Our Favorite Active Pants We Also Lounge In

The comfiest technical pants ready to send or chill

These days, I’ve found myself in a constant state of semi-activity. Walks, hikes, and bike rides interspersed with conference calls, following complex cake recipes, and trying out new napping angles on the couch.

It’s pretty much a dream world for athleisure apparel, which, let’s be honest, is what most of our technical outdoor apparel is used for anyway. My approach shoes have seen just as many hours in line at Trader Joe’s as they have scrambling up to a crag.

Some call these climbing pants, some call them technical joggers, I call them active pajamas. This incredibly popular category of semi-casual, technical, yet comfortable and stretchy pants has become more relevant than ever while we fill our days with semi-productive tasks. Be it a hike, bouldering sesh, eleventh dog walk of the day, camping trip, or baking marathon, these are pants that somehow seem to fit every purpose.

These are the pants you put on and leave on. Maybe we should be calling them quarantine pants.

MH
Photo Credit: Mountain Hardwear

The Dynama Ankle Pant could handle almost anything you throw at it. These days, I throw them on as soon as I wake up for my morning coffee walk around the neighborhood, and they stay on when I head to the bouldering wall or pedal my bike around town. The nylon-spandex fabric is perfectly stretchy, allowing comfortable movement while climbing or stretching while somehow maintaining a flattering shape that I’d easily wear to the office if that ever becomes a thing again.

I love the snug fit of the large waistband, and the small zippered side pocket is a great place to keep a credit card or house key for a quick errand. You could probably fit a cell phone in there if you don’t have a large case on it. The Dynamas definitely fit a little on the roomier side. I typically wear a small and the extra-small fits perfectly with a slimmer fit in the ankles. If you’re looking for a slightly roomy fit though, these fit true to size.

Since I started wearing the Dynamas a few months ago, they haven’t left my body for more than 24 hours. This is a quarantine pant at its finest.

BC
Photo Credit: Backcountry

The Double Dyno Pants are tough but stretchy, perfect for climbing, hiking, or lounging around camp. Again, these pants were designed for climbing, with abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric and quick-drying synthetic design, but they’re comfy enough to wear all day, even if the most active thing you plan to do is water your plants. The Double Dynos have the sturdiest feel of all the pants on this list, and they’ve held strong while taking a beating through some of the technical yard work I’ve decided is more important than my afternoon phone call. They’ve also been great for spring hiking on slightly overgrown trails, since they block out all that scratchy underbrush that seems to sneak through tights or leggings.

I’m a big fan of the thick waistband which lies flat and layers well under a jacket or harness and the drawstring allows for even more adjustments in the waist. The sandy orange colorway is a nice touch for future desert trips, too, since all that red dirt will blend right in.

Patagonia
Photo Credit: Patagonia

These are my favorite camping pants of all time. The fabric is a blend of hemp, recycled polyester, so it’s light and breathable, but sturdy enough to handle abrasion from rocks. They shed dirt really well too, which is especially nice while car camping since I always seem to end up covered in a thin layer of whatever the ground consists of. This feature has come in really handy while planting my spring garden this year since they seem to thrive while rolling around in the dirt. They also don’t really ever smell, even after a 10-day desert trip last year, which is always a huge plus.

I’ve gone on many a hike in these pants in a tank top and Chacos, and although they provide full coverage down to the ankle, the tapered design eliminates any snagging and the elastic cuffs make them easy to roll up. The fit is looser than all the other pants on this list, which I love on warm summer days. Since the fabric is pretty durable, these pants can feel a bit stiff when you first put them on, but after a few wears they become much softer. I’d recommend sizing down unless you want a super loose fit.

BD
Photo Credit: Black Diamond

A climbing pant that’s proven to be just as comfortable flipping pancakes as it is at the crag, the Drift Pants are soft, stretchy and easy to wear from sun up to sun down. These are probably the stretchiest of all the pants on this list, which has become great for the seemingly endless amount of home improvement projects I’ve discovered need to get done, as well as hikes, home workouts, and the increasingly common three-hour brunch.

I love how deep the front pockets are, making them actually usable unlike many pockets in women’s clothing that seem to be symbolic. One of the back pockets has a secure zipper pocket which is a great place to stash a card or some cash. The flat elastic waistband keeps a nice low profile, although I did wish there was a drawstring or something to cinch it down tighter since the waistband was a little looser than I’d anticipated.

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