On a recent hiking tour of Arizona’s slot canyons, it took about five minutes before my bare legs were covered in scratches and I was kicking myself for wearing shorts. The Arizona heat got the best of me that morning, and instead of pulling on my pair of Helly Hansen’s Women’s Hild QD pants, I opted for the shorts, stuffing the Hild QD’s in the bottom of my pack, just in case. About ten minutes into the hike, and ten scratches later, I threw in the towel and threw on the pants. The durable but lightweight nylon material kept my legs protected, cool, and didn’t falter or tear as I slid over rough, sharp rocks and squeezed through jagged canyon walls. I should have opted for the pants that morning, but that’s a mistake I won’t make again. The Hild QD’s are an excellent option for summer hiking pants. They’re quick-drying, comfortable, and sport a stretch-knit waistband, which make them easy to wear over shorts, should you happen to make the same mistake as I did.
Pros: The bottom hem on these pants roll and fasten easily, which make them a good option for women of varying heights. Regardless of how tall, or not so tall you are, these pants will still fit and be functional, and you won’t be left with a torn up hem dragging on the ground. The stretchy fabric also makes these slim-fitting pants easy to move in, which is great when you’re scrambling up and down boulders or scaling mountainsides. The stretch knit waist band is also a key selling point. Comfortable yet functional, the stretchy waist band on the Hild QD Pants makes them easy to wear over base layers or on top of shorts. The nylon material is also lightweight, making them a great summer hiking pant option that won’t take up too much space in your backpack.
Cons: While the hem on these pants can be raised once, just enough to make them a good fit for small and tall ladies, I would have liked to see a second fastening point to allow the hem to be raised one extra level for situations when you’re wading through small amounts of water and mud.
Where I Took It: Hiking in Viñales, Cuba. Scrambling through slot canyons in Page, Arizona.