The 8 Best Golf Pants to Buy in 2018

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Al Czervik, Rodney Dangerfield’s character in Caddyshack, perhaps best personifies the dominant stereotype of golf attire: loud, bright, and brash. But golf apparel actually grew from a much more buttoned-up look, in large part thanks to businessmen who brought their love of three-piece suits to the links. Today, golf pants tend to lean into the conservative. But unlike decades previous, they also employ a cache of tech enhancements that won’t necessarily shave points off your handicap, but will definitely keep you more comfortable. Some utilize wicking fabrics to keep you sweat free and cool, while others offer some much-needed warmth for cool fall outings. Some come with anti-odor treatments while others employ UPF-treated fabrics to protect you from the unrelenting sun. Here, a handful of the best currently available.

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: adidas Golf Ultimate Three-Stripe Pants

adidas Golf Ultimate Three-Stripe Pants

Amazon

With colors that range from the loud and proud (like the aptly-named blast blue) to khaki, gray, and black (to name a few), the Ultimate Three-Stripe Pants from adidas are made mostly of wicking, water-resistant polyester, along with a touch of elastane and a stretch waistband that allows the pants to complement each movement without restricting play. The fabric wicks moisture, pushing your sweat to the outer layer so it can evaporate quickly, leaving you cool and comfortable for long days out under the hot sun. And even if you go with the more conservative color option, the brand’s iconic “three stripe” graphic, which shoots from the back right pocket up to the waist, adds a touch of style. The medium-rise pants have four traditional pockets, two at the front and two at the back (the latter are stitched closed, but can be easily cut open), along with belt loops, and they're washing machine-friendly. Wearers report that they fit slightly slim, but they don’t feel tight thanks to all the elasticity integrated into the fabric.

02 of 08

Best Value: Oakley 2.5 Take Pants

Though the suggested retail price for Oakley's 2.5 Take Pants hovers around $75, Amazon features several styles and sizes that slice that cost in half. That said, even if you purchase them elsewhere for full price, you're getting one hell of a pair of pants. The fabric is dominantly nylon, so the pants effectively manage moisture and dry quickly, along with six percent Spandex to provide what Oakley calls “O STRETCH” technology, which aids freedom of movement with to resilient four-way stretch. Vented hems add additional temperature regulation and unencumbered motion, and the brand’s signature O logo at the front and back add a touch of modern sci-fi to the overall appearance. Color variations? Belt loops? Hand and rear pockets? Check, check, and checkmate. The fit runs slightly slim, as with most stretchy golf pants, but they have plenty of room in the lower leg and buyers report that they fit very true to size.

03 of 08

Best for Warmth: Under Armour Rival Fleece Pants

If you’re a year-round golfer who hits the links whenever there’s no snow covering the greens, the Rival Fleece Pants offer serious warmth without hindering your performance. The mid-weight pants are a 280-gram cotton-blend fleece (a mix of 80-percent cotton with poly for durability and wicking), with a cozy, brushed lining that traps warmth and feels great against your skin. Much like traditional sweatpants, they don’t have belt loops, but the ribbed waistband does come with an internal drawcord, so it’s easy to layer them over long underwear without feeling bulky on days when the mercury heads south. Sizing breaks out from extra-small to 5X—so sizing (and color options) abound, and customers report that fitting syncs well with the sizing chart that Under Armour has posted on Amazon. If you’re looking for a pair of pants to fend off rain or snow, look for something with DWR treatments like their Fleece Storm line of products.

04 of 08

Best Denim: Duer Relaxed-fit Stretch Jeans

Blue jeans don’t often appear on the links — but that’s because most denim pants aren’t suited for active play. Duer’s line of performance denim changes all that. These relaxed-fit jeans are made of a blend of proprietary stretch denim that delivers five times the stretch you’d find in typical cotton jeans. They’re also 30-percent stronger and lighter than traditional fabrics, so they’ll last for years of hard use — on the course, certainly, but also when hiking, biking, or rock climbing. They pack in other tech properties, including Silvadur odor neutralization and temperature control thanks to COOLMAX, but (perhaps more importantly) they don’t look tech-laden. They simply look like a smart pair of jeans, something that would make an easy transition from the course to the club house or local pub. All that stretch is enhanced by a “seat gusset” — a stretch of fabric that runs under the crotch from both inseams — to allow the greatest freedom of movement imaginable. But, unlike other stretch denim on the market, the pants don’t lose their elasticity and bag out — even after years of serious abuse. They also dry faster than traditional denim, an essential feature if you get caught in a sudden burst of rain when on the back nine.

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05 of 08

Most Stylish: Nike Flat-Front Golf Pants

In many ways a modern take on the traditional khaki silhouette, Nike's Flat-Front Golf Pants keep things conservative in cut and appearance (unless you opt for the Max Orange or Photo Blue colorways), and insanely comfortable in fit. Nike’s Dry-FIT tech wicks moisture and regulates temperatures to keep you in the game, with a standard overall fit that’s relaxed through the legs and hips. An ultra-soft brushed stretch fabric (mostly poly with a touch of Spandex) allows you to move unencumbered. Notching (small triangular cuts) at the hem let the pants fall naturally over your golf shoes, and most customers report that the fit runs true to size, which is broken out into both waist and length measurements. Experts say that the best gear is the gear you don’t think about when in the middle of a game. These are those pants.

06 of 08

Best Bold Look: Tipsy Elves American Flag USA Golf Pants

Those out there who embrace the peacock traditions of crazy-loud golf pants (and we know who you are because…yeah, we can see your pants eight holes away) have found their spirit brand in Tipsy Elves. Our pick? The American Flag USA design, which takes red, white, and blue to new heights by blending it into a very bright argyle pattern. Thankfully, it’s not all just about appearances here. The cotton blend comes with a bit of stretch, while the “Mother Tucker Technology” at the waist assures your (probably) loud polo will stay tucked and in place, even when you crouch down to place a tee. Pockets and belt loops come standard, and thankfully don’t wreck the aesthetic, and you can also score them in knickers (perhaps paired with matching knee-high red socks?) if you want a look that's super retro and loud.

07 of 08

Best Refined Aesthetic: Puma Heather Six-Pocket Pant

If you're looking for dapper as opposed to obnoxious, then the Heather Six-Pocket Pant will suit you well. The slightly high-fitting pants are slim without being super-tight, thanks to a smart blend of polyester and recycled poly that utilizes Puma’s dryCELL tech to wick sweat, regulate temps, and keep you comfortable with ample stretch and give, including at the waistband. They fit loose around the lower leg, tighter in the thighs and at the waist, with wide-spread belt loops that practically beg for that no-belt-needed look of confidence. Exact sizing at two-inch increments for both the length and waist help dial the optimal fit. And — as its name implies — it comes with six pockets to make hauling things a breeze.

08 of 08

Best for High Temperatures: J.Lindeber Elof Slim Fit Pants

More and more golf courses are issuing dress codes, and typically, they're not a fan of shorts, which can make playing golf during the dog days of summer a real grind. Thankfully, there’s J.Lindeber’s Elof Slim Fit Pants. Made of 100-percent polyester, this ultra-light pair of pants is highly breathable and — thanks to it slim silhouette — perfectly in sync with the fashion police at the most discerning courses. They marry traditional construction, but bolster the fit with harder crease lines down the front and back to sharpen the look, with practical hand pockets and jetted back pockets that run flush against the fabric for a suit-like appearance. At the same time, the pants' mid-rise and functional design won’t have you feeling like you’re trapped in a three-piece suit. Instead, they're highly breathable and offer sizing at the waist on the inch mark, partnered with two-inch groupings for length. Colors lean toward the traditional, but the Strong Blue option will definitely turn heads.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular golf pants on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different pants overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 pair of pants themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.