Day Hiking Done in Comfort

Heading out for a day hike is a wonderful way to explore nature with friends, family, and even by yourself. And when you are casually hiking to a favorite waterfall or bagging a technical summit, wearing the proper apparel and taking the right gear can make or break the hike. Not only will quality gear make that day hike more comfortable and fun, it also allows you to explore more and go further. Which is why we have been testing out an assortment of products, everything from backpacks to snacks to clothing and the following are the ones that performed the best and made our day hiking experience truly enjoyable.

Nathan Sports RunLite Pack

There’s no need to bring along an extra bulky pack for day trips when you have the Nathan Sports RunLite Pack. The pack is super compact, lightweight and is bladder compatible. The adjustable straps provide a comfortable carry and the zippered pocket gives access to 10L of secure storage, while the 2 external pockets can hold water bottles or other essentials within easy reach. Coming in at just a 141g, this lightweight pack is ideal for intense treks on technical terrain. MSRP $40 nathansports.com

Gregory Arrio 22

The Gregory Arrio 22 Backpack has everything you need and nothing you don’t for your day hikes. Because of the roomy capacity you don’t have to skimp on what you bring with you when you leave the house. Multiple pockets help keep you organized throughout the trek, and the flexible ventilated backpanel, padded suspension and adjustable straps make the Arrio 22 ideal for a full day hike, even when you do decide to fill it to the brim. MSRP $89.95 gregorypacks.com

Saxx Betawave 2 n 1 Boardie 19

The Saxx Betawave 2 n 1 Boardie trunks double as an everyday short, providing us with the comfort, stretch, and style to transition from the trail to the water. The board shorts are designed for big waves and bold moves, but their quick drying fabric and classic cut fit right in when we leave the water and head out for a hike. They’re equipped with the BallPark Pouch™ that provides complete support in and out of the water, as well as a multitude of pockets so we can keep our essentials close at hand. Whether you’re hiking into the mountains for a frigid dip in a glacial lake or staying close to the trail to check out the waterfall the Saxx Betawave 2 n 1 Boardie Shorts will keep you cool and comfortable as you jump into and out of the water. MSRP $80 saxxunderwear.com

Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail T and Narrows T

The most intense summer pursuits demand the lightest performance tee around, and the Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail T is there to answer the call. The Crosstrail T delivers streamlined performance that’s designed specifically for pursuits in warm weather. You’ll stay cooler and dryer no matter how steep and strenuous your hike is. A V-neck design adds a dose of built in ventilation to cool you down when Summer breezes pass by. When you’re sweating up big climbs and scrambling along narrow ridges, this T-shirt will work as hard as you do. MSRP $34.95

The Jack Wolfskin Narrows T is soft, quick-drying, and stretchy for versatile performance. The bluesign approved fabric wicks moisture, stretches with your body, and repels unsavory odors so you can wash less and wear more. It also features UPF 40+ to guard against harmful rays when you’re spending long periods of time outside on Sunny afternoons. MSRP $39.95 jackwolfskin.com

OR Argon T-Shirt – Ferrosi Anorak – Astro Shorts

The lightweight OR Argon T-Shirt is incredibly versatile and ready for any adventure Summer throws our way. Its technical performance fabric construction is quick drying and ventilating, so we stay cool and comfortable through intense heat and high output activity. While the UPF 30 blocks harmful UV rays from reaching your skin and ActiveFresh™ odor control wards off smells even after days of use. MSRP $49

The trusted Ferrosi Anorak pull over provides us with wind and water resistant protection during hikes, along with the abrasion resistance we need when we are navigating overgrown trails. The body and hood are made with OR’s tough, movement friendly and breathable Ferrosi fabric, while the large kangaroo pocket secures lavish amounts of trail snacks and essentials. The Anorak’s traditional fit lets us move unhindered without being overly loose for when we decide to wear it for a casual outting. MSRP $99 

For fun packed summer weekends, we wear the versatile OR Astro Shorts. These techy shorts are classy enough for lunch on town and tough enough for hikes and climbs. The combo of the Astroman and Ferrosi fabric offer lightweight, stretchy, breathable mobility as well as durable abrasion resistance whether we’re making a new path or scrambling for the peak. MSRP $69 outdoorresearch.com

Kuhl Renegade Short and Engineered Hoody

The Kuhl Renegade Shorts utilize tough DURALUX™ fabric to keep you covered in outdoor conditions where cotton might rip, tear, or just leave you feeling sweaty. The durable construction means these shorts will stand up to questionable excursions and deep forest bushwhacking, all the while remaining breathable and quick drying. And thanks to their laid back eight pocket design you’ll look good when you’re hanging out around town too. MSRP $75

From chilly mornings hiking up the canyon to all day peak bagging adventures, the Kuhl Engineered Hoody always tags along with performance driven comfort and iconic sporty style. The ultralight KUHLDRY AKTIV™ knit fabric pulls sweat from our skin and dries in a snap, while strategically placed breathable, open knit, panels keeps us feeling fresh all hike long. MSRP $79 kuhl.com

Royal Robbins Bug Barrier Discovery III Pant and Tech Travel L/S

Designed for movement, the Royal Robbins Bug Barrier Discovery III Pant are comfortable, breathable, stylish and insect repellent. The Discovery nylon fabric stretches to maintain your freedom of motion, yet provides protection against abrasions and pesky bugs. A soft brushed waistband wicks away moisture to keep you cool, while UPF sun protection defends your skin against harmful UV rays. Details like pants that roll up to a capri and a quick-drying interior waistband make it comfortable to move in any direction, yet the regular fit creates a casual style that fits in almost anywhere. MSRP $100

When the sun is out and we have an afternoon hike planned we pull on the Royal Robbins Bug Barrier Tech Travel L/S T. This lightweight shirt keeps us dry from sweat, comfortable with a pack on, protected from insects and covered from the suns harmful rays so that we can focus on trail ahead. MSRP $60 royalrobbins.com

Jack Wolfskin Go Hike Softshell

We can move freely in mixed weather conditions zipped up in the Jack Wolfskin Go Hike Softshell. The windproof yet breathable fabric has a pleasingly soft feel and the trim fit keeps this midweight layer close to the body without restricting movement, even when we’re hitting a steep climb or sliding through rock passages. More versatile than a baselayer and more breathable than a storm shell, this softshell is usually the one we live in the most, even if there’s light rain in the forecast. MSRP $119.95 jackwolfskin.com

Nike ACG GORE-TEX “Misery Ridge” Jacket

For intense hiking activities with unpredictable weather, we’re wearing the Nike ACG GORE-TEX “Misery Ridge” Jacket to stay prepared. This tough shell has the GORE-TEX waterproofing power to keep us dry through downpours, but it’s also engineered with a breathable membrane to ensure we don’t overheat during our strenuous treks. The adjustable hood, hem, and cuffs provide us with a customizable fit and the pit zips allow us to ventilate as necessary or lock moisture out when the clouds break. MSRP $450 nike.com

Vim & Vigr Med Compression

Ready for day hikes, these lightweight Vim & Vigr Med Compression socks mix naturally odor fighting Australian Merino wool with durable nylon for long lasting comfort. Vim & Vigr’s Merino wool, nylon, and spandex blend will regulate your temperature and help alleviate achiness through harsh trekking conditions, while ensuring your feet can breathe when you start to work hard. MSRP $38 vimvigr.com

Kahtoola Instagaiter Mid and Low

Made with stretchy, breathable material, the Kahtoola Instagaiter Mid will protect your ankles and keep debris out of your shoes as you rack up the miles on the trail. An adjustable instep strap and attached lace hook secure the gaiters tightly to your shoes for a close fit that will keep dust, dirt, pebbles, and shrubs out. More than just protection from varying terrain, the Asymmetrical Zipper closure of the Instagaiter Mid wraps around the leg and foot with comfortable and ease. MSRP $39.95

The Instagaiter Low functions as one of the lightest gaiter options from Kahtoola. We pack this pair of lightweight gaiters on quick day hikes when we don’t want to be weighed down by bulky gear, but still need some protection from trail debris. MSRP $49.95 kahtoola.com

MiiR 32oz Wide Mouth Bottle

With the MiiR 32oz Wide Mouth Bottle, you’re able to stay hydrated throughout the course of your hike. The 32oz easily fits in the side pocket of your backpack, shoulder bag, and can be clipped or carried with ease thanks to the hand loop lid. The Thermo 3D® double wall vacuum insulation locks in beverage temps, whether you want that crisp sip on a summer hike or a steaming flow of coffee at the start of the trailhead. MSRP $39.95 miir.com

Old Trapper Beef Steak

We’ve eaten our fair share of nasty protein and energy bars on the trail. Putting those gross, indigestible energy bars to shame, the Old Trapper Beef Steak packs a flavor punch that is a deliciously alternative. The beef is seasoned with a blend of spices and brown sugar, then smoked for hours with real wood for a robust, savory snack that’s both portable and nutritious. Box of 12 – MSRP $24 oldtrapper.com

ReadyWise 2-day Adventure Meal Bag

When we are out on the trail for a full day and need nutritious, easy to fix meals and snacks the ReadyWise 2 Day Adventure Bag is our go to choice. It contains 4 entrees, 2 breakfasts and 2 snacks conveniently packed in a 5 liter dry bag. The pouches are lightweight making them easy to carry on any long day hike and the meals can be eaten directly from the pouch by just adding water. The ReadyWise 2 Day Adventure Bag is the easiest way to stay fueled up in the backcountry, with everything you need to enjoy a meal right in the dry bag. MSRP $49.95 readywise.com

Skullcandy Dime

If you are heading out on a solo hike and want to listen to some tunes or a podcast, a lightweight. small footprint option is the Skullcandy Dime. The Dime is an ideal,  audio hike companion that provides up to 12 hours of battery life – 3.5 hours of battery life in the earbuds and 8.5 hours in the charging case. When the earbuds are removed from the charging case they automatically turn on and connect. The touch enabled controls on these little buds allow you to take calls, change tracks, adjust volume and activate native voice assistants all while leaving your phone in your hiking pack. With a comfortable fit, IPX4 sweat and water resistance, and the signature Skullcandy Sound all wrapped in a tiny bundle, the Skullcandy Dime is the perfect audio sidekick for a solo hike. MSRP $24.99 skullcandy.com

Ravean Electric Hand Warmer

Designed to make chill conditions a bit more comfortable for hikers, the Ravean Electric Hand Warmer delivers lasting warmth and crucial recharging to keep you and your devices moving down the trail. Sleek and ergonomic, this innovative 2 in 1 design will keep your hands toasty while powering up any USB device. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can recharge your devices while providing up to 8 hrs. of scent free heat up to 140 degrees. The cork wrapped weather resistant Ravean Electric Hand Warmer is an indispensable addition to any day hiking kit. MSRP $39.99 ravean.com

Dermatone Outdoor Protection Kit

While hiking protection from the Sun’s rays is paramount and Dermatone’s long-lasting, water-resistant, sweat-resistant, and broad spectrum SPF formulas have become standard equipment in hiking packs, first aid kits, and pockets everywhere. And the easiest way to get that protection in a lightweight bundle is with their Outdoor Protection Kit. The kit provides a range of easy to use products for the lips, nose, face and skin and comes in a convenient canvas case with a see through window to help keep your pack organized. MSRP $28.99 dermatone.com

DrySee Bandages

A small first aid kit is always a good idea to have in your pack, but the one thing they don’t usually contain are waterproof bandages, which is why we like to add a couple of DrySee Bandages. The DrySee Bandage is designed to cover acute wounds such as cuts, abrasions, and partial thickness burns as a protective dressing to assist in maintaining wound dryness. The DrySee waterproof bandages feature liquid indicating materials that change color if liquid enters (prior to reaching the wound site) and the center pad will change color with exudate, both providing a visual alert to change the bandage. The DrySee Bandages offers a fast and convenient way to cover any cuts that need to stay dry and germ free while hiking in the backcountry. MSRP Starting at $19.95 (Box of Six) drysee.com

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.
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