Best Women’s Summer Hiking Pants

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a struggle for me to find summer (light weight) hiking pants that I really love. The Columbia Saturday Women’s pants are amazing summer hiking pants (at least for hourglass shaped women like me) and the best women’s summer hiking pants I have ever had. Other pants I’ve tried (and I’ve had many-convertible, not convertible, capris, shorts, you name it) are always too tight in the hips (especially when stretching to get on a big rock) or too loose in the waist, or too loose and balloony overall. Anyone else?

Last year I got these pants and they are a miracle! They are really comfortable and stretchy for climbing and hiking around, very lightweight and have held up to heavy use (I wear them on every hike as well as guiding). They have the option of rolling up to capris with a snap that holds them in place, which is a nice way to cool off or a handy adaptation for driving home.

columbia womens saturday hiking pants
Columbia Women’s Saturday Hiking pants
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Columbia Women’s Saturday Hiking pants rolled up to capris

I would recommend getting a size larger than you normally wear. When I initially tried them on I wasn’t too sure about them in my normal size but I decided to try going up one size and I’m so glad I did! They are absolutely perfect. They are available in several colors, I’m happy with the gray (they can get pretty dirty before the dirt shows). I have the regular length and they are just right for me (at 5’4”), so you might want the short or long version if you’re significantly shorter or taller than me.

Why pants for hiking (instead of shorts)?

  1. I’ve determined that they are cooler (field tested in some pretty hot places! Such as the Grand Canyon in the summer), at least if the pants are very lightweight (as these are)
  2. Less bug bites! And less places to apply bug spray
  3. No need to put sunscreen on your legs
  4. Protect your legs from brush along the trail
  5. Don’t ride up and need to be constantly adjusted (maybe that’s just me!)

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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.