The Best Women’s Hunting Pants of 2020 – GearJunkie
October 12, 2020 - Short Yoga Pants
Over hill, over dale, through brush, and through briar, your pants and bibs must hold up when you hunt. Here are the best hunting pants for women in 2020.
They must be durable, they must be quiet, and they must be comfortable. Each of the hunting pants and hunting bibs on this list holds up to these requirements.
And we made sure that ladies of all shapes and sizes are covered. Note that not all of the following brands are hunting-specific, and know that you don’t necessarily need camouflage to hit the hills, but it sure can nice.
Camo not only conceals you a bit better in the brush, but it also hides stains like a champ. Solids work great, but many of them will hold onto bloodstains once you’ve notched that tag. So if you plan on hunting in your favorite greige yoga pants, you might be wearing them in public for the last time.
Top Women’s Hunting Pants
Best Overall Women’s Hunting Pants: Sitka Gear Timberline Pants
Listen. If you’re willing to shell out the cash, the Timberline ($249) is the ultimate hunting pant. It checks every box that an all-around pant could possibly check: durable, windproof, partially waterproof, comfortable, forgiving. I’ve broken down multiple animals over a few seasons in my Tims, and I’d bet you money you can’t find a stain.
Available in both camo and solid gray, it’s made mostly of water-resistant polyester stretch material, but waterproof ripstop nylon articulates the knees and booty. Removable knee pads add extra support if needed. And it’s really that waterproof knee plus booty combo that levels up this pant.
This might not be your best option if you were to sit in a tree on a very, very cold day, but it can damn well do everything else.
What customers say: “The best pants I own. I work a lot outside and wore them every day during the field season and they still look brand new. I get pretty annoyed with women’s hiking pants and how women apparently don’t need pockets. These pants have great pockets that can hold all your gadgets and snacks. Highly recommend these pants.” — Jenna
Best Early-Season Women’s Hunting Pant: First Lite Obsidian Pant
This is First Lite’s initial iteration of a merino pant designed for women. The lack of scent, extreme quiet, and temperature-regulating quality of the fabric all lend themselves to backcountry days. A few friends tested the Obsidian ($170) last fall, and they touted them as a great pant for everything but very cold, late-season hunts.
Plus, they’re around-the-house comfortable. Stretch nylon panels are integrated throughout to give the pants some room for movement, and both zip and open pockets provide ample storage. The one note the reviewers had was reinforced knees and booties would add durability. I’d like to see that addition from First Lite as well, in this pant or another.
It’s important to note that merino is more delicate and it 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 nearly identical men’s Obsidian Pant.
What customers say: “These pants are so much more diverse than I thought they’d be and my new favorite. First use I took them on a 6-mile trek, I got wet immediately crossing through willows. These pants kept me warm even when wet, dried faster than I expected of wool, and are still 100% breathable.
“I’ve been wearing them for scouting days and plan to wear them all through my archery hunts in CO and probably into rifle. I would say they’re more robust than my Alturas pants without any extra bulk.” — Kelli
Best Late-Season Bibs: Sitka Gear Fanatic Bibs
Well, we’ve talked about what not to wear on very, very cold hunts. But cold weather is where the Fanatic line shines. Would I hike 10 miles up a mountain in these? No. These are #thicc, juicily warm, and they’re designed for climbing a tree, sitting all day, and staying toasty AF.
Made of ultra-quiet Berber fleece, wind-stopping synthetics, and insulated with PrimaLoft, the bibs ($449) are still form-fitting enough to not make you feel like the Michelin man. I haven’t had a chance to hunt in these yet because this version is brand-spankin’ new, but a friend hunted in these last season. She said they were the bomb dot com for staying warm without feeling overdressed.
Sitka took a bit of a shot at doing things differently with these bibs. Instead of adding zippers to the back for easy peeing, the brand designed a full system between base layers and bibs to be used with a urination device for women, like a GoGirl or a Tinkle Belle.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Sitka free-to-pee system.
What customers say: “Yes, they are expensive but they are a must-add to any hunter’s winter wardrobe! After years of hunting with different pants and multiple layers, I finally splurged on getting the fanatic bibs and jacket – what a game changer! The days of shivering in the stand are over.
“When walking in for your hunt and your temperature starts getting warm, you can adjust how much of the cold air you want to let in with the leg zippers. Material is extremely quiet. The pockets are nice and toasty.” — Bethany S
Best Upland Pants: Prois Pradlann Upland Pants
With a 4.9-star review average, the Pradlann ($170) by Prois knocks it outta the park for a bevy of upland hunters. Designed for action, durable panels take on tough brush, thorns, and burrs with ease. A four-way-stretch poly-spandex blend accommodates quick movement through the upland fields.
Articulated knees follow your every bend, and a feminine cut keeps the fit on point. Streamlined pockets and an adjustable waist cut a nice silhouette, and reviewers really can’t seem to say enough good things about this pair of pants. Sizing is also generous with XS-2XL and tall versions available.
What customers say: “So impressed with these pants! Women’s upland pants that actually function in the field, fit perfectly, and stand up to all the brush and burrs….amazing!! Super soft and stretchy yet very tough and functional; the best of both worlds.” — Jennifer
Best Budget Hunting Bibs: DSG Kylie Hunting Bib
I love DSG Outerwear for two reasons: affordability and inclusivity. Its activewear is plus-friendly, and much of it goes up to 5X. These bibs are no exception.
The Kylie Hunting Bib ($90) is waterproof, windproof, and insulated with 100 g of Thinsulate. It can be converted to pants or left as a bib. And it’s soft, quiet, and ready for action in the field. The inseam is adjustable via snaps, and the whole setup is machine washable.
You could wear these hunting, skiing, or snowmobiling, and you’ll stay warm throughout. For $90, it’s just a great deal for a great pair of bibs. Reviewers do say to order up a size if you plan on layering underneath.
And for my badass plus-size hunting gals, know that Alpine Curves has your back in all sorts of ways. If you haven’t heard of them, well, you have now. Check out the brand’s hunting selection here.
What customers say: “I bought these for hunting season and so far am very pleasantly surprised with how soft they are. I am almost positive that they run a size small. I usually wear a large for outdoor wear and am glad I ordered an XL to be able to wear layers underneath.” — anon
Best Budget Pant: SHE Outdoor Utility II Pant
I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to break the bank to put meat in your freezer. If you’re budget-constricted, the Outdoor Utility Pant ($40) boasts a 4.6-star review average, and folks love them. If you’re going out on day hunts occasionally, and you don’t need something mountain tough, this is a great option.
The one drawback I see to these pants is that they’re 98% cotton, so this isn’t the ideal pant if you’re going to be facing inclement weather or might get wet in the rain. These will be great for a sit in a blind, a short spot-and-stalk, still hunts, or day hunts when the weather will hold.
What customers say: “Bought for my daughter and she absolutely loves them compared to the men’s hunting clothes she wore before…She says the fit is much better and they are WAY more comfortable.” — Dad24605
Best of the Rest
The Eddie Bauer Guide Pro ($80) is available in a plethora of neutral colors and petite, straight, tall, and plus sizes 0-24. And it’s another affordable choice for your early-season hunting wardrobe.
With over 1,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating, this pant is well-loved mostly as a hiking pant. But I’ll argue its hunting merits any day. Storm Repel DWR treatment makes the Guide Pro water-resistant while being breathable. It’s also certified sustainable and safe by Bluesign, keeping harsh chemicals out of our waterways.
Plus, it’s super affordable, city-approved, and often on sale.
What customers say: “This is the greatest hiking pant I have ever owned, I am not exaggerating. I plan to buy another pair as soon as I am done writing this. I’m not a small person, but I am active…I really appreciate the quality of the pant also, the fabric is heavy enough that it doesn’t stretch out of shape but at the same time has a ton of stretch which makes them incredibly comfortable.” — Frizzy0212
Another high-end pant, the Keb Trousers ($225) are, in my opinion, another great option for the upland hunter as well as anyone who needs to endure tough and pokey country.
The Kebs are actually what Fjallraven calls a “family” of trekking pants, and there are many options. From a curved option to one with built-in gaiters to the classic trekking pant and a high-end eco-friendly option, one will certainly suit your needs.
These pants are not stretchy or forgiving, but they’re extremely durable. And you can wax and re-wax the G-1000 panels for added waterproofing.
What customers say: “These are one of the more intense trousers in the [Fjallraven] line, but also the most adaptable to different climates and activities. The breathable stretch fabric and the vent zippers keep you cool in warmer months, while the waxed cotton is keeping wetness and wind at bay.
“I add a base layer to amp up the warmth in the winter, making these awesome out in the snow. Tons of pockets and space make these ideal for travel as well!” — Megan O.
The Alturas ($135) were my first pair of hunting pants. And I’ll say that they’re as nice today as they were the day I bought them a few years back. Really, they’re an exceptional hiking pant, available in both solid and camo. For a durable early-season pant, you can’t go wrong.
Sizing can run a little odd, with my usual-sized pants being a little too big and needing a belt when I’m on the move. The downside to the Alturas is that they’re certainly not windproof, and late-season hunts are not their forte.
That said, they’ll get you through a whole heckuva lot. They won’t break the bank. And they’ll last eons longer than most of the pants in your closet.
What customers say: “The best fitting pants I’ve ever found. Extremely comfortable in a range of weather conditions. Can wear them for over a week and they don’t stink. Certainly water repellent, which is great in light rain. Have kept their high quality after many uses and washes.” — Chloe
A few friends of mine can’t stop singing high praises of their Kryptek gear, and reviewers agree.
The Dalibor ($190) is a top seller, and it’s made to be part of a layering system for hunters on the move. It’s recommended for the early season without base layers or late season with base layers.
A polyester-elastane mix makes these pants stretchy and flexible, and DWR keeps water at bay to a point. And it’s got plenty of pockets to keep whatever you need close at hand while on the hunt.
What customers say: “I LOVE these pants. They are easy to maneuver in and I love the padding in the knees. We hunt areas where there are cactus and often rocky terrain. The padding is great for those types of hunts. The material great and the legs aren’t too tight so you can easily move in them.
“I have a small, which fits me well, but will also be getting a medium for hunts that are colder and I need to layer up in. I use mine during mild to chilly weather hunts and they are great!” — Nicole B.
Hunting Pants FAQ
You can take any pair of pants hunting, that’s for sure. I’ve hunted in everything from jeans and yoga pants to Carhartts and high-end just-for-hunting pants, all the way up to waterproof bibs. And options for hunting pants for women abound these days, so there’s no shortage.
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 women’s hunting pants for you.
Are Camo Pants Needed for Hunting?
Frankly, no. I love having a mix of solid neutrals in my closet that can easily float from days spent on horseback to days rifle hunting in November. 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. GearJunkie’s own Sean McCoy has been hunting in his 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 women’s hunting pants we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.