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a woman hiking in patagonia hiking pants

Hiking in the Patagonia Quandary Joggers. Photo: Kip Touseull//The Inertia

The Inertia

A good pair of hiking pants is an essential piece of gear in every hiker’s closet. Hiking pants help protect your legs from scrapes and abrasions and plants like poison ivy, while also providing coverage from the sun. Our testing team of avid hikers recently rounded up the Best Hiking Pants, and of all the pairs on our list, the Patagonia Quandary Joggers ($119) were our best overall women’s hiking pants. But fear not, they’re available and work well for men too.

I live on Oahu in Hawaii where it’s consistently hot and sunny, regardless of the time of year. As such, I typically hike in shorts, but a lot of the hikes are overgrown and require pants. The Patagonia Quandary Joggers proved to be a lightweight pair of hiking pants that fared well against the heat and the dense island foliage.

Pros Cons
Sustainably made No ventilation zipper
Elastic waistband Fit tight around the butt
Lots of pockets

First Impressions

I’m a long-time fan of Patagonia: the brand’s gear is typically well-made, durable, and sustainably made. To be completely transparent, I’m not a huge fan of hiking pants simply because I prefer the freedom of shorts, but sometimes they are necessary. Out of the box, the Quandary Joggers felt lightweight, and I guessed they’d be nice and breathable.

Upon trying the Quandary Joggers on, I was instantly a fan. Most hiking pants sport a fitted waist with buttons or zippers, but the Quandary joggers have a stretchy waistband, making them comfortable. Because they’re jogger-style pants they almost feel like you’re wearing sweatpants, but much lighter weight. I was eager to hit the trail and see how they performed once things got hot and sweaty.

a woman hiking with her dogs

Hiking under the hot Hawaiian sun. Photo: Kip Touseull//The Inertia

Notable Features

patagonia hiking pants

Fabric: 96% NetPlus post-consumer recycled nylon/4% spandex plain weave/DWR finish made without PFCs/PFAS
Fit: Regular
Leg Style: Jogger
Weight: 8.8 oz
Available In: Women’sMen’s

The Patagonia Quandary Joggers are made of stretch-woven 96% NetPlus post-consumer recycled nylon made from recycled fishing nets to help reduce ocean plastic pollution and 4% spandex plain weave. The pants are treated with a PFAS-free durable water repellant (DWR) and have UPF 40+ sun protection.

The first day I hit the trails in the Quandary Joggers, the sun was out in full force. Despite their full length, the joggers felt lightweight and breathable even while trekking up a hill. At 8.8 ounces, it’s apparent that these are a lightweight pair of hiking pants. The joggers wicked away sweat and moisture as I hiked and the built-in odor control worked well — they smelled fresh, even after a hot hike.

a close up of someone putting a phone in the pocket of hiking pants

The Quandary Joggers have five pockets. Photo: Kip Touseull//The Inertia

As far as joggers go, the Quandary pants are a bit more fitted. They’re fitted around the waist and through the thighs, with a straight leg dropping down to the ankles. The waistband lies flat and has an external draw cord, which allows you to customize the fit. Our tester really appreciated the stretchy waistband because it felt comfortable against her waist and made it easy to layer the pants over shorts, should you wish to shed the pants when it gets extra hot.

The Quandary Joggers have pockets galore. In total, the women’s version of the pants has five pockets: two front pockets, two zippered thigh pockets, and one back right pocket. Additionally, the pants have a carabiner loop on the front right pocket, making it easy to hook on extra items.

The men’s waistband and pocket layout is a bit different; the men’s pants still feature five pockets, but two front pockets, two side pockets, and one thigh pocket. We appreciate that Patagonia constructed pants that suited specific body types, as the women’s waistband made it more comfortable to wear higher on the waist.

a woman hiking in hiking pants

The only downside of the Quandary Joggers is that they don’t have ventilation zippers. Photo: Kip Touseull//The Inertia


The biggest downside of the Quandary Joggers is that they don’t have any ventilation zippers. They’re lightweight and breathable but zippers would further enhance their breathability. This probably wouldn’t be an issue in colder climates but when hiking in pants in Hawaii, you want as much airflow as you can get.

The fit of the Quandary pants is also a tad funky. As I mentioned, they’re fitted, but they felt a little tight on the butt. Perhaps this is TMI, but I have a fairly flat butt, so they worked okay for me but for someone who is curvier, the fit would be snug. It may even be worth sizing up, as the drawstring provides ample cinch in the waist.

a woman hiking in Hawaii with her dogs

Hiking pants help protect your legs from debris and the sun. Photo: Kip Touseull//The Inertia

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a pair of lightweight hiking pants, the Patagonia Quandary Joggers fit the bill nicely. Although they lack ventilation zippers, the pants are light enough to be breathable, have built-in odor control, and offer UPF 40+ protection. With five pockets and a carabiner loop, the Quandary Joggers have plenty of storage for longer days on the trail. The slight stretch and stylish fit truly make them all-day, everyday pants.

While we love the fitted cut for women, we named the slightly looser fitting Patagonia Quandary Pants our “Best Men’s Hiking Pants.” Both make use of fantastic materials and make an excellent pair of hiking pants.

Editor’s Note: Check out our complete list of Best Hiking Pants. If you’re heading into the woods on a backpacking trip, you’ll need the proper footwear. Check out our Best Hiking Boots and Best Hiking Boots for Women guides for some inspo. Or if you need a place to stash your stuff, grab one of our recommended Best Hiking Backpacks. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here

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