5 Best Orienteering Pants for Comfort: Top Picks for Your Next Adventure

July 01, 2024 7 min read

When engaging in orienteering, comfort is key to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. Navigating through diverse terrains and varying weather conditions can be challenging, which is why selecting the right gear is essential.

A group of orienteers wearing comfortable pants navigate through rugged terrain, with deep pockets and adjustable waistbands for ease of movement

Choosing the best orienteering pants can significantly enhance your performance. This article will guide you through top options that offer comfort, durability, and functionality tailored to your needs.

1) Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants

Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are a versatile option for orienteering enthusiasts. Made from a blend of nylon and polyester, these pants offer both durability and comfort under various conditions.

One of the standout features is the zip-off legs, allowing you to convert them into shorts quickly. This functionality makes them suitable for changing weather and different terrains.

The pants come with Omni-Wick technology to keep moisture at bay. Additionally, the UPF 50 sun protection ensures you're shielded from harmful UV rays while navigating through open fields.

Ample pocket space provides storage for essentials like maps, compasses, and snacks. The secure zip-closed pockets prevent your items from falling out during your adventure.

With an adjustable waistband and partial elastic, these pants offer a comfortable fit for different body types. You'll find them easy to move in, which is essential as you traverse through various landscapes.

Reinforced knees add an extra layer of durability, especially useful when you're on rugged terrain. These pants are designed to withstand the wear and tear of orienteering.

Lightweight and breathable, they ensure you don't feel bogged down, even during long hikes. The fabric dries quickly, making them practical for wet conditions.

2) Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights

The Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights are a top choice for orienteers seeking a blend of comfort and durability. Designed with reinforced knees and rear, these tights protect against rough terrain and provide extra durability where it’s needed most.

These tights feature a mix of stretch fabric that allows for a full range of motion. Whether you're navigating through dense forests or scaling rocky hills, the Abisko Trekking Tights will move with you without restriction.

They also come with practical pockets located on the thighs and an internal security pocket to keep essential items like maps and compasses within easy reach. The flat-lock seams minimize chafing during long treks, enhancing overall comfort.

The waistband is wide and adjustable, ensuring a stable and comfortable fit throughout your journey. They are breathable and wick moisture away, keeping you dry and comfortable during intense activities.

The tights are made from a combination of polyamide and elastane, materials known for their strength and elasticity. The reinforced sections are made of a durable, stretch-friendly fabric to withstand heavy use.

In terms of style, the Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights is available in a variety of colors. This allows you to choose a pair that fits your personal preferences while staying functional. These features make them a reliable choice for anyone serious about orienteering.

3) Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pant

Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pant is a versatile option tailored for orienteering enthusiasts. Made from durable Fortius 1.0 fabric, these pants offer excellent mobility and comfort. The material is a blend of nylon and elastane, ensuring a flexible fit.

The Gamma LT Pant features a trim fit that reduces bulk, which is essential for quick navigation through different terrains. Articulated knees and a gusseted crotch add to the freedom of movement.

You will appreciate the adjustable waistband, which ensures a snug and comfortable fit. The waistband adjustment system allows for a customized fit without the need for a belt.

These pants also have multiple zippered pockets, providing ample storage for your essential items. Zippered thigh pockets and hand pockets keep your gear secure and easily accessible.

Weather resistance is another major feature. The fabric is treated for water and wind resistance, making these pants suitable for various weather conditions. Whether you're facing a sudden downpour or a windy day, you'll stay comfortable.

The pants are available in several sizes and colors, giving you options to match your style and fit preferences. The quality craftsmanship ensures durability, making the Gamma LT Pant a reliable choice for long-term use.

4) Patagonia Quandary Pants

Patagonia Quandary Pants are built for versatile performance. Designed to handle a variety of terrains, these pants are ideal for your orienteering needs.

Made with a blend of nylon and spandex, they offer durability and stretch. The material is also lightweight, ensuring you move with ease.

The pants feature a water-repellent finish, keeping you dry in damp conditions. The fabric is quick-drying, which helps you stay comfortable during long treks.

Convenient pockets provide ample storage for essential items. They include a zippered thigh pocket, which secures your belongings during active movements.

The waistband comes with a curved shape, enhancing comfort and fit. Belt loops are included, allowing for added adjustability.

The pants also feature articulated knees, offering better mobility. A gusseted crotch enhances your range of motion, ensuring you remain agile.

You'll appreciate the combination of functionality and comfort these pants provide. Whether navigating forests or climbing hills, they meet the demands of orienteering.

5) prAna Stretch Zion Pants

The prAna Stretch Zion Pants excel in providing comfort and durability for orienteering enthusiasts. Designed with stretch fabric, these pants offer excellent mobility, allowing you to navigate through various terrains with ease.

The abrasion-resistant material ensures long-lasting wear, even in rugged conditions. Water-resistant properties keep you dry during unexpected weather changes.

With a ventilated inseam gusset, these pants enhance breathability, helping regulate temperature during intense activities. The adjustable waistband offers a personalized fit, ensuring the pants stay secure and comfortable throughout your adventure.

Several pockets, including a zippered cargo pocket, provide ample storage for essential items. You can access your gear quickly and keep your hands free. The roll-up leg snaps allow you to convert the pants into capris, adding versatility to your outfit.

Lightweight and packable, the prAna Stretch Zion Pants are easy to carry, making them ideal for multi-day trips. The stylish design also allows for casual wear post-orienteering.

These pants are available in various sizes and colors, catering to different preferences. Machine washable for easy care, they are practical for frequent use.

Key Features of Comfortable Orienteering Pants

Comfortable orienteering pants with reinforced knees and adjustable waistband. Breathable and quick-drying fabric. Multiple pockets for storage. Durable and flexible material for ease of movement

Comfortable orienteering pants should excel in various aspects, such as the materials used, breathability, durability, and freedom of movement. Below, you will find detailed considerations for each of these important features.

Material and Fabric

The material used in orienteering pants is crucial for comfort. You should look for pants made from lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics such as nylon or polyester. These materials help manage sweat and keep your skin dry.

Additionally, consider pants with a small percentage of elastane or spandex. This adds stretchiness, enhancing comfort and mobility. Some high-quality options include fabrics that are soft to the touch but durable enough to withstand rough outdoor conditions.


Breathability is essential to keep you cool and help prevent overheating during intense activity. Look for pants with mesh panels or ventilation zippers to enhance airflow. This feature is particularly useful in warm climates or during high-exertion activities.

Pockets designed with breathable fabric help as well, allowing air circulation even when you have items stored. Pants designed for orienteering should prioritize breathability without compromising other aspects like protection and durability.


You need pants that can handle the rigors of outdoor environments, from thick brush to rocky terrain. Reinforced knee and seat areas offer extra resilience where wear and tear happen most often. Double stitching is another feature that adds to the durability.

Ripstop fabrics, known for their high resistance to tearing, are ideal. Check the denier rating of the fabric—a higher denier means thicker threads, thus greater durability.

Mobility and Flexibility

Flexibility in orienteering pants ensures unrestricted movement. Look for articulated knees and gusseted crotches; these design elements allow better freedom of motion. Stretch panels in critical areas can further enhance flexibility without compromising durability.

Adjustable waistbands and hems ensure a snug fit, preventing the pants from riding up or slipping down during movement. Pants with pre-shaped leg design also aid in natural movement and add to overall comfort.

How to Choose the Right Orienteering Pants

A table with 5 pairs of orienteering pants, each labeled with their features for comfort

Selecting the perfect orienteering pants requires attention to fit, weather conditions, and personal preferences.

Fit and Sizing

Finding the right fit is crucial for comfort and mobility. Orienteering pants should offer a snug fit around the waist without being too tight. Look for adjustable waistbands, which provide a more customizable fit.

Consider pants with articulated knees and gusseted crotch areas. These features enhance flexibility and movement, ensuring that you can navigate rough terrain without restriction.

Ensure the length is appropriate; pants should cover your ankles without dragging. Some brands offer specific sizing charts; always check these before purchasing.

Weather Conditions

When choosing orienteering pants, consider the typical weather conditions you might face. For warm climates, lightweight and breathable materials such as nylon or polyester are ideal. These materials wick away moisture and promote ventilation.

In wet conditions, opt for pants with water-resistant or waterproof fabrics. Features like sealed seams and water-repellent finishes can keep you dry.

For cold weather, select pants with insulation or a layered design. Look for options with fleece lining or the ability to wear base layers underneath for added warmth.

Personal Preferences

Your personal preferences play a significant role in selecting the right pants. Some may prefer pants with multiple pockets for carrying essentials like maps and compasses, while others might prioritize minimalistic designs to reduce weight.

Consider color and style as well. While bright colors can enhance visibility, neutral tones can be beneficial for blending into the environment.

Evaluate additional features such as reinforced knees for durability or ventilation zippers for added comfort. Choose based on what suits your specific needs and preferences.