This is a guide to help you choose the right trek pants without losing your mind.
Trek pants aren’t everyday wear, so buying them cannot be very clear. They are not something you can buy off the shelves. Why? It’s because you don’t know what features to look for when choosing trek pants.
This guide will help you choose the right trek pant. This is a deep dive, so stay until the end. ( Bookmark it to save time
You should also know that I do not endorse any of these pants. These pants are excellent and were worn extensively by the trek leaders, who often mistreat them. They put them through the ultimate test nearly every day of their lives.
| How To Choose Good Trekking Pants
Taking a look at the material is important to choose the right material for trekking pants. The wrong material can make it uncomfortable while on a trek.
Your trekking pants should be made from Polyamide. This amazing material is made from a mixture of fibres. It can be either polyester+elastane for stretchable trekking pants or 100 per cent polyester for regular trekking pants. This combination is a God-sent solution to our trekking pants needs. Let me tell you why.
Specially designed for sportswear, polyamides can be found in various colours. They are extremely strong and durable. A high-polyamide blend is an option if you don’t have polyamides.
How do you tell if your Trek pants are made from Polyamide? The label should contain the fabric material.
Let’s now see why they are so important.
1. You should be lightweight. The wrong pants can make you feel heavy on long trips like a trek. Even a few grams can make a difference. When choosing clothing for a trek, consider your options. Your pants should not weigh more than 150g. This is half the weight of a typical city trouser (250-500g).
2. Fast-dry: Weather can be unpredictable while trekking in the Himalayas. Unannounced, dark clouds will roll in and shower you with rain. No matter what season. You’ll know this if you have ever trekked in the Himalayas.
There are always wet patches, mud, and slush to navigate on a trek.
It is crucial to wear trekking pants that dry quickly in times like these. Pants made from high-quality polyester or Polyamide can dry quickly.
The problem with jeans: While I love jeans for their versatility, I must point out that jeans can be a disaster on a hike.
They are heavy and take a long time to dry. A typical pair of jeans weighs around 700g when dry and about 2kg when wet.
It also affects the elasticity of its fibres, making it difficult to comfortably walk-in wet jeans.
If you are soaked while hiking in jeans, you’ll gain all that extra weight. You will also be exposed to the possibility of getting a cold or hypothermia if you spend many days wearing damp bottoms. Please avoid wearing jeans.
3. Simple to clean Treks are messy. You can imagine dusty trails and horse dung. These things will leave dirt on your pants. It’s best to avoid fabrics that stain easily and absorb dirt. Cotton is one example.
You might smell if your clothes don’t allow sweat to evaporate or your skin to breathe.
Cotton is an excellent choice for these purposes, but it is not a good choice for trekking.
The next best choice is trekking pants made of polyamide/polyesters. They are breathable, and your sweat will evaporate quickly. This is how they keep you cool.
Note: I have to be clear here — waterproof pants, like the raincoat-type ones, are not breathable. They will make you sweaty and suffocate. They should not be worn on treks.
Waterproof pants are only allowed when worn over regular trekking pants during monsoon treks. It is when it is raining. Waterproof pants can be very bulky and heavy. They are too bulky and heavy to be worn on monsoon treks.
Trek Pants and Track Pants: There is a common misconception about wearing track trousers instead of trekking pants. I regret having done it. Two reasons.
- Track pants are mainly made from cotton. This is where I’m going wrong. They are not warm. They take forever to dry and lose shape quickly.
- They are not slip-free, so they cannot be used for layering.
Here’s a tip: If you have well-fitting, snag-free track pants, you can use them as an outer layer during cold nights/days while on a Himalayan trek. You can get high-quality synthetic track pants. These pants can be used as inners.