BEST Hiking Clothes For Men • Ideal Hiking Outfit for Men

I spend a lot of time writing about various outdoor products. I have been fortunate enough to test many products from this work. When I love a product and choose to wear and use it regularly, this comes from testing a dozen competitors.

There are a lot of options for hiking clothes for men. As more and more people hit the trail every year, the number of options increases. The result is a crowded market with a plethora of options available. I’ll do my best to update this post occasionally with my current hiking outfit for men and my favorite hiking clothes!

In this post, I want to highlight some of my favorites and the best hiking clothes for men.


What Makes a Great Hiking Outfit for Men?

Cameron At an Alpine Hut in Austria after a hike

An excellent hiking outfit for men is about what makes you comfortable outdoors. A good blend of performance vs. comfort is vital. Although, I tend to lean towards performance-orientated or technical clothing as it provides more safety in the mountains.

Clothing is a tool that aids us on adventures and hikes to explore everything from deserts to jungles and mountains. Practical, lightweight, and durable clothing can make the difference between a great and a bad day out. I like to keep it simple with an investment in the basics that should last for years if not decades.

Here are the staples of a men’s hiking outfit:

  • Hiking Underwear
  • Sports Bra
  • Hiking Shirt
  • Hiking Pants or Leggings
  • Hiking Shorts
  • Hiking Jacket
  • Hard or Softshell Jacket
  • Down Jacket
  • Hiking Socks
  • Trail Runners or Hiking Boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking Hat

The Best Hiking Clothes for Men


Men’s Hiking Underwear

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs

Hiking in Switzerland

Avoid wearing cotton underwear as they hold on to moisture, which can cause chafing on the trail. Instead, stay dry with the right material, like wool or polyester. Both are excellent for their moisture management and antimicrobial properties.

However, wool is better against odor resistance and is more comfortable. I’ve tried many versions, and the Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs are my favorite. Smartwool makes a closer runner-up, but Icebreaker delivers a better fit and quality. I have holes in my Smartwool underwear.

You can not beat the comfort and longevity of proper undergarments. It’s the closest layer to your body, so you need something that can handle moisture and is antimicrobial. If you plan any multiday hikes, the latter is important, as you can’t pack many clothes.

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs

Best Men’s Hiking Socks

Darn Tough Merino Socks

Yes, the best hiking clothes for men involve socks. Socks may be the most important part of hiking apparel because the wrong pair can lead to so much misery on the trail. Plus, they’re the most affordable piece of men’s hiking clothing.

I give my feet some love with a pair of Merino wool hiking socks. Wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties and do an excellent job at moisture management. My favorite wool socks are the Darn Tough Micro Hikers.

They offer a nice mid cushion underfoot that feels comfortable but isn’t too much. They’ve held up beautifully after years on the trail, and I’ve never gotten a blister when wearing the socks with proper footwear. More on the footwear later.


Best Men’s Hiking Shirts

Outdoor Research Shirt Echo Series

Hiking Clothes for Men

I rotate several Outdoor Research Echo hiking shirts on my hikes. They are the most comfortable synthetic hiking shirts I’ve worn. I’d go so far as to say it feels like I’m not even wearing a shirt. Plus, they come in many versions, from tank to long-sleeve hoodies. They are lightweight, moisture-wicking, and offer UPF sun protection. The result is a long-sleeved shirt I feel comfortable wearing in the summer months.

These shirts are built with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, and ActiveFresh™ odor control technology. The result is a long-sleeved shirt I feel comfortable wearing in the summer months. My only complaint is they tend to rip rather than wear down, but they last longer and do not pill from a backpack.

Outdoor Research Echo Shirt

Smartwool Classic Shirt

The Smartwool Classic Shirt is a great all-rounder that works in many situations. I love wool shirts, even though synthetic shirts are slightly more versatile. I’ve tried several other wool shirts, but the Smartwool Classic Shirts feel the most durable.

Since wool tends to fall apart faster, they utilize a fabric that wraps wool around a nylon core to weave the shirt. The downside is it is a petrochemical. However, you still get all the performance of wool with the durability of synthetics. Fit is a nice blend between casual and athletic, so it works with many body types. It also comes in a long-sleeved version for hiking in cold temperatures. I’ve never regretted wearing this shirt while hiking!

Smartwool Classic Shirt

Best Men’s Hiking Pants

Fjallraven’s Keb Trousers

Hiking Clothes For Men

When I wear pants, it’s for a rough adventure. I love the Fjallraven Keb Trousers because the canvas pants are super comfortable and tough. They use structured panels to make pants that move flawlessly with your body.

The standout feature here is its heavy canvas blend that is both eco-friendly and rugged. They also have a bunch of pockets and rugged good looks. Plus, they have four handy zippered vents to dump heat when you get warm.

These pants shine with rough travel where branches and rocks are features of the trail—in other words, bushwacking. Yet, they remain some of the most comfortable hiking pants I’ve ever worn. They look pretty cool too!

Fjallraven Keb Trousers

Arc’teryx Gamma Pants

There are better lightweight hiking pants, but I prefer the protection of the Arc’teryx Gamma Pants. If the weather is good or even cool, you’d be hard-pressed to find me in a pair of pants. I wear soft-shell pants when the weather looks mixed or cold. Cold to me is around freezing or single digits (celsius).

The Gamma is an exceptional softshell pant that is comfortable and offers reliable protection from the elements. I wear them in the rainy shoulder seasons and when we travel to destinations like Iceland, Patagonia, or the Faroe Islands.

I love the material in these pants as it offers the perfect amount of breathability, mobility, and water resistance. Unless it’s a torrential downpour, they offer all the protection I need from the elements. They’re even excellent winter pants capable of mountaineering with just enough room for a layer of thermals comfortably.

Arc’teryx Gamma Pants

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Hiking Clothes For Men Hiking Poles

I’m a big fan of shorts, which I wear most days on the trail. However, I like to wear Outdoor Research’s Ferossi Pants when I need protection from insects. I’ve hiked in some particularly notorious valleys for mosquitos with these pants.

They’re great for summer days when I’d like the protection of pants and are some of my favorite hiking clothes for men. The pants are super lightweight and similar to soft-shell pants. Ferrosi Pants have excellent water resistance and windbreaking capabilities. 

With that in mind, they keep you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. They also have a lot of water resistance and are more comfortable than a pair of rain pants. Granted, if it’s genuinely raining, nothing can replicate the protection of rainpants.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Best Men’s Hiking Shorts

REI Co-op Swiftland 7″ Running Shorts

Even with the unpredictable weather of the mountains, you’ll find me in shorts on most hikes. I prefer to take the approach fast and light regarding my clothing.

I find heavy “traditional” hiking shorts with endless pockets unnecessary and uncomfortable. The problem with shorts and pockets is the pressure on your thighs when high stepping up a hill, plus they’re redundant to a backpack or vest for storage.

Running shorts are far more comfortable. I’ve tried a bunch of running shorts with several wins and misses. However, my favorites are the Men’s REI Co-op Swiftland 7″ Running Shorts. The shorts are lined, which is important for long hikes and runs. Once you get past the 30km mark, it’s easy to experience chafing.

The one thing to note is to opt for boxer brief liners for men. In my experience, brief liners tend to cause chafing in unfortunate areas. Another pair of shorts I’ve fallen in love with recently is the Lululemon Fast and Free Shorts. Naturally, they lack protection and are best on a runner’s build.

Trail Running Shorts

Best Men’s Hiking Jackets


Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket

Things to do in Banff

I always throw a hard-shell jacket in my bag for hikes in the backcountry. It’s an essential protection from the elements and can save your life. They’re lightweight and easy to pack, so there isn’t any excuse to go without one. My hiking jacket is the trusty lifeline that’s saved me from several wet days. We’ve been fortunate enough to test out a lot of jackets over the years. My absolute favorite is the Arc’teryx Beta, as it’s bomb-proof.

It features 3L GORE-TEX® that is light and keeps me dry and comfortable no matter the weather. My second favorite jacket is the Helly Hansen Odin 3L because it is gorgeous blue and has excellent performance. One last suggestion is the affordable Patagonia Torrentshell!

Arc’teryx Beta LT

Patagonia Down Sweater

Men's Hiking Clothes On Tent Ridge

Down jackets are easy to compress and super light, but supply plenty of warmth. It’s no surprise that they’re staples for hikers. It depends on the hike, but it’s a frequent piece of clothing in my backpack. We spend a lot of time hiking, climbing, and scrambling in the alpine, so I almost always have one.

My favorite down jacket is the Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody, as it has a nice athletic fit that looks super sharp. It doesn’t hurt that it has the technical cred of a lightweight down jacket with plenty of warmth.

The only problem is it’s pretty expensive. My first down jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater, offers much more value and is still awesome. It’s an outdoor staple and loved by plenty of hikers. It has a more casual fit, making it well-suited for time away from the mountains — it’s the perfect winter jacket for cities and mild climates.

Men’s Down Jacket

Patagonia Down

Arc’teryx Cerium


Arc’teryx Squamish Hoodie

A lightweight soft-shell jacket is a strong contender for my most used jacket. As an avid mountain biker, I often pack a light jacket for chilly descents and unpredictable mountain weather. The Arc’teryx Squamish Hoodie is my lightest jacket, and along with biking, I use it on mild-weather hikes and trail runs.

It’s not as waterproof as a typical soft-shell jacket, but it offers a fair amount of protection. I love that the jacket has a roomy fit that I can layer over anything from a t-shirt to a down jacket, so it’s easy to match any climate. It keeps wind and precipitation out while providing solid ventilation.

More than anything, I like it on cool days when I want a little warmth but don’t want to overheat when hiking uphill. It packs into the pocket for easy storage in a trail running vest or climbing harness. It’s a terrific option for fast hikers, trail runners, or bikers seeking protection without dying of heat.

Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody

Arc’teryx Atom Hoody

A comfortable synthetic mid-layer is perfect for cold-weather hikes, campsites, and daily life. I pretty much live in a synthetic mid-layer at home. I can recommend two awesome jackets. They are the Patagonia Nano-Air and the Arc’teryx Atom Hoody.

They’re both breathable, warm, comfortable, and lightweight. They are super versatile, too, as I can wear them as insulation during the ski season or alone hiking in cool fall weather. I prefer these synthetic jackets over fleece, flannels, or down jackets as they offer better performance.

The downside is that they’re not as compressible as a down jacket but can handle wet weather. I’d only recommend one for guys who spend time in wet and cold environments like the Pacific Northwest. I prefer the Atom over the Nano-Air as it offers warmth and fits my body better.

Mid-Layer Jacket

Arc’teryx Atom Hoody

Patagonia Nano-Air


Arc’teryx Gamma MX

Arc'teryx Gamma MX On Plain Of Six glaciers Hike

The Gamma MX is a bombproof softshell jacket that has become my favorite for hiking in cooler weather. It’s a great jacket for dry environments and can handle showers or snow amicably. A softshell offers a lot of breathability, comfort, and durability.

When it’s cool out, I feel comfortable wearing the Gamma hiking uphill. Even in a premium shell jacket, I still feel a little clammy. If strong protection from heavy wind or rain is unnecessary, I consider a softshell the best hiking jacket. However, replacing a hardshell is tough when caught in heavy rain.

Arc’teryx Gamma MX

Best Men’s Hiking Thermals

Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer

What To Wear Snowboarding

On alpine backcountry trips, I love to pack a pair as nightwear. Of course, a pair of thermals are also great when hiking in the snow or winter weather. My favorite thermals for backcountry use are the Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layers.

I’ve tried many brands, and they remain my favorite pair of thermals. What I love most is their exceptional value for a pair of base layers. The Lifa Base Layers also last forever! Another great option for a base layer is the Smartwool Classic Thermals. I may even find them a tad more comfortable than the Helly Hansen base layers, but they cost a bit more.

Men’s Hiking Base Layer

Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer

Smartwool Classic Thermals


Best Men’s Hiking Shoes and Boots

Truthfully, there are a ton of variables when it comes to footwear. Things to consider are terrain, fit, style, and intended use. I have several different options for footwear for the trail, and I choose based on the day. Choose a shoe that best fits your everyday needs. A trail running shoe is perfect for most hikers as it is capable on and off the trail. That way, you get plenty of use out of your investment. Low-elevation and easy hikes are often on well-maintained trails, so a good pair of hiking or tennis shoes is more than adequate.

There has been a long debate on whether you need high-top boots or low-cut shoes to protect your ankles. I only wear boots in poor weather, rough terrain, or demanding backcountry adventures. However, it’s best to be cognizant of your body’s health. If you have previous injuries, are prone to ankle rolls, or need extra support, do not hesitate to choose the best option for yourself. For most, these will be high-ankle boots.


Salomon Speedcross 6

Salomon Speedcross 6

Trail runners are a staple in my hiking outfit and what I wear on most hikes. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and allow me to keep a fast pace. I’ve tried a bunch of trail runners, but Salomon Speedcross 6 is my absolute favorite shoe.

If you’re big on trail running, beating the Salomon Speedcross 6 is tough. They have a diehard following, and for good reason. The lightweight shoe is high on comfort, and the aggressive tread pattern ensures you always have a grip. I burn through a pair of these each summer.

The only downside is the aggressive treads make them uncomfortable for running on smooth surfaces or in the gym. I like to run around my local trails and streets in the Hoka Speedgoat 5 if you want a more versatile shoe.

Men’s Salomon Speedcross 6

Merrell Moab III

assiniboine

The Merrell Moab III delivers some of the best value on the market. It’s an entry-level boot that is super comfortable for long distances with weight on your back. These reliable boots are affordable as Merrell has not updated the design in years, which gives customers a lot of savings. It’s a comfortable boot out of the box with great soles built to last.

The Moab 3 operates more as an easy trail boot than something designed for scrambling or traversing craggy trails. You may want a more robust hiking boot if you spend a lot of time in rough areas with lots of scree and rock.

However, these boots are great if you spend more time in warm environments on well-developed trails. As a bonus, they come in a non-waterproof vented version to keep your feet cool. They may not be the “best” hiking boot in the world, but it’s hard to beat the value and comfort.

Men’s Merrell Moab III Boots

Teva Hiking Sandals

Teva Hiking Sandals

Hiking sandals are a great way to free your feet. Whether it’s an easy hike or just camping, walking around in a pair of Teva’s or Chacos is great. They’re also great for letting your feet dry out or making a river/stream crossing. Truthfully, I never hike around in these things. However, I know many people who are big fans.

Teva Hiking Sandals

Best Hiking Gear for Men


Smith Sunglasses

These aren’t precisely hiking clothes for men, but they are necessary. Ensure you protect your eyes from the sun when you spend all day in the sun. There are many sunglasses options; everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

Hiking sunglasses are essential if you visit any glacier, desert, or alpine passes as they are high UV environments. A pair of glasses that offer proper protection is the Smith Embark Sunglasses. The sunglasses feature removable and ventilated side shields that provide peripheral light coverage.

They have Polarized glasses that enhance vision in bright environments and remove glare from windshields and the water. For a more versatile sunglass, we love the classic Smith Lowdown 2. Perfect for many activities such as fishing, kayaking, running errands in town, traveling, or the beach.

Smith Sunglasses

Jelt Belt

Scramble Men's Hiking Clothes

A few of my hiking pants come with a built-in belt which is great. However, I go for my Jelt Belt whenever I need a belt. Jelt is a women-owned social enterprise that produces belts made from 100% recycled plastic bottles with an innovative patented flat buckle that lies flat against your body. They are much better than regularly clunky belts.

Jelt Belt

Patagonia LoPro Hat

Men's Hiking Clothes Hat

This isn’t anything special, but I always carry a hiking hat in my bag. It’s great for reducing sun exposure when you’re hiking. It’s super important on trails with little to no tree cover, like the desert or the alpine. I love to use “trucker hats” as the mesh panels keep my head cool. Honestly, I have ten different versions of the Patagonia LoPro trucker hat. Yes, that is way too many hats.

LoPro Hat

Hiking Daypack

A large multiple-day hiking backpack is unnecessary if you’re not on a long hike. You don’t need a 50L+ backpack. Instead, opt for a size around 20-30L that should be enough to carry all your daily necessities. Many great backpacks are on the market, but my favorite is from REI Co-op. The REI Co-op Trail 25 is affordable and super comfortable on the trail. My other favorite hiking backpack brand is Osprey! I have the Talon, and it has served me well over the years.

REI Co-op Trail Backpack

Hiking Poles

mens hiking clothes

If you have plans to take part in a long day or multi-day hikes, a pair of hiking poles is a great way to save your knees and prevent injuries. If you’re on a full day of hiking in the mountains, you’ll gain and descend a lot of elevation. So, it’s easy for your legs to tire, and a pair of hiking poles will pay off.

Although I don’t always need hiking poles, they are always in my pack. I almost ALWAYS end up using it at least once while I’m descending a mountain. I use the Black Diamond FLZ Hiking Poles. “Z” poles are fantastic as they’re lightweight and can be stashed inside a backpack should you not need them.

Black Diamond FLZ Hiking Poles

Biolite Headlamp

Nap Time In Backcountry

You shouldn’t hike without a headlamp, even on a day hike. We rarely do sunrise hikes, but a headlamp is always in our bag if we get caught on the mountain after dark. They are small and light, so there is no reason not to have one in your pack. This is another hiking accessory that could save your life.

We have several headlamps, but one of our new favorites is the Biolite. It took several recommendations online before settling on this one because of its affordable price and durability. It delivers 200 lumens, costs $50, and will likely last a decade or longer. It’s a sweet deal if you like to spend time outdoors.

Biolite Headlamp

Water Bladder or Grayl Waterbottle

Cameron By River

You’re either a water bladder or a water bottle hiker. I am a water bladder hiker, so I can always access my water from my pack without stopping to pull out a water bottle. If a water bladder is not your thing, at the very least, get a good water bottle. Don’t go hiking with a single-use plastic water bottle! This is a waste of money and plastic.

If a water bladder is not your thing, at the very least, get a good water bottle. Don’t go hiking with a single-use plastic water bottle! This is a waste of money and plastic. I love the Grayl bottle as it features a purifier. Most importantly, this water bottle system purifies water vs. filters, removing viruses and virtually all threats of waterborne illnesses.


READ MORE HIKING TIPS

Hopefully, this best hiking clothes for men post helps you decide what hiking outfit to put together. You can find more of our hiking gear articles below!

About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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