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Best Hiking Kilt: Find the Perfect Fit for Your Outdoor Treks

Best Hiking Kilts
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

While it may seem unnatural to don a kilt while adventuring outdoors, it is actually quite the opposite experience. Hiking kilts are much more than jus a passing trend. They are sticking around for the long haul. Once you get a feel for how the best hiking kilt can improve your entire hiking trip, you may never look at a pair of shorts the same way again.

Hiking kilts offer a more natural range of mobility and comfort for wearers because they do not restrict legs and undercarriage like conventional pants and shorts do. When wearing a hiking kilt, you are free to take strides as long as you’d like without having to worry about tearing your bottoms or facing discomfort. Because hiking kilts have the best airflow, they keep you from getting too hot underneath and the breathability makes for unmatched comfort in hot or humid climates.

One thing to keep in mind is exactly how modest you want to be while on your hiking trip. It isn’t required to wear underwear with hiking kilts, and it really comes down to personal preference.

If you are hiking alone in a secluded forest without any prying eyes other than those of the squirrels and birds, it is your choice to be as free as you’d like. However, in the company of other hikers, you may want to be more modest to keep your compatriots from catching an unexpected show while out on the trails.

Hiking Kilts

This guide should help you better understand what hiking kilts are and how to find just the right one for your needs. If you’re on this page, it’s likely because you went out searching for tips on hiking kilts. Well, rest assured that you have come to the right place!

Our top picks

Product NameWeightLengthMaterialPrice
Sport Kilt Men’s11.2 oz22 inLightweight microfiberCheck price on Amazon
JWalking Designs Women’s6 oz18 inLightweight EcoGreen recycled fabric, spandexCheck price on Amazon
Sport Kilt Men’s "Borealis Black"11.6 oz22.5 inLightweight microfiberCheck price on Amazon
Mountain Hardwear Elkommando14.7 oz21.5 inNylonCheck price on Amazon
UT Kilts Standard Utility40 oz22 inPolyester cotton blendCheck price on Amazon
Game Gear Youth Girl’s Athletic Performance5 oz7 inPolyesterCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider When Choosing Your Hiking Kilt

Size

When deciding on a hiking kilt, finding your correct size is an absolute necessity. Ill-fitting hiking gear will cause inconvenient discomfort and make your trek a lot less enjoyable.

Choosing the right size for your hiking kilt is not much different than finding your correct size in pants. The difference lies in how pairs of pants are sized, though. Pants sizes usually run two inches smaller than the actual width around your waist.

Size of Kilts

When choosing your size in a hiking kilt, you’ll want to measure your waist with a cloth measuring tape and use that exact number for your kilt. If you can’t get your hands on a cloth measuring tape, you can just take the size of your pants and add two inches to get your kilt size. So, if you are usually a 32-inch waist in pants, a 34-inch kilt should fit you perfectly.

Other kilts are not sized in inches but in sizes like small, medium, and large. Most companies will have a size conversion chart that lets you know which size kilt will fit you best based on your usual pants size.

Material and Style

Hiking kilts are designed for comfort, so you will find many hiking kilts made with microfiber materials. These materials are soft and breathable and keep your undercarriage from overheating or becoming too sweaty. The microfiber kilts are also helpful when you run into moisture because they do not take too long to dry.

Material and style of Kilts

There are some hiking kilts that are made with more heavy duty materials that are thicker and more rugged. These are usually made of cotton and polyester for added durability. These materials are not well suited for wet environments, though, as they will not dry very quickly and they add weight to your kilt.

When choosing a style for your hiking kilt, you have several options available. Don’t worry if you aren’t Scottish, plaid kilts aren’t the only things on the market for hikers. There are plain, solid colored hiking kilts as well. If you are a proud Scotsman, though, you might be able to find a kilt in the tartan of your family’s clan! Either way, there is a wide variety of kilt styles to match your fashion preferences.

Features

Since hiking kilts are made for the outdoors, there are several features you can find included in them. If you plan to carry lots of small items on your person during your hike, you should look for a kilt with enough storage space and pockets. Your zipper preference can also play a role in choosing a hiking kilt because different kilts have zippers placed in different spots.

Features of Hiking Kilts

If you are planning to carry lots of items, snagging a kilt with an added belt is a good choice. The more items you stuff into your pockets, the more weight will be added to your kilt. You don’t want to worry about it sliding down due to that extra weight, so being able to tighten the kilt’s belt can be a real life saver.

Intended Use

Something to consider when deciding on any gear is your intended use. You must first understand what exactly you are hoping to get out of your equipment before you can choose which one will best suit those needs. A hiking kilt is no different.

Best use of Hiking Kilt

If you intend to use your hiking kilt in warm areas, you’ll need one that is light and breathable so you can stay cool and free of sweat. If you plan to use your kilt in damp or wet areas, make sure to choose one with a material that will dry quickly. There’s nothing worse than trekking around in soggy clothes!

Also keep in mind that, no matter which kilt you decide on, you will need to take measures to keep yourself protected from other factors, such as mosquitos. By definition, a hiking kilt is much more open and airy than shorts or pants. This is great in most regards, but it leaves your undercarriage more exposed to annoying pests like mosquitoes. Be sure to pack bug spray and repellant so that you can enjoy your hike in peace and comfort!

Price

An item’s price typically plays a role in your decision to purchase it. While camping and hiking gear can seem expensive up front, you have to consider the use and functionality you will be getting out of these items. That usually makes the price more than worth it!

Sizes of Kilts

Hiking kilts can range in prices between $60 and $300, depending on the features and durability the kilts offer. Luckily, these reviews should give you a better idea of the types of kilts you can get your money’s worth out of.

Below we will get into our reviews of six different hiking kilts and skirts.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Sport Kilt Men’S Hiking KiltSport Kilt Men's Hiking Kilt

Price: Approx. $80

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Length: 22 inches

Specific features: Quick dry microfiber material, velcro closure, elastic waist, pleated design

Best use: Outdoor hiking and camping

The Sport Kilt Men’s Hiking Kilt is a great choice for anyone wishing to switch from shorts or pants to the hiking kilt experience. Thanks to the microfiber materials, this kilt is lightweight and very breathable, making it extremely comfortable during hikes in hot weather.

It is also great for other strenuous activities that require a wide range of movement. Since you are not restricted by pant legs or shorts, this kilt allows you to make great strides during races or other sporting events.

This kilt can even be worn while taking a refreshing swim on a warm day. Thanks to the quick-drying material, you won’t have to worry about staying wet for long even after a full submersion. The material is similar to what you would find in board shorts used for surfing or other water-based activities.

This kilt comes in two traditional patterns. Available colors include blue plaid and black plaid. You also have the option of purchasing this kilt with added pockets and belt loops.

PROS:

  • Good fit
  • Quick drying
  • Good mobility
 CONS:

  • Quite expensive

Check the price on Amazon

Jwalking Designs Women’s Hiking KiltJWalking Designs Women's Running Walking Hiking Kilt Skirt

Price: Approx. $68

Weight: 6 ounces

Length: 18 inches

Specific features: Sewn in shorts, three secure pockets, velcro closure, made from 84 percent recycled fabric and 16 percent spandex

Best use: Outdoor hiking and camping

The JWalking Designs Women’s Hiking Kilt is a wonderful choice for any lady OR gentleman hoping to achieve a more comfortable, care free hiking experience. The wide waistband and 360-degree flowering fit make this hiking kilt a flattering choice for anyone. And, thanks to the 18-inch length, this hiking skirt is neither too long nor too short. It’s a perfect balance!

This is both a hiking kilt and a hiking skirt thanks to the hidden sewn in shorts on the inside. It is a fabulously stylish option for anyone who may want to go on a hike and into town to do errands without having to go home and change! The skirt looks great and features a beautiful green, blue, and red plaid design. It’s not just for traversing the terrain, it’s also more than appropriate wear for other activities both indoors and out.

This kilt/skirt does not feature pleats or draw cords, though, so keep that in mind when deciding if this is the right choice for you!

PROS:

  • Wide waistband
  • Good length
  • Can be used as kilt or skirt
 CONS:

  • Fabric may snag

Check the price on Amazon

Sport Kilt Men’s Borealis Black Hiking KiltSport Kilt Men's Borealis Black Hiking Kilt

Price: Approx. $80

Weight: 11.6 ounces

Length: 22.5 inches

Specific features: Machine washable quick drying, lightweight microfiber material, sewn down pleats, velcro closure

Best use: Outdoor hiking and camping

The Sport Kilt Men’s “Borealis Black” Hiking Kilt offers an awesome balance of comfort, functionality, and style. This hiking kilt features sewn-in pleats and a waistband with a bit of elastic for adjustability. This kilt is great for three-season hiking as it won’t overheat you in the summer but it provides enough coverage for mild autumn weather!

This is Sport Kilt’s original hiking kilt and it can be purchased with or without added belt loops, buckle closures, and side pockets. If pockets are a necessity for you, keep in mind that this kilt will be more expensive after adding these pockets. For many hikers, though, functional side pockets are worth the extra expense!

The style of this kilt is very traditional plaid in a stark black, as the name suggests. It is fitting for both Scottish hikers as well as hikers looking for a great kilt option!

PROS:

  • Great for 3 season hiking
  • Good length
  • Good comfort
 CONS:

  • Need to spend more for functional side pockets

Check the price on Amazon

Mountain Hardwear Elkommando KiltMountain Hardwear Elkommando Kilt

Price: Approx. $75

Weight: 14.7 ounces

Length: 21.5 inches

Specific features: Seamless Micro Chamois lined waist, back pleats, integrated belt with buckle closure, internal snap closure

Best use: Outdoor hiking and camping

The Mountain Hardwear Elkommando Kilt is one of the most popular hiking kilts among hiking veterans. The breathable canvas material is perfect for comfort under a pack. The DWR finish wicks moisture away, keeping the kilt dry and you dry as well.

This kilt is a bit heavier than others on the list, but the added weight is nearly negligible. The extra ounces come from the canvas material, the added belt for adjustability, and the many pockets for ample storage. These features are a must for many hikers so the added weight becomes a non issue. Even with the canvas material, though, this hiking kilt is incredibly cool and comfortable.

The sewn in pleats offer great mobility and range of movement so this kilt is perfect for hiking, trekking, and other outdoor sports that require lots of movement.

At the time being, this kilt is only available in a tundra grey color. Some men have said that this color does not camouflage their bulge as well as they’d hoped. Perhaps Mountain Hardwear will come out with more modest colors such as black in the future.

PROS:

  • Many pockets
  • Good range of movement
  • Good comfort
 CONS:

  • A bit heavier than other hiking kilts

Check the price on Amazon

Ut Kilts Standard Utility KiltUT Kilts Standard Utility Kilt

Price: Approx. $55

Weight: 40 ounces

Length: 22.5 inches

Specific features: Durable poly cotton material, two snap closures, buckles for adjusting, large cargo pockets, sewn-in pleats

Best use: Outdoor hiking and sporting

The UT Kilts Standard Utility Kilt is a wonderful choice for any seasoned kilt wearer. It is much more rugged and heavy duty than other kilts on the list thanks to its poly-cotton construction.

Because of these materials, this kilt is a bit heavier than the others on this list that are made of quick-drying microfiber materials. But if you are looking for a very durable kilt with lots of functionality, this one is for you! This kilt holds up to all kinds of abuse and won’t give out when faced with sharp briars or branches on the trails.

The kilt does not have any give or stretch so make sure to purchase your correct size. It will almost certainly fit perfectly as long as you measure your waist correctly and purchase accordingly. Two sets of snaps and buckle ensure that you have control over the fit and comfort.

For the affordable price, this kilt is a steal for the durability and functionality it offers. And, UT Kilts offers a lifetime warranty on all the metal hardware, so if a buckle or snap breaks, they will send a replacement.

PROS:

  • Large cargo pockets
  • Good price
  • Heavy duty kilt
 CONS:

  • Sizing is not standard

Check the price on Amazon

Game Gear Youth Girl’s Sport SkortPT123Y Youth Girl's Athletic Performance Sport Skort

Price: Approx. $13

Weight: 5 ounces

Length: 7 inches

Specific features: Moisture wicking polyester material, built in short, one ply design, antimicrobial odor reducing technology

Best use: Outdoor hiking and camping

The Game Gear Youth Girl’s Sport Skort is a good choice for middle-school aged girls who want excellent range of movement on their outdoor adventures.

This skort is much cheaper than the other items on this list, and if you decide to go with this item, keep in mind that you will get what you are paying for in regards to quality and durability. Young girls do not typically require the intense durability that some of the other hiking kilts on the market offer, so this skort will likely do the job for any youth that needs a way to stay comfortable and dry during strenuous hikes or sporting events.

This skort does not feature pockets, so if storage is a necessity you should look at other options or carry a pack of some sort. As far as fit goes, this skort will fall about an inch or two above the knee depending on the height of the wearer.

Some have complained that the built in shorts are not stretchy enough and do not allow for a comfortable fit, but that also is dependent on the size and shape of the individual wearing it. The skirt features a flared fit at the bottom and it does not hug the skin tightly like other skorts might.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • Allows good range of movement
  • Comes with built-in short
 CONS:

  • Lack of pockets

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping it Up

Now that you have learned more about what exactly goes into choosing a hiking kilt and you have seen our reviews of six of the most popular kilts and skirts on the market, you are all set to make the next step. Choose the right kilt for you! If you are an avid hiker in hot climates wanting to stay cool and unrestricted, making the switch to a hiking kilt is really a no-brainer.

Use of Kilts

Not only are they incredibly comfortable, they are also quite versatile. They aren’t JUST for hiking after all, they are great for any outdoor sporting event that requires you to move a lot! They’re perfect for men and women alike. Even though hiking kilts are often advertised as being for men or for women, both men and women can wear any of the kilts as long as they can find their correct size.

Really, the biggest step to getting a hiking kilt is deciding to throw out your anxieties about what is considered conventional fashion. The Scots don’t feel embarrassed about wearing kilts, in fact, it’s an honor and a matter of pride. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed either! Hiking kilts offer you the opportunity to improve upon an already fulfilling sport by making it even more pleasant, comfortable, and freeing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • Trish Oostdyk

    Our daughter is very active and she has worn the Game Gear Sport Skort we got her for her birthday this year a lot. The sport performance fabric is great and if it should happen to get wet, it dries very quickly.

  • Mark Seidel

    OK, so one of the guys in our hiking group started wearing kilts and was always talking about how comfortable they are, so I decided to go for it and bought the Mountain Hardwear Elkommando Kilt. It’s really comfortable! It’s insulating on the hotter days and I like the liner material around the waist. I’m definitely a kilt convert!

  • Russell McCarty

    Hi Trish and thanks for your timely comments. Do your male friends enjoy using a hiking kilt during their backpacking trips? I’ve worn a kilt once and it was incredibly liberating! I love the comfort it brings as compared to pants.

  • Russell McCarty

    Hiking kilts are awesome! Once you’ve tried it, you’ll find it’s even more comfortable than a pair of shorts! Yeah, love those kilts, too. Who says you need bagpipes as an excuse to wear this, right? 🙂

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