Need recommendations of comfortable hiking pants for curvy women? This guide compares multiple brands for fit and durability.
If hiking is your hobby (or you'd like it to become one), at some point you'll be giving attention to your gear. The boots or sandals. The backpack (especially tricky if you're petite). The base layers and other accessories if it's cold.
Hiking pants are designed to be lightweight and comfy, but also able to stand up to a variety of outdoor adventure. This guide focuses on the brands that cater to women who need a curvy fit.
What Does "Curvy" Mean?
Typically it means you have a curvy figure instead of a slim build. Think hourglass or pear-shaped.
For reference in this post, I wear a size 12 and have muscular thighs and a relatively smaller waist.
What We Were Looking For in Hiking Pants for Curvy Women
First and foremost: they should fit and be flattering, allow for easy movement and have useable pockets!
We gave preference to fitted pants with zippers (as opposed to loose, legging-style or jogger-style pants), because the fitted ones tended to be more flattering and stayed in place better when we used the pockets.
It was a bonus if the pants came in different length options (such as petite, short or tall). Bear in mind that "petite" sizing can alter the fit and the rise, whereas a "short" size usually just refers to the leg length.
Our Favorite Hiking Pants for Curvy Women
Top Pick: Kuhl Freeflex + Trekkr
Both the Kuhl Freeflex and Kuhl Trekr pants fit perfectly. I did size up one size to a 14 with these, but mostly because I wanted to be able to layer merino wool leggings under the pants in the winter.
For recommendations on merino wool clothes, see this guide.
These pants feature the “Kuhl Kurve" — they’re higher in back than in front, and didn't dip down too low in the back when I bent over.
When we ordered, there were both regular length and short (but not petite) length available.
Both pant styles can be shortened into capris. The Freeflex rolls up (easy-peasy) and Trekkr has pull strings to shorten into capris (albeit somewhat awkwardly).
The pockets were deep!! Yes, my husband's pants all have more pockets, but these pockets still made me happy. (My iPhone 15 fits easily into either of the front pockets.)
We also loved the fabric. It didn't get stinky quickly or hold onto odors. The fabric on both styles of pants is medium-weight, making for a nice three-season pant.
We often have issues with fabric pilling (especially in the thigh area). These pants didn't pill at all, even after heavy use.
I was also impressed by how well these pants held up when hiking through overgrown areas with lots of briars.
The only con, in my opinion, is that these pants are a little pricier than some on our list. But they also held up the best (with no pilling), and fit the best.
We also tried the (possibly now discontinued) Trekkr Kapri, but it seemed to be a different fabric than the pants and we didn't love it.
Prana Halle II Pants
I've been hiking in Prana's Halle pants for years. Prana's new(ish) version of the Halle pant, the Halle II, has a lot of things going for it!
This pant is mid-rise and has a flattering bootcut. The pants can roll up into capris. I did not need to size up with these pants, because the 12 was loose enough that I could fit my merino wool leggings underneath.
When I ordered, these pants were available in short, regular and tall lengths. However, because these pants come with a nice bootcut, even a length that's slightly too long for me when barefoot worked quite well for me with hiking boots on.
The Halle II also has fabulous deep front pockets!
If you're looking at a pair of Halle pants and they have shallow front pockets and a lower rise, you've got the original Halle, not the Halle II. I also found that the original Halle runs smaller than the Halle II, and I needed to size up.
The great fit and pockets are enough to make me love these pants! However, I don't love them as much as the Kuhl pants listed above. Here's why.
Sadly, these pants are showing some wear and tear after using on a few hiking trips. They already have some (very mild) pilling on fabric between the thighs.
Also, just like the original Halle, these pants get stinky pretty quickly!
That said, I still really like these pants, and (so far) the wear and tear (and pilling) are all pretty minor.
We also tried the Halle II capris and Halle II joggers. The capris were slightly less flattering (on our testers) than the pants, and although I initially loved them, the joggers pilled SO QUICKLY that I would not recommend them.
Fjallraven Keb Trousers (Curved)
I tried the Fjallraven Keb Trousers (Curved Fit) and (for the most part) really liked them!
The Fjallraven Keb Trousers were fairly flattering and fit well, although the rise was slightly too long on me (even in the short size) and the bulky pockets (yay pockets!) added bulk to the thigh area.
The sizing is listed in European sizes (although some retailers list the USA equivalent). I ordered a 44 EU (or 12 USA), and it fit perfectly, with room for merino wool leggings underneath if needed.
The fabric felt sturdy, with reinforced areas around the seat, knees and ankles. These are somewhat heavyweight, and would be amazing for winter hiking.
I was extra impressed by the deep pockets on these pants! They also have zipper side vents for ventilation (similar to the ones I see on armpits on activewear coats).
They seem tough and water-resistant, and on a recent rainy hike, these pants kept my legs totally dry. Also, I love that they're water-resistant because of Greenland wax instead of chemical sprays.
So far, after moderate wear, the pants are showing no signs of pilling and seem to resist odors.
As for cons, the main one is that these were the most expensive pants on our list (by almost double!).
Also, even with the side-vents, I'm not sure I'd want to wear these heavy-duty pants in warn weather. I wore them on a recent hike on a 55-degree, damp day, and found that my legs were a little too warm (even with the vents open). These pants are made for the cold.
Other Hiking Pants for Curvy Women We Tried
We liked the pants listed below, but for a variety of reasons, we didn't make them our top picks. These pants didn't work for us, but might work for you!
Outdoor Research Zendo Pant and Capri
We initially loved the Outdoor Research Zendo jogger-style pants! They have a mid-rise and were fairly flattering.
At first, I was thrilled with the nice large pockets, even if they were only on the front. More on that later.
These pants are extremely lightweight and best for warm weather.
One downfall to these pants is that because they are so lightweight and have no back pockets, there is a strong possibility of a visible panty line. Maybe you don’t care, but if you do, you’ve been warned!
Also, because they’re so lightweight, the pockets weren’t really useable. We found that placing a phone in the pocket really pulled at the pants, causing them to sag.
We also found that these pants pilled extremely quickly in the inner thigh area (after only light wear), making me think they're probably better for hikers with more slender thighs.
Also, this might only matter if you hike with an animal, but they attracted pet fur like crazy!
Columbia Hiking Pants
Along with the original Prana Halle, Columbia's pants were my go-to for years. They have a great fit, are comfy and hold up well.
My favorite was always the Saturday Trail pant, which comes in a variety of lengths and (occasionally) capris.
Columbia's pants typically are the least expensive of the pants we tried, which is a big plus!
Historically, the pockets on Columbia hiking pants have just been "okay". Big enough to fit a phone, but not secure enough for me to feel like my phone won't tumble out.
Recently, when ordering Columbia pants online, the sizing seemed very inconsistent. Currently we only recommend Columbia pants if you can try them on in person.
Are there any other pants you think we should test? Let us know in the comments!