Best Convertible Hiking Pants 2024

Best Convertible Hiking Pants

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This is a review of the best zip-off convertible hiking pants for 2024.

When you are out hiking and backpacking there are times when the weather varies and you find yourself needing to carry a pair of hiking shorts and a pair of hiking pants. A solution could be to use a pair of convertible pants that allow you to zip off the pant legs when it warms up and turn them into shorts.

In this article, I will share with you my opinion on the best convertible hiking pants that you can find in 2024.

How We Tested

All the Convertible Zip Off Pants in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has many years of experience in Thru-Hiking, Backpacking, and Hiking. Some of the pants were purchased and some were supplied by the manufacturer. They have been rigorously tested by the author in all kinds of weather. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to come up with the best zip off pants for 2024. Read the Review Policy for further details.

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Best Convertible Zip-Off Hiking Pants Reviews

The best convertible hiking pants in 2024:

Best Convertible Hiking Pants – Overall

Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants

Kuhl Renegade Convertible Cargo Pants Review

> Baggy Cargo Pant fit
> Good weather-resistant DWR coating
> Comfortable Fit
> Good amount of accessible pockets both as shorts and pants
> Not much stretch, could be better
> Front button can pop open if they are a tight fit around the waist

The Kuhl Renegade Convertible Pants are one of the most popular zip-off short and pants combos on the market today. They are comfortable with well-hidden leg zips, big pockets, and a baggy cargo pant feel.

These convertible pants have a very comfortable fit. When I tested them I was impressed with their fit. They are a good balance between being baggy but not too baggy.

The pockets are nicely accessible and just the right size to carry anything from your phone to snacks or anything in-between. The zip-off pant legs are neatly tucked away on the inside of the leg which means they don’t look like convertible pants as much as some others.

They are made with weather-resistant fabric and coated with a DWR finish they are able to withstand mild drizzle for a short period of time. But when I used these pants on a couple of hiking trips I wished they had just a little bit more stretch in the material.

The shorts are 10 inches in length and I found myself using these convertible pants as a stand-alone pair of shorts during the summer. I found these shorts to be equal to almost any other on the market at the moment. And like most zip off pants, you don’t need to take off your shoes or boots to convert the pants into shorts and vice versa.

Overall, the Kuhl Renegade Convertible Pants are the best zip-off convertible pants on the market in 2024. Perfect for hiking, backpacking, and traveling in places where you want to take both a pair of shorts and a pair of pants.

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Best Convertible Pants – Runner Up

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

> Lightweight feel
> Breathable fabric
> UPF 50+ UV protection
> Good pockets
> Multiple pockets to store small objects in
> The material doesn’t have much stretch

The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants is made with 100% rip-stop nylon. These pants are a wonderful option for hot days because they will keep you cool thanks to the lightweight, breathable fabric. When you wash them while on a multi-day hike, this also helps them dry more quickly.

I have used these pants for many years and still have an old pair that lasted more than 5 years, so these convertible pants are very durable and will last a long time.

For those warmer days, two mesh-lined hand warmer pockets offer you more breathability. Two rear pockets—one Velcro pocket on the right and one zipped cargo pocket on the left—provide lots of storage space without being overly cumbersome.

If that wasn’t enough, the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants contain an elasticated waist to offer you even more comfort. Additionally, these pants are available in a broad range of colors, thus you will be able to find one to suit you.

Overall, the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants is one of the best convertible hiking pants to consider.

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Best Budget Convertible Hiking Pants

REI Sahara Convertible Pants

REI Sahara Convertible Pants

> Vertical zippers make removing the legs easier.
> Fabric has been treated to repel water and UPF protection.
> Elasticated waistline.
> They don’t have the most stylish appearance.

The REI Co-Op Sahara Convertible Pants are a pair of zip-off hiking pants made from 88% nylon and 12% spandex. They are elastic and have a slightly looser fit thanks to this combination, which gives you incredible comfort and range of motion.

Despite having a straightforward appearance, the fabric is rapid drying, has a DWR finish, and offers UPF 50+ sun protection. Smaller goods can be safely stored in the two hand and back pockets.

The elasticated waistline ensures a secure fit all day long and lowers the possibility of pressure spots when wearing a backpack. While changing the shorts back into pants, color-coded thigh zippers make it easier to distinguish the right leg from the left leg.

Vertical zippers, running from the bottom hem to the mid-thigh, make it possible to take off the pant legs without taking off your shoes.

Overall, you can’t go wrong when choosing the REI Sahara Convertible Pants as the best budget convertible hiking pants in 2024.

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More Zip Off Hiking Pants

Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants

Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants

> All the pockets are easy to access.
> Lots of flexibility and ease of movement.
> Very easy to unzip the legs
> Reasonably Priced
> Shoes need to be removed to fully remove the leg material

The Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants have a decent amount of spandex, so you won’t have to work too hard to climb a hill or scramble. The gusseted crotch on these pants improves your range of motion flexibility while hiking. 

A thin, stretchy cord that is located within the waist helps to tighten the fit. Thus, the requirement for a belt is removed with this feature. There are a lot of storage options thanks to the two back pockets, two hand warmer pockets, one zippered pocket on the right thigh, and a coin pocket.

Using the high-quality, smoothly operating YKK zipper to unzip the legs is simple. However, these pants are missing a side zipper that would allow you to remove the legs without taking off your shoes. Yet, this isn’t a huge disadvantage.

The Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants are one of the best zip off hiking pants that you will come across in 2024, thanks to their ease of use and comfort. And they are reasonably priced too.

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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants

> Extremely stretchy and breathable fabric.
> Five pockets for storage.
> Conversion zipper is hidden to prevent scratching.
> The thigh pocket is quite small and difficult to use in comparison to some other products.

For many years, Outdoor Research has produced premium outerwear. Thus, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants are no exception. Softshell fabric that is incredibly elastic and highly breathable is used to create these abrasion-resistant pants.

Although breathable and light, the fabric has been given a durable water-repellent treatment, so it won’t get wet in even light rain. The gusseted crotch also makes the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants an extremely adaptable garment that moves with you.

The conversion zipper is hidden away discreetly in between fabrics to minimize unintentional scratching and makes the legs simple to remove.

Finally, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants have five pockets: two hand pockets, two back pockets with zippers, and one on the thigh with a zipper. Thus, there is plenty of storage space to keep items on your person.

Overall, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants are among the best zip off convertible hiking pants in 2024.

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The North Face Men’s Paramount Pants

 North Face Paramount Active Convertible Pants

> Comfortable.
> The pants are finished with a water-resistant coating.
> An internal drawstring cord provides a more secure fit.
> The pockets aren’t very spacious.

The polyester and spandex construction of The North Face Paramount Active Convertible Pants allows you a lot of movement. For all-day comfort, these pants are designed with a relaxed fit. Improved movement is made possible by an articulated knee and crotch gusset.

Also, a  customized fit is offered by an internal drawstring cord. The North Face Men’s Paramount Convertible Pants have a durable water-repellent coating and an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 to drain away moisture and dry quickly.

Thus, you can go hiking knowing you have the ultimate protection. You have plenty of storage thanks to the two hand pockets and the back zippered pocket. These pants are durable and allow you to continue exploring all day long.

As a result, the North Face Men’s Paramount Convertible Pants are one of the best convertible pants that you will come across in 2024, if you seek a more secure fit.

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More Convertible Pants for Hiking and Backpacking

Here are some more convertible pants for backpacking and hiking that are yet to be added to the list:

  • Prana Double Peak Convertible Pants: These zip off pants look good but I am yet to take a look at them.
Convertible Hiking Pants on the CDT
Testing Convertible Pants on the CDT in New Mexico

Best Convertible Hiking Pants Buyers Guide

BrandMaterialWeightUPF Rating
Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants95% nylon, 5% spandexNot Specified50
Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant100% nylon10.8 oz50
REI Sahara Convertible Pants96% nylon, 4% spandexNot Specified50
Patagonia Quandary Convertible Pants95% nylon, 5% spandex12 oz40
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants48%nylon, 38% nylon, 14% spandex12 oz50
The North Face Paramount Convertible Pants91% polyester, 9% elastane10.2 oz40
Source: Manufacturers


The materials that your hiking pants are made out of are really important. As this will judge how durable the product will be. In addition to how comfortable and breathable, the pants will be as well. Convertible hiking pants can come in various materials.

In addition, you may find a blend of a couple of these materials found in one garment. Below are the most common materials and fabrics you’ll see.


Cotton is a very natural material. It is incredibly breathable and feels soft on the skin, but it also holds onto moisture, thus drying slowly. Therefore, when it relates to outdoor apparel, cotton is typically avoided. Nonetheless, several companies have produced blended fabrics with cotton in them.


Strong, lightweight, quickly drying, and more abrasion-resistant than polyester, nylon is a synthetic material. However, nylon can be a bit more pricey.


Polyester dries a bit more quickly than nylon and is warmer. However, it absorbs unpleasant smells through perspiration more than nylon. As a result, polyester clothing has the propensity to smell more over time.


Spandex, Lycra, or Elastane provides the stretch found in a lot of outdoor apparel. You will have better mobility with a fabric that contains a high percentage of this stretchy material. This is beneficial so that your gear won’t limit your mobility when climbing a steep trail.

Remember years ago when you would bend over and rip a hole in your butt or crotch? Those days are over thanks to these fabrics.


Ripstop is a unique method of fabric reinforcing that involves weaving a thicker yarn into the cloth at regular intervals. It can be identified by the fabric’s tiny squares or crosshatch design. The clothing is less likely to tear in the event of a hole since it will be stopped at the next junction due to reinforced threads.

Start of the PCT with Zip off pants
The Start of the PCT with Zip off pants


Currently, hiking pants fit more snugly than they did in the past, thanks to stretchy fabrics and more developed patterns. Make sure the option you select is appropriate for your activity. Ensure you have adequate room to move during strenuous hikes or scrambles.

A gusseted crotch also aids this criterion. This fabric patch, which is sewn into the crotch to replace four intersecting seams and increase movement, is formed like a diamond. In addition to this, some brands have incorporated a drawstring cord.

This cord removes the need for a belt and helps you achieve a snug fit on your hips. Not every pair of convertible pants includes this feature, but it is useful to keep in mind, as it minimizes the pressure on your hips that an integrated belt could cause. In most cases belt loops will be on most pants, just add your own belt.

Zips on bottom of hiking pants allow you to keep your shoes and boots on when fitting


Snacks and other little items fit perfectly in pockets. However, pockets increase the shorts’ overall weight and can be extremely unpleasant when your smartphone or compact hiking camera keeps bumping into your legs as you rise or descend.

Determine how many pockets you require based on how much you usually carry on your person. While you should determine how many pockets you require, you also need to keep in mind how spacious these pockets are. Some zip-off pants come with zippered pockets which are definitely a bonus. Especially those that have zippered cargo pockets.

Convertible Hiking pants pockets


Just above the knees, the zippers on convertible hiking pants allow you to quickly transform them from pants into shorts. Test the zip-off functionality when looking for a new pair. Some zippers are of poorer quality and can catch, which can be annoying.

Moreover, watch out for the zipper touching your skin—after a certain number of miles, this can be unpleasant. Most premium products “hide” the conversion zipper between two fabric flaps, significantly lowering the likelihood of chafing.

A zip-off legs feature is a fantastic way to increase ventilation. To improve ventilation inside your pant legs, open the conversion zippers just a little. Since you are buying these pants for the zipping feature, you want to ensure that it works well and won’t scratch your skin while hiking.

Tip: A small tip to keep in mind is when you do wash your convertible pants, you should wash them as one full garment with the legs attached.

Otherwise, you will end up washing the shorts section a lot more. This means over time, the shorts section and the legs will start to become different hues. This can then look odd when you wear the whole ensemble together.

Zip off Convertible Pants and Shorts

Water Resistance

On certain convertible hiking pants, the fabric is coated with a durable water-repelling treatment to stop it from absorbing water. Although it may seem like a pointless element on a set of hiking pants, it is quite valuable.

With hiking pants that feature a water-repellent finish, walking through damp grass, bushes, or even light rain is not an issue. Moreover, it protects the pants against stains. This is not a necessity, but it is still a nice feature to consider.

Testing the DWR on Convertible Hiking Pants

Sun Protection

If you hike in high altitudes or on sunny days, then you may want to hike in pants that have UPF 50+ protection built in. Just with the wear-resistant coating, this feature isn’t a necessity, but it is an impressive and valuable feature to keep in mind.

As you can be certain that if you are hiking in hot or sunny conditions, you are fully protected and safe.

Kuhl Renegade Convertible Pants - Men's

Price and Value for Money

There is no denying that a pair of hiking pants and a pair of hiking shorts will cost you more than a pair of zip-off pants that can fulfill both functions. In most cases, all the zip-off convertible pants for hiking in this review will be cheaper than buying pants and shorts separately. Expect to pay around $100 for quality zip-off convertible hiking pants.


The best convertible hiking pants in 2024 are:

Another one of the Best Clothing Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Convertible Hiking Pants better than a normal long pair of pants?

This is a personal preference but many people prefer the functionality of convertible pants. When it gets too hot you can zip off the pant legs if you want and when it gets cold again you can zip them back on.

Should Hiking Pants Be Loose Or Tight?

Your hiking pants need to be comfy because you’ll be wearing them for long periods of time. As a result, this fit can come down to personal preference.

Although we would suggest that your hiking pants aren’t too tight, otherwise you may experience chafing after long periods of time, especially if it is hot.

What Is The Best Color For Hiking Pants?

As you will see, the majority of convertible and normal hiking pants come in a wide range of color options. It is important to consider the color you go for, as the color can affect how hot you feel in the sun and how quickly they may dry out.

Darker colors including black are more suited for hiking in colder weather. White light colored pants such as tan, white, or beige are better for hiking in hotter temperatures.

Why Are Zip Off Pants Good For Hiking?

If you are an avid hiker, then you may wish to purchase a set of convertible hiking pants, as you can easily unzip and re-seal the legs depending on the temperatures you face.

They are ideal when you are hiking at high altitudes or facing uncertain weather conditions. They are essentially two pieces of clothing in one. However, thanks to being one item, you save space as you only need to pack these pants by themselves.

What Should You Avoid Wearing While Hiking?

It is vital that you wear the appropriate gear when you are hiking. As a result, you should avoid pure cotton clothing, and wear comfortable yet supported shoes.

While you should stay away from pure cotton, you can still wear cotton blends that incorporate other materials. It is important that what you wear is comfortable, breathable, and water-resistant.

Best Zip Off Convertible Pants for Hiking and Backpacking

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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