Best Safari Pants for Men and Women
In search of the perfect pair of safari? On our first trip, we showed up with an assortment of clothes not suited for the bush and had all the wrong colors. Since then, we have built a collection of pants that are perfect for the African Bush.
When seeking a pair of safari pants, it’s a good idea to keep your plans and activity in mind. If you’ll be doing bush walks while on your safari, light pants will be much more practical than a pair of shorts. Bottoms should also have a little give, and new outdoor gear has synthetic materials built into it to provide strength and give. So, when you’re hopping in and out the back of a safari vehicle, your pants don’t rip.
What pants you wear also depends upon the season as the thickness, activity, and environment make a huge difference. Whatever you pack in your safari bag, you should consider the location, time of year, and activity level. Here are our recommendations for the best safari pants for both men and women.
Our Top Safari Pant Picks
Best Overall Safari Pant — prAna Halle/Brion Pant (Women | Men)Best Lightweight Safari Pant — Coalatree Trailhead Pants (Women | Men)Most Stylish Safari Pant — Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants (Women | Men)Best Alternative Safari Pant — prAna Summit/Vaha Pant (Women | Men)Best Convertible Safari Pant — Columbia Convertible Pants (Women | Men)Best Tough Safari Pant — Fjallraven Vidda Pro (Women | Men)
Best Safari Pant
prAna Halle/Brion Pant
Specs: Price – $79 | Material – Nylon/Spandex
Super ComfortableVersatileColor ChoicesprAna Brand Sustainabilty InitiativesDurable
Performance In Heat Is Not Excellent
prAna has some exceptional climbing pants, and we love them for safari, travel, and everyday life. The prAna men’s Brion and women’s Halle pants manage to hit the perfect blend between technical features and style. Fabric in the pants is a mixture of nylon and spandex for tremendous flexibility and moisture management. That moisture management makes them a good pair of pants to wear in heat or humidity.
The mud, sepia, and dark khaki colors look sharp for safari pants and have enough style that feels appropriate in everyday life. Since they are climbing pants, they have supreme flexibility and stretch. Although they’re flexible, do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking. Both pants offer exceptional flexibility, but the women’s Halle Pant takes it a step further with a roll-up capri design. Warning, these pants may become some of your favorites!
The only negative we find with the pants is that the material is too warm in hot temperatures. There are pants for a safari that is more effective in dumping heat.
Shop For Prana Safari Pants
Columbia Convertible Pants
Specs: Price – $60 | Material – Nylon/Elastane
Lacks StretchConvertible StyleQuality
Whatever the Columbia Silver Ridge or Saturday Trail Pants lack in appearance, they make up for practicality. They’re zip-off pants that double as pants and shorts. The synthetic material offers UV protection, breathability, and excellent moisture management.
The most notable difference with the women’s Saturday Trail Pant is the slimmer cut, and zip-off section is higher, around mid-thigh. Both feature large pockets, but only the men’s has two cargo pockets to carry necessities like bug spray, sunblock, or binoculars for your safari.
Another nifty feature for the Silver Ridge is the adjustable belt that saves weight over a traditional option. Convertible pants are gimmicky, but plenty of people love these pants for their versatility. Columbia also makes some non-convertible versions of the pants if you’re inclined.
Columbia products always offer a lot of value, but they’re far from the highest quality products. It’s always apparent in the details/style and the longevity of their products. If you’re seeking a pair of pants to last a lifetime, these are not a great choice.
Shop For Columbia Covertible Pants
Women’s Saturday Trail Pants
Men’s Silver Ridge Pants
REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants
Specs: Price – $69 | Material – Cotton/Poly
Warm In Hot TemperaturesMid Weight Fabric
REI-Co-ops outdoor products usually offer a heck of a lot of value, and that is certainly the case with their Trailsmith Pants. The rugged Trailsmith Pants from REI have a classic look perfect for a stylish safari outfit. Made from a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, they move freely, but the fabric feels thick and durable. That durability plays out in looks through the double layer reinforced knees that are great for performance and style.
They have a natural retro look which I love. My only complaint is that the pants are a tad warm for hot weather, and the pockets are a little more than jeans. Either way, they’re a great pair of work and safari pants for women.
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Coalatree Trailhead Pants
Specs: Price – $89 | Material – Nylon/Spandex
Very LightweightSuper ComfortableVery BreathableQuality
Style May Not Work For All
Coalatree creates eco-focused outdoor apparel that we’re learning to love. As far as comfort, these are among the best on this list, and the only drawback is the price. The pants material is a lightweight blend of Bluesign Nylon and spandex.
They’re super comfortable, and the combination of nylon and spandex allows them to stretch in any way you can move. The drawstring makes for an easy adjustment, and the spandex does an excellent job of hugging your hips.
Shop For Coalatree Trailhead Pants
prAna Summit/Vaha Pant
Specs: Price – $79 | Material – Hemp
Relaxed StyleSuper ComfortableSustainable MaterialsDoubles As Sleep/Yoga WearWon’t Want To Take Them Off
Not For Everyone!They Are Not Designs To Be Abused
I spend so much time traveling in these pants they’ve become one of my favorite pairs of pants ever. I now have a couple of pairs of Vaha pants. The prAna Vaha Pant is for Yoga and climbing, but I use them for anything these days. For safari, they’re great for a relaxed evening around camp or the lodge and can even double as pajamas.
Hemp and recycled polyester give breathability to the pants with quick-dry and odor-fighting qualities and being a heck of an eco-friendly product. It’s a very relaxed pant and soft pant that does feel like a regular pair of pants. The style works for almost all women, but the casual style may put some men off.
We’re pretty big fans of prAna, so we highly recommend checking out some of their products. The women’s pant is the Summit pant, and the men’s is the Vaha pant.
KUHL Splash/Radikl Pants
Specs: Price – $99 | Material – Cotton/Nylon/Spandex
Tough PantsComfortableVast Selection of ColorsGreat MaterialReliable Fit
Kuhl makes some quality products that last years. The ENDURO™ blend they utilize in their men’s Radikl and women’s Splash Roll-Up is excellent and uber comfortable. Not only is the fabric comfortable against the skin, but it’s proven to be tough. Our test pants show minimal wear after repeated use.
High-end details can be found throughout the pants, such as quality double-stitching and metal buttons. It’s tough to cover all the points as they are the most feature-rich pants on this list. Women will enjoy functional pockets and drawstrings in the Splash Roll-up. In comparison, the men’s Radikl has active stretch panels, a dedicated phone pocket, and a gusseted crotch.
Style in both the pant is excellent, and Kuhl offers a wide selection of color choices. The women’s pants have a taper while the men’s pant is straight leg. I find the regular Radikl a little baggy, runners legs, so men who prefer a slim cut should opt for the tapered option.
Shop For KUHL Radikl/Splash Pants
Women’s Splash Roll-Up Pants
Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant
Specs: Price – $80 | Material – Ripstop Nylon/Spandex
ComfortableUltra LightweightDecent PocketsWater ResistanceQuality
Techincal Focus Sacrifices StyleLightweight NatureNot Warm
It is a close first for best safari pants, but its stylings make it a more hiking/technical pant. When it comes to function in the outdoors, it takes top marks, and when I’m on safari, it’s my go-to for hot-weather destinations. However, I find it’s too technical and outdoorsy, looking to walk around more formal environments comfortably.
The pants are lightweight but similar to softshell pants with excellent water resistance and windbreaking capabilities. With that in mind, it keeps you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. With a thin yet tough material that packs down small, they eat up minimal room in luggage, and they are the lightest pants on this list.
Like Brion, the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and side pockets. The pockets are a bit smaller, but I do appreciate the horizontal zipper. These pants are great for the more adventurous traveler or ones who spend a lot of time outside.
Shop For Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant
Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants
Specs: Price – $195 | Material – Oil Finish Canvas
These pants are for the modern-day adventurer, so they’re more than ready for an African safari. Thick canvas and brass fittings deliver unparalleled pants in terms of style and quality. These water-repellent pants are durable and made from an oil finish Tin Cloth. The heavy canvas is held together with a sharp-looking double seam. The quality of these pants is apparent in person, and they’re tough enough for a rancher or lumberjack to use daily.
They come with a slew of well-thought-out features that are sure to last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a gorgeous safari wardrobe, Filson has several outdoor clothing options for the perfect look. Just be prepared to pay for a premium product with their outdoor wear and a gorgeous pair of safari pants.
Shop For Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants
Patagonia Quandary Pant
Specs: Price – $79 | Material – Nylon/Spandex
StretchGreat FitStyleLightweightWater Resistance
These are a great pair of safari pants from Patagonia. It uses a blend of recycled nylon and spandex for durability, comfort, and flex. The result is pants that are lightweight and quick drying. A bonus is the DWR finish that helps bead and repel water while offering sun protection.
Patagonia’s Quandry Pants are feature-rich yet look formal enough to wear to dinner. They have a zippered pocket, hidden drawstring waistband, and lined handwarmer pockets. One of the most impressive features of these pants is the excellent fit, thanks to the curved waistband, gusseted crotch, and straight legs.
In terms of weight, the Quandry Pants fall between the midweight prAna Brion/Halle pants and the Outdoor Research Ferossi Pants. It’s a happy medium and provides the pants with a lot of versatility.
Shop For Patagonia Quandry Pants
Fjallraven Vidda Pro
Specs: Price – $225 | Material – Polyester/Cotton
FunctionalVentilationMobilityRugged StyleWater Resistance
The Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers are a kickass pair of pants, but they have limited use for all-around safari pants. If you want rugged safari pants with a lot of function, look no further than these pants.
The Vidda Pro delivers deep, roomy front pockets, divided front map pockets, and large back pockets. The belt loops are also designed for a carabiner to carry a pair of gloves or gear. Temperature management is solid despite the heavy material as four zip open along the leg to provide ample ventilation. The paneled design in the Kebs also allows for total mobility, and they’ve never felt restrictive.
Rigid canvas material with natural wax waterproofing is effective at warding off snow and light rain. It may not perform like the synthetic materials on this list, but it offers trusted durability. On a strenuous hike bushwacking or sliding across sharp rocks, the pants shine. Consider them your tough adventure pants rather than do-it-all pants.
Shop For Fjallraven Vidda Pro
Table Of Safari Pants
Safari PantsPriceShopprAna Halle/Brion Pant$79Women | MenColumbia Convertible Pants$60Women | MenREI Co-op Trailsmith Pants$69Women | MenCoalatree Trailhead Pants$89Women | MenprAna Summit/Vaha Pant$79Women | MenKUHL Splash/Radikl Pants$99Women | MenOutdoor Research Ferossi Pant$80Women | MenFilson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants$195Women | MenPatagonia Quandary Pant$79Women | MenFjallraven Vidda Pro$225Women | Men
Tips for Picking the Best Safari Pants
Research Your Destination
Don’t think that you’re just going to Africa, and it’s automatically going to be hot. The weather there can vary in extremes, so proper research beforehand is pivotal. It’s important to note the region you are going to and the time of year you are traveling. The two main seasons is the dry and rainy season.
For example, if you’re heading to Southern Africa during their dry months, April to October, be prepared for cooler mornings and evenings. However, if you’re heading to East Africa around this same time, you’ll need to be ready for much more humid and wet conditions from April to June. Read more in detail about how to plan a safari here.
So as you can see, there’s variation! Depending on where and when you go, there will be sharp differences in the temperatures ahead. We therefore highly recommend that you plan your pants selection accordingly.
The goal of the safari is to view wildlife, which in turn means that your goal is to not spook wildlife by wearing bright pink neon pants when trying to see them. So while you’re researching the weather at your destination, take a look at a few pictures and get a feel for nature’s colors in that area, and dress to match.
Khaki, dark green, beige, and grey are popular colors to wear on safari. If you don’t have the fitting color pants, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it may make you stand out.
A safari isn’t precisely the cushiest environment for clothes. You’ll be climbing in and out of cars, hitting the dusty trail on bumpy roads, and walking through the bush. It’s therefore essential to make sure you opt for a pair of pants that have this kind of use in mind.
We recommend aiming for pants designed for hiking or backpacking when shopping. You’ll then be sure to find some of the most rugged and long-lasting materials on the market.
Moisture and Ventilation Control
As you know by now, the weather for your safari can potentially be very hot or very wet, or both! Depending on what you’re facing, keep an eye out for pants that will perform well in those environments.
In the case of a toasty trip, pants with built-in ventilation and moisture-wicking technology will perform best. These will wick any sweat away from your body to keep you nice and dry, and at the same time, the pants themselves will dry quickly to avoid becoming sodden.
But when the weather turns wet, a water-resistant finish will help keep rain from soaking in. You’ll typically see this listed as a ‘Durable Water Repellent (DWR).’ Lightweight, quick-drying material will also be a plus in this department for any moisture that happens to sneak through.
A safari often doesn’t allow for a wide range of clothing options. You’ll find that one pair of pants will need to last you for every aspect of your day, from early morning at camp to a day of wildlife viewing to an evening back at camp, or maybe even to dinner.
It’s therefore beneficial to find pants that embody the heavy-duty ruggedness of the trail but can also be just as acceptable at a casual evening event with your safari buddies.
Where to Buy Safari Pants
We have found the best place to buy safari clothes is online. Amazon has great deals and prices, and if you are an Amazon Prime member, two-day shipping is free. REI and Backcountry are also great outdoor companies to find a variety of safari clothes as well.
Book A Safari in Africa
Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari, you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a hefty bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.
However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way. You can choose the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you by booking your safari. Experts on staff can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.
Our Favorite Lodges in Africa
We’ve spent over a year on safari and tried out dozens of lodges, and have visited nearly every park in Africa. While it’s impossible to say we’ve visited every lodge, we’ve seen a fair amount. Check out our list of favorite lodges in Africa. Have you visited any yourself?
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