Despite wet weather conditions and frigid temperatures, hiking is an excellent activity to pursue during the winter season. Aside from providing your body with much-needed sunlight exposure and exercise, venturing into nature can be relaxing and mentally stimulating, helping fight symptoms of seasonal depression or just plain boredom.
However, the key to actually enjoyingyour time outdoors this winter lies in your outfit selection. Certain garments offer better performance, comfort, and weather protection compared with others. However, just because hiking demands capable wardrobe items doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. Read on to learn more about the most fashionable outdoor clothing options for your next hike, as well as which clothes you should avoid during the winter season.
Before we dive into the most fashionable outdoor clothing options for your next hike, it’s essential that we cover the leastsuitable garments. Ultimately, your performance and weather protection are the two most vital factors when hiking during the winter. Therefore, you must avoid certain clothing that limits your movement, causes overheating, or fails to properly wick moisture.
For instance, any cotton-based garment is a poor option for colder environments and physical activity, as this fabric takes a long time to dry completely. Seeing as winter hikes often include some level of moisture via rain or snow, you want materials that absorb, wick, and repel water.
Furthermore, it’s vitally important that you avoid improper footwear when venturing out into nature, regardless of season or weather conditions. Open-design sandals, running or training shoes, basketball shoes, sport sneakers, canvas shoes, and other non-hiking-specific footwear are all discouraged. Instead, look for waterproof and insulated boots with superior grip and traction.
So, to recap, cotton fabric performs poorly in cold and wet conditions, hiking boots are the most suitable footwear option, and weather protection is the priority when purchasing winter clothing. With this expert knowledge, we can now better identify stylish hiking garments that meet the requirements to perform adequately in the cold!
Your top garments are perhaps the most important items in your hiking outfit. This is because these clothing items are your main form of protection against cold weather conditions. They are also often the most expensive, as they are typically the focus of your entire hiking ensemble. Chances are your hiking jacket will come with a price tag of well over 300 dollars—this is standard! This is because these garments provide a multitude of features and functionality that improve your overall outdoor experience.
Fortunately, there are plenty of fashionable options to consider when choosing your outer-layer garments, so you know you can get a great bang for your buck.
The ultimate style of hiking jacket to consider is the parka. Parkas are bulky, insulated coats with large, typically fur-lined hoods and extended torso material for additional leg comfort and protection. More expensive, name-brand parkas include further luxuries, such as heated pockets and ski-glove wipes. Most importantly, parkas have been in style for ages, and they won’t go out of style any time soon! They are very versatile wardrobe items you can use for both hiking and general wear. So to enhance your parka’s versatility, we recommend finding a plain, monotone parka to use as your main hiking and winter jacket this season.
While parkas are verystylish, functional, and popular, some individuals prefer something with less material and weight. If you’re more interested in a light, breathable hiking jacket, the ideal option for you is undoubtedly a puffer coat. These classic jackets feature synthetic insulation that effectively repels wind—and sometimes moisture—without weighing you down. Thanks to their foldable, thin design, these coats are also highly suitable for backpacking and traveling. You can get more creative when shopping for a puffer jacket, as vibrant colors and patterns are extremely trendy and widely available. Consider combining your puffer with a weatherproof shell for additional protection and style.
Underneath your coat or jacket are your mid and base-layer garments. These items are often quite affordable and less visible during your hike, making fashion less of a priority. For instance, the very best base layer you can wear on a winter hike is an athletic shirt that specializes in wicking moisture. However, you can find plenty of shirts that boast fun and vibrant patterns and colors, as well as unique and high-quality fabric textures.
Sweaters—especially sporty garments with mock-neck or turtleneck collars—are useful clothing items while conducting physical activity outdoors. They provide superior comfort, insulation, and breathability, all while fitting snuggly underneath your top-layer garment. We highly recommend finding mock-neck sweaters with eye-catching, colorful designs that complement your other outfit pieces.
For slightly warmer days, you can ditch your top layer in favor of a zip-up sweater and vest combination. This look is extremelystylish right now, with the added bonus of being highly functional for outdoor hiking.
Once you have your top, mid, and base layers, it’s time to consider your pants. First and foremost, we highly recommend that you leave your jeans at home when going out on a winter hike. This is because denim, while stylish and warm, vastly underperforms when exposed to moisture. In fact, wet jeans can accelerate the effects and impact of hypothermia.
Instead, look for hiking-specific long pants made from synthetic materials like nylon. There are plenty of brands that produce flattering long hiking pants for men and women, making them the ideal option for your winter hiking outfit. You may even be able to get away with leggings on slightly warmer days, but these garments are less practical for adverse weather conditions. Alternatively, you can spend a bit more on Merino wool hiking pants for a higher quality and more fashionable item.
As you can see, finding the perfect balance between style and function is quite simple, especially when using this helpful guide. However, if you’re still not sure which garments are right for you, browse our selection of women’s outdoor apparel to find the most fashionable clothing options for your next hike!
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