testing hiking apparel for the buyer's guide in the north cascades

Apparel Buyer’s Guides

Our apparel buyer’s guides shortcut readers directly to the most effective clothing for hiking, backpacking, adventure travel, and outdoor sports. From sun shirts and rain jackets to fleece and ultralight puffy jackets, we’ve got you covered with recommendations for the best lightweight backcountry apparel. This page shows only apparel guides. Jump up a level to view all buyer’s guides, or find hardgoods in our gear buyer’s guides.

merino wool leggings

Best Merino Wool Leggings For Base Layer 2023

Find the statistically optimal merino wool leggings for your next trip. We cover fabric blends, temp ranges, base layering, pros and cons.
Testing the best lightweight down parka

Best Lightweight Down Parka For Winter Backpacking 2023

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Enjoy maximum warmth-to-weight ratio when you choose a lightweight down parka for backpacking in winter. These parkas are ultralight and packable!
wearing an alpaca hoodie

Best Alpaca Hoodie For Hiking, Sun, Travel 2023

Each alpaca hoodie in this guide is adventure-proven. We cover sun hoodies and fleece alternatives with pros, cons, fabric blends, and more.
a merino wool hoodie base layer in purple by smartwool

Best Merino Wool Hoodie Base Layers For Hiking 2023

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This is a data-based guide to choosing a merino wool hoodie base layer for hiking. We cover sun hoodies, all-season, and cold weather.
testing the best sun shirts to use as hiking shirts in a national park

Best Sun Shirt for Hiking 2023

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The best hiking shirts are all sun shirts! This guide reviews & recommends the best sun hoody, t-shirt, button up, and merino base layer.
rei co-op swiftland half-zip running pullover review

Best Lightweight Fleece Jacket Hiking & Backpacking 2023

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This guide will identify the best lightweight fleece jacket for you. The average fleece on this list is warm and weighs just 7 oz.
testing the best rain pants for hiking in the sub alpine forest

Best Rain Pants For Hiking 2023 Ultralight & Lightweight

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The best rain pants for hiking are ultralight, waterproof, breathable, and hold up on the trail. Stay dry, save weight, and upgrade today!
hiking gloves in front of a lake

Best Hiking Gloves 2023 | Liner, Sun, Rain, Cold, Snow

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We'll help you find the best hiking gloves for any condition or use-case: cold, sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow, we've got your hands covered.
testing windbreaker jackets at mount rainier national park

Best Windbreaker Jacket 2023 | Lightweight & Ultralight

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This guide will help you find the best lightweight windbreaker jacket for your hiking, climbing, & running. All ultralight under 5 oz.
testing windbreaker pants in patagonia

Windbreaker Pants – Best of 2023

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This guide will help you find the best windbreaker pants for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and travel. Comfy. Lightweight. Stretchy.
hiking in shorts

Best Hiking Shorts 2023 – Men’s & Women’s

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This buyer's guide to the best hiking shorts of 2023 prioritizes features, materials, performance, functionality, and trail comfort.
testing hiking shoes in the mountains of Alaska

Best Hiking Shoes 2023 | Trail Runners

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Looking for the best hiking shoes ? Read our no BS, unbiased guide for the best hiking shoes & backpacking shoes for men and women. Your feet are arguably your most important asset on the trail. Blisters, Achilles tightness, and foot pain can all quickly derail a hiking or backpacking trip. So, finding the right hiking shoes is imperative. We can help!
4 pairs of trail running shorts for hiking in front of a mountain

Best Trail Running Shorts For Hiking 2023

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This guide to the best trail running shorts for hiking focuses on models with zippered hand pockets and stretchy, breathable fabric.
testing the best lightweight rain jacket for hiking and backpacking

Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Hiking & Backpacking 2023

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Find the best lightweight jacket & pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these lightweight rain jackets have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.
our favorite down pants for hiking

Best Down Pants For Ultralight Backpacking 2023

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The best down pants have a statistically superior warmth to weight ratio. Browse ultralight down pants and winter warmth all in this guide.
testing lightweight down jackets and pants in patagonia

Best Lightweight Down Jacket for Backpacking 2023

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The very best ultralight and lightweight down jackets significantly outperform a standard issue puffy sweater, and upgrading will save weight in your pack and keep you warmer in the backcountry.
Testing The Best Down Booties for Backpacking

Best Down Booties For Backpacking 2023

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When temps drop to freezing put on a pair of lightweight down booties for backpacking. These models are ultralight, warm, and packable.
Testing the best ultralight puffy jacket in the desert

Best Ultralight Puffy Jacket 2023 Packable & Lightweight

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This round-up of ultralight puffy jackets is the lightest on the internet, averaging just 10.2 oz per garment, and conservatively 30% less than competing buyer's guides. Perfect for hiking and backpacking.
LEVE Outdoor Co Alpha Direct Hoodie 90

Best Alpha Direct Hoodie 2023

A Polartec Alpha Direct hoodie is the best way for ultralight backpackers to save weight on insulation without sacrificing warmth.
Testing lightweight fleece pants backpacking social

Lightweight Fleece Pants For Backpacking Ultralight 2023

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This buyer's guide to lightweight fleece pants for backpacking and hiking prioritizes high warmth-to-weight ratio and comfort at camp.
a man in hiking pants climbs through desert sandstone

Best Hiking Pants 2023

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This buyer's guide to backpacking and hiking pants highlights models optimized for functionality, comfort, and protectiveness.
mens hiking pants

Best Men’s Hiking Pants 2021

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Find the best backpacking hiking pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these men's hiking pants have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.
Women's Hiking Pants

Best Women’s Hiking Pants 2021

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Find the best backpacking hiking pants for your needs, your travel, and your budget. No BS! All these women's hiking pants have all earned their spot on this list by performing far better than the competition.

Apparel Buyer’s Guides Conclusion

The apparel in these buyer’s guides have performed marvelously for us, and we’re confident that it will for you too. We hope you have found what you’re looking for. But if not, drop us a line on social media to request a new gear buyer’s guide.