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Lack of quality hiking pants for waist size larger than 42in

I completely and totally angry about the lack of extended size hiking clothing for men. I mean I'm really angry. Eventually I would like to thru hike the AT. I done an enormous amount of research on clothing and gear. I'm in the process of the physical and mental training required to do the Appalachian Trail (AT). It very disappointing to see the "Best" clothing reviews only to find that you are too large to fit any of these clothes, especially pants. As  a seller of outdoor products you might want to tell these companies. That being over size 42 is not fat and maybe they should think about working to please these customers. So what I need exactly is quality (REI knows quality)  hiking pants size 44in inseam 30 for use for a 5 months plus hike. I would like a DWR coating but it is not a requirement would add a little weight. Anyway maybe  you can help. I new to this forum so maybe you could send me an email at <e-mail address removed by moderator>. Thanks for your help just call me POed Terry

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@TAZ 

Hey there, Terry!

We're sorry to hear that you're angry about the lack of extended size hiking clothing. One of things we appreciate most about this community is the ability to hear feedback directly from our customers and members. We have passed your feedback along to our buying teams, thank you for taking the time to reach out to us.

Congrats on the goal of thru-hiking the AT! I am continually inspired by people who pursue thru-hikes of that length, my experience is mountaineering and bikepacking trips that last, at most, 4-5 days. Thru-hiking is such a complex and lengthy endeavor, I hope you continue to share your progress with us here in the community. 

As someone who is a similar size to you, hopefully I can give you some options for hiking pants and some tips for what works for me. Generally speaking, I wear a 40-44" x 30-32" pants, depending on the brand and whether I am wearing boots (if I am I have no concerns about going up to a 32" inseam pant). Here are a couple of options to consider:

  • REI Co-op Sahara Convertible Pants. These pants come in a 44"x30" size. We have two colors available. These are a great, lightweight, breathable hiking pant that converts into shorts on those days when temperatures rise.
  • Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants. Although these are listed as a 32" inseam, we do have 44"x30" size available in the 'Tusk' color (khaki). These are very similar to the REI Co-op Sahara pants, however, based on the photos it looks like when these pants are converted to shorts, the Columbia shorts are a little longer than the REI Co-op Sahara shorts.
  • Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Alpine Pants. These pants are a lightweight nylon/spandex soft-shell fabric that are breathable and durable. Unfortunately, they only come in a 32" inseam, however, the XXL size is listed as a 44" waist. 
  • REI Co-op Activator 3.0 Pants. These, unfortunately, only come in a 32" inseam at the 44" waist size. However, if you're wearing boots they may work as the boot can prevent them from hanging too low. These are a bit more robust pant, with softshell fabric and a DWR. This style is my go-to for hiking in the PNW as they are flexible, breathable, and tough. 
  • Arc'teryx Gamma AR Soft-Shell Pants. Arc'Teryx lists XXL as a 44" waist, however, you're looking at a 32" inseam with these pants. They might be a too warm for the AT (particularly in the summer months), but are another rugged softshell option.

Hopefully you're able to find a pant that can help you with your goal of thru-hiking the AT. I would emphasize that some brands list XXL as a 44" waist, so you'll want to keep an eye on the size charts to see if a brand might work for you. Additionally, some brands are 'roomier' than others. I wear an XL in some REI pants even though they are listed at 40" waist. For reference, I took a tape measure this morning and measured where I wear my pants and it is 47", even when I pulled it as tight as was comfortable.

Best of luck on your goal with the Appalachian Trail! Don't hesitate to reach out with any other questions. You're among friends here in our community, please share your experience and expertise with us!

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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Hey @TAZ I can totally relate. Not that long ago, I was trying to find a size 46 hiking pant (and a 46 was snug!). Most outdoor companies make clothing for the people already in shape and that was both frustrating and angering.

@REI-JohnJ has already mentioned a couple options that REI has. FWIW, I found it wasn't worth buying the quality stuff at first. Okay, I didn't buy the quality stuff because, like you, I couldn't find it.

I ended up buying my stuff at Costco for a while. They certainly don't have a huge selection (whatever they have that day is what they have) but, this year, they always seemed to have some type of trekking pant or a variant that was suitable for hiking. And they always had larger sizes. A couple pair I bought in the Spring are already wearing out (seams are letting go) but they were cheap. So if you can't find something from REI, I would suggest checking out one of the box warehouse stores if there's one nearby and if you have a membership (or have a friend who does).

Good luck!

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)