Hunting pants offer a suite of attributes that can make life easier and more comfortable in the field. Here are the best hunting pants of the year.
It’s not all about camo, either. A great pair of hunting pants match the environment in which you choose to pursue wild game. Rain pants don’t make sense in the desert, but they make sense in the Pacific Northwest. Insulated pants might work for a late-season elk hunt, but would likely be too hot for the rut.
Below is a bevy of options that cover a wide variety of needs. One pair of pants might get through 95% of your season. Another might be utilized for a very specific need on a hunt. Whatever way you slice it, there are pants for every hunter and every budget on this list.
We have divided this list of hunting pant reviews into useful categories:
- Best Overall
- Best Early-Season
- Best Upland
- Best Cold-Weather
- Best Budget
- Best Rain
- Best of the Rest
For more information about hunting pants, check out our FAQ at the end of this article.
The Best Hunting Pants for Men in 2021
Best Overall Men’s Hunting Pants: Sitka Timberline Pants
Durable. Athletic. Adaptable. The Sitka Timberline Pants are the epitome of hunting pants and, in our opinion, nothing matches the bang for the buck. Season upon season has proven these pants to be both indestructible and dependable.
Bloodstains wash out. Dirt stains wash out. Solids stay solid. Camo endures. Many different fits are offered. They’re water-resistant, and they’re abrasion-resistant via ripstop nylon through the reinforced knees and bum.
Four-way stretch polyester offers comfort throughout. They block the wind (seriously) and have room for baselayers on colder hunts. Removable knee pads offer extra support and come with the pants.
The only downside is the price, and perhaps the lack of Polygiene scent protection in the fabric. But, the payoff is longevity. For the price of two less-durable pants, you can have a stronghold in your hunting collection that can cross over into work and hiking, no problem. They’re just damn good pants.
Read our full review of the almost identical Women’s Timberline here.
What customers say: “After multiple years in Alaska and well over 500 hours of use, these pants work the same as they did on day one. It’s hard to find me in any other pants than these when I’m out doing anything. Flexible, breathable, strong, and rugged. I’ve slid down mountains, sat by fires, caught them on sharp metal. These pants are my all-time favorite and I would buy them over and over again, if they ever wear out, that is. Can’t say enough good things about these pants.” — Brian Schwartz
Best Runner-Up Hunting Pants: KUIU’s Attack Pants
A bit more affordable than the Timberlines, KUIU’s Attack Pants are a favorite of many hunters. At $140, they offer eight variations of solids and camo. And Primeflex Toray fabric is notoriously tough and comfortable. KUIU treats these with its K-DWR for water resistance, and the design is simple, athletic, and streamlined.
If your budget is stretched, a pair of Attacks can fit into most workplaces as well as doing double duty in the mountains. These aren’t necessarily your inclement cold-weather pant, but for the average hunter, they’ll serve a ton of purposes in the field while maintaining decorum in public.
What customers say: “I’ve hunted in and worn these for years now. They are quiet, tough, extremely well made and they are comfortable whether kneeling, crossing fences, climbing, sitting, or putting in hard work. Simply outstanding.” — Herb L.
Best Early-Season Men’s Hunting Pant: First Lite Obsidian Merino Pants
First Lite’s Obsidian Merino Pants are our favorite pants for the early season, but they’re pretty dang flexible. A high point of merino is the minimal drying time, minimal scent, and longevity of wear time between washes.
The downside is that I’ve found merino to be less durable on brushy, rugged hunts. Thankfully, First Lite builds these with embedded nylon strands for durability. After three full seasons of hard Rocky Mountain elk hunting, they’re still holding up like new.
These pants shine in one particular area — they are so, so quiet. They allow you to move with no swishing as your legs brush each other or twigs. When you want versatility from chilly to warm weather, these are a great choice.
Thanks to their versatility, they are well-suited to longer hunts where minimal packing is required. These have loads of pockets, and I love that I can stash my rangefinder, phone, and game calls in them and can forego carrying a chest pack.
It’s important to note that merino does require some extra care for longevity. We recommend cleaning both merino and synthetics with scentless Active Wear Laundry Detergent. Learn how to better care for your activewear, and it will last for years.
Check out our full review of the Obsidian Pant.
What customers say: “The pants fit true to size. I wear a 36×32 and the large was perfect. Could still wear long johns under them and still have room. Good stretch. Wouldn’t wear them in thick sagebrush but for most hunts, they would be perfect. Dried really fast.” — Rob S.
Best Upland Pants: Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Upland Pants
Colorado upland bird hunting means big miles on the plains and a lot of bushwhacking. And after three years of wearing the Filson Oil Finish Single Tin upland pants, I am absolutely amazed at their durability. Through briars and brush and all manner of nasty thickets, these pants have protected my legs over a lot of 15-mile days.
While tough as nails, these are specialized hunting pants. For one thing, they’re pretty heavy and bulky. You wouldn’t want to pack them in a backpack for a high-altitude hunt.
They also are so burly that they’ll beat up your skin if you don’t wear long underwear. And given that you should not wash these (or risk removing the oil finish that keeps them water-resistant), they will be forever dirty. So, plan to wear long underwear!
But if you can get past those cons, these are some spectacularly tough pants that will serve the average hunter for a decade or more. For huge days of stomping through upland brush and scrub, they’re hard to beat
What customers say: “I have had these pants for over 20 years and they are indestructible. I use them for deer hunting and upland bird hunting. The only downfall is they do not breathe, so I rarely wear them in warmer weather. They are extremely waterproof and abrasion-resistant, they are also very comfortable and not stiff like they appear.” — Tim J.
Best Cold-Weather Pant: Cabelas Outfitter Series Wooltimate Pants
If you venture into seriously cold elk hunting country, you’ll likely see some dudes rocking these hardcore wool-blend cold weather behemoths. And they’re designed to hold up to hard work in the field while keeping humans warm.
The slit up the side allows for a variety of boots and offers a zip closure. Made from a mix of wool and Berber fleece, these are serious-duty warm pants. Their 4Most Windshear technology keeps wind at bay while padded knees and plenty of pockets offer handy access to gear like knives, tags, and tape.
These would be great for folks who hunt in treestands or extreme cold.
What customers say: “I purchased these pants 2 seasons ago and I am very happy with the performance. I used them for deer hunting. I mostly walk through brush and also sit on a stand for 3-4 hours. Very warm and they do not collect burrs.” — Deer Hunter in Iowa
Best Budget Pant: Kryptek Stalker Pants
Many hunters sing the praises of Kryptek for being both techy and affordable. And the Stalker pant is well-loved, with more than 650 Amazon reviews and a majority of 5-star ratings. It’s a smart pant at just $60, and it’s offered in a variety of camo options.
A slim, athletic fit combines with thoughtful pockets and reinforced knees. It’s designed to be an all-around pant for hunters, and it fills that niche well. A synthetic, polyester blend makes these wicking and fast-drying, but it won’t control scent as much as wool or treated fabrics. This is an excellent starter pant for new hunters, or for anyone who needs a go-to pant in the field.
What customers say: “Bought these for hunting. The pants are comfortable with a good amount of pockets. Also, I like how they’re quiet. None of this Velcro noise when it’s quiet during a hunt.” — Chongy
Best Rain Pant: Sitka Gear Thunderhead Pants
Hunting rain gear can get expensive for a few reasons. One, regular rain gear is loud. That’s problematic for hunters. Two, rain gear can be stifling and the opposite of breathable. So, a lot of tech and energy goes into creating good rain gear for hunters that is quieter than most and breathes for the moving hunter.
Enter Sitka. Their rain gear is some of the most tech-heavy out there. Three-layer GORE-TEX fabric with an ultra-quiet brushed polyester knit face allows for all of the above. The face of the fabric is soft and pliable, while the GORE-TEX does its job at keeping the weather out.
Staying dry can mean the difference between being able to stay in the field and get it done, or heading back to your tent with a case of burgeoning hypothermia. Spend the money. Get good rain gear.
What customers say: “Used the Thunderhead pants and jacket this past turkey season in Georgia. Both kept me dry during spring showers and the super quiet material allowed me to stalk up close to the birds in the field. These pants held up well on many ground crawls. Highly recommend adding this gear to your hunting closet.” — Justin C.
Best of the Rest
A favorite of one of our GearJunkie staffers, the Orvis Upland Pant is a solid synthetic option for upland bird hunters. And they’d likely fill in for several other activities as well.
A water-resistant and breathable base fabric is buffered by a front panel of tightly woven ripstop fabric. Articulated knees and stretch offer flexible comfort for long miles in the field. And built-in gaiter straps keep dirt and debris out of your boots.
Mesh-lined zippers offer ventilation relief on warm days, but room for baselayers allows for cool-weather wear as well. At $180, they’re not cheap. But they do hold up over multiple seasons. GearJunkie’s Zach Burton wears them day in and day out in the field, and they’ve yet to disappoint.
What customers say: “These pants are comfortable, allow for a fantastic range of motion, are cut well and appropriately, and are super durable. I put them to the test 8-10 hours each day through varied and tough vegetation and they never failed. I could not be happier with these pants.”— KootenaiTim
The world of tactical gear provides an interesting cross-section for hunters. Military-influenced clothing often has muted tones, a variety of useful features, and durability equal to many hunting pants on the market.
Enter 5.11. Their line of tactical gear easily does double-duty. And the Stryke Pants are a great example of that. Wear these pants to work, and then wear them on a long hike. Wear them out to dinner, then hunt in them the next day.
Offered in a variety of muted tones of flexible nylon ripstop blend, it’s a seriously durable and breathable pant. And at under $75, it’s offered in a ton of sizes and inseams.
What customers say: “These are durable, comfortable, well-made, and good-looking pants. I’ve worn these for work and play. They are especially good for travel with well-placed pockets for nearly anything you could want to carry.” — FarmerMo
First Lite’s Catalyst Pant takes cold-weather hunters into serious consideration. A true two-layer pant, the Catalyst is DWR-treated softshell on the outside and 37.5 fleece lining on the inside.
What I like about these pants is their ability to keep me regulated on cold archery mornings sans base layers, or load up on layers for absolute cold-beating warmth.
The fit is athletic, so if you’re in between sizes, order up. It also pairs with First Lite’s Catalyst Softshell Jacket for technical pairing.
What customers say: “These pants are perfect as a cooler weather pant. Amazingly comfortable, soft liner, and quiet. Offer great water resistance and warmth. Layering with various base layers underneath and get you from the 50s into the teens. Pockets are functional and throughout, fit is perfect for me.” — Jon
Hunting Pants FAQ
Pants don’t have to be specific to hunting to be worn in the field. But, certain hunting circumstances require different necessities; it just comes down to your situation. We gathered up some of the more popular questions around hunting pants, and we hope they help you pick the right men’s hunting pants for you.
Are Camo Pants Needed for Hunting?
Frankly, no. Muted greens, grays, and browns are great. But a camo pattern does come in handy in a few situations.
The most camo-necessary situation might be turkey hunting. These birds have literal eagle eyesight. It’s wise to cover everything from your hands to your face in a landscape-appropriate camouflage.
Archery season is the other hunting opportunity where good camo can play a strong hand. I personally feel the more blended, the better when at close range. But neutral solids can also work just fine.
The other great side to camo for hunting clothes is that it really does hide stains. If you plan on being successful, you can also plan on staining every piece of clothing you’re wearing. If you don’t want to stain your favorite pair of hiking pants, get a pair of camo pants to get you through hunting season.
Are Wool Pants Good for Hunting?
The answer is yes. I’ve been hunting in my grandpa’s 80-year-old Woolrich pants for a lifetime. They’re low on scent, high on warmth, easy to fix, and durable. I was stoked to see First Lite come out with the Obsidian pants, as wool just has a special place in my heart, and it’s worth the money to pay a bit more to outfit yourself in the stuff.
However, if you’re pressed for cash, go to your local Goodwill, thrift store, or pawn shop. Sift through clothes until you find a heavy pair of wool pants. Get them. Wear them. Love them.
How Do You Wash Wool and Synthetics?
If you’re spending any amount of money on hunting gear, it pays to take good care of it. Wool certainly needs a gentler hand. And you’d be surprised how much body scent synthetics can retain even after going through your normal laundry routine.
Thankfully, there are simple options that can easily fold into your laundry routine. One option GearJunkie likes is Active Wear Detergent, and you can read founder Stephen Regenold’s review on it here.
Remember to use scentless products to knock out any chance that big ol’ whitetail deer catches a Cotton Fresh breeze and decides to book it from your deliciously scented location.
Have a favorite pair of men’s hunting pants we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.