Which outdoor pants should I choose?
Outdoor pants are a practical and useful garment for many – use them for hiking, outdoor activities, forest walks, dog walks or for physical work that requires durable clothing. There are a variety of pants to choose from – which ones suits you depends entirely on the activity, the terrain and the weather you're out in. At Outnorth you can choose between short, long, tight and wide outdoor pants or hiking tights.
What to consider when choosing outdoor trousers
- If you are going to hike in the trousers, a boot hook, ventilation and several pockets is beneficial
- If you need good freedom of movement, trousers with stretch are preferable
- Pants made of cotton fabric are durable and sturdy, but can be experienced as "stiff" at first
- Softshell pants are stretchy and flexible, but are not as durable as pants made of cotton
Different types of outdoor pants
Classic outdoor pants
By classic outdoor pants, or hiking pants, we mean long trousers made of technical materiala with several different functions and properties. The trousers can be wind and water resistant and have features such as an adjustable waist, several different pockets, a boot hook and ventilation zips.
Zip off pants
Zip off pants are regular outdoor pants with removable pant legs. You simply get two pairs of pants for the price of one. These pants are handy for multiple weathers when you want both long and short pants, but may not want to switch to shorts as soon as the weather changes. Another advantage is that you keep your pack down as you don't have to bring both long trousers and shorts with you.
Hiking tights sit tight against the legs and, unlike regular outdoor trousers, are a more "flexible" option, they generally lack certain functions, but on the other hand provide very good freedom of movement and fit. Compared to training tights, hiking tights are made of a more durable material with reinforcements on, for example, the knees and seat. Another advantage is that they take up very little space in the pack and can easily be worn under a pair of shell pants.
Outdoor pants from Urberg
The outdoor pants' functions and properties
Waist: Do you want an adjustable waist on your outdoor trousers? And does it matter what waist height they have? On all outdoor trousers in our range, we indicate whether the waist is adjustable and whether the trousers have a low, normal or high waist. Regarding the waist, you should also think about whether you should wear a backpack or a climbing harness when using the trousers. Then it is especially important to take a look so that nothing is chafing or that the waist is cut too low.
Ventilation: Outdoor trousers can be ventilated in different ways – either through the fabric or through ventilation openings. Many outdoor trousers have ventilation openings or – zippers. These zippers are usually located along the inside or outside of the thighs or through mesh panels in, for example, pockets.
Boot hook: Do you want a boot hook on the trousers? A boot hook is located at the end of the pant leg and is easily attached to the shoe laces to join trousers and boots for a secure fit.
Pockets: Think about the types of pockets you need – are roomy leg pockets or zipped pockets important? A pair of outdoor trousers usually has more pockets than a pair of hiking tights. At Outnorth it is easy to filter out how many pockets you want your trousers to have, in addition we always specify the number of pockets in the product characteristics of each product.
Legs: What leg width do you want the pants to have – narrow or wide to pull over boots? Many outdoor trousers have adjustable leg ends so that you can adjust the fit yourself.
Belt buckles: Do you want to be able to wear belts? Then belt buckles are a must!
Stretch: Depending on when you will use the trousers, a stretchy material can be advantageous – for example in activities where good freedom of movement is important. Some pants have stretch panels in selected places and others are made entirely of stretch materials.
Which material is best for outdoor pants?
Outdoor trousers are generally made in two different materials; cotton and synthetic blend or in a softshell material. Each fabric has different properties and is therefore well suited to different activities.
Outdoor trousers in dense cotton fabrics are hard-wearing and sturdy. This type of pants can be experienced as a bit "stiff" at first, so it may be good to consider that you may have to use the pants for a while before they soften and then become that reliable partner for many years to come. These pants often have reinforcements on the legs, knees and seat, and thus can handle everything from simpler outdoor activities to demanding hiking and even hunting. For the best fit, we recommend that you do not choose outdoor trousers in a cotton and synthetic blend that are too tight.
Outdoor trousers in softshell material are stretchy and flexible from the start. These pants give you good freedom of movement and ventilation and are therefore suitable for activities such as climbing, paddling, hiking and ski touring. Unlike pants made of cotton and synthetic material, the lifespan of a pair of softshell pants is somewhat shorter, a glow from the fire, for example, melts holes in softshell pants in no time. Outdoor pants in softshell usually come in different thicknesses, which affects how wind and water resistant they are, a stronger fabric is more wind and water resistant than a thinner one.
Hope you are happy with your new pants!