The Best Hiking Leggings for Women in 2023: Thermal, Pockets and More

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See the best hiking leggings for women from top brands like Fjallraven Abikso trekking tights, to thermal leggings,  ones with pockets, lightweight, and plus size.  We’ve made it easy for you to find the perfect hiking tights.

Hiking clothing has changed substantially, especially for women.  No longer do we have to wear ill-fitting traditional hiking pants, thanks to comfy hiking leggings. Not only can they be super soft, warm and even water-resistant, they can also be durable. And they can show off your hard-earned shapely hiking legs, or you can choose a fabric that gently compresses to give a figure-flattering fit.

If you’re looking for thermal hiking leggings, many you can wear as a base layer in cold weather, or wear them on their own. Tip: Check that your base layer leggings aren’t see-through before you leave the house – some are, some aren’t. I found out the hard way so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome ;). 

And did I mention how small and lightweight they are to pack? Plus, if you choose a pair made of merino wool, they’ll resist odour, so you can wear the same pair for a few days without washing them. Don’t worry, I won’t share your dirty secret :). Perfect when doing multi-day hiking tours.

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best women's leggings for hiking - including thermal leggins, leggings with pockets and more

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Our Top 3 Women’s Hiking Leggings

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Top 3 Women's Hiking Leggings
Fjallraven – Women’s Abisko Trekking Tights, Glacier Green, Medium
  • Technical and hardwearing trekking tights made from a dense, high-performance stretch fabric that is durable and wicks away moisture.
  • Reinforcements at knees and rear for extra protection in rough terrain and when sitting down on damp ground.
  • Comfortable, wide waistband that can be adjusted with a drawcord on the inside.
  • Map pocket on right leg, smaller zippered pocket on left leg, security pocket in the waistband, and clip-on loop at the hip for attaching gear or a light jacket.
  • Gusset at the crotch and low-profile flatlock seams minimize the risk of chafing.
  • UPF 50 fabrication
  • Aramid-blend panels for abrasion-resistant
Buy on Amazon

Related Reading: The Best Women’s Clothes for Hiking: A Guide to Everything you Need

3 Best Thermal Leggings To Keep You Warm in Cold Weather

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Best Thermal Leggings To Keep You Warm in Cold Weather
MERIWOOL Womens Merino Wool Base Layer Thermal Pants Wine
  • Package Includes: 1 - Women’s 250g/m² merino wool thermal leggings - Extra Small Wine
  • SUPER SOFT: 100% all natural superfine 18.5-micron Merino wool ensures comfort all day long – no itch! COMFORTABLE & CONVENIENT: Quick-drying legging bottom features a loop for hang drying while you’re camping, hiking, hunting, working, playing sports, skiing, snowboarding, or partaking in any outdoors activity.
  • BREATHABLE: Keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter, MERIWOOL’s 250g/m2 weight inter-lock knit Merino wool can be used as a base layer or mid-layer, but won’t weigh you down. EASY CARE: Your legging pants are machine-washable on cold setting and safe to tumble dry on low heat with like colors, so they're ready when you are for your next adventure.
  • WICKING & ODOR RESISTANCE: Merino wool’s natural wicking and odor-resistant properties keep you dry and comfortable while active in cold weather. Through the process of wicking, Merino wool is the most breathable fabric and absorbs moisture better than any other fibers. Wicking refers to a fabric’s ability to pull moisture away from your body and keep you comfortable.
  • EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER CARE: If your MERIWOOL Women’s Leggings don’t perform to your satisfaction, return it to us within 30 DAYS along with proof of purchase for a hassle-free refund, exchange, or replacement. Includes a 1-YEAR limited manufacturer’s warranty, which covers manufacturing and material defects. For best results: hand wash and lay flat to dry.
  • Ideal For Layering
  • Odor-Resistant Pants
  • Medium weight cloth
Buy on Amazon

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Best Durable Hiking Leggings

These can be a great substitute for your favourite pair of hiking pants.  Durable leggings are perfect for you if you’re an adventure junky that plans on scrambling your way up the mountain or going a bit off-trail or who occasionally bushwacks through a thorny patch. Or if you’re anything like me, has the incredible ability to get caught on barb wire when going through farmer’s fields in the Alps.

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Best Durable Hiking Leggings
Fjällräven Abisko Trek Tights Black XXS

These hiking tights are the most expensive on our list, but also the most durable. The Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights were designed for hiking in various conditions. With its perfectly placed pockets, including a side pocket and its wide waist, you’ll feel very comfortable during long hikes in rugged conditions.


Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights protect you against vegetation, bug bites and scratches from rocks. The only downside is the lack of good weather protection.

These tights are not really water-resistant, so you’ll have to stick to dry conditions. 

  • UPF 50 fabrication protects your skin during outdoor activity
  • Spacious map pocket
  • Saggy bottom after a few usages
Buy on Amazon

Related Reading: The Best Hiking Tents for every Backpacker

Best Year Round Hiking Leggings

Best Year Round Hiking Leggings
Eddie Bauer Women's Trail Tight Leggings – High Rise, Dark Sable X-Small

These also rank as one of the best leggings for hiking year-round. They’re high-rise, rugged, light, and perfectly ventilated for long strenuous activities and a very durable legging. Eddie Bauer Trail Tight Leggings feature sun protection, moisture-wicking, and odour control, which makes them a good choice for long or multi-day hikes.

These also feature three functional pockets, including a side pocket so you can access what you need easily. These leggings are very supportive and remain in place even when you’re wearing a heavy backpack. They also give you mobility, even when hiking on steep trails or climbing. All these factors contribute to why we love them.

  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Controls odor
  • Tiny pockets
Buy on Amazon

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Best Lightweight Leggings for Hiking

For hikers looking for something lighter and breathable, lightweight leggings are a good choice.  Keep in mind that these won’t be the best for rugged trails, but they will keep you cool and are much more breathable than normal leggings. These are intended for use in warmer weather, although you could also use them as a base layer in cooler, but not cold weather – since they won’t be warm enough. 

They’re also great for trail running too.

Look for lightweight leggings that are moisture-wicking since they reduce painful chafing. Again, learn from my experience – you’re welcome ;).  

Related Reading: The Best Lightweight Sleeping Bags, Pads and Liners for every Hiker

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Best Lightweight Leggings for Hiking
THE NORTH FACE Perfect Core High Rise Tight – Women’s TNF Black X-Small Regular

The TNF Perfect Core are durable and weather resistant. They also ensure everything stays in place during a long hiking trip. You’ll feel very supported and protected on the trail, but I don’t recommend them for the gym as there are more comfortable leggings.

The fabric has good breathability, perfect for long hikes.

Wrapping it up, this is a resistant and durable hiking legging that will make you look stylish while feeling supported and protected, but it’s not the most comfortable one for just hanging out.

Buy on Amazon

Related Reading: Best Hiking Boots for Women

Best Plus Size Leggings for Hiking

If you struggle to find the right size for your body type in hiking leggings for your gorgeous curves, don’t fret, these plus-size leggings are what you have been looking for. Offering versatility, great fit, freedom to move and a comfortable waistband, they will support you even on the longest hikes and are more comfortable and supportive than traditional hiking pants. 

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Best Plus Size Leggings for Hiking
Columbia Women's Back Beauty Highrise Warm Winter Pant, Black, X-Small

If you prefer polyester over cotton, these hiking leggings are the best option when looking for a comfortable plus-size legging that will both perform well and look nice on you.

They’re a looser fit, so super comfortable while still looking great. but retain a nice comfortable look.

They’re are also designed for temperate to cold weather, so perfect for cooler hikes but not if you’re planning to hike in a tropical rainforest.

These hiking tights are warm and comfortable, either on their own or as a layer. The waistband is comfortable enough for you to wear during the night while camping.

The Columbia Back Beauty is perfect for slow-paced short hikes.

  • Water and stain repellant
  • Warm enough for cold conditions
  • Only one pocket
Buy on Amazon

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5 Tips to Choose the Best Leggings for Hiking

How to Choose the Best Hiking Leggings for Women

Look for Durability

Look for leggings that are durable and won’t snag easily on rocks or branches. A good choice is Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights. They’re expensive but long-lasting.

Choose Leggings with Pockets

And ensure that the side pocket is big enough pocket for your phone (or other valuables that you want easy access to. Check out our chart of hiking leggings to quickly see which ones have pockets.

Choose Leggings Made from Merino Wool or a Mix of Wool

Merino wool or a wool mix keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. Ir’s also moisture-wicking and prevents odors so you can wear it several days in a row without washing it – making it a great choice for multi-day hikes. Icebreaker Comet leggings a good choice, or check out our chart on thermal leggings.

Choose Moisture-Wicking Leggings

Choose moisture-wicking leggings to keep you dry (helps to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter). You can find synthetic fabrics that do this if you don’t like Merino wool.

Look for Leggings with Special Features – Like Built-in Insect Repellent

A good choice is Exofficio Impervia.

Related Reading: Day Hiking Packing List: Everything You Need to Stay Safe

Now you know the best hiking leggings for women from top brands like Fjallraven Abikso trekking tights, to thermal leggings,  to ones with pockets and plus size.  Happy hiking!

best women's hiking leggings


This post has been updated and republished.

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