Now more than ever, a little respite in the great outdoors feels paramount, and hiking to camp under the stars is a wonderful way to find solace and space. Rookies may be surprised by how cold the woods can be at night even in summer or how quickly a trip can turn dismal when you’re wet and can’t seem to get dry. With the technological strides that outdoor attire has undergone, it’s easy to avoid those issues—and without looking too tech-heavy. Many brands (especially in Europe and Asia) have created functional garments that can easily transition from trail to camp and back into the city.
Räven Lite Jacket
Storied Swedish brand Fjällräven has thrived since its 1960s inception, and the Räven Lite Jacket ($220) is a reinvention of a 1970 classic. The updated iteration uses the brand’s G-1000 Air fabric (a mix of recycled polyester and organic cotton) which is lightweight and fast-drying. Available in three colors, the jacket also features plenty of pockets, resulting in a functional travel jacket, too.
Regular Stretch Chinos
Ultra-comfortable and mosquito-defying, Goldwin’s Regular Stretch Chinos ($250) are perfect for wearing by the campfire after a long hike. Part of the Japanese brand’s summer Outdoor Collection, they are made of nylon and provide a bit of stretch. There’s a zippered coin pocket inside to keep keys and valuables safe, and they come in four different colors.
Ducan High GTX Boots
Engineers at Switzerland-based Mammut designed the women’s Ducan GTX ($199) for a better anatomical fit, rather than just making smaller sizes of men’s boots. A steel spring inside the sole helps the foot roll forward into a smooth, forward gait. Most notable is their light weight and sturdy ankle support. The inner tongue is attached to the body of the shoe so that it wraps around the ankle like a supportive column. Ideal for long hikes, these boots provide enough stability for multi-day forays.
Chain Reaction T-Shirt
Perfect for brutally hot days, Outdoor Research’s Chain Reaction Tee ($49) and Chain Reaction Tank ($42) boast UPF 50+ protection, quick-drying properties and an odor-fighting treatment. Made from polyester and spandex, they are supple and don’t feel heavy or bulky. The brand also sells the Essential Face Mask Kit ($20) which comes with filters for bacterial filtration.
Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket
North Face’s Summit L5 LT Futurelight Jacket ($450) is ideal for summer and fall conditions; it’s the tech-forward garment to bring when expecting unexpected weather. Extremely light and super packable, the breadth of capability allows you to wear it through a bewildering array of conditions. The Futurelight proprietary material is surprisingly soft, and the company claims that it beats Gore-Tex for its breathability while retaining full water- and wind-proofing.
Wake ProTech Mask
Social protocols still exist in the wilderness, and outdoors-focused brands like Kitsbow are making quality masks here in the US, like the Wake ProTech Mask ($30). It has four layers and was developed with healthcare professionals. This necessary accessory comes in XS to XXL and this range of sizes yields comfort.
Falketind Flex1 Slim Pants
Norwegian brand Norrøna has existed since the late 1920s, but is still little-known in the US. Their new women’s Falketind Flex1 Slim Pants ($169) are soft-shell trousers that are as comfortable as leggings, but with great durability and a measure of weather-proofing. For colder months, you can fit a base layer under them, but they’re perfect for late-summer and fall hikes.
Power Air Houdi
Ideal for late nights at the campsite, the Power Air Houdi ($250) can be worn in the city, too. Made from 54% recycled polyester, 38% polyester and 8% elastane synthetic, this garment feels super-soft and the fit is athletic but comfortable. Stockholm-based Houdini calls itself a “progressive outdoor company” for its attention to environmentally conscious materials, and this hoodie is available for all genders, in various sizes and colorways.
Westalpen Softshell Pants
German brand Ortovox is known for its emergency avalanche equipment as well as hardcore mountain gear. Their new softshell Westalpen Pants ($400) promise to be extremely tough and rip-resistant, but are layered with fine merino wool on the interior, so they’re comfortable and breathable. The women’s version has adjustable cuffs that fit over boots. With reinforced knee patches, these water- and scuff-repellant pants are robust enough to survive many outdoor adventures.
Lodge Flannel Shirt
Made from 100% merino, Icebreaker’s Lodge Flannel Shirt ($190) is impeccably tailored, making it an ideal option for camping or back in the city. Lightweight and soft, the fabric helps regulate body temperature so you won’t feel overheated or clammy.
Breeze LT GTX Boots
The Breeze LT GTX ($180) from Minnesota-based brand Vasque are some of our favorite hiking boots. Available in women’s and men’s sizes, the ankle-high, sneaker-like boots are so lightweight that you can speed-hike, even with a backpack. Water- and abrasion-proof, these boots are now also available in more colorways—including tan and all-black.
Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image courtesy of Fjällräven