It is time to go hiking, and you are ecstatic about it. Of course, every avid hiker is. But what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Sufficient energy to inch up every single mile to the last? Granted! But wait a minute. You don’t need to spend every second building your muscles for the big day. The appropriate costume is equally a vital consideration. So, shorts or pants?

The energy requirement is undoubtedly part of the preps, but not the only one. You need an array of basics too. A list nearly similar to a back camping checklist. Think about the vital camping gear. And in the final stages, you need to pick a dress code. That will require some scrutiny. Like an enthusiastic swimmer, the dress code is about style, comfort, and, more importantly, protection.

What’s The Ideal Hiking Outfit?

That’s the big question of the day- and a multifaceted one for that matter. We would have loved to leave the decision for you to make. But since you are already here, we will tackle this question convincingly. For the record, you can wear shorts or pants, but this resolution depends ultimately on the altitude, weather, and amount of vegetation. You may include your style to the list if you wish. So, when and where can you wear shorts or pants?

Let’s delve deeper into the detailed aspects!

Hiking Shorts

Hiking Shorts

Do you savor camping in the summer? Or, do you hike in low altitude areas when the weather is sizzling? Well, if the two scenarios apply to your schedule, then shorts are your ultimate hiking gear.

Shorts provide you with more freedom. They allow sweat to roll out freely and evaporate. That makes them cooler. Who doesn’t crave to relish the coolness throughout a hot hiking day? We all do, of course.

Even more, if you are blessed with stunning legs like one of the admins of this site, then shorts are an ideal way to showcase what you have.

Hiking Pants

Hiking Pants

These are more popular options among most campers. They are excellent for providing extra protection. Expert hikers prefer the additional cover down to the legs. Those parts serve as extra storage pockets.

They look fancy too, besides, these pants come with additional storage pouches. You can have small items within reach.

The best hiking pants will shield you against chilly weather. You don’t want to hike at the expense of your well-being, do you? They also provide unbeatable protection against unrelenting overgrown vegetation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Hiking Shorts or Pants

We already have a decision. It is either shorts or pants. The final decision will depend on the trail setting, atmosphere, and your preference.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when hunting for hiking shorts or pants.


A pair of jeans is perfectly elegant. They look classy irrespective of your favorite shade. Additionally, they’ll serve you for quite a while due to their durability.

However, they are heavy, hot, and will restrict your movement when wet. Such a garment doesn’t allow convenient outdoor activity.

On the contrary, hiking pants are lightweight. They are often made from nylon fabrics. Besides, they allow relaxed movements. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? The feel is no different.


Nylon- and sometimes spandex materials- produce a rubbing noise during movement. Are you going to enjoy an impressive animal viewing experience along a trail-side filled with irritating fabric noises?

This is not what you experience with the special nylon used for making hiking shorts. They are understandably soft, quiet, and comfortable.

Fast Drying

Your trail is not going to be all dry. Hiking tracks are often unpredictable. A stream crossing here, wet weather at some point, or even wet overgrown vegetation drenching your hiking clothing.

Your pants will often become wet. The light nylon construction ensures that you don’t drag heavy and wet pants along the path for hours. The experience is terrible if you hike in jeans – simply unforgettable.

Multiple Pockets

Pockets come in handy for any hiker. They serve to hold the little hiking stuff within grasp. You don’t need your trail maps too far. The same applies to your digital camera, phones, munchies, and lip balm.

This feature helps you to stay ultralight.

Convertible Shorts

Comfort is essential for any hiker. Thus, you’ll probably need to expose your legs by converting your pants into shorts. While this is possible for any non-hiking clothing, including jeans breeches, you will probably need a knife, machete, or a scissor to achieve that. An amputation-permanent.

On the flip-side, hiking pants come with zippers at about the knee level. Zippers allow you to unzip and zip back at your convenience. The choice is all yours. Zippers or a machete? Permanent or temporary?

Parting Shot

A lot of benefits come with hiking. It helps to reduce your risks to diseases of the heart and the circulatory system. Moreover, it improves your blood sugar level and bone density. Hiking also helps to improve your strength and reduce belly fat.

However, it can as well be a dangerous adventure if you don’t use the right hiking gear and clothing. That is why we recommend using the best hiking pants or shorts. So rock those pants or shorts on your next hiking escapade!

Kelvin Mwathi