Do your kids have dedicated hiking pants? Just like adults, what you hike in makes all the difference in the world. When it comes to children, it can be either fun trip or one filled with whining.
The more comfortable they are, the better chances you’ll have a great adventure.
Hiking pants for kids can be hard to come by in most stores, that’s why I’m breaking down the best kids’ hiking pants for outdoor use.
Kids need dedicated hiking pants. It is important to find pants that are not only comfortable but also durable and weather resistant for kids. The ease of use is also something to consider as children are less patient than adults.
I have to admit, it took me a while to finally break down and get proper pants for myself. They can be a huge investment and with kids growing so fast, spending top dollar on pants for a couple of months seemed silly.
That was until we got my daughter in a pair. It was a night and day difference!
Best Kids’ Hiking Pants for outdoor use
Manufacturer: Columbia Kids
Columbia Girls Joggers are perfect for UV-resistant activities like running or biking. The Omni-Shade fabric blocks the full spectrum of harmful UV rays, and the tight weave construction with UV absorbent yarns helps protect against sunburns and long-term skin damage.
The Omni-Wick quickly moves moisture from the skin into the fabric where it spreads across the surface to quickly evaporate. Made from 100% ripstop nylon fabric, these joggers are durable and stylish.
These are some of the most comfortable pants around. Aside from the easy-on elastic waistband, the jogger’s elastic ankles have the added benefit of protecting insects like ticks from crawling up. The material is incredibly cool, making it great in summer. It’s perfect for the hiking trail.
These kids’ convertible cargo pants are designed with an ergonomic cut at the knees for easy transformation from pants to shorts.
They are also zippered closure, designed for all outdoor activities, and are made of a mix of cotton and nylon and elastane fabric for stretch comfort and quick-dry, two-way air circulation.
Plus, they offer 100% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, making them great for your little kid’s skin.
The quick dry material means they won’t be wearing soggy pants if they get into a puddle. What I love about these pants is their convertible quality. Stretching out the use time.
Kids can start off their hike with pants, and transform them as the sun heats up. Throw the pant legs in your day pack and you are good to go.
Kids hiking cargo pants by CQR Quick Dry are perfect for the outdoors. The pants are made with a mix of cotton and nylon and elastane fabric, which makes them stretchy and comfortable.
The waistband is stretchy and helps you easily get them on and off, while the multiple pockets will allow you to carry your belongings with ease.
I love that these do not have any type of button, making them easier for small kids to manage. They have belt loops in case they are to give and enough pockets to hold all the treasure they find. Also, they are UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun. They make great outdoor pants.
Officially a cargo pant, without the cargo pant look. These stylish pants are made from 100% nylon. They dry quickly, keeping the hiker comfortable.
The side pockets have zipper closures, ensuring nothing falls out. But what I like about this one so much is that they come with a belt. range of kids’ sides is from 4T – 14 years.
Most hiking pants are made of cotton, which can be heavy and hot in the summer. nylon pants are a great option for summertime hiking because they are lightweight and Quick-Dry, making them perfect for sweaty days on the trail.
They also feature a UPF 50 protection against the sun, and water and stain-repellent fabric, making them perfect for weather-heavy days outside.
Need a pair of dedicated hiking pants for yourself? Check out: What are the best hot weather hiking pants?
What to look for in Kids’ Hiking Pants
They must allow your kid to have free movement. With normal kids’ clothing, you’ll need to have the freedom to wiggle, dance, and skip. But it’s extra important when you are discussing outdoor clothing.
The trail pants need to allow them to climb big boulders, over routes, and upstairs effortlessly. At the same time, they can be too big, and they’d be a tripping hazard. Too small and they’ll rip. It’s all about finding the best balance.
With cost already an issue, getting convertible pants will allow your child to get double the use out of them. Summer shorts or fall pants. Some kids’ pants will have a color-coded zipper to make sure they put the correct leg back on.
When it comes to kids, you want either a belt loop or a belt built into the pants. They are constantly growing and when you get to the in-between stages, having an adjustment on the go is perfect.
My kids are big on collecting things on the trail. Because most kids’ athletic pants don’t have pockets, heck even small kids’ regular clothing does not even have pockets, I end up carrying it all.
Moisture Wicking is designed to pull water away from the body. You often look for this type of material on high-sweat areas, like the upper body. If the sweat is pulled away, it will help regulate your temperature.
Water Resistance vs Waterproof
These are two things that most manufacturers will tout, and they both serve very different things.
Water Resistance will repel water. It’s great because it often doubles as rain protection. But even if it’s not raining, early morning hikes will often leave you dewy.
The fabric is designed specifically to let air flow through but repel water. This means your child won’t be hot and sticky.
Waterproof is like pain pants. They keep out 100% of the water. Most of the time that also means they trap water inside.
Waterproof pants are not the way to go anytime you are hiking. Even in a downpour, you want to dry out after.
UVB Sun protection
UVB Sun Protection Locks UVA and UVB Rays to Help Prevent Sunburns and Long-Term Skin Damage – There is no need to apply sunscreen if your pant has ample coverage.
It blocks the full spectrum of harmful UV rays. How does it work? The tight weave construction with UV absorbent yarns will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Girls vs Boys Clothing
When it comes to the hiking world, and kids, most of the clothing is designed with boys in mind. Sorry Girls. Don’t let that stop you. The only difference between girls’ and boys’ clothes 12 and under is the color.
The fit is almost exactly the same. Girls, think of it as your clothing options just tripled in size. As your kids get older, especially with girls, make sure to get their buy-in on the pant you pick.
The silliest thing like color or a pocket will turn them off. If you have a girl and are buying “boy’s pants” for them, stick with black. They’ll never know.
What are my favorite hiking pants for kids?
The best hiking pants for kids should be comfortable, durable, and adjustable. They should also be easy to put on and take off so that kids don’t get frustrated while they’re trying to get dressed before going on a hike.
My favorites are convertible with pockets and a built-in belt! Make sure you have the kids all set for your next adventure.