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.

a man in hiking pants climbs through desert sandstone

Best Hiking Pants 2024

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This buyer's guide to backpacking and hiking pants highlights models optimized for functionality, comfort, and protectiveness.
hiking gloves in front of a lake

Best Hiking Gloves 2024 Liner, UPF, 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.
LEVE Outdoor Co Alpha Direct Hoodie 90

Best Alpha Direct Hoodie 2024

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A Polartec Alpha Direct hoodie is the best way for ultralight backpackers to save weight on insulation without sacrificing warmth.
testing windbreaker pants in patagonia

Best Windbreaker Pants 2024

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This guide will help you find the best windbreaker pants for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and travel. Comfy. Lightweight. Stretchy.
Best ultralight sandals for backpacking on my feet

Best Ultralight Sandals For Backpacking 2024

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Choose from among the best ultralight sandals for minimalist footwear to wear around camp in the backcountry.
testing the best sun shirts to use as hiking shirts in a national park

Best Sun Shirt for Hiking 2024

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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.
Wearing the Best Fingerless Ragg Gloves in front of moss

Best Fingerless Gloves For Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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The best fingerless gloves for hiking & backpacking warm your hands without sacrificing dexterity. We review wool, fleece, leather, and UPF sun protection.
wearing an alpaca hoodie

Best Alpaca Hoodie For Hiking, Sun, Travel 2024

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Each alpaca hoodie in this guide is adventure-proven. We cover sun hoodies and fleece alternatives with pros, cons, fabric blends, and more.

Best Lightweight Fleece Jacket Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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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.
hiking in shorts

Best Hiking Shorts 2024 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.
hiking in trail running pants in patagonia

Best Trail Running Pants For Hiking 2024

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The best trail running pants are perfect for hiking thanks to low weight and zippered hand pocket. Compare pros, cons, features, & stats.
4 pairs of trail running shorts for hiking in front of a mountain

Best Trail Running Shorts For Hiking 2024

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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.
Best Rain Mittens for hiking

Best Rain Mittens for Hiking 2024 Waterproof Shells

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This buyer's guide reviews ultralight waterproof rain mittens for hiking and backpacking. Pair rain mitts with gloves for max weather protection. These are the best and lightest overmitts.
testing the best rain pants for hiking in the sub alpine forest

Best Rain Pants For Hiking 2024 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!
our favorite down pants for hiking

Best Down Pants For Ultralight Backpacking 2024

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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 The Best Down Booties for Backpacking

Best Down Booties For Backpacking 2024

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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 lightweight rain jacket for hiking and backpacking

Best Lightweight Rain Jacket For Hiking Ultralight 2024

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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.
testing lightweight down jackets and pants in patagonia

Best Lightweight Down Jacket for Backpacking 2024

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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 hiking shoes in the mountains of Alaska

Best Hiking Shoes 2024 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!
Best Sun Gloves For Hiking and backpacking

Best Sun Gloves For Hiking & Running UPF Rated 2024

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This buyer's guide highlights the best sun gloves for hiking and running with trekking poles. Enjoy dexterous, fingerless sun protection with UPF rating.
testing windbreaker jackets at mount rainier national park

Best Windbreaker Jacket Ultralight & Lightweight 2024

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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 lightweight fleece pants backpacking social

Lightweight Fleece Pants For Backpacking Ultralight 2024

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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.
Testing the best lightweight down parka

Best Lightweight Down Parka For Winter Backpacking 2024

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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!
a merino wool hoodie base layer in purple by smartwool

Best Merino Wool Hoodie Base Layers For Hiking 2024

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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.
Hiking in Best Rain Kilt for ultralight backpacking

Best Rain Kilt, Skirt, Wrap For Hiking & Backpacking 2024

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We will help you pick the best rain kilt, rain skirt, or rain wrap for hiking and backpacking in shorts and trail running shoes.
best hiking socks

Best Hiking Socks for Trail Running Shoes 2024

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The best hiking socks to use with trail running shoes aren't hiking socks at all! Use running socks. They're thinner, cooler, and dry faster.
merino wool leggings

Best Merino Wool Leggings For Base Layer 2024

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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 ultralight puffy jacket in the desert

Best Ultralight Puffy Jacket 2024 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.

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.