November 13

Are Jeans Good for Hiking? Everything You Need to Know

Jeans are likely to be found in almost everyone's closet. And even when they're durable, are they genuinely good for hiking?

Hiking in jeans is possible, and many hikers do it. Jeans are usually durable and provide extra safety, and yet many people prefer to wear lighter, synthetic-fabric pants to save weight and get a better comfort.

You could think that jeans are the best choice for hiking because of their popularity among outdoor hikers, However, there are some factors that may make jeans undesirable.

Cotton, which is used to make jeans, is not recommended for hiking. Cotton absorbs moisture, whether it comes from rain or sweat. This is uncomfortable, and if the temperature drops, it might cause you to lose heat quickly.

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The upside about hiking in jeans

Before discussing why you shouldn't wear jeans in the outdoor while hiking, lets consider some of the benefits of jeans, denim, and cotton in general. Cotton materials are ideal since they are breathable and soft, making them quite comfortable to wear.

cotton is fairly durable and resistant to scratches, and even more resistant if you're wearing a thick weave like denim, and that with it being stylish is one of the reasons why is so popular.

hiking in jeans in the woods

because they can endure a lot of elmints  As a result, jeans are also defensive, protecting your skin from wounds and scratches. As a result, denim appears to be a good choice for hiking.

in general  if you have delicate skin, this isn't a bad pick. If you're going to get cut and stung in the forest.

The downside about hiking in jeans

The most obvious problem with cotton and jeans is that they take very long time to dry and they are heavier then other hiking clothing  Obviously, this relies on the type of jeans, but in general, jeans are heavier than other type of hiking clothing If you're not bothered by the nasty sensation of moist garments on you.

Worst than, cotton is generally poor at wicking away moisture. Actually, it absorbs it, so if you're wearing jeans and you sweat, your legs will gradually turn into a block of ice, which can be dangerous and lead to dangerous health conditions , on the other hand, if a wolf attacks , you may use your jeans as a shield.

so, just to be fair, If you want to hike as far as possible in as little time as possible, you should probably try something other than jeans as your adventure pants.

Can You Hike in Jeans?

Are Jeans Good for Hiking? 

Jeans are made of denim, which is a very thickly woven cotton fabric, Jeans aren't usually a good choice for hiking, despite having many qualities that make them ideal for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, denim only has a few properties, making it unsuitable for hiking. Although it looks great, it's not something you'd want to wear out in the while you hiking, you'd be better off wearing something else.

Jeans is a lot thicker and stiffer material than lightweight cotton t-shirts, even though cotton is relatively breathable and warm. This indicates that wearing denim while hiking might make you hot and sweaty, which is quite undesirable. Sweating causes your jeans to absorb more moisture, making them less breathable and leading to blisters and chafing. Although cotton is breathable, jeans are not, and hiking clothing must be breathable to be comfortable.

When Can You Hike in Jeans?

Are Jeans Good for Hiking? 

Although the fashionable hiker may not wear jeans, many do and it is not an issue. as long as the weather is fair and you’re confident it wouldn’t rain or snow, if it’s not too hot or too humid, you shouldn't have any concerns, 

simply, if you choose to wears jeans and planning a trip during the summer, you'll do fine.

What to Wear on a Hike

The way you dress for hiking is primarily determined by the conditions you plan to hike in. A fast hike in the middle of summer requires less coverage than a longer hike in the middle of winter.

Regardless of the conditions, you should dress in clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin while protecting you from getting wet from precipitation. A base, insulating, and shell layer should also be worn.

Insulating materials help to trap your body heat and keep you comfortable. In cold weather, clothing that insulates properly makes a big difference, retaining heat in instead of allowing it to be released.

Here's an example of layers that keep you warm even if you do happen to get wet, starting closest to your skin and working out:

  • Non-cotton underwear
  • Non-cotton long underwear
  • Non-cotton insulating layer
  • Waterproof shell layer

Layering is a very effective technique for hikers because it allows you to be more flexible for conditions change.

what not Wear on a hike

we have already motioned why you should avoid wearing jeans when hiking, but  the other thing to keep in mind is to avoid wearing cotton or silk

  • Cotton is an absorbent material which is similar to dime , so if you get soaked from moisture or rain, it will absorb it all and take forever to dry. Cotton makes you sweaty all day in hot weather and makes you chilly very quickly in cold weather.
  • Although silk isn't as awful as cotton or denim but due to its limited wicking ability , it doesn't hold up well to heavy hiking. Overall, if you're going to sweat a lot, stay away from silk!

What Is the Alternative for Hiking In Jeans?

So, if you ’re not wearing jeans for hiking, what are the options.

We've found that jeans aren’t a good hiking clothing, while it's a durable choice, other materials are best suitable to outdoor activities. Let's go over some better material options for your next hike so you can be more prepared once you're out on the trails.

Any material made of quick-drying fibers like Polyester, wool or nylon is suitable. While lightweight cloth is beneficial in hot conditions, it may be at the expense of longevity.

great pair of hiking pants provides comfort, freedom of movement, versatility to perform well in a variety of environments, and long-term durability. Many of today's top pants are made of merino wool and lightweight nylon for breathability and protection against wet and windy weather.

One of our options hiking pants is the outdoor research Ferrosi

the outdoor research Ferrosi

The Ferrosi Pants from Outdoor Research are extremely stretchy, allowing you to move freely on your trips, They're also extremely light , which is a significant advantage on outdoor hikes where each ounce counts.

These pants are quite comfortable, and the basic pocket design is one of our favorites.

Leggings are also preferred by certain hikers.

Read here: Best Hiking Leggings With Pockets

There are some companies who are putting out jeans made with a cotton/polyester blend and moisture-wicking fabric, Synthetic materials are significantly less expensive than merino wool and offer a wide range of benefits.

Can You Hike in Jeans?

Hiking clothes made of polyester and nylon wick moisture well and dry quickly. Because many synthetic hiking clothing are manufactured from recycled materials, they're an excellent alternative for eco-conscious hikers. Synthetics, such as nylon and polyester, have the disadvantage of retaining odors, however most are treated with an antibacterial to prevent this.

Merino Wool

Merino wool is a natural fiber grown by Merino sheep. It’s thinner and softer than regular wool, making it easy to wear next to skin.


Hiking clothing should be moisture-wicking, breathable but waterproof, warm, and comfortable. Unfortunately, denim jeans do not meet these criteria, so we do not recommend wearing them on the trails.

However, nobody wants to become too statistic, if it is a shorter walk and it’s mild weather you’ll be fine, but If you are going long distance, or if you have the potential to get a lot of rain or if it’s possible to get very cold, you may want to think of other option that we mentioned.

About the Author


Hussain is a passionate hiker and traveler that love the outdoor and enjoys what nature has to give, whenever he can he love to write and give tips & honest reviews to help others get out there and just seek more unforgettable experiences

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