Best Hiking Clothes and Gear For Women

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One of the most important parts of preparing for a hike is making sure you have the best hiking clothes and gear for your hike! You’re going to want to be comfortable for your hike, so wearing the right clothes is pivotal!

We’ve been hiking ever since we were little kids, so we’ve tried a range of hiking clothes and gear. And not all hiking gear and clothes are made the same for women. So today, we’re sharing with you our favorite hiking clothes and gear for women! We also include some sample outfit ideas for each season!

Want to learn more about our favorite hiking gear and pack for a hike? Check out these posts!

What Makes A Great Hiking Outfit For Women?

What are the best types of clothes to wear for a hike?

Layers. Layers. Layers.

Regardless of the time of year when you’re hiking, dressing in layers is going to be the best hiking outfit. Why? You never know how the weather will change during a hike. And you never know how you will actually feel out on the trail depending on the weather conditions. For example, sometimes a 50-degree day can feel more like a 40-degree day if it’s raining. Or a 70-degree day can feel very hot if you’re in the direct sun and climbing in elevation. Layers will prevent you from being over or underdressed for the temperature and conditions.

It’s also important to have hiking clothes that can handle the wear and tear of the trail. Good hiking clothes are clothes that last and are durable. We’ve had some of our hiking clothes for years and they have shown little signs of destruction. However, clothes that last often cost a little more than fast fashion brands. Hiking clothes are a worthwhile investment even if the price tag hurts to look at. But, many of the women’s hiking brands we love like Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, and Columbia have great rewards programs and have good sales throughout the year.

Lastly, clothing that is moisture-wicking, like polyester and nylon blends, is going to be more soft and comfortable while you’re sweating. When it’s cold fleece, flannels, and layers are going to keep you warm!

Best Hiking Clothes for Women

What to Wear Hiking in the Summer

How we dress for summer hikes: Most of the time when we’re hiking in the summer, we wear hiking shorts, like the Patagonia Quandry Shorts or Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Hiking Shorts with a tank top and a hiking shirt over the top of it. This gives us two layers on top, so if we get hot we can remove a layer. And the top layer protects us from the sun and keeps us dry. For days with chances of rain, we pack a LL Bean Rain Jacket or Cotopaxi Windbreaker in our day bag. If there is a chance of it being cooler in the summer, or on a trail that requires some bushwacking, we’ll opt for hiking pants or leggings. The Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Hiking Pants and Old Navy Elevate leggings are a good option for bushwacking because we live in an area with a high risk for ticks, so the added coverage on our legs reduces the chance of ticks!

Here are our favorite summer hiking clothes:

Summer Hiking Outfit

What to Wear Hiking in the Fall and Spring

How we dress for spring and fall hikes: We live in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, so for us, we tend to dress the same for fall and spring since the weather during these seasons is so similar. During fall and spring hikes, there are cooler and warmer days in the 40-60s with the chance of rain. This type of weather is when it’s especially important to dress in layers! We usually wear a Cuddl Dud undershirt layer, a flannel from Eddie Bauer or quarter zip, and either a windbreaker or raincoat. For bottoms, we’ll opt for either hiking pants or leggings. Instead of a windbreaker or raincoat, we will opt-in for a fleece or quarter zip from Eddie Bauer or Patagonia.

Here are our favorite spring or fall hiking clothes:

Fall or Spring Hiking Outfit

What to Wear Hiking in the Winter

How we dress for winter hikes: For winter hikes, we prefer to wear lined hiking pants, with extra layers on top like a fleece with a lightweight winter coat like the Patagonia Down with It Jacket. Or opt in for a heavier jacket like Eddie Bauer’s Winter Parka depending on the conditions.

Our favorite winter hiking clothes:

Best Women’s Hiking Gear and Backpacks

In addition to having the proper clothing, it’s important to hike with the right gear and bag! Here are our favorite hiking bags and daypacks!

Read more about everything that we pack for a day hike!

Best Women’s Hiking Boots and Shoes

Of all the hiking clothes and gear we’ve talked about already, we think having the right hiking boots, shoes, or footwear is the most important part of hiking. If your feet are uncomfortable, your hike probably isn’t going to be much fun.

Pam has been wearing Lems Shoes and Lems Boots for years and swears by them as her favorite hiking shoe! These shoes are different from other women hiking boots because they’re made to fit the natural shape of your foot and are zero-drop. This means that these shoes are designed to be more like walking barefoot! Read more about our favorite Lems footwear.

Kathrine prefers Columbia Newton Ridge Boots for summer hikes or Eddie Bauer’s Mid Cairn hiking boots for wet winter hikes. Both of these hiking boots offer high ankle support and are water-resistant for all terrains. Compared to Lems, these boots are more of a traditional hiking boot.

Good hiking boots or shoes must be paired with good hiking socks. We like a sock that is higher on the ankle and calf and is thicker for support. Smartwool socks our favorites for year-round hikes.

Don’t Wear this Hiking

Please don’t wear crocs or flip-flops. Just don’t. Your feet will thank you.

Skip the cotton and select moisture-wicking materials. Cotton absorbs sweat and is difficult to dry.

Jeans aren’t good for hiking either, even jean shorts in the summer. It’s a heavy material that isn’t comfortable when you’re sweating. Opt-in for hiking pants or legging.