7 Features To Look For When Buying Hiking Gear

7 Features To Look For When Buying Hiking Gear

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One of the best ways to spend your weekend is to go on a good hiking tour. The multiple benefits of hiking are well known and need no introduction. What is important, however, is the equipment that you have with you when going to hike. What is more, a great part of your hiking experience may well depend on how well you are prepared. To that end, it is essential that you make a good combo of hiking gear that is light, effective, efficient, and maximally useful

This is highly important due to the fact that there is only a limited amount of gear that you can carry with you because otherwise, it would be tiresome and too heavy to drag with you all the time. To that end, professional hikers always make a good selection of the most essential and useful items to have with themselves all the time. 

Therefore, if you are looking to get yourself good hiking gear, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of overbuying. Overbuying is quite common with hiking enthusiasts, but the fact is that you won't be able to carry every item you have at your disposal. Instead, it is better to be more selective and thus buy the most useful pieces of hiking gear that will serve you the most. In that sense, here is a list of the top 7 features you should look for when buying hiking gear!

woman hiking in the mountains

Multiple layers

A hiking day is not necessarily a sunny one. In other words, you may easily happen to be hiking on cold, rainy, windy days. The adverse weather conditions can highly affect your overall hiking experience. Not only that, weather conditions can make you sick and cause you to catch a cold, or become ill in any other way. In that way, in order to protect yourself from external conditions, you must get proper hiking gear. 

One of the basic hiking items is the clothes you have on you. You can by no means have ordinary pants and a sweater on you when you hike. Instead, make sure you get professional hiking clothes. Nevertheless, there is a plethora of hiking clothes on the market, which makes it rather difficult to choose the one that suits you best. 

Therefore, the first feature that you should look for when buying hiking clothes is the number of layers. Good and quality hiking clothes have a layering that is adjustable and protective, and we carry our layers every time we travel to the hills, regardless of the weather prediction. This allows us to control our body temperatures by allowing us to readily remove or add layers based on the weather conditions and our degree of exercise. Thus, a breathable moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating mid-layer, and a waterproof upper layer are the three main concepts of layering.

hiker with thermal regulation hiking gear


Depending on a person, experience, and other factors, the hiking time varies with hikers. But for a good hike, it sometimes takes days, even weeks of hiking. Imagine spending 5 days in uncomfortable gear. It indeed sounds extremely bad. Therefore, comfort is the next important feature that you simply have to have in mind when buying quality and proper hiking gear. 

The criterion of comfort must apply to any single piece of equipment. Each has to fit comfortably and make you move freely. Special emphasis should be put on those pieces of equipment that directly affect you while you are hiking. For instance, your backpack is on your back all the time, and if only this sole piece of equipment feels uncomfortable to you, it may ruin your hiking. To that end, it is essential that you get the best and most comfortable backpacks for hiking for this will certainly enhance your hiking experience! Likewise, make sure you invest well in the essential parts of your gear for it is certainly worth it!

family of hikers wearing confortable hiking gear


Lightweight is the key when it comes to hiking. This is because hiking involves carrying multiple items with you and each of the burdens you with its weight. The more burdened you are, the more difficult it becomes for you to perform well on hiking. It is due to the extra weight that your movement may become slower, you may get tired faster, and may also be less agile in general. These factors highly limit the number of hiking items or hiking gear in general. 

Therefore, in order to have as many useful items with you, it is important that you take into consideration the weight of every piece of hiking gear. This feature is crucial because it highly affects you while you hike. Thus, ensure that you buy the items with minimal weight, because only with light gear will you be agile and confident on the terrain!

hiker wearing lightweight hiking gear

Water resistance

As already stated, there may well be many rainy days that you may spend hiking. This fact leads us to the next important feature that you should really look for when getting yourself proper and adequate booking gear. This important feature is water resistance. Every professional hiker is well acquainted with the importance of water-resistant gear. Now, there are different types of gear that you may find in terms of water resistance. There are water repellent, water-resistant, and waterproof materials on the market

For instance, water repellent materials can repel water, but only to a certain degree. In other words, if you get caught in heavy rain or storm, your gear may easily get wet, since water repellent gear is not 100% immune to water. For the best experience, you should look for waterproof materials, since these will maximally protect you from water influences. In particular, it has almost become a must to have waterproof boots, trainers, a jacket, backpack, and the like! 

hiking woman wearing waterproof hiking gear


So far, we have spoken a lot about the cases where you may find yourself caught in the rain. Accordingly, we stated what features of your hiking gear may protect you from those adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless, what if you get caught on a hot day

It is known that hikers can spend days on their hiking tours. However, it can often happen that the daily temperatures rise, which can significantly affect the hikers. In those particular cases, the hiking gear can either save you or hinder you. In particular, the hiking gear has to be breathable in order to minimize the effects of high temperatures. Therefore, when you are purchasing new hiking clothes, make sure that it lets your skin and body breathe. This feature will allow you to feel better and more comfortable on hot sunny days

Otherwise, you will be sweating a lot, and the temperature of your body may rise to harmful levels. Likewise, it may dehydrate your body, make you tired, and may ultimately lead to your body failing, or make you give up on hiking. To prevent all these, make sure you take into consideration this feature on your hiking gear before you buy it!

woman hiking with breathable hiking gear

Damage proof

Hiking is no easy thing to do. This fact is known to anyone who has even once gone for it. Similarly, it is not rare that hikers - especially inexperienced ones - slip and fall. Each fall, besides the physical and emotional damage that afflicts you, also damages your gear. To prevent your gear from rapid tear and wear, it is crucial that you buy those that are damage-proof. Although this feature of your hiking gear may cost you more, it can actually save you and your money. This is because you will often have to replace the torn pieces of cheap gear. 

However, with the gear that is damage proof, you will be able to easily continue the hiking. On top of that, the cheaper hiking clothes, for example, may tear apart when you fall and thus let the rock or other things cut your skin. But with damaged proof clothes, you will be less likely to have your knee significantly scratched or cut. This way, by investing in this important feature of your hiking gear, you will also invest in your money and health

cut proof material


When buying certain hiking items that you think will come in handy to you, make sure that you look for features of size and compactness. These two are the next two relevant features that you may take into account. Hence, if you are buying a compass, or a lighter, ensure that you buy a small-sized one, that will be compact, and will thus more easily fit. This way, you will make more room for other items and will not have to struggle with unnecessarily cumbersome and heavy things that you carry with you all the time! 

small and packable hiking objects

Wrapping Up

There is so much great nature everywhere around us: calling us, inviting us to explore and discover its limitless boundaries! Let us make sure to use the blessing of nature and make our lives fuller, and more fun! To that end, let us prepare adequately and invest in ourselves. This way, we will be able to experience amazing events and keep unforgettable memories! Good luck and stay safe and sound!

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Baptiste is an adventurer with a passion for urban and wilderness exploration and adventure, and a lover of vintage objects with timeless charm. As a Founding member of the Eiken team, he tries to share his passion and expertise for travel and vintage fashion through his articles.

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