Well, it happened: hiker dad chic has come full circle and convertible zip-off pants for hiking are back in style and trending in a big way. We don't hate it, either. Zip-off hiking pants aka convertible hiking pants have always had versatility and practicality at their core and so does the new breed. And while you can still readily find baggy, swishy, classic zip-off pants, a new set of brands is endowing the style with, well, style. But fear not, zippered knees, gusseted crotches, elastic waists, velcro, and cargo pockets are all still present and accounted for.
All this is to say that convertible zip-off pants are no longer just for self-proclaimed outdoorsy types; whether you're a hiker, camper, climber, hypebeast, techwear nerd, or city dweller, zip-off pants, if zip-offs don't have a place in your wardrobe now they will soon.
In this guide, we've rounded up the best new convertible zip-off pants from the classic hiker cargo pant to fashion-forward pairs and everything in between.
Our Top 9 Picks for the Best Zip-Off Pants for Women & Men
Leave it to Outdoor Voices to create a flattering zip-off pant that's miles away from the hiking pants your grandfather wore on his trip to the Grand Canyon. Durable and wind- and water-resistant, the Rectrek Zip-Off Pant plays on the standard convertible pant design by including two zippers on each leg, creating three ways to tailor the length of the pants to your liking. They can be hi-rise pants, capris, or shorts, and with a removable nylon webbing belt and bungee cuffs, they're perfect for a multitude of outdoor activities and are comfortable enough to just chill around the house in.
Lululemon recently launched a funky new Hike Collection and zip-off pants, which might be the opposite of yoga leggings, were included. Available in three different colors, the jogger-style Convertible High-Rise Pants feature abrasion-resistant and water-repellant fabric, ripstop cargo hand pockets, an additional zippered pocket on the thigh for accessibility while wearing a harness, and cool webbing accents to clip your keys or anything else you might need to your belt loop. The zip-off legs are high in the design, so the shots you're left with are stylish and comfy in their own right.
Men's Option: Yes
If a fashion-oriented brand like Paloma Wool is making zip-off pants, that's a bright indicator that they're coming back in style. The trendy Spanish brand released the Jean-Paul trousers as an ideal summertime pant instead of something you'd wear into the backcountry. Made with organic cotton poplin with a unique beige dyed gradient, the pants lack any of the other convertible pant tropes (there is an elastic waistband and a back pocket). So leave the hiking gaiters and backpack at home—these zip-offs are for a beach day or a leisurely walk around town.
The Brain Dead Convertible Razor Climbing Pant is a perfect example of urban-to-outdoor crossover style. Cut of satine twill cotton with a print that calls to mind old school climber style, these babby pants are perfect for hitting the bouldering gym or just hanging out in the city. The pants feature zippered pockets in the front and back and a belted waist, and the legs zip off well below the knee for an '90s style extra-long short inseam.
Inspired by the climbing mecca of Smith Rock, Oregon, Nike tested its ACG zip-offs on real rock to ensure their durability, toughness, and flexibility. Made with 75% recycled nylon fabrics and a little bit of Spandex for stretch, they're water-resistant and lightweight. The Smith Summit pants feature a relaxed fit with a slightly tapered leg for a more structured look, and there are drawstring chords around the ankles for extra adjustability. Tighten the integrated webbing belt and unzip to convert them into shorts when your adventures get really intense. Sizes go up to 4XL, which is nice.
Quick drying, water wicking, made with UPF 50+ sun protection nylon, The North Face's Paramount Convertible Pants are perfect for summer hiking and traveling. They're relatively feature-free, with hand pockets, a zippered back pocket, and an integrated belt. It's also worth noting that unzipped, the shorts are stylishly fitted.
Men's Option: Yes
Although they may not be as fashionable as some of the other pants on the list, Kühl's Renegade are a top-of-list choice for men's zip offs when functionality and trail comfort are what you want. They are anti-abrasion and, speaking from experience, these pants can withstand a lot. They also feature zippered cuffs to fit over any boot and mesh pockets for an added level of ventilation. UPF 50+ sun protection is built-in and the fabric is light enough for comfortable walking in warm weather.
Women's Option: Yes
Fjällräven built the Abisko Lite Zip-Off for serious trekking. Durability is stitched into this pant's seams, as is sustainability through longevity—you'll be able to wear these over and over from trip to trip. The pre-shaped knees allow you to have a full range of motion while adventuring, or you can zip the legs off if shorts are what the day calls for. The pant legs have boot hooks and strap adjustments around the ankles to ensure that they don't ride up uncomfortably, and hand pockets plus zippered thigh pockets provide plenty of storage space.
Stretchy and durable are the name of the game with these zip-off pants from REI. Ideal for hiking, biking, climbing, or anything else you can think of, the Sahara Convertible Pants are the direct result of feedback from REI's co-op members. They know what's good, because these expertly balance hiker chic aesthetics with functional elements like DWR for water resistance. Convert them into joggers with drawstring hems and use the drawcord waistband for a customizable fit.