I tested and reviewed over 20 bushcraft pants and found the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro to be the best bushcraft pants available.
I prefer the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro due to their exceptional quality and durability. They’re made using Fyallraven’s signature fabric, which is water-resistant and windproof.
Plus, the pants have a reinforced seat and knees – a vital feature for bushcraft pants.
As an ex-military member, I’ve had my fair share of experience with tough bushcraft pants. I also participate in monthly primitive camping trips, which involve a lot of time in the woods. I’ve gone through many pairs of pants – and have several lying around the house.
Some I love. Others, not so much. I took all this experience to bring you these reviews. Pants are more important than many people realize they can literally be the line between life and death in some situations.
However, the best bushcraft pants for you depend on your preferences and situations. For instance, some are best for cold weather, while others are better for warmer weather. With that in mind, I’ve recommended ten great bushcraft pants below.
Keep reading for my specific suggestions and guidance on how to choose the best bushcraft pants for you.
Quick Comparison of our Favorite Bushcraft Pants
5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Performance Pants
Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants
Kryptek Men’s Stalker Camo Hunting Pants
Multiple Camo Patterns
Best Bushcraft Pants
Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers – Best Overall Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Cotton & Polyester
- Pockets: Seven
- Good For: Just About Everything
I’ve worn a lot of bushcraft pants in my time, and the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers are easily the best options. They’re made from Fjallraven’s signature G-1000 fabric that you can’t get anywhere else. This fabric is made from a blend of cotton and polyester, making it water-resistant and wind-proof.
I love the reinforced knees and seat. In my experience, this is the first part of the pants to go. Therefore, having them reinforced increases the longevity of the pants.
The plethora of pockets also helps these pants rank higher than others. There are several cargo pockets, a knife pocket, and a map pocket. There is even a sleeve to hold your hatchet. You should have no problem carrying around all your gear with so many places to put stuff.
Compared to our next pick, the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Performance Pants, the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers are more expensive. However, the Fjallraven pants feature reinforced knees, and the 5.11 ones do not. The Fjallraven pants can be waxed for added water resistance – a feature I can absolutely get behind.
I recommend the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers to anyone who can afford them. They get the job done better than any other bushcraft pants out there – but you’re going to pay for it.
Reinforced Knees and Seat
Many Storage Pockets
Comfortable, Adjustable Waist
More Expensive Than Others
Needs Breaking In
5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Performance Pants – Best Budget Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Cotton & Polyester
- Pockets: Eight
- Good For: Warmer, less rough conditions
If you can’t afford our top pick, I recommend the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Performance Pants. They’re made from a polyester/cotton ripstop fabric, making them incredibly durable. Plus, they’re also very lightweight, which helps when you’re in the field for a long time.
They also have a Teflon finish, which helps repeal stains and liquids. This finish also makes it easier to wash the pants off quickly in the field. I have a few different pairs of 5.11 pants and I am impressed how good they look after major abuse from camping and training.
Compared to our top pick, these pants don’t have reinforced knees and seats. They also don’t have as many pockets (only two). However, they are more affordable and breathable.
In my opinion, the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Performance Pants are a great choice for those looking for a lightweight and affordable option. However, they aren’t the best option for rugged terrain or colder weather conditions. (I recommend the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers for that.)
Lightweight and Breathable
Knees not Reinforced
Not Good for Cold Weather
Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants – Best Lightweight Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Nylon & Spandex
- Pockets: Six
- Good For: Very warm conditions
I have found that the Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants are a great option for warmer weather when you want to prioritize breathability. They’re a bit stretchier than other pants, making them a bit easier to move in. Plus, they’re convertible, so you can easily adjust them to different weather conditions.
They’re made with a “durable water repellent” finish, which helps repel water.
Compared to the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers, these pants are more lightweight and breathable. However, they aren’t nearly as durable or protective, as they don’t have reinforced knees. The Prana pants also only have one cargo pocket, which is less storage than I would like.
The Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants work great in warmer conditions when the Fjallraven Vidda pants are just too hot. They’re convertible, too, which is always a nice plus. If I am going to be out in the heat of summer, these are the ones I go for.
Durable and Water Repellent
Convertible to Shorts
Knees not Reinforced
Does Not Have Many Pockets
Helikon-Tex HOP Hybrid Outback Tactical Pants – Most Comfortable Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Nylon, Cotton, & Polyester
- Pockets: Six
- Good For: Warm Climates
As an avid outdoorsman, I really appreciate durability in my gear. The Helikon-Tex HOP Hybrid Outback Tactical Pants are some of the most durable out there, so I’m excited to recommend them.
These pants are extremely waterproof. Their ability to repeal water really impressed me, especially given that tall, dew-soaked grass is very common in Appalachia in the spring and summer. The rugged blend of DuraCanvas and VersaStretch can withstand practically everything – even thorns and briars.
The storage design on these pants are fantastic. The zippered pockets and Velcro pouches provide ample space for my handheld radio and tools. The major pockets are located in the front, rear, and on the thighs.
I also appreciate the comfort-fit waist on these pants. It’s stretchable to make moving around easier. Furthermore, internal pockets (like on the knees) allow for extra padding to be added. I personally don’t add padding all that much, but it is very helpful for more extreme conditions.
These pants are climate resistant. You can increase their waterproofing with wax, providing some extra protection against moisture.
With that said, there are some negatives. For instance, the sizing isn’t the most accurate. The inseam seems to be slightly longer than advertised. These pants are also extremely light, which some people may not like.
The Helikon-Tex HOP Hybrid Outback Tactical Pants are great for nearly any outdoor camping or backpacking activity. They’re especially good for those that need extra padding or durability. They’re thinner pants, making them best for warm climates.
Slightly Longer Inseam
Kryptek Men’s Stalker Camo Hunting Pants – Best Bushcraft Hunting and Trapping Pants
- Material: Cotton & Polyester
- Pockets: Six
- Good For: Hunting and bushcraft
The Kryptek Men’s Stalker Camo Hunting Pants make excellent bushcraft pants, as they’re designed for rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions. They’re designed specifically for hunting – but they have many features that also make them good bushcraft pants.
For instance, they’re made with durable, water-resistant fabric and articulated knees. They even have several different pockets, providing ample storage for tools and other bushcraft essentials.
Obviously, the significant advantage of these pants is their camo pattern. This helps you blend in when you need to. They’re a great option for bushcrafters that also hunt. There are several different camo patterns available, so you can choose the best one for your environment. (The best camo pants for you should match where you plan on being.)
With that said, unless you really want camo pants, few people may want to spend the money on specialized bushcraft pants.
I recommend the Kryptek Men’s Stalker Camo Hunting Pants for bushcrafters that also like to hunt while camping. In some cases, it may be good keeping them as a backup pair, too.
Rugged and Durable
Water Resistant Fabric
Lots of Pockets
Various Camo Patterns Available
Not as Versatile as others
Carhartt Men’s Rugged Cargo Pants – Best Everyday Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Cotton & Spandex
- Pockets: Eight
- Good For: Unextreme weather
For those that always like to be prepared, you may be interested in the Carhartt Men’s Rugged Cargo Pant. In my experience, you can never be too prepared. These pants are casual enough to blend in easily in an urban or suburban setting.
These pants are crafted from sturdy ripstop fabric, allowing them to hold up to normal wear and fit well. There are several pockets available, so you should have no problem storing your emergency essentials. The reinforced knees and back pockets add some longevity (a feature that’s far too rare in the world of bushcraft pants, in my opinion).
With that said, these pants aren’t as specialized as others on this list, like the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers. They lack some of the features these pants have, but they still make reliable, everyday bushcraft pants.
The Carhartt Men’s Rugged Cargo Pants are for those looking for reliable bushcraft pants that don’t look like bushcraft pants. You can wear them around town and then head into the woods without getting any weird looks.
Cotton Ripstop Fabric
Can Wear Everyday
Not Water Resistant
Not as Flexible as others
Not as Comfortable as others
TBMPOY Men’s Outdoor Hiking Pants with Reinforced Knees – Best Reinforced Bushcraft Pants
- Materials: Nylon & Spandex
- Pockets: Four
- Good For: Rough terrain
Many of the pants I’ve discussed are reinforced. However, none are reinforced quite as much as the TBMPOY Men’s Outdoor Hiking Pants with Reinforced Knees. They’re built to last – even against the rigors of bushcraft.
They feature reinforced knees and seats, adding some durability. Trust me, this feature will be extremely useful when you’re trying to start a fire or moving through rough terrain.
The material is also quick-drying and moisture-wicking, which is always a nice bonus. The stretchy fabric provides an excellent range of motion. In my experience, having stretchy pants makes it much easier to move quietly and quickly.
These pants don’t have as many pockets as others. However, their lightweight and breathable design makes up for this a little bit. They are great in warmer weather when thicker pants just don’t make sense.
If you tend to go through pants a lot or bushcraft in particularly rough terrain, the TBMPOY Men’s Outdoor Hiking Pants with Reinforced Knees may be called for.
Reinforced Knees and Seat
Flexible and Comfortable
Lightweight and Breathable
Not Water Resistant
Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants – Best Convertible Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Nylon
- Pockets: Six
- Good For: Warm climates
Convertible pants aren’t for everyone. However, they can be a great option for your bug-out bag or if you’re in that weird spring/fall time period where both pants and shorts are necessary. In my experience, convertible pants are perfect for hot days and cold nights – and the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are one of the best options you can find.
Compared to our top pick, these pants are lighter and more breathable. Therefore, they’re better suited for hot weather and humid environments. Plus, they’re made with Omni-Wick fabric, which helps wick away sweat and moisture, helping you stay cool in the summer.
These pants aren’t necessarily as durable as other options. However, for their price, they’re a great value and offer more versatility than most bushcraft pants.
They’re similar to the Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants due to their convertible design. However, the Silver Ridge pants are more affordable and have a more relaxed fit.
If you prefer shorts when it gets hot, the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants may be a solid option. They’re also good for your bug-out bag, as you never know when you’re going to experience an emergency.
Lightweight and Breathable
Sizes Run Small
Not as Durable
Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant Canvas Cargo Pants – Best Flame-Resistant Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Polyester & Spandex
- Pockets: Six
- Good For: Fire safety
If you’re primitive camping, you’re probably creating a fire. While fires are great, getting caught on fire isn’t. Flame-resistant pants can go a long way to keeping your legs intact and burn-free. While there are many options on the market, I prefer the Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant Canvas Cargo Pants.
These pants are designed for jobs that involve fire. However, they also work well as bushcraft pants, especially if you’re concerned about getting caught on fire for one reason or another. These pants have been proven to be incredibly durable and fire-resistant, making them a reliable choice for a bushcraft excursion.
If you plan on practicing your firecraft skills, these pants may be a solid option.
Compared to other fire-resistant pants, these offer a nice balance of comfort and protection. They’re flame-resistant and not a pain to wear for extended periods of time. Plus, I love that they include so many cargo pockets.
If you’re going to practice your firecraft skills (or sleeping by a fire), I highly recommend the Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant Canvas Cargo Pants. They’re the best fire-resistant pants on the market that also work well for bushcraft.
Relaxed Fit and Comfortable
Plenty of Pockets
Not as Breathable
Pockets not very Secure
5.11 Tactical Men’s Apex Cargo Pants – Best Tactical Bushcraft Pants
- Material: Sorona, Cotton, & Polyester
- Pockets: Ten
- Good For: Tactical activities
Based on my experience, the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Apex Cargo Pants are the best bushcraft pants for more tactical operations. They’re another great option for bushcrafters that want to be ready for anything.
These pants are both comfortable and durable. Their stretchy fabric allows the wearer a full range of motion, which is essential when navigating rugged terrain. Plus, the pants are treated with Teflon, making them somewhat water-resistant.
One thing that really sets these pants apart in my eyes is the huge number of pockets. They have a total of 12 pockets, including two cargo pockets. There is plenty of room to store stuff.
Compared to other pants, these stand out in their comfort and versatility. You can wear them for bushcraft, hiking, work, and anytime you need tons of pockets. If you need to move around a lot and carry a bunch of gear, these are for you.
I highly recommend the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Apex Cargo Pants for anyone who also participates in “tactical” activities. The sheer number of pockets on these pants makes them an excellent choice for those who carry tons of stuff, too.
Durable Reinforced Stitching
Teflon Coated for Water Resistance
Articulated Knees, Gusseted Crotch
Tight in the Thighs
Waist Tends to get Loose
Heavier and Bulkier than others
Bushcraft Pants Buying Guide
Choosing the best bushcraft pants for you depends a lot on your preferences and needs. Those living somewhere colder will need something different than those living in the sun-baked South.
When choosing the best bushcraft pants, there are a few things you can look out for. By considering these factors, you can cut through the noise and choose the best bushcraft pants for you.
Bushcraft and survival pants can be made out of many different things, like cotton, polyester, and nylon. Most contain a mix of fabrics. There isn’t one fabric that is absolutely perfect; they each have their place:
- Polyester: A synthetic fabric that’s very strong and durable. Polyester resists tearing and fading, allowing it to withstand tougher outdoor conditions. Plus, it’s also rather lightweight. However, it isn’t breathable or moisture-wicking, making it uncomfortable in humid, hot weather. Polyester also melts.
- Cotton: A natural fabric that has always been a go-to choice for many survivalists. It’s comfortable and breathable, allowing it to absorb moisture to keep you cool. Washing and caring for cotton is often easy, too. However, cotton isn’t nearly as durable as polyester. It tears and rips much easier. Plus, it can be very heavy when wet.
- Nylon: While not as popular as polyester, you can find nylon bushcraft pants. Nylon is durable and flexible while also being lightweight. Like polyester, it isn’t breathable at all. Plus, when exposed to sparks, nylon can melt.
- Spandex: Some people like spandex because it is stretchy and flexible. However, I don’t recommend it as the main material because it isn’t very protective. Spandex can rip and tear easily.
Bushcraft pants made from several different materials are often the best option, as they usually follow a middle-ground approach. Many pants are also treated with wax or special coatings to enhance their durability and water resistance.
The exact pants you purchase will depend on your preferences and environment. You want pants that are durable enough to withstand the rigors of bushcraft, while also being comfortable and breathable.
With that said, here are my recommendations for certain climates:
- For hot weather: I recommend a lightweight, breathable, quick-drying pair of pants. Nylon/spandex blends or cotton/polyester/rayon blends work best.
- For cold weather: I recommend a material that is warm, insulating, and windproof. You may choose 100% cotton pants or polyester/cotton blends with wax.
- For wet weather: Choose something that’s water-repellent, quick-drying, and mold-resistant. Nylon/spandex blends and polyester/cotton blends fit into this category.
You can purchase the best pair of bushcraft pants. But, if they don’t fit, they aren’t going to work. You absolutely must find a pair that fits well.
The fit of pants affects their comfort and mobility. You don’t want pants that restrict your movement or continuously try to fall down.
Getting the best fit depends mostly on how well you measure yourself. Never purchase a pair of pants without measuring. Here are some basic steps on how to measure yourself correctly:
- Waist: Use a measuring tape to measure around your waist – which is the narrowest part of your torso. Usually, this is just below your belly button. Make sure the tape is parallel to the floor and not squeezing the life out of you. Take note of this measurement.
- Inseam: The inseam is the length of your leg. Take a measuring tape and measure the length of your leg from the crotch to the ankle. I find this easiest to do with a pair of well-fitting pants on. Then, I measure their inseam (this helps ensure I have enough crotch room).
Take the measurements you got and compare them to the sizing chart of the pants you want to buy. Different brands have different fits and cuts, so using the sizing chart is essential.
Once you have your pants, there are several ways to tell if they fit well or not:
- Waist: The waistband should sit comfortably on your waist without falling or squeezing. You should be able to insert two fingers between the waistband and your skin without cutting off the blood flow.
- Legs: The legs should be roomy enough to allow for a full range of movement. Practice bending, squatting, kneeling, and climbing. Ensure the pants are tapered enough or have angle straps so that they don’t snag on things as you walk around.
- Crotch: The crotch should be plenty roomy enough. You don’t want to chafe – trust me. I highly recommend a gusset to provide some extra room in the crotch area.
I’ll let you in on a secret – I love pockets. I’ve been in many different situations where I’ve needed more pockets than I had. I carry a lot of stuff, and pockets help me stay organized.
Pockets help you store all your tools, equipment, and essentials in an arm’s reach. It also clears a bit of room in your backpack.
However, the number of pockets depends largely on your preferences and how many items you’re carrying. You want at least enough to carry frequently used essentials – like a Swiss Army knife or Multitool, flashlight, map, compass, and fire starter. You want to ensure that the pockets can fit these items easily without becoming insanely bulky.
The location of the pockets also matters. You want the pockets within easy reach without making you uncomfortable if you sit or lie down.
Some people prefer cargo pockets and think knee pockets are an amazing invention. Others dislike pockets below their thigh. It all just depends on the person. You may need to try several different pants before you figure out your preferences.
You want your bushcraft and survival pants to last. Otherwise, they may not last very long in the least. Luckily, most companies know that the outdoors are a rigorous place and design their pants appropriately.
Ripstop fabric is hands-down the best option for bushcraft. This sort of fabric helps prevent tears and rips. I included several of these pants above, and this is the sort of material I prefer. Of course, it isn’t the only reinforcement option.
Many pants include extra stitching and layers to improve durability. Often, extra fabric is placed in the knees and seat area of the pants, which helps prevent wear in those areas. Your knees can get worn down very quickly, so added reinforcement is vital. I prefer pants with at least some extra reinforcement.
You can also wax pants to improve their wind and water resistance. However, you can only wax pants that are made to be waxed. Some pants even come pre-waxed. Waxing does wear off overtime and affect the breathability of the pants. Therefore, waxed pants aren’t always the best option.
Some bushcraft pants add padding. This may help with the comfort of your pants, especially if you’re spending a lot of time on hard surfaces. Padding also provides extra protection.
However, I don’t like padding all that much because it adds weight and bulk.
Weather resistance helps protect you from the outside elements. This feature is the point of pants. Wind, water, and cold can kill you; it’s the pant’s job to keep that from happening. Therefore, any bushcraft pants you purchase should be weather resistant.
However, weather resistance means a lot of different things. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.
There are some main elements you want your pants to protect you from:
- Water: You don’t want water to soak through the fabric of your pants, if at all possible. Water-repellent pants will keep you dry in rainy weather, and they’re less likely to grow mildew. Often, this is achieved by synthetic fabrics, which repel water. However, wax and coatings can help, too.
- Wind: You want your pants to stop the wind, too. Windproof pants can prevent hypothermia in cold weather. Again, synthetic fabrics work best here. However, wax or other coatings can make natural fibers windproof.
- Breathable: Breathable pants allow air exchange from your legs to the outside, preventing moisture build up and overheating. In hot weather, unbreathable pants can become miserable very quickly. Natural fabrics are the most breathable, but synthetic fabrics can be mesh-lined or vented to add breathability.
- Insulated: In the cold, having some amount of insulation can be extremely beneficial. You want your pants to trap your body heat in these situations. Many natural fibers are insulation, like wool and fleece. However, the thickness of the material also matters.
You won’t find a pair of pants that protects you from everything. Each pair of pants will come with it’s trade-offs. Most pants won’t work in all conditions, as they’re often specialty made for a certain situation. Your winter pants and summer pants probably won’t be the same.
Here are some trade-offs you need to be aware of:
- Water-repellent pants may not be very breathable, which can make them uncomfortable in hot or humid weather.
- Windproof pants may not be very flexible, which can make them restrictive in movement.
- Breathable pants may not be very water-repellent or windproof, which can make them unsuitable for rainy or windy weather.
- Insulated pants may not be very lightweight or quick-drying, which can make them unsuitable for wet or warm weather.
Bushcraft vs. Survival Pants
Bushcraft and survival pants are extremely similar, as they’re both made for rougher conditions. Most of the pants I mentioned above can also be used in emergency situations. In fact, I use the same pants for bushcraft as I do for responding to emergency situations.
The environments are similar enough for there to be a lot of cross-over.
With that said, there are a few differences you may want to consider. For instance, survival pants often need to be packed easier, which means they need to be less bulky. You’ll probably be wearing the same pair or two of bushcraft pants, but you may need many pairs of survival pants.
Pants sold for “survival” purposes are often less durable. They aren’t necessarily made for the wilderness, as most emergencies don’t involve camping in the woods for extended periods.
Bushcraft pants can absolutely be used as survival pants in most situations. They’re made to adapt to different environments and weather. However, survival pants cannot necessarily be used for bushcraft. They’re often much more basic and straightforward.
If you want a pair of pants that can be utilized for both, get bushcraft pants.
Bushcraft Pants Video Guide
Here is a video guide on how to layer clothing in cold weather and also features our top pick (jump to 5:30).
Which Bushcraft Pants Should You Get?
There are many different kinds of bushcraft pants available. However, the Fjallraven Men’s Vidda Pro Trousers are my favorite by far.
They’re made from G-1000 fabric, making them extremely durable. Plus, they have a reinforced seat and knees, as well as tons of different pockets. If you’re looking for a pair of bushcraft pants, I highly recommend purchasing them.
Now that you have selected your pants, check out our other guides and reviews on Bushcraft gear.