Best Hunting Pants of 2022

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Best Hunting Pants of 2022

Published Jun 30, 2022 9:55 AM The hunting apparel world has no shortage of options when it comes to hunt

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Published Jun 30, 2022 9:55 AM

The hunting apparel world has no shortage of options when it comes to hunting pants. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find everything from a pair of cotton pants for $30 up to Gore-Tex technical rain gear that runs close to $400. And then there’s everything in between. With so many options it can be overwhelming, even before you start considering what type of camo pattern you’ll need and where you’ll be spending most of your time in the field. To help you sift through the mountain of options, I, and other experienced hunters, put a whole series the best hunting pants for both men and women through the ringer to help you find a pair that best suits your needs.

Things to Consider When Buying Hunting Pants

Durability

Do you want a lightweight pair or something a little sturdier? Are you willing to spend extra for a pair of pants that will last a bit longer? Will you be hunting through thistles, greasewood, or junipers where you’ll likely tear holes in your pants, or do you plan to stalk through gentle grasslands where durability is less of a factor?

Camo Pattern

Then comes camo patterns. Do you hunt in the green forest of the Southeast or above tree line in the Intermountain West? Do you need camo at all, or are you mostly looking for a durable pant that will hold up on a pheasant hunt? If you’re hunting waterfowl or turkeys (both have incredible eyesight) you’ll want to base your camo pattern on your terrain’s foliage and the time of year you’ll be hunting. If you’re hunting big game, that’s a little less important.

Insulation

Insulation also plays a significant role when you’re trying to find the best hunting pants. Heavily insulated pants are great for stationary late season hunts or frigid temps, but don’t expect to wear them during a mobile early season hunt and not sweat your way out of them. Consider what weather temps you’ll encounter most of the time, and then plan to incorporate some of the best base layers when temperatures swing one way or the other.

SITKA Mountain Pants

Key Features

  • Removable knee pads
  • Water repellent
  • Weight: 26.2 ounces
  • 4-way stretch polyester

Why It Made the Cut

These durable pants are heavy enough to keep you warm in colder temps but not so thick that you’ll melt when the sun comes out.

Pros

  • Two-way front zipper
  • Removable knee pads
  • Comfortable fabric
  • Quiet buttons

Cons

  • Lack of inseam sizing makes it hard to find the right length
  • Removable kneepads

Product Description

Deciding on the best all-around hunting pants isn’t an easy task, and I’m not sure it’s even possible. So many hunting situations are different, and the best hunting pants for a 90-degree mule deer hunt in Arizona aren’t the ones you would want on a late-season elk hunt in Wyoming. But if I had to choose one that would work great for most hunts and those typical western October or November big game hunts, it would be the SITKA Mountain Pant. This lightweight fabric is durable and holds up to snags on trees and downfall you might encounter while walking through the woods. And they’re plenty breathable when you’re trekking up and down steep terrain.

Every pocket has zippers, which means nothing you put in them will fall out when you’re belly crawling or crouched down. They’re also lined with micro-fleece–great for cool days but a little hot if it’s too warm outside. I put the removable knee pads in the pros and cons categories because they’re great for kneeling and scooting around on rugged terrain. But they’re hot, so if you’re hunting on a warm day, you’ll probably want to take them out, which isn’t a big deal, but it’s another piece of gear that you have to keep up with. But for most hunts that don’t land on one weather extreme or another, these are hard to beat.

Best Overall for Women: KUIU Attack

Key Features

  • Articulated knees
  • Fabric: 4-way stretch Primaflex polyester
  • Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Odor and water resistance

Why It Made the Cut

While these pants might be a little warm for higher temps, the KUIU Attack pants are about as comfortable and versatile as they come.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Right amount of stretch
  • Straight leg
  • Great storage

Cons

  • Warm on hot days, even with ventilation openings
  • Pricey

Product Description

I can honestly say this may be one of the most comfortable pairs of functional pants I have ever worn hunting. They fit, and they stay put even through squatting, sitting on rocks, and bending over to tie my boots. The back doesn’t pull down as I move, and there’s no bunching anywhere. These pants are also straight legged through the boot which means they are virtually silent while you’re walking through the woods. Venting on the sides helps add to their breathability, and zippered pockets on the sides add more storage to the deep front pockets. KUIU was certainly late to the women’s hunting apparel game, and they caught plenty of flack for it. However, I’m thoroughly impressed with their catch-up. 

Key Features

  • K-DWR water repellency
  • Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Built-in belt
  • Gusseted crotch

Why It Made the Cut

These lightweight rain pants do an excellent job of keeping you dry and staying silent.

Pros

  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Reinforced inside cuff
  • Built-in belt
  • Double zipper almost the whole length of the leg

Cons

Product Description

The KUIU Chugach rain pants are great for hunting in downpours when you need something to keep you dry and stay quiet, and they’re some of the best hunting rain gear available. They’re lightweight and as breathable as a pair of rain pants can be while still repelling water. A tester noted that while wearing them in the rain and wind that they stayed quieter than a lot of other competitors. And the pants didn’t produce any of the normal scratching sounds that waterproof fabric tends to do. 

These pants also come in an athletic fit, which likely helps reduce noise without the excess material rubbing against itself. One of the biggest perks is that the side zippers run almost the entire length of the legs, which means you don’t have to take off your muddy boots when changing in or out of the pants.

SITKA Equinox Guard Pant

Key Features 

  • Internal leg gaiters
  • Zippered leg vents
  • Weight: 13.5 ounces 
  • UPF 50+
  • Dedicated knife pocket
  • Scent free Insect Shield 

Why It Made the Cut

The SITKA Equinox Guard Pant incorporates Insect Shield into the fabric to help repel insects but still provides plenty of breathability in warmer temps.  

Pros

  • Repels mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and other insects
  • Durable fabric
  • Comfortable and flexible
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Have to wash separately from other clothes

Product Description

I sent the SITKA Equinox Guard out with a tester in Wyoming in early summer temperatures to hike in areas where he hunts during the fall. He hiked through deadfall, dense sagebrush, and on rocky slopes.

The pants aren’t as cool as other lightweight pants, but they are also made of significantly stronger material. They didn’t tear when the tester snagged on a branch walking over deadfall or on dead sagebrush plants, which lighter, flimsier pants he’s worn have done in the past. While wearing them, the tester noted that the Equinox Guard pants were flexible and easy to move in, and the vents helped cool his legs while walking. Most importantly, the SITKA Equinox protected his legs from mosquitoes and ticks, thanks to the built-in gaiters that you can tuck into your socks to help keep ticks at bay. If you hunt particularly buggy areas and need serious tick repellent, these pants will make a great addition to your hunting clothes.

Kryptec Alaois Pants

Key Features

  • Sizing: Up to 35-inch inseam
  • Knee pad insert
  • Vented thigh zipper
  • Fabric: 90% polyester, 10% Elastane
  • Six pockets

Why It Made the Cut

Few companies offer hunting pants for men with a 35-inch inseam that aren’t bulky. Kryptek is one of them.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Great fit for hunters with long legs
  • Athletic fit provides room without being baggy
  • Stretchy, slick material doesn’t catch on branches or brush

Cons

Product Description

The tester for these pants, who is 6-foot 1-inch, 205 pounds with a 35-inch inseam knows the struggles of finding pants that are long enough, not too baggy, and can also accommodate a light layer underneath if needed. 

While testing the Kryptek Alaios, he noted that these lightweight pants would be perfect for warm early season elk hunts or late spring turkey hunts, as they provided plenty of breathability. He also liked that the pockets were big enough to hold everything he needed even while wearing a leg holster in grizzly country. And the reinforced knees and knee pads provided plenty of support while kneeling down on rocks and other debris.

His only concern with the pants is the lack of a reinforced crotch. But given the limited supply of pants that actually fit athletic men with long legs, he happily recommends them for anyone similar-sized or taller.

Key Features 

  • 100% fully taped seams
  • Available in XXS up to 5XL
  • Large handwarmer pockets
  • Converts to pants
  • Several camo color options

Why It Made the Cut

The DSG Kylie 4.0s are soft, warm, comfortable, and, most importantly, they provide an easy way to relieve yourself in the woods without stripping off all of your layers. 

Pros

  • Super warm
  • Easy to layer with
  • Durable
  • Easy bathroom access through side zippers

Cons

  • Hot, though that’s also the point

Product Description

If you plan on spending any amount of time sitting on the edge of a nearly frozen pond or river as the sun comes up while you wait for ducks and geese to land, these are your bibs.

They are incredibly warm, soft, comfortable, and clearly made by women, for women. The sides unzip, and the back folds down, creating the perfect access when nature calls. This also prevents you from having to strip all of your layers off in order to tuck behind a bush. These are not your early fall hunting bibs. You will sweat until you pass out if you wear these on a warm day. But for those mornings when temperatures hover around freezing or plunge well below, wear a few layers and you’ll be thankful you brought these.

Best Women’s Lightweight Pants: KUIU Tiburon

Key Features 

  • UPF 50+
  • Weight: 10 ounces 
  • Fabric: 100% polyester
  • Articulated knees

Why It Made the Cut

The KUIU Tiburon is a light, breezy, and comfortable pair of pants that does everything it can to keep you cool on warm hunts. 

Pros

  • Athletic fit
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Side vents
  • Mesh, zippered pockets

Cons

  • Pulled pieces of thread in two snags
  • Front pocket is big but tight

Product Description

I wore these pants for days on multiple hikes in the mountains of northeast Wyoming and in the prairie. Some days reached the high 80s with the sun blazing down, and I can say that these are some of the best hunting pants for breathability. 

They are thoughtfully designed with intuitive mesh pockets and zippers that open vents on the sides. The legs run straight and seem slightly tapered to fit close to your body to minimize noise while you’re walking through the woods. And these pants stayed put while I walked, crouched down, etc. and didn’t slouch or require constant readjustment.

I did notice that the fabric pulled in a few spots where it snagged on some downfall. I’m sure the thread could be clipped, but I don’t know how the fabric will hold up in the long term. 

Best Women’s Eco-Conscious Pants: prAna Halle II

prAna pants

Key Features 

  • Made of 95% recycled nylon-blend stretch performance fabric
  • Up to 34-inch inseam and 37-inch waist
  • Snaps to roll hem
  • Deep pockets
  • Back pockets with snap and flap closures

Why It Made the Cut

These aren’t the most durable pants, but they’re super comfortable and made almost entirely of recycled material.

Pros

  • Comfortable fabric
  • Attractive fit
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

Product Description

The prAna Halle II’s are not the pants for a big mountain hunt. They’re also not the pants for sneaking over dried sagebrush or grass with abrasive seeds. But they are made of recycled nylon and they’re incredibly comfortable. If you need some camo to wear for easy hunts, or you like the look, these are a great fit. They’re also lightweight, and as long as you’re not stalking game in unforgiving terrain, they might be the best choice for you.

FAQs

Q: How should hunting pants fit?

Depending on when and how you plan to hunt will determine how your hunting pants should fit. If you’re chasing elk during the early archery season, you’ll likely want lightweight breathable pants that fit comfortably but also have room to fit a light base layer if you need it. However, if you’re looking for a pair that will keep you warm during frigid treestand hunts, you’ll probably want heavily insulated pants that you can easily layer underneath.

Q: Do you need camo pants to hunt?

 

You don’t necessarily need camo pants to hunt, but you should wear earth tone colors that resemble the landscape you plan to hunt. You’ll also want to shy away from bright solid colors. 

Q: Are Wool Pants Good for Hunting?

Depending on where and how you are hunting, wool pants can be good for hunting. Though, the best hunting pants aren’t going to be 100% wool, instead they’ll consist of several materials, typically a nylon or polyester outer with wool or a synthetic wool blend on the inside. And while most traditional wool pants provide exceptional warmth when dry, they can lose those warming properties when they become wet. So this is something to consider if you hunt particularly wet or humid regions. 

Methodology

For this review, I, and fellow testers, wore these pants on long hikes and scouting trips through Wyoming mountains from the Wind River Range to the Snowy Range and through fields and prairies full of greasewood, sagebrush, and rabbitbrush. Each tester is a seasoned hunter that spends time chasing everything from elk to antelope to wild turkeys. Both male and female testers who varied in height and body shape tried these different products to get an accurate assessment of how each pair of hunting pants fit and performed in the field. 

Final Thoughts

Before you buy the first pair you try on, consider exactly where and when you’ll be using your hunting pants most. Once you nail down these two factors, it’ll help you find the best hunting pants for your specific needs. Also consider your budget and whether or not you can splurge on a higher quality option that may last longer and save you money in the long run.

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