Best Lightweight Walking Trousers

Best lightweight walking trousers

Today, we’re heading into the minefield of the lightweight walking trousers market and doing the legwork for you so that you will know exactly what you are getting for your money. 

We’ve found the 6 best walking trousers based on comfort, practicality, appearance, and durability so you can determine which leg protectors will suit your particular needs wherever you go and whatever you do.

In short, the best lightweight walking trousers are:

  1. Fjällräven Abisko Shade Zip-off Trousers
  2. Mammut Runbold  Walking Trousers
  3. Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Active Pants
  4. Berghaus Explorer Eco with Zip-off Legs
  5. Arc’Teryx Creston AR Pants
  6. Salomon Wayfarer Walking Trousers

This is why…

Fjällräven Abisko Shade Zip-off Trousers

Fjallraven Abisko walking trousers

Bragging rights:

  • Superlight
  • Breathable
  • G-1000 Air fabric
  • Zipped and deep tuck pockets
  • Adjustable to three-quarter length and shorts
  • Belt loops
  • Weight 200g
  • Available for men and women.

Fantastic Swedish design but with the highest price tag in our ‘Best’ list, means that these trousers score high on everything. There’s no denying the calibre of these walking trousers and if you can get over their price-tag then you will never feel let down by their quality.

They are ideal for warmer weather. Designed with ventilation features and made from a lightweight, breathable fabric called G-1000 Air. They will keep you cool and dry when the mercury starts to rise. On top of that, they convert to cropped trousers and shorts if things get really toastie.

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The G-1000 Air fabric is a recycled mix of polyester and organic cotton, meaning it’s an environmentally friendly piece of kit. But it doesn’t just protect the environment. This fabric will give you the protection you want in high wind conditions, and wet weather with the application Fjällräven’s Greenland Wax, making them a versatile pair of trousers for temperamental conditions.

Another confidence builder is that the Abisko Shade trousers have a double layer of material in areas that need extra protection. This accounts aptly for high abrasion and wear, creating a fantastic lightweight walking solution that last for many adventures to come. 

Mammut Runbold Walking Trousers

Bragging rights:

  • Quick-drying and breathable
  • Abrasion-resistant nylon blended with spandex
  • 3 zipped pockets
  • Map pocket on leg
  • Adjustable from full length to three-quarter length
  • Weight 300g
  • Available for men and women.

If you are looking for comfort, value for money, durability and good looks then here’s our winner. The Runbold from Mammut will make you feel like you are wearing a second skin rather than a pair of trousers. They are amazingly comfortable due to the abrasion-resistant nylon material and spandex mix. This gives these walking trousers a four-way stretch meaning greater freedom of movement for you.  On top of all that they look good too. Athletically cut, with the ability to turn them up to three-quarter length if you like.

No environmentally hazardous PFC’s are present in their durable water repellent treatment of the fabric. giving the Runbold speedy drying and effective breathability without compromising the environment. In fact, there’s no compromise anywhere with this pair of trousers.

There are so many reasons to like Mammut, but particularly the Runbold walking trousers. They are a fantastic all-rounder and that’s why they are so high up on our list. A really super choice.

Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Active Pants

Bragging rights:

  • Water repellent
  • 96% polyamide, 4% elastane
  • SolarDry UPF 40+ fabric
  • 4 zipped pockets
  • Small packed size
  • Part elasticated waist
  • Available for men and women

For budget walking trousers, these Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Active pants have got a good amount of spec for the money. Probably not suited for rugged terrains due to their lack of padding and insulation BUT, they are flexible and durable enough to stand up to mediocre hiking and camping conditions. 

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They are great sunny-weather trousers with a good UPF rating. If you hit an unexpected spell of rain, the water repellent fabric sheds most of the moisture, producing dry clothes pronto.

Craghoppers have also gone that extra distance by putting in 4 zipped pockets so you can feel confident you won’t lose your valuables (or your trail-cred) when you add these trousers to your outdoor wardrobe.

Berghaus Explorer Eco with Zip-off Legs

Bragging rights:

  • Durable and eco-friendly fabric
  • Water repellent coating
  • UPF 50+
  • Two zipped pockets
  • Two drop-in hip pockets (one with a built-in pouch for map)
  • Converts to shorts
  • Weight 389g
  • Waistband with belt loops
  • Available for men and women

The Berghaus Explorer Eco is designed for comfort and durability and with their luxurious feel, you might not want to take them off once you’ve come down from the hills!  

Although not the best wind-resistant material, they will still do an excellent job in non-extreme weather conditions, and it can’t be bad getting 2 for 1; shorts as well as trousers!

Favorably, we have a manufacturer who is thinking seriously about the environment with 62% less CO₂ produced in manufacturing these superbly designed walking trousers.

For more advice on choosing what to wear on the hill, have a read of this: What Trousers Should I Wear for Hill Walking?

Berghaus have really thought about the practicality issue too with a variety of pockets; five in all! So you will have a safe place for all those essentials, including two pockets for keeping your hands warm.  Unlike other walking trousers on the market, the Explorer Eco is made of non-stretch fabric, but with a slightly looser cut, you can still get good freedom of movement. I prefer more elastic fabric, like the Fjallraven Abisko’s, but you may not!

Arc’teryx Creston AR Pant


Bragging rights:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Weather-proof
  • 56% nylon, 34% polyester and 10% elastane
  • 2 zipped pockets
  • 2 open hand pockets
  • Weight 250g
  • Low profile stretch waistband with belt loops
  • Available for men and women

Another great all-rounder when you need trousers that will suit varied weather conditions and terrains.

With articulated knees and a stretch gusset, there’s no problem moving around in them when you want that extra maneuverability. Unlike other brands, you can’t unzip the legs to create three-quarter lengths or shorts, so if that’s something that’s important to you, then one of the others might suit you better.


If there’s a chance you are going to experience temperamental weather on your travels, then the Arc’teryx Creston AR pant is going to perform for you. They are made with a durable, weather-resistant fabric that has a lightly brushed finish on the inside that will keep you warm in cooler weather.

This feature has its uses when you want that extra bit of warmth trekking in colder climes. 56% nylon, 34% polyester and 10% elastane give a comfortable, yet practical walking trouser.

The breathable fabric means that you won’t be too hot if the weather warms up. So you’ll not only feel cool, you’ll look cool too in these stylishly designed walking trousers.

Salomon Wayfarer Walking Trousers

Bragging rights:  

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • UPF 50 advanced skin shield
  • Eco-friendly 4-way stretch fabric
  • 86% polyamide, 14% elastane
  • 2 zipped pockets, 1 rear pocket, 1 leg pocket
  • Weight 330g
  • Adjustable waist, belt loops
  • Available for men and women

Sometimes we might believe that if we are paying a lot less, we are getting a lot less. But that is definitely not the case with a pair of Salomon Wayfarer walking trousers. They are brilliant for how comfortable they are and how well they fit.  This is partly due to the extremely stretchy fabric and the clever little feature of an adjustable waist. 

They are versatile too, performing really well in blustery and showery conditions but if your next adventure is in warmer climes, don’t leave them behind- they have excellent breathability which will hold up well if your adventure warms up.

A good all-rounder that rates well on the wind-resistant and water-resistant front. They dry extremely quickly too, very useful in an unexpected heavy downpour or if you need them in a hurry after a wash!

Tips When Choosing a pair of lightweight walking trousers

With so many to choose from, be focussed on where and when you are going to wear your walking trousers.

Depending on the terrain and weather conditions you will most encounter, choose a pair of trousers that will meet those needs. If you are a go-anywhere and go-anytime adventurer, then choose a good all-rounder or buy more than one pair!

When choosing a pair, consider comfort, durability, breathability as a must. Wind-resistance and water-repellant are favourable luxuries, and having a high UPF 40+ is a nice added bonus in the sun.

Parting thoughts

So there it is – Six of the best lightweight walking trousers and the reasons why.

  • For those in search of a real outdoor experience, then the Fjällräven Abisko Shade Zip-off Trousers is the one for you. Not cheap, but designed to last.  Double-layer material in areas that need extra protection is a great design feature that will protect you when things turn into more than a walk. Comfort and stretch are what you are paying for here.
  • The Mammut Runbold  Walking Trousers are close to the top because they are a great all-rounder and  incorporate a lot of what the others have at a very reasonable price. When you look at what they offer you’re left wondering whether you need anything more. On top of all that spec, they hold their own in the looks department too.
  • If you’re looking for a bargain then you will be impressed, not only with the price tag but with the quality of the Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Active Pants.
  • Berghaus Explorer Eco has the useful feature of converting to shorts in seconds. They’re another reliable product from the great outdoor company of Berghaus.
  • Arc’Teryx Creston AR Pants are another all-rounder, great for temperamental weather conditions but they don’t convert to shorts or cropped trousers if things get a little hot.
  • Salomon Wayfarer Walking Trousers are versatile performers, particularly in blustery and showery conditions and there’s no shame in coming sixth in this competitive market.

Whatever you choose for your next walk on the wild side, with any one of these products covering your legs, you won’t be taking any risks of coming home early.

Shop happy, be happy and…

See you on the mountain.