There’s no denying that:
Nothing quite beats being out doors somewhere, making awesome stuff with with nothing more than your hands, a couple of dead trees and a few feet of paracord.
That said, bushcraft can often be fairly demanding, both on our gear as well as ourselves.
With that in mind, being prepared and equipped with the right tools is incredibly important.
Having the right gear, equipment and clothing will allow you to fully enjoy your time creating epic shelters, as well as keep you safe whilst doing so.
One piece of clothing that is particularly important is the pants.
Unfortunately, it can often be hard to tell which type of pants are suitable for bushcraft, and even harder to know which one’s are worth your time.
It’s for that exact reason we’ve put together this guide, where we’ll discuss some of the best bushcraft pants currently available and where you can get them.
It’s also probably worth investing in a pair of protective gloves, as this will both help to keep your hands warm, and protect them from any unwanted accidents. I’d recommend checking out our guide on the best bushcraft gloves, as we cover some pretty awesome optioins.
Why Use Bushcraft Pants?
While most pants on our list are not specifically made for bushcraft, they are made for various outdoor activities. Also, they’re typically based on, or are themselves a version of tactical pants, which is why most have a good amount of military vibes about them.
Ok, so what’s the point of wearing these types of pants, as opposed to a pair of jeans, or even sweat pants?
Good question! Below is a few reason why you’ll be better off using pants designed for outdoor activities such as bushcraft:
Protection – bushcraft pants tend to be made out of durable, thick material, which is often infused/ combined with Kevlar. Often tools such as hatchets, saws and knives are used when out in the woods, all of which can cause some pretty nasty damage in an accident.
Water resistant & moisture wicking – getting soaked when outside is not only uncomfortable, but can often be dangerous as well, should the temperature drop too low. Most bushcraft pants will at least be water resistant and able dry a lot quicker than regular pants.
Pockets & compartments – these types of pants are often littered with pockets that are perfect for storing small tools and pieces of gear. Compare this to a pair of a regular jeans, and the difference in pockets in insane.
Durable – I think it’s safe to say we’ve all accidentally caught our clothes on a rogue twig or two. A regular pair of pants would definitely rip in such a situation. Fortunately, bushcraft pants are built to withstand these types of incidents, which means you won’t have to either sew them up when you get home, or buy an entirely new pair.
Bushcraft Pants Reviews
Now that’s all out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the best bushcraft pants.
Fjallraven Vidda Pro
Up first is probably the most well known pair of pants to feature on our list, and for good reason. These are pretty much the definition of what a solid pair of bushcraft pants should be. That said, they’re not without their faults, but we’ll get to that shortly.
First, let’s take a look at the type of material used and what kind of environments this is suitable for. For example,. Fjallraven have used their very own G-1000 material, which is a blend of 65% cotton and 35%. This in itself is incredibly water and wind resistant, and thanks to it’s tightly woven design, also very durable.
The downside to this though is that these pants aren’t particularly breathable. This is mostly due to the lack of ventilation in the pockets and other areas. This is understandable, as ventilation often reduces water resistance, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.
As such, if you’re in humid or particularly warm environments, they may start to feel a bit stuffy.
In terms of pockets and storage, you’ll have no shortage of space to carry your gear and tools. There’s a ton of different pockets dotted around, perfect for storing maps, tools, fire starters, phones and what ever else you’ve brought with you.
What’s more, there’s also a nifty little compartment that you can use to store a knife or a small hatchet. For me, this is essential, as it allows easy access to your most used tools, without having to carry a tool belt, or get them out of a backpack.
In terms of design, these are probably the best looking on our list (in my opinion). They also come in a good amount of color variations, so you should be able to find a pair to suit your style.
The only downside of the Fjallravens’ are their price, which can be said about most of their gear. While not excessively expensive, they do cost more than just about every other option we’re discussing today.
That said, they’re probably the best pants for bushcraft out there, and are worth every cent in my opinion.
Tru-Spec 24-7 Xpedition Pants
I first heard about these particular pants from Tru-Spec in a review on YouTube (I’ll include it below). In this video, The Outdoor Gear Review channel described them as being as good, if not better than the Fjallravens’.
This is a very big claim indeed.
To my surprise, they’re completely correct. These things, whilst looking a little bit like a copy of the Fjallraven Vidda Pros, are just as good, if not better. The icing on the cake though, they’re also a good amount cheaper.
So, what makes these so damn good for bushcraft?
Just about everything, from sizes available to overall comfort, these bad boys have it all. For example, they have 6 belt loops as well as stretchable and adjustable waist to get them form fitting and comfortable.
They’ve also got 2 loops for things such as keys and carabiners, allowing easy access to anything you may use often and need on a regular basis.
They’re also made out of a polyester and cotton blend, which as I mentioned earlier, is extremely water and wind resistant. However, unlike the Fjallravens’, they’ve got 2 mesh ventilation areas on the thigh and calf of each leg. This allows them to be comfortable in all weather conditions, from a windy day to the scorching heat.
As with most outside pants ideal for bushcraft, there’s a good amount of storage dotted around each leg. These pockets all feature a secure closure system, keeping your belongings safe as you go about your business.
For the price, you really can’t fault the Tru-Spec Xpedition pants. In fact, I’d be more than happy forking out a good amount more for these, so in terms of bang for your buck, you’ll struggle to beat these.
Watch the review here:
Wrangler RIGGS Ranger Pants
If you’re on the hunt for a fairly cheap pair of bushcraft pants, then the Wrangler RIGGS definitely fit the bill. Despite being one of the cheapest pairs on our list, they’ve got a ton to offer and are exceptionally well suited to bushcraft.
For example, they’re constructed out of 100% cotton rip stop material. While I won’t go into exactly what rip stop is, as to be honest, my knowledge on textiles is fairly limited. Just know that it, well, stops rips. In all seriousness, this material is ideal for bushcraft, where you can easily snag your clothes on anything lurking around.
All major seems such have also been reinforced, adding to their overall durability. Similarly, the back pockets have also been lined 1000 Denier Cordura. This is a strong, nylon based material that adds a good amount of durability to the back pockets, which tend to be most vulnerable to tearing.
While on the topic of pockets, it’s worth noting that there’s a combined total of 7 located around both legs, as well as a tool storage loop on each leg.
In terms of comfort, Wrangler RIGGS have opted for a fairly relaxed fit. They’re not particularly tight, nor are they overly baggy. They’re essentially designed to maximise comfort, allowing you to focus on the task at hand, without worrying about your attire.
Even though these pants are made more for industrial work, they’re still definitely suitable for bushcraft. They tick all the right boxes in terms of storage and protection and are undeniably well priced for what they have to offer.
Tru-Spec 24-7 Original Tactical Pants
Up next, we’ve got another great option from Tru-Spec.
I wont go into too much detail on this particular pair, as they’re fairly similar to the Xpedition pants we discussed earlier. The only difference is that these are designed less for hiking and more for the tactical market.
Even so, tactical pants and bushcraft pants walk very similar paths, and pretty much go hand in hand.
For example, they’re made from the same make up of 65% polyester and 35% cotton as the previous Tru-Spec pants we discussed. As I mentioned earlier, this particular material is exceptionally good at keeping your legs warm and dry.
The knee areas are reinforced, with compartments on each knee designed to house knee pads. This again is ideal for bushcraft, where you can spend a good amount of time kneeling on the ground.
In terms of design, they’re available in 11 different color and style variations, and a very good range of sizes (from a 28” waist to a 54” waist).
There’s also very good amount of storage located on each leg, with deep front pockets, knife pockets, cargo pockets and back pockets.
All in all, a great pair of pants to take out into the woods, even if they’re not specifically designed for bushcraft.
5.11 Tactical Pants
Moving onto another pair of tactical pants that are extremely well suited to bushcraft. This particular option from 5.11 are available in 13 different color variations and a wide range of sizes.
For example, the 5.11’s are available in a 28” waist and range up to 54” waist, with unhemmed options also available.
As with most durable pants, these are made from a blend of polyester and cotton, and have been constructed using tripled reinforced stitching in all seems. 5.11 have also double layered the knees, as well as included a knee pad compartment for added comfort. Of course, you’ll need to buy the knee pads separately, but having the option is always handy.
What’s more, this fabric has also been treated with Teflon, meaning that it can wick away any moisture, without it absorbing into the pants themselves. This as you can imagine, is very handy in bushcraft, or any other outdoor activity, where you can get easily get caught out in the rain.
The 5.11 tactical pants have a combined total of 8 different storage pockets, including cargo pockets on the side, back pockets and straps for storing tools that you need readily available.
For the overall quality and durability that the 5.11’s have to offer, they’re priced very reasonably. You could easily expect to pay over double for this kind of quality, so the value for money factor is definitely there.
Columbia Silver Ridge Reversible Pants
I think every man and his dog has heard of Columbia, especially if you’ve ever spent a good amount of time doing any form of outdoor activity.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that they’ve got some pants that are great for bushcraft. Having said that, these are definitely more suited for a relaxed day out in the woods, as opposed to a full day’s work hauling and splitting logs.
The reason I say this is because they don’t have a ton of storage, and are more designed for comfort than anything else. For example, these pants have detachable legs, allowing them to turn into shorts. This for me, is amazing, as one of the main issues with bushcraft pants is how hot they can get.
The material of the pants themselves features UPF 50 fabric, offering UV protection as well as being treated with moisture wicking properties. This means that any liquid will stream off of the pants, and not be absorbed.
Columbia have implemented a one zip closure security pocket, a couple of side pockets (hook and loop closure) and a couple of mesh pockets. While this definitely isn’t as much storage space as some of the other options, it’s still a good amount. The only thing that’s really missing is attachment loops or tool compartments.
All in all, these are a comfortable, high quality pair of pants from one of the most respected names in the outdoor industry.
Propper BDU Trousers
Last up we’ve got the cheapest option our list, this time with a military style design. This particular pair of pants is made from a blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester material. This in turn provides a good amount of stretch, as well as prevents any water or wind from penetrating the material.
The Propper BDU trousers feature a total of 6 pockets, 4 of which utilise button flap closure systems. The bellowed pockets also feature drain holes as to prevent the build up of any water, should you get caught in the rain.
In terms of adjustability, these trousers feature an adjustable waist system, as well a drawstring leg closures on either side. This allows you to get the trousers fitting just right and feeling as comfortable as possible.
All in all, these are a cheap, yet highly effective pair of pants, perfect for spending the day out in the woods.
How to Pick the Right Bushcraft Pants?
Now that we’ve taken a quick look at some of the top options, how do we go about picking the right pants? What’s more, what separates a good pair of buschraft pants from a bad pair?
With that in mind, we’re going to quickly answer these questions and discuss how to go about chosing the right pair of pants for bushcraft.
The type of fabric used to construct the pants is potentially the most important element to consider. This is due to the fact that the material is going to have a direct correlation with the amount of protection that the pants have to offer.
While most companies will use similar, if not the same material, it’s still important to know what to keep an eye out for.
The most common type of material tends to be a polyester and cotton blend. This blend provides a good amount of stretch, is extremely durable and does a great job of keeping your legs warm.
Another common material is what’s known as rip stop. Rip stop was originally developed for use in the army, and has since become common in commercial clothing. The way this material is woven together is extremely tear resistant, making it ideal for any kind of outdoor activity.
It’s also important to be protected from getting wet and cold, a combination that can be lethal if severe enough. One way in which companies battle this is by utilising moisture wicking materials, or coating their pants with moisture wicking properties. This prevents water from being absorbed into the material, which in turn makes the wearer wet and cold.
At the end of the day, being comfortable is incredibly important. There’s no point having the most durable, functional pants in the world, if they’re not comfortable to wear.
A few different factors will contribute to the overall comfort of a pair of pants.
- General fit – fortunately, most brands offer their outdoor pants in a pretty vast range of sizes. Getting the right fit is important if you don’t want to be continuously adjusting your pants whilst out and about.
- Waist band adjustability: Due to the general nature of bushcraft, you’re going to be doing some pretty strange things, in some pretty strange positions. Whether that’s climbing a tree, weight testing a new chair or whatever, your trousers need to fit and conform to your body shape. The issue is, everybody’s body is different, meaning that we need to be able to adjust our pants to fit to our specific body shape.
- Fabric – Not only does fabric play a key role in protection, but in comfort as well. Fortunately, both cotton and polyester (the two most common materials) tend to be pretty comfortable.
- Ventilation – Just as bushcraft pants are meant to keep you warm in the cold, they’re supposed to help you keep cool in the heat. To do this, most brands incorporate mesh panels within a set of pockets to help air flow in and out of the pants.
Bushcraft itself requires a good amount of tools and gear. However, lugging your backpack around on your back the whole time isn’t particularly ideal.
This is why bushcraft pants will have a good amount of pockets and gear loops to put your equipment and tools in.
Alternatively, you can always wear a tool belt, but I find this to be annoyingly heavy and cumbersome.
While not many trousers will come with a pair of knee pads, a lot will have compartments/ pockets that you can use to put knee pads inside.
If you’re going to be doing a good amount of kneeling, which is pretty common in bushcraft, these can come in very handy (especially if the ground is frozen).
There’s no denying that bushcraft can be one of funnest, most rewarding activities out there, however only if you’re comfortable and protected.
Fortunately, with any one of the pants we’ve mentioned here today, you’ll be set to take your next trip out to thee woods.
I hope you’ve found our list of the best bushcraft pants helpful. If you have any questions, or would like to share with us your favourite bushcraft pants, please feel free to leave a comment below.