Our editors curated and personally tested some of the most exciting, innovative, stylish and just plain fun products that Summer 2017 has to offer. Here are our top picks for hiking.
Why we chose it: It's not always sunshine and rainbows during the summer. Sometimes, the weather can change and you want a
lightweight jacket that can handle less than ideal conditions.
Why we like it: Apropos of the fact that it does a shockingly solid job of keeping you insulated from wind, the jacket just looks dope.
Tester tip: It almost fits like a tailored coat, so if you like a little extra room in your windbreakers, go a size up.
Why we chose them: Rock climbing and hiking gear is not to be taken lightly. If you can find a pair of tights that can help you out on the trail or boulder, you better stick with them.
Why we liked them: The abrasive fabric on the seat of the tights helps when sliding down boulders on a tricky trail, where other tights would undoubtedly rip. If you avoid wearing tights on the trail for fear of getting holes in them, go with the Fjallraven hiking tights. They’ll come through every time.
Tester Tip: The tights run true to size, which means you won’t have to worry if you decide to order them online.
Why we chose them: Merrell has been releasing "vegan-friendly" shoe options, and we wanted to see if a leatherless shoe could withstand the wear and tear.
Why we liked them: We're going vegan and not looking back. The Agility Peak Flex is comfortable, durable, and looks great. Tested in the Santa Barbara Mountains, the Peak Flex allowed for a supportive, blister-less hike. Our favorite feature was the reliable traction on steep downhill terrain.
Tester Tip: The shoe fit to size and accommodated a wide foot. Available in bright colors as well as a more-subdued black.
Why we chose them: Rocky boots have been around since 1932. This Poler collab is giving a classic boot just a touch of hipster.
Why we like them: The boots felt bombproof in terms of sturdiness, and they have old-school rugged style.
Tester tip: These are heavy-duty boots, not meant for streetwear. Tie them tight and go hiking.
Why we chose them: Hybrid shorts are the best for summer adventures. No matter where you find yourself on any given day, you’re always dressed for the occasion. And prAna was at the top of our list because of their solid reputation in the adventure garment game.
Why we liked them: They just fit the bill for everything. From the beach to the grocery store to the campsite, these shorts handled the situation. Made with 3-percent Spandex, they flexed with every move, never hindered motion and always felt comfy. The original Stretch Zion fabric is amazing.
Tester Tip: Opt for a darker color. You’ll likely be wearing these shorts more often than not, and darker colors at least appear cleaner for longer, which means more time in between washes.
Why we chose it: A lightweight, short-sleeved sun shirt is a must for all of the outdoor activities we dive into this time of year. We needed something versatile that had some stretch to the fabric, with breathable, quick-drying properties.
Why we liked it: The prAna Calder sun shirt had all the qualities we needed. The stretch from the fabric was just enough to give us limitless mobility, without feeling too much like a lycra rashguard. It’s rated at 50+ UPF, and the charcoal colorway with prAna graphics was something we certainly felt good in.
Tester Tip: Given that this shirt would be on our back through some serious outdoor excursions, we opted for the darker colorway, for the same reason as we did with the shorts.
Why we chose them: For an easy to slip on, breathable shoe with good traction for diverse summer outdoor activities.
Why we liked them: They're incredibly comfortable, durable, and are equipped with an easy velcro strap, making for the perfect shoe to throw on and run through all kinds of terrain. They are water resistant and extremely lightweight, so you don't have to worry about your feet getting too hot or your shoes flying off.
Tester Tip: The straps are made of leather, so these shoes are not built for being in wet conditions for long periods of time. Also, they require a little bit of breaking in, so we don't suggest walking miles in them on your first wear.
Check out more gear reviews from the 2017 Summer Gear Guide: