What are my go-to sensible hiking bottoms – so far?

Purple Rain Skirt!

Mandy ‘Purple Rain’ Bland has created the best overall skirt or kilt design. Her practical on-trail experience has paid off with an outstanding product. She is truly an expert in walking skirt design. I highly recommend you start your walking skirt experience with an adventure skirt from Purple Rain Adventure Skirts.

Purple Rain Skirt - front

The website says “Purple Rain Adventure Skirts is dedicated to providing women with performance apparel that inspires the freedom of adventure without compromising style or function.”  After many months of regular use, I can attest that women and men can equally benefit from and enjoy the performance, style, and function of Ms. Bland’s skirt design.

Purple Rain Adventure Skirts are well made, have practical pockets, and are ideal for walking, backpacking, around the ranch, in the office, or as practical daily attire.

Within the Purple Rain products, there are interesting differences in the materials and weights. The fabric makes a significant difference in the feel. The weights below are for size large.

  • Granite skirt – 136g  (4.8 oz)
  • Teal skirt – 146g  (5.2 oz)
  • Granite kilt – 150g  (5.3 oz)
  • Purple skirt – 171g (6.0 oz)
  • Sandstone skirt – 179g  (6.3 oz)
  • Sandstone kilt – 203g  (7.2 oz)

Overall, the granite skirt with purple waistband is my favorite – light and ideal for walking. The teal skirt, granite kilt, and purple skirt are winners too. Range of motion is excellent.

Purple Rain Skirt - rear shot 1 - PCT

Skirt vs Kilt? Men really do not need the extra kilt fabric. The skirt is my choice for walking and backpacking. When in town though, I will wear the kilt, as I’ve noticed fewer “funny looks”.

or (maybe) Patagonia Edge Win Skirt!

The Patagonia Edge Win skirt is my recent discovery. Patagonia describes the skirt’s material as “100% TENCEL® fabric, which is more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen—the ideal summer fabric.”  They are right! This is the most comfortable of all the skirt materials I’ve worn. At 195g (6.9 oz) for size XL, the skirt is a little heavier. Yet it hangs well and sure feels great.


sensible walking, skirt list, walking skirt, hiking skirt, backpacking skirt

What sensible styles work best for me?

A walking skirt is what I find to be the most sensible walking attire.

The actual skirt style depends…especially as a male wearing them. Start with my updated sensible wear page Skirt (kilt) experiment list – by weight .

  • For early morning exercise walking (striding):  My sensible attire preference is a mini-to-mid length [33 cm (13″) to 40 cm (16″)] skirt that is lightweight, quick dry, stretchy, drawstring waist, and rear ID or key pocket with zipper. My walking shorts equivalent is my 1″ inseam, 3/4 or full-split, nylon tricot or Supplex® Soark.com running short.
  • For backpacking and trail hiking:  My sensible attire preference is a mid-length [38 cm (15″) to 46 cm (18″)] skirt that is lightweight, quick dry, stretchy, elastic waist, and has deep hip pockets. Real-trail folk appreciate these skirts, and I see more men wearing lightweight skirts or kilts. My walking shorts equivalent is my 5″ inseam Patagonia Baggies.
  • For everyday walking or around town:  My sensible attire preference is a mid to just-above-knee length [41 cm (16″) to 51 cm (20″)] kilt style, with a drawstring or belt loops and plenty of pockets. Sometimes I can wear a skirt and feel comfortable in the surroundings. My shorts equivalent are my Patagonia 6″ All-wear Hemp shorts or Patagonia 5″ Stand Up shorts.

Using this criteria, what sensible wear in my Skirt List seem to feel the best – so far?

As exercise walking alternatives, consider the Patagonia Happy Hike skirt, or RunningSkirts Triathlon skirt. If later in the morning or if I will see many other walkers or runners, I will wear the Patagonia Edge Win skirt or the Purple Rain skirt. As a male walker, I sometimes get odd, disapproving looks when my walking skirt is 15″ or less long.

  • For backpacking and trail hiking:  Purple Rain skirt (mid).  Equally nice are the the Patagonia Edge Win skirt (mid) or Purple Rain kilt (mid). These skirts are comfortable my pack’s hip belt.

As trail alternatives, consider the Patagonia Happy Hike skirt, RunningSkirts Triathlon skirt, Athena Garments custom wrap skirt. If you enjoy the traditional pleated look, try the heavier Sport Kilt Hiking kilt (16″ best, 18″ OK too).

For an everyday alternative, there really aren’t any for a male. When in town, traditional skirts on a male will draw a “weird look” from others, so I wear a longer kilt style. Depending on your area, you can likely wear an 18″ or 20″ kilt most places with just a few smiles from observers.

Trying several is the best approach to discover what works best for you.