While yoga pants may be suitable for a short and easy hiking trail, I wouldn’t recommend them for most treks, in spite of their popularity.
I have been hiking and camping since I was a child. Throughout the years, I have tried out various outfits to find which is most suitable for various excursions. So, I have some experience with what does and doesn’t work.
Of course, yoga pants are fairly comfortable, so you may not be willing to give them up just yet. Due to this, I’m going to cover all the reasons why these pants aren’t the best option. Keep reading to learn more.
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Yoga Pants on Hikes
Here are some reasons you should give your yoga pants a miss when hiking:
Steer Clear of Cotton Yoga Pants
If your yoga pants happen to be made of cotton, you should definitely not wear them on a hike. The material may be comfortable, but it absorbs moisture readily. Thus, when you sweat, the fabric will cling to your skin.
And since cotton doesn’t dry that easily, you will be in uncomfortable, moist clothes for the entirety of your trek. Rain would make things worse. If you are on a longer trek, being stuck in wet clothes can lead to mild forms of hypothermia or similar conditions.
The Material is Too Lightweight
Yes, lightweight material can seem like an excellent idea when you are on a hike. After all, you are less likely to get hot and you won’t feel as though you are weighed down. Despite this, the fabric isn’t a good fit at all.
This is because the thin material doesn’t offer much protection from the elements. On a hot day, you can get sunburn as the rays can penetrate the light fabric. On cold hiking days, the pants are not nearly thick enough to keep the wind out.
The Fabric Can Snag
Another issue you will have to worry about is snagging. You may have realized that when you are out and about, your yoga pants can catch on various things. Now, when you are on a trail, things can get worse.
Your pants can snag on branches, rocks, and any other protruding surface. These can quickly lead to tears in your clothing. Not only can this be rather embarrassing, it also means that you aren’t offered as much protection from scratches and abrasions.
Can Cause Chafing
The thinness of the material can lead to chafing as well. If your thighs have a tendency to rub together, then yoga pants won’t offer much protection. As such, after a while you may notice that the skin on your thighs is rubbed raw.
This can make it rather painful to keep going. Not to mention, the blisters and soreness from the chafing can last several days. As a result, if you are camping, this can make it an uncomfortable experience as well.
May Cause Health Issues
Yoga pants are only meant to be worn for a short period of time. If you leave them on, especially after sweating, you could be putting yourself at risk for infections. Since the bottoms are designed to be well-fitting, they can cause irritation and a skin condition known as intertrigo.
Another concern is tinea cruis, a fungal infection. The fungus can breed due to the damp and constricted conditions of the yoga pants. Then there is folliculitis that is caused by the material sitting too close to your skin for extended periods of time.
Are Yoga Pants Ever Suitable?
You may be wondering if you can ever wear yoga pants on a hike, Well, you may be able to make an exception in the following cases:
With Moisture Wicking Pants
If you have moisture-wicking pants, you may be able to prevent most issues associated with this athleisure wear. This kind of material keeps water and sweat on the surface of the fabric. As a result, it is able to evaporate a lot faster, making it a better option to wear on treks.
With this feature, you don’t have to worry about feeling trapped in wet clothes that can cause discomfort as well as health issues.
For Short Hikes
In case you want to wear yoga pants, it is a good idea to only keep them for short hikes. So, if your trek is no more than an hour long and the weather conditions are favorable, then you should be fine. You may find that these bottoms are quite comfortable in such instances.
At the same time, it is important to think about the kind of terrain you are walking through. If it is a structured path without any obstacles or obstructions, then yoga pants could work well. However, if you have to do any climbing or if there are branches, you shouldn’t risk it.
What Should You Wear Instead?
If yoga pants are out, what should you be wearing on your hikes? Hiking pants are the best option here. This is because they have been designed for all conditions that you would expect on your trek.
For one thing, they are lightweight but durable. So, while they won’t slow you down, you will not have to worry about them ripping or tearing. This is true even when walking through scrub, forest, or among rocks.
The pants don’t absorb moisture and instead work to keep you dry and comfortable the whole trip through. As they are a looser fit, there’s no need to worry about chafing either.
As you can see, yoga pants aren’t a good option for hiking. If you are headed on shorter treks on smoother trails, you may be able to make them work. Otherwise, you will find that these pants don’t offer the comfort or the protection that you need when hiking.
Make sure to take these suggestions to heart when planning your hike. The above tips can go a long way to ensure that you have a great experience and wear the right clothing.