January 6, 2021

4 of the Best Plus Size Hiking Pants

by Roger

Finding plus size hiking pants could be a chore. However, it's possible to ease this herculean task. When I began my research on this post, I was taken aback. The amount of info about plus size hiking pants was limited.

Perhaps, there's a misconception that overweight individuals don't climb and hike. Maybe, a few writers bothered to pen down on this subject. I don't know the reason.

So, I felt obliged to jot down this post mainly because I carried excess weight for a significant portion of my life. The truth is overweight folks go hiking; many folks in my friend's circle do. They rappel and climb, trek, and cherish outdoor adventures just like me. 

However, it's often difficult for them to do so. Challenges turn up when tackling nature this way. Yet, overcoming those hurdles yields better rewards and results.

As far as finding plus size hiking gear is concerned, the job is a lot easier than it used to be. Back in the 2000s, when I started my outdoor tenures, the options to accommodate plus-size needs were limited.

Only a few venues would meet my expectations. It wasn't enjoyable for me. Yet, I got through those unusual moments, and I'm confident that any person can.

4 Plus size hiking pants and product reviews

Why are Plus Size Hiking Pants so Important

Today, finding and trying on a plus size harness, hoodie, or larger climbing shoes is easy. However, I figured out that getting the right pants for your gear could be more challenging than anything else.

This holds when you carry excess weight. Everything should fit perfectly - the bottom area, the leg thickness, and the crotch. They must ensure the right level of security and comfort like any other hiking pants.

What are the Popular Brands that Provide Plus Size Hiking Pants

Columbia, Dickies, and Nike fall in the category of my favored brands. Finding a pair particularly designed for outdoor activities such as rappelling, climbing, and hiking isn't a cup of tea.

Despite this fact, I managed to find a few items that work well. Note that my following list mostly includes plus size hiking pants for women, with a unisex offering available for good measure. Let's check them out. The best plus size hiking pants you can buy this year are as follows.

1) Dickies Women's Plus-Size Pants (Relaxed Cargo Fit)

This endorsement might spark some controversy. Of course, you could undoubtedly hike with a relaxed-fit hiking pant. However, note that they'll cause some kind of discomfort over time if they're highly restrictive pieces. 

The reason why I added these plus-size cargo pants to my list is that they're extremely reliable and durable. In the words of the manufacturer, these pants are made using 100 percent cotton fiber. 

Still, I'd consider it a thicker, heavy-duty fabric. That's the reason why these pants are ideal for hiking in rough situations when you might get scraped on dense shrubs and rocks.

The pants present a relaxed and comfy fit. They include cargo (bellowed) pockets with a hook as well as loop closures. You also get back flap pockets and multi-use side pockets. So, there isn't any issue practically. Available colors of the pants include Rinsed Desert Sand and Rinsed Black.

However, you may face some issues with its sizing. The pants are a bit smaller. To resolve this problem, order one size up. Besides this, the pants make a perfect choice and won't let you down when you need them.

2) Columbia Women's Anytime Outdoor Plus-Size Pants (Boot Cut)

I stand with this brand with full confidence. I ordered various items of climbing gear from this brand. I can say for sure that I've been more satisfied with their products. While no one is perfect, they thrive for perfection on many parameters.

Columbia's anytime outdoor plus-size pants are reliable pieces that come in three different colors. Examples include Nocturnal Blue, Light Grey, and Black. Read our guide on the top 10 women's climbing pants.

The reason I like these pants is the fact that they boast of presenting a casual look. Yet, they include some of the most impressive technologies of Columbia.

Here, I'd like to stress Omni shade UPF 50 sun protection and Omni shield advanced repellency. The fabric contains 4 percent elastane and 96 percent nylon. It means you'll get some stretching with these lovely pants. 

The drawstring closure and a conventional zipper are other highlighting facets. It's effortless to take the pants off and put them back. That's why I recommend trying them.

Besides usual outdoor chores, you may use these plus-size hiking pants for everyday chores, travel, and errands.

3) Columbia Plus-Size Women's Pants (Storm Surge Waterproof Rain Piece)

Do you wish to hike in the rainy season with plus size pants? If so, consider Columbia's women's storm surge waterproof pants. They're plus-size pieces with durable and attractive visual appeal.

They're one of the best hiking pants I've come across. However, you can find them in only one color - dark nocturnal.

The lining is 100 percent polyester, whereas the shell is 100 percent nylon. The piece includes an elastic closure for added comfort. Plus, the Omni-tech waterproof technology (breathable) keeps you from getting wet in rains.

When it boils down to buying plus-size hiking gear, Columbia is a popular brand you could rely on for your needs. Furthermore, they provide numerous plus-size alternatives for outdoor gear. I appreciate and endorse the brand for this aspect too.

4) Nike Plus-Size Sweatpants (Sportswear Cotton Pieces)

Could you think of hiking in sweatpants? Of course, you can if you pick the right one for the job. A top-quality pair of hiking sweatpants should come in handy for adventures in colder regions. However, it would be best if you gave up on a few things.

For example, sweatpants don't provide the same amount of practical experience as traditional hiking pants. Also, they don't include enough pockets. So, storage might be a problem. However, carrying a backpack can overcome this issue.

Nike's sweatpants are reliable and comfortable. They come with Nike's noted sweat-wicking technologies. Plus, they include an intriguing tapered design that goes well with any footwear.

When it comes to hiking, I don't give priority to sweatpants. Yet, they could work well in a pinch. One unique feature of these pants is they look unisex. So, even men can use them if they run out of alternatives.

Plus-Size Hiking Pants FAQs

1) How to choose the right pair of plus size hiking pants?

Each of our body sizes and shapes is different. To find the right plus size apparel for you, you need to take your own measurements, so you know that your new product will fit well. It's crucial that you look for a pair that will suit your specific needs. Below is a list of pointers that should help you find the right hiking pants for you.

First of all, the design comes down entirely to personal preference. As a rule, though, I'd recommend a pair of plus size standard pants if the design isn't really something you're concerned about.

You'll find standard plus-size pants that will keep you warm and bug bite-free. If you're planning to hike in damp or humid environments, convertible pants have zippers that can allow you to remove part of the leg.

But remember, this will leave you exposed to the elements. Just make sure you settle on a design that's right for you and the conditions you will face on your specific hiking trail.

Plus size hiking pants

Your second concern should be sizing. Your pants need to fit close, without being restrictive. Depending on your shape, you might have thicker thighs or hips. Plus size hiking pants are designed to give a little extra room in these areas in a way that standard hiking pants don't.

Baggy pants aren't good either, as they are heavier and more likely to snag on stray bushes. Pants that are too tight can lead to chafing and tend to wear quicker. Again, it's all about finding the right pair for you and your body. Something that is close fitting without being uncomfortable should do it.

2) What are the main features to look for when shopping for hiking pants?

Hiking, climbing, bouldering, and rappelling all usually take place in harsh conditions. Rough rock faces and bushes are all capable of tearing your pants.

But you need a pair that's going to offer you the right amount of movement too. You also need a pair that's practical and breathable. Durability, flexibility, practicality, and moisture management are essential!

3) What are the best climbing pants fabrics?

A blend of wool and cotton or twill cotton is excellent for the best rock climbing pants you can ever buy. Solid, stretchy denim could also work for some pairs too. But the most common material that you'll find on the market today is nylon because it beats all others in terms of its durability.

Again, it can come down to personal preference here, and your personal comfort should always come first. You might want to look out for a pair with knee protection if you're a beginner too.

Best plus size hiking pants

Whatever material you decide is best for you, just make sure it's lightweight. You'll already be carrying other heavy gear; your pants shouldn't add to that.

Flexibility is next up. Too restrictive, and you'll limit your movements, meaning you can't perform at your best. Look for a pair that offers a little stretch without being baggy.

Before heading out with any new pants, testing the flexibility at home is best. Lifting your knees high as you walk should give you an idea about how much stretch they give. This is the best way to be confident in your new pants before heading out to hike because hiking with restrictive pants is not ideal.

For practicality, a tapered design is best. Look for pants that are tapered at the leg or one that ties at the ankles. When climbing, you'll need to have a clear view of your feet at all times for safety purposes, so make sure that your new pair is going to work for you, not against you.

Finally, moisture management is a key factor in deciding which climbing pants material is best. Hiking pants should remove sweat from your body to keep you cool and dry.

You want a breathable fabric that won't cause you to overheat for the best results while hiking. Avoid any material that feels too sticky or as though you are sweating more because of it.

Best Plus Size Hiking Pants We have Reviewed 4 Products

4) When it comes to hiking pants, is insect protection crucial?

Yes, it is, but no hiking pants come out of the factory insect repellent ready, so you need to do this yourself. If you're planning to hike during tick season, then treating your own pants is essential before heading out. Personally, I'd recommend Permethrin, as it is excellent at keeping insects at bay. 

But be warned, this chemical is dangerous to cats. You should treat your pants outside and keep your gear out of your cat's way at all times. Following these precautions will mean you're safe to use Permethrin, even with cats in the household.

5) Should I wear convertible pants, roll-ups, or long pants?

It all depends on where you're headed on your hike. If conditions are looking as though they'll be warm later in the day, convertible pants offer you the versatility that the others don't.

If conditions are set to be cold all day on your trail, then regular long pants should always be your first port of call. Just make sure you're selecting a pair that's right for you and the conditions you'll be facing that day. If using convertible pants, you should always check the zippers are in working order before heading out.

Ensure you can reach the ankle zippers easily, as this will mean you don't have to stop taking your shoes off to remove the lower part of the pants. Convertible pants are designed with practicality in mind, so make sure they are practical for you.

Roll-ups are an excellent alternative to convertible pants if they're not to your liking. These are kept in place with a snap or button closure and may be easier for you to adjust the pants to suit the conditions that you are facing.

The essential advantage to roll-ups is that you generally get better ventilation on warmer days, without having to mess around with any zippers to remove parts of your pants like you would with convertible pants.

For more information, read our guide on the best 8 pants for ice climbing.

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About the author 


Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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