with a stretchy nylon-elastane blend, these Arc’Teryx leggings will hold up against rough-and-tumble use. But these weren’t just made with hiking in mind: The thigh pockets are positioned to sit below the leg loops of a climbing harness, so you can still have easy access to your essentials while you project.

    Available in sizes 0 to 16.

  • The North Face Movmynt Tights

    The North Face Movmynt Tights

    These leggings from The North Face are an especially good pick if trail running is part of your outdoor itinerary: They're quick-drying and super stretchy, but far from flimsy. Reviewers report snag-free hikes while wearing these leggings—and several shout out the internal drawstring as their most loved feature.  

    Available in sizes XS to XL.

  • Eddie Bauer

    Eddie Bauer Trail Tight Leggings

    Eddie Bauer makes a strong case for owning multiple pairs of the same leggings in different colors with the Trail Tight. They come in a wonderful array of earthy shades, and, thanks to its breathable mesh panels, supportive high waist, and comfortable gusseted crotch, you’ll want to wear them on everyday hikes. You can choose between full or capri length, and they’re also available in petite, tall, and plus sizes.

    Available in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Backcountry

    Columbia Windgates II Legging

    For the hiker who'd live in cargo pants if they could, consider the Windgates II. They have side pockets, waistband pockets, and zippered pockets on top of said side pockets—enough storage space for all your essentials. Plus, if you're hitting the trail in warm weather, don't worry: These tights' UPF 50+ sun protection and performance-wicking stretch fabric will provide the coverage you want.

    Available in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Patagonia Pack Out Tights

    From one of our favorite outdoor brands comes a pair of leggings that'll deliver in a variety of climates. Form-fitting with a polyester-spandex fabric that encourages airflow and a wide waistband for long-term comfort, the Pack Out Tight by Patagonia is great to wear on its own in the warmer months and then layer when the temps drop.

    Available in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Prana Layna 7/8 Legging

    Prana makes equally high-quality yoga pants and hiking pants, so it's hardly a surprise that the brand's hiking-friendly leggings are top performers too. One Backcountry reviewer wrote that they use these leggings for everything from climbing to hiking to working from home—a testament to their comfiness. Be aware that these don't come with as many technical bells and whistles as other leggings on our list, so they might be better suited to easier hikes over long treks through lots of underbrush. 

    Available in sizes XS to XL.

  • Athleta Headlands Hybrid Cargo II Tights

    We love the utilitarian look of these Athleta leggings (they have a total of six pockets), and that aesthetic appeal is backed up by plenty of functional details. The abrasion-resistant, spandex-infused fabric has a durable water-repellent finish in case the weather turns while you're out, and a hidden drawcord prevents them from slipping down or sagging.

    Available in sizes 0 to 26.

  • Eddie Bauer Crossover Winter Trail Adventure High-Rise Leggings

    Another pick from Eddie Bauer, these leggings are ready for the winter hiking season with their fleece-lined interior. If the thought of insulated leggings makes you start to overheat, don't sweat it: The Winter Trail Adventure leggings are made with odor-control fabric.

    Available in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Kuhl Transcendr Leggings

    Featuring a water-resistant finish and durable (yet breathable) construction, Kuhl's Transcendr leggings are designed to move with you while protecting you from the elements. Whether drizzle rolls in or you wind up with some scrapes and scratches, these leggings will withstand the tests of the trail.

    Available in sizes XS to XL.

  • Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Wind Tight

    Anything made of odor-controlling, never-itchy Merino wool is welcome in our gear collection, but these Smartwool tights are a true must-have for its purposeful construction. From the windproof front panels to the anti-chafe seams to the water-resistant fabric, these leggings are meant to be worn a long time through potentially unpleasant weather and rough hikes and remain comfortable the entire time.

    Available in sizes XS to XL.

  • Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings

    These Outdoor Research leggings were made with rock climbing in mind, so they're particularly tough (even if you have a run-in with a few rocks), and they move with you like a second skin. The knees are treated to be extra durable, the waist sits up nice and high, and the Lycra blend fabric holds a stretch as long as you need

    Available in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Outdoor Research Ferrosi Leggings

    The acclaimed Ferrosi leggings from Outdoor Research are truly the result of what would happen if a pair of leggings and hiking pants had a baby. They're lightweight and easy to move in, but have reinforced panels at the knees and seat to keep you protected, whether you're forging ahead or taking a rest.

    Available in sizes XS to XL.

  • Lululemon Cargo Super-High-Rise Hiking Tight 25"

    Lululemon's foray into hiking gear includes these stylish, drawstring-fastened leggings. They have a super-high-rise waist for maximum security, and while the fabric has the same four-way stretch feel you've come to expect from Lulu, it's made with abrasion-resistant nylon for more hardiness than you need in the yoga studio. Add a longline sports bra like this one for a complete matching workout set.

    Available in sizes 0 to 20.