Nylon vs Polyester Hiking Pants: Which One to Go For?

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Hiking is undoubtedly a tough task. For this, you need to find proper clothing, like nylon hiking pants or polyester hiking pants, for the utmost comfort. 

But, what if you are confused between both of these hiking pants due to the various similarities? To make things easier for you, this article will guide you towards making the best decision.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Any Type of Hiking Pants

Before you choose any fabric – be it nylon or polyester, you might want to look out for some things. 

These things include: 

1. Waterproof Feature 

During hiking, the chances are high that you may encounter rainfall. Due to this, having pants that get wet really easily is extremely troublesome. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, you may want to look out for waterproof fabric for hiking pants. 

Waterproof hiking pants are often more expensive as they contain special layers to keep the water out. 

2. Lightweight Feature 

Having a comfortable outfit is extremely important when you’ve set on a hiking adventure!

One of the major factors that determine comfort is the lightweight feature. So, before you go for any hiking fabric, make sure it is lightweight and easy to carry. 

3. Pockets and Their Size 

Sometimes, you may want to keep something handy, like a backpacking knife, in your pocket for an emergency. 

So, you may want to consider getting hiking pants having cargo pockets as they offer more space for storing stuff. Keep in mind that they may add up to the weight. 

4. Comfort and Good-Quality Material 

Most of the time, it doesn’t even matter whether you go for nylon hiking pants or polyester hiking pants. It is the comfort and the quality that do. 

So, whenever you are looking for hiking pants, check the material to make sure it is tough yet comfortable for hiking. 

Now, let’s move on and see which one should you go for – nylon hiking pants or polyester hiking pants?

Nylon Hiking Pants: Pros and Cons 

Nylon is a type of synthetic material that is widely used in making hiking pants. But, is it good enough for your next hiking escapade? Consider the pros and cons I have listed below!


Nylon hiking pants have plenty of benefits such as: 

1. They Are Water-Resistant

One of the best benefits of nylon hiking pants is how water-resistant they are. So, if they get wet while trekking they’ll probably resist the water and dry up faster than other fabrics. 

2. They Are Breathable 

Another great thing about nylon hiking pants is their breathability. Whenever you are wearing them, they won’t feel sticky but rather loose, and comfortable. 

3. They Are Durable 

Lastly, nylon hiking pants are also quite durable. Due to this reason, if you invest in them once, you can wear them for ages!


Sometimes nylon hiking pants aren’t the best option. 

1. Not the Best For Winter

If you are hiking during the summer season, it is a great idea to wear nylon hiking pants. However, if you are planning to do it during winters, you may want to consider other options. 

2. May Take Longer Time to Dry 

Even though nylon has excellent moisture absorbing capacities, it is still less compared to polyester hiking pants.

So, keeping in mind the above things, you can make a quick decision!

Polyester Hiking Pants: Pros and Cons 

Just like nylon, polyester is also a type of synthetic material used for making hiking pants. It also has its own sets of pros and cons that I have listed below!


Polyester hiking pants may also have similar pros like nylon ones but there are just slight changes like:

1. They Have Better Water-Resistant Properties

Both nylon and polyester have great water-resistant properties. Yet, polyester may slightly have better properties compared to nylon. 

It is because nylon can absorb around 4% moisture whereas polyester just does about 0.4%. However, keep in mind that both of the fabrics still require extra waterproofing to keep the water out completely. 

2. Polyester Dries Up Fast and also Provides Warmth

As you can see, if polyester absorbs just about 0.4% of moisture, it can easily dry up faster compared to nylon. 

Additionally, it also provides more warmth than the nylon fabric making it a better option for winter hiking trips. 


There are just a few cons when it comes to polyester hiking pants. These include:

1. Fabric May Stink During Excessive Perspiration 

If you perspire and sweat a lot, you may face this issue. It is because the polyester fabric absorbs oil more readily than water. So, on one hand, it can retain water but will attract the oil and sweat of your body. 

Thus, the polyester hiking pants may stink after long hours of wearing. 

2. Less Durable Than Nylon 

Nylon is more durable compared to polyester. Moreover, nylon is also more versatile and flexible to wear. 

Nylon Hiking Pants or Polyester Hiking Pants: Which One to Go For?

Now that you know the pros and cons of both of them, which one to actually go for? Well, that depends on your requirements. 

For instance, you may want to go for nylon hiking pants if you want versatility and durability. They are also extremely breathable, stretchable, and thus, offer comfort.

On the other hand, you may want to go for polyester hiking pants if you specifically hike during the winter seasons. Also, they are an ideal option if you want a material that dries up faster. 

Additionally, if you have excessive perspiration, try sticking with nylon hiking pants as polyester ones may stink. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, comfort is above everything. So, whichever material you choose, nylon or polyester, you need to make sure that you feel comfortable wearing it. 

After all, you can only focus on the other challenges of hiking when you aren’t feeling distracted by other things!

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