Tackling tough climates? You will want to make sure that you have the best winter walking trousers. Your winter walking trousers should not only be comfortable and support your every movement, but they should also shelter you from the winter weather.
For wet and wintery conditions, grab yourself a pair of practical waterproof trousers. It’s important that you stay dry in such adverse conditions. We recommend that your waterproof walking trousers are made from a stretchy material, so then they can be worn over another pair of trousers. This gives you twice as much protection from the elements, letting you venture out and about, staying as warm and dry as you possibly can.
If you consider buying winter walking trousers, keep scrolling to find out our list of the best winter walking trousers available currently.
Top 10 Best Winter Walking Trousers In UK 2021
Below are our pick of the best winter walking trousers on the market or alternatively, read on to find out more about the information you should know before buying one.
1. Fjallraven Men’s Bergtagen Trousers
Fjallraven have taken particular care with the cut of the Bergtagen Trousers, making sure that there’s full articulation at the knees and at the crotch. The Swedish brand have made their first foray into mountaineering-specific kit this Autumn/Winter 2017 with their Bergtagen range. We say ‘range’ but it’s actually more of a system, with a layer of clothing, from baselayer to full parka, to equip a person from inside to outside and head-to-toe.
These carefully articulated trousers are made from 65 per cent recycled polyester and 35 per cent recycled cotton which is woven into an extremely durable construction. Throw in Corylon overlays on the knees and instep and you can be pretty sure that these will withstand all kinds of scrapes.
2. Mammut Pordoi SO Pants
Pordoi SO Pants won’t be for everyone, but if the cut suits, these could be your go-to outdoor trousers for all seasons. Wind-defeating softshell will come in handy all year round, reasonable rain-deflection without wetting out or chafing, and slim cut around the ankles along with a gusseted zip will minimise flapping in hoolies.
Mammut has deployed a technology it calls Mammut Phase Weave, which minimises seams, as well as combining fabrics for the best performance, but without the bulk of layering. As with the Arc’teryx Russet walking trousers, pockets here are positioned to avoid fouling a climbing harness, and Mammut has added a flat waistband to enhance all-day comfort under a harness or rucksack hipbelt.
3. Rab Spire Pants
Described by Rab as ‘mid-weight softshell’ trousers, the Rab Spire are made from a double-weave Matrix fabric – 92% polyamide and 8% elastane. There’s a very tough-feeling reinforced fabric on the knees and the inside of the lower leg. Despite feeling robust, the main fabric is also stretchy, with a very soft inner face, and the design includes a diamond gusset and articulated kneesr. On the hill, this product is warm enough on their own in most winter conditions, and they offer great protection from the biting winds. They have a DWR treatment to repel showers, though they perform best when it’s too cold for rain.
The Spire are supplied with a removable belt, and have two hand-pockets as well as an additional pocket on one leg, all with YKK zips. There are also ankle zips to aid getting them down over the tops of bulky boots.
Whilst they’d be too warm for the rest of the year, on the winter hills these are reassuringly sturdy, well-made and comfortable trousers that should give years of reliable use.
4. Jack Wolfskin Activate Winter Softshell Walking Trousers
If you love walking in the woods in winter, or climbing when the weather is windy and frosty, the winter version of the popular Jack Wolfskin Activate walking trousers could be perfect for you!
These Jack Wolfskin Winter waling trousers are warm but breathable, thanks to the Flex Shield Softshell on the outside, made up of 90% polyamide, 10% elastane and the warm lining on the inside that’s 100% polyester.
They also have secure pockets and are designed to fit with strenuous movement in mind, as they also include the two-way stretch, wind resistance abilities on the outer material.
5. Montane Super Terra Pant
In the autumn and winter the GRANITE fabric – like a tough cotton – stops wind in its tracks. This also means the fabric is durable, so you don’t wince every time you catch the trousers on some undergrowth or a rock.
The Cordura Hydro patches on the knees, insteps and bum are stupidly strong and waterproof – great for sitting on soggy rocks or indeed scrapping past sharp, pointy rocks.
At the bottom of the trousers you have ankle zips for access and ventilation but also gaiter hooks and three poppers for adjusting the opening size and to hold everything snug against foul weather. This is all very good, useful stuff and the quality of construction is excellent.
6. Runbold Hiking Pants, Mammut
Close-fitting but super-stretchy, these trousers allow you to move freely, and are both breathable and quick-drying. The ultra-light fabric won’t keep you warm if you linger on chilly days, but that’s not the point: these are for designed for moving at pace. You could almost think of them as an alternative to the kind of leggings worn by runners and cyclists – and may even appeal to those enthusiasts.
They have a simple, clean design, so that even the thigh pocket is well concealed. My only slight issue was the seam just above the knee, which I occasionally noticed dragging a little on uphill stretches.
7. Columbia Men’s Bugaboo Iv Pant
If you want to buy just one pair of pants for all your winter needs, opt for snow pants with a lot of mobility. This pair from Columbia hits all the key features for hiking, skiing and snowboarding: they’re fully waterproof with no-leak seams, they contain some insulation, and they have built-in gaiters.
The fleece lining and lack of vents mean these risk being a little too toasty on a bluebird day and they might not hold up over multiple seasons of heavy use, but they’re an affordable option for folks who need something basic for a range of outings in the snow.
8. Burton Gore Duffy Snow Pant
For as long as they’ve been around, Burton has been at the forefront of the snowboarding industry. As it turns out, that expertise translates beautifully into winter hiking, as can be seen in their snow pants.
Complete with fully-taped sealed seams, these pants are built from a waterproof two-layer Dryride polyester twill weave fabric, have an exclusive thermoregulating Living Lining that brilliantly balances warmth and comfort, and they boast mesh-lined vents so you can cool down when things get too warm.
9. The North Face Men’s Convertible Hiking Exploration Outdoor Trouser
The Convertible Hiking Trousers from North Face come with a multipurpose design that will let you conquer a variety of terrains.
These Convertible Hiking Trousers are made out of a combination of 5% elastane and 9% nylon, resulting in a lightweight and stretchy pair of trousers with the right fit. Despite this, they are pretty rugged, durable, and able to cope with any tough terrain you can think of.
A cool feature is that lower parts of the legs can be zipped off at mid-thigh, enabling you to transform the trousers into a pair of shorts. There is also a roll-up hem feature that makes this brand a nice choice for summers and springs.
A water-repellent finish on the outer shell ensures that you’ll be shielded against fluid spills and any unexpected downpours in the middle of your adventure. In the same way, the pair will still be suitable both in the autumn and winter when you want to step outside with enough protection from the chilly conditions.
10. Outdoor Research Cirque II Pants
This pant offers an impressive mix of protection from the elements and mobility: it’s water-resistant, breathable, and tough enough for off-trail adventuring that might tear some of the lighter weight pants to shreds (the face fabric of the Cirque II is a burly 90D). For hiking, the double-weave stretch fabric allows for much better range of movement and breathability than you get with a rain pant or hardshell.
Keep in mind that the Cirque II is a specialty pant. It’s listed as being ideal for “high-energy alpine climbing, mountaineering, and ice climbing,” so it’s clearly built with alpine conditions in mind. The pant is water-resistant but not waterproof, meaning that it will eventually soak through in sustained downpour. And at over 1 pound 5 ounces, it weighs roughly double most lightweight hiking pants on this list.
But for fall, winter, and spring hiking in nasty or off-trail conditions, the Cirque can be your bomber hiking pant. It doubles well for snowshoeing and spring skiing.
What To Look For In Winter Hiking Pants
While there’s no single right answer for the best pair of winter hiking pants — as everyone’s experiences, desires, budget, etc. are different — there are a few things you can look for to ensure you’re prepped for outdoor adventures in icy, frozen weather. We’ve outlined the big ones to watch for below.
Weatherproofing: Definitely the most important factor when searching for winter hiking pants, the ability to stave off moisture is imperative. Regardless of where you are adventuring, you should ensure that your bottoms have a high resistance to water penetration. Make sure to check for things like GORE-TEX membranes, DWR coatings, and more. If the pair you’re looking at are nothing more than water-resistant, you may wish to reconsider, as hoofing up a trail with wet garments is an excellent way to get hypothermia, frostbite, or worse.
Insulation: A lack of insulation is not as much a coffin nail as a lack of waterproofing for a pair of winter hiking pants, but it’s definitely something you should be aware of. This is because it will determine if and how you need to layer. Thinner pants are more manageable from a weight and range-of-motion standpoint, but they won’t keep you as warm, necessitating the addition of base layers. Similarly, you’ll want to keep your base layers lighter if your pants do have insulation to avoid overheating.
Comfort: The least important factor, but still worth considering, your personal comfort will dictate your ability to adventure. If the pants fit oddly, are too long, or are uncomfortable for any other reason, this could abbreviate your desire to wear them. Don’t expect your winter hiking pants to be as comfortable as sweatpants, but you also shouldn’t suffer for the sake of warmth and dryness.
Our list above has been carefully selected to help you find the perfect pair for your next adventure. We have chosen options from some of the best-loved outdoor brands for high-quality products that will support your route to the top.
Find winter walking trousers designed for a huge range of routes, so whether you need a pair to go out with the dog or are looking for waterproof walking trousers to take you up every Munroe, you can find great choices in our selection.