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Best in Bottoms: Best Winter Hiking and Climbing Pants

Author: Outdoor Research

September 20, 2019

If the colder months are calling your name, our Best in Bottoms Collection is the first place you should visit to plan your fall and winter adventures. Today we’re diving into the best winter hiking and climbing pants for cold, wet, unpredictable days outside. Find your perfect fit by checking out the rest of the Best in Bottoms Collection right here.

A little snow, rain, or sleet never stopped you from getting after your favorite winter sports. In fact, it’s just forced you to get a little more creative with your layering system – from the bottom up.

The good news is that the product designers here at Outdoor Research are just as picky about their cold weather hiking pants as you are. Finding a pair of good-fitting bottoms that can withstand the chilly demands of a winter spent outside will be your ticket to comfortable, successful adventures.

For trusted warmth in cold weather, we’re excited to introduce the new Men’s and Women’s Hyak Pants. Named after the Seattle local ski hill, the Hyak are the best midweight soft shells for ski touring, winter hiking or snowshoeing, or as approach pants to big alpine climbs.

The Hyak Pants were designed with a simple and streamlined feature set that gives you just enough weather resistance, breathability, and durability, without the weight or bulk of winter. Articulated knees and a gusseted crotch aid the fabric’s naturally movement-enhancing stretch, and an inner drawcord at the ankle allows you to cinch your pants tight to keep out snow or watch your toehold. Plus, the Hyak Pants feature a waistband that’s amplified by ActiveTemp™, the thermo-regulating technology that adjusts to your body temperature to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable during high-exertion activities.

If the temperature drops a little lower, and you need something with a more technical construction for burlier warmth, go with the Men’s and Women’s Methow Pants. These are the best cold weather hiking pants for exploring the frosty hills of its namesake – the mountains, trails, and slopes of the Methow Valley that make the perfect playground when winter freezes everything over. The Methow Pants are designed with a hybrid-mapped construction for performance in variable temps, movement-mirroring stretch, and UPF 50+ sun protection for frigid bluebird days when you need to think about the harsh reflection of sun on snow.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, if it’s an unseasonably warm winter, you’ll be able to get away with a pair of pants that are much more lighter weight. For the durability and technical, breathable performance of a double weave soft shell construction, we recommend the updated Voodoo Pants. People love the Voodoo for their ability to skin up a ski track one weekend and hold up to a rugged climb or hike the next.

For something even lighter in weight and more wearable year-round, go with the Ferrosi Pants. The Ferrosi soft shell has long been a best-seller and award-winner for its adaptability across any activity you throw at it, along with its lightweight weather protection. It’s the perfect piece to go straight from the climbing gym to the office, or trailhead to pub.

Landed on the perfect pair of bottoms? You’ll want to make sure the rest of your kit is in sync. Here are our top picks for head-to-toe pairing with our best hiking and climbing pants for winter:

You can count on us to stoke your journey with purpose-built gear for however, wherever, and in whatever season you like to explore. Find your perfect pair by checking out the rest of our Best in Bottoms Collection right here.

Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research® is dedicated to inspiring the journey ahead with award-winning technical apparel and accessories. Based in Seattle since 1981, we are committed to improving our customer’s experience through innovative materials, purpose-driven features, and versatile products that are backed by our Infinite Guarantee®. We rely on the real-world testing of our athlete ambassadors, mountain guides, and local adventurers involved in our core sports: alpinism, rock and ice climbing, hiking, backpacking, paddling, trail running, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. We’re here for the fun, adventure, excitement, and For the Journey Ahead™. Get to know us at or follow along on the journey via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.