Cold Weather Hiking Gear You Should Own

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Without being equipped with the proper gear, tools, and apparel, you’ll have a hard time enjoying the long, arduous trek that you’ll take because your body won’t be able to survive the cold, gushing wind. Unlike in the summer season, doing outdoor adventures during winter can pose a real and dangerous threat to your health. If your body won’t acclimatize to the chilling environment while camping, complications will be bound to happen.

I remember this one time we prepared for a multi-day hike in one of the highest mountains in the North region. We dressed up accordingly, prepared for the prevailing cold weather and the altitude gain that provides additional chilling sensation while ascending. I was so happy that time I thought everything was going smoothly. However, when we tackled the last ascent before reaching the summit of the mountain at around two o’clock in the morning, I removed my gloves and bonnet because I was too excited to see the view and experience the joy of arriving before the sunrise. Unfortunately, moments before arriving at the peak of the mountain, I froze and trembled because of the extreme weather conditions at that time! I’ll never forget the disappointment I felt. Instead of enjoying the breath-taking view, I laid down, shaking and freezing to death, just because I took off some of my protection for the cold weather. 

Before going up the mountains, be sure to be equipped with the right winter hiking apparel to battle out the cold.

Don’t Spoil the Fun You’ll Experience

You don’t have to be braggy and careless to ditch all these cold weather camping gear and equipment that may save your life when you experience frigid weather. Having them will certainly help you enjoy your outdoor escapades and make the most out of these moments. If you aren’t prepared for such weather conditions and lack the proper winter hiking gear going to the mountains, you’ll have a hard time carrying yourself past the struggles.

So what are the things that I need if I want to survive winter outdoor camping? Here’s a quick list and its description to know more about them:

Best Cold Weather Hiking GearWhat Will It Be For?
Beanie or Winter CapTo protect your head from dewdrops and cover your ear
SunscreenTo protect your skin from the harmful UVA/UVB rays from the sun (even though you don’t feel it)
Thermal Underclothing
(Men) | (Women)
To give our body warmth and serve as the first layer of protection from cold weather
Insulated Hiking Pants
(Men) | (Women)
To protect the most overworked muscle while trekking or hiking
Winter GlovesTo prevent our hands from frostbite or other cold-related injuries
Winter SocksTo give additional insulation and prevent moisture that may build up on our feet
Winter Hiking Boots
(Men) | (Women)
To equip your feet with the most appropriate footgear against the cold terrain
Winter Jacket
(Men) | (Women)
To overall give protection against the winter weather and give warmth while camping

The Secret Ingredients of the Best Cold Weather Hiking Gear

There are lots of products out there that claim to be the best winter apparel in the market. However, that’s mostly for marketing purposes. In our case, we took the time to come up with a list of products that are tested personally and reviewed extensively by other users, so you can have the peace of mind to tackle the cold.

The best outdoor hiking apparel and gear should protect you from the cold winter weather.

Durability

Would you want to buy something that once purchased and used a couple of times, you must throw it away? Would you put your entire trust in winter hiking gear that would easily break especially during times that you’ll need it? For me, that’s entirely a huge waste of money. But also remember, having expensive gear does not automatically equate to durability, and sometimes, low-priced items are far more durable than them. You just have to be keen and know the product’s feedback.

Reliability

Another thing to look out for when buying stuff for your outdoor hiking gear, whether for winter or just a regular sunny afternoon, is reliability. The reliability of these products means how it perform their intended usage. For example, having a winter jacket while battling the frozen mountain, did it give you enough warmth and protection against the cold? Will it be something useful the way that it is intended to work?

Compactibility

Being durable and reliable can be enough for something to look at when buying your winter gear and stuff. What’s the importance of packing light and compact?? If you are traveling on wheels for a snow-filled adventure, you definitely won’t be able to bring your off-road ride on top even though you have everything placed on your roof rack. Packing lightweight makes sure you don’t waste space or too much energy that you’ll need while trekking on your way up.

Insulating Ability

Well, it’s as simple as this. Would you wear something that won’t protect you against the cold weather? These winter hiking apparels have an insulation capability that keeps you warm on the inside even though it’s negative 30 degrees on the outside. Make sure to purchase something that has the proper insulation, especially for when you’re going to sleep.

The Best Winter Hiking Gear You’ll Ever Have

Now that you already know what to look for in buying your cold-weather gear, here’s an in-depth description and review for the stuff that you should have to battle out the cold. Let us start with the innermost protection that you should have.

Pro tip: check these items’ feedback so that you’ll know how great they are!

Sunscreen

Don’t be complacent if you feel the cold breeze that blows onto your skin. Even though you don’t feel the sun’s heat on your body, definitely the harmful Alpha and Beta Ultra-Violet rays from its beams will reach you, so you need to be wary. 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion

Best Suited For:  High-altitude Cold Mountain Hike

Why Do You Need It: To protect yourself from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB sun rays

Materials: Cell-Ox Shield Technology + Antioxidant Protection

Product Weight: 4.96 Ounces

Description: Let’s stop the stereotype that sunscreens are for beaches only. The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen Lotion is perfect for any occasion. Whether you are out for a beach walk or up to the winter adventure, you’ll need protection from the sun. Equipped with a Broad Spectrum SPF50, the Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen is a fast-absorbing, non-greasy lotion that will give you a comfortable sensation when applying. Worried about the materials found inside the lotion? The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen Lotion is made for all skin types.

Pros: 

  • Not oil-based. Prevents that greasy/sticky feeling 
  • Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
  • Neutral Fragrance

Cons: 

  • Does not blend well with skin of color
  • Feels lighter than regular lotions
  • Still dependent on skin’s sensitivity

To know more about the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen, click HERE.

Thermal Undergarments

Thermal Undergarments are what you wear inside your winter gear apparel. It is important to have a comfortable set of underclothing because you are wearing multiple layers of these winter clothes. If the innermost clothing isn’t a snug fit for you, then you have to take everything off in the middle of a cold winter breeze just to make feel better. Do you picture the hassle this will bring to you?

TSLA Women’s Thermal Underwear Set

Best Suited For:  Ladies that want matchy-matchy outfit

Why Do You Need It: To give you the comfortable feeling while having multi-layered apparel

Materials: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane

Product Weight: 8.75 Ounces

Description: TSLA is one of the global sports brands that specializes in manufacturing high-quality rash guards and inner suits. The TSLA Thermal Underwear Set for Women is a perfect example of the quality garments that they provide. These cold gear apparel are perfectly made for the winter weather, providing heat and insulation, at the same time mobility and moisture-prevention. The elasticity of these winter clothing is superb and can provide you with utmost comfort without wearing off with continuous use. 

Pros

  • Mixed fabric composition that provides both comfortability and warmth
  • Good also for sleepwear, but ideal as a base layer for extra layers of clothes
  • Value for money

Cons: 

  • Be mindful of the sizing guide before ordering
  • A bit low-waist depending on body type
  • Needs to be washed thoroughly every after use

Interested in having the TSLA Underclothing? Click this LINK.

Thermajohn Men’s Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear

Best Suited For: Men that need easy to wear clothes

Why Do You Need It: To give you the comfortable feeling while having multi-layered apparel

Materials: 92% Ultra Soft Polyester 8% Spandex

Product Weight: 12.17 Ounces

Description: Thermajohn Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear for Men dedicates to bringing you a comfortable, warm undergarment to pair up with your winter hiking apparel. Aside from these, it also promises to bring you more mobility and ease of suiting up with its advanced fabric technology. The moisture-wicking technology promoted by Thermajohn keeps you warm and dry inside whatever the cold weather temperature may bring. The elasticity of these thermal undergarments will definitely match your active lifestyle and provide comfort while using them.

Pros

  • Can be machine-washed
  • With pee hole for easy emergency call-of-nature access
  • Odor Control, breathable fabric

Cons: 

  • Review the product’s sizing guide for better fit
  • The spandex material, when worn with wrong sizing can enable wind from passing through
  • Construction materials should be checked to ensure quality.

Buy the Thermajohn Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear HERE.

Winter Jackets

Winter Jackets don’t have to be too bulky and all fluff inside to be considered as effective apparel to battle out the cold. The technology for the production of these cold hiking gear nowadays is so advanced that they can provide extreme protection under the winter weather while using compact and lightweight materials. Having a winter jacket will definitely help you out in withstanding the breeze by breaking the cold wind that passes through.

Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Interchangeable Jacket For MEN and For WOMEN

Best Suited For: Everyone that doesn’t want to feel cold

Why Do You Need It: To give you the protection you’ll be needing in extreme negative weather conditions

Materials: 100% Polyester; 100% Nylon

Product Weight: 2.36 Pounds (Men) 1 Pound (Women)

Description: Columbia Bugaboo II Interchangeable Fleece Jacket for Men and Women is the most reliable winter jacket apparel that you should have while having outdoor camping in the cold. First, having the Columbia brand will certainly guarantee you with almost perfect material composition partnered with advanced technology in battling the winter weather. 

Secondly, the Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece Jacket gives you a 3-in-1 solution, giving you a winter coat with a weatherproof outer jacket and a warm insulating inner fleece that you can wear at the same time or separately. Lastly, the Columbia Winter Jackets are made with Omni-Heat and Omni-Tech, both providing you a better chance to stay longer than usual outside the freezing winter cold.

Pros

  • Waterproof Protection that prevents drop buildup on the surface
  • Heavy-duty and Durable
  • Comes with hood for additional head protection

Cons: 

  • Check the product’s sizing features before getting one
  • Sleeve might be too long for others
  • Might be heavy for some

Interested in the Columbia Bugaboo II? Click this LINK for men, and HERE for women.

Winter Hiking Pants

Why do we need specialized winter pants? Is it because it’s more stylish? Of course not. It is because it is more appropriate to wear thick comfortable pair of pants that can help you insulate your limbs properly to keep you warm and keep the blood flow smoothly. Being a hiker or someone who enjoys a long arduous trek in the cold, winter hiking pants are essential not only for battling the cold but also as a protection for your legs for unforeseen injuries like cuts and bruises. 

The North Face Freedom Insulated Pants for MEN and for WOMEN

Best Suited For: those motivated to go nothing but UP!

Why Do You Need It: To give you the protection on your lower extremities as they are your most used muscles while trekking.

Product Weight: 1.3 Pounds (Men) 1.12 Pounds (Women)

Description: The North Face Freedom Insulated Pants for Men and Women gives you all you need when it comes to winter weather hiking. Aside from being one of the pillars in outdoor apparel, The North Face of course upholds the exquisite design and technology for their products. These hiking pants are made specifically for the cold weather, providing Heatseeker Eco Insulation that gives waterproof capability, breathable performance, and durable style to its users. Another great feature of The North Face Freedom Snow Pants is the pants’ kick patches and ankle gaiters that prevent the buildup of snow on the bottom of your trousers. 

Pros

  • Standard Fit that gives you ease in mobility
  • The brand is the product’s guarantee
  • Hook and loop storage cargo system

Cons: 

  • Be mindful of the sizing guide before ordering
  • Has only three pockets
  • Produces friction noise when trekking

For more details about The North Face Freedom Insulated Pants, click HERE (men) or HERE (women)

Winter Socks

Well, literally, any sock can be a winter sock. But would you wear your regular socks when it is freezing out cold outside? One thing that your socks should possess is their capacity to maintain your perspiration at the minimum, producing less moisture on your feet. If it fails to contain the moisture and the cold breeze goes through your hiking boots, then you’ll experience a problem. So be sure to have comfy, insulated winter socks for you to use.

6 Pairs Merino Wool Thermal Socks Men and Women

Best Suited For: Those with sweaty feet 

Why Do You Need It: To prevent your feet from getting cold.

Materials: 38% Merino Wool, 45% Cotton, 10% Acrylic, 7% Elastine

Product Weight: 1.63 Pounds

Description: The Merino Wool Thermal Socks are long-paired socks that provide heat and insulation on your feet if you are having a winter hike. These pairs of socks aren’t ordinary because of the materials used in the production. The Merino Thermal Socks are made from wool and plenty of other essential fabrics to provide the softness and comfort you need to have while trekking. These socks are perfect for the winter weather and any outdoor adventure that needs to battle out the cold season. With its great material and quality construction, you’ll certainly need to have these pairs of winter socks.

Pros: 

  • Good moisture absorption
  • Achilles, shin and foot arc support
  • Soft and comfortable to wear

Cons: 

  • The length may not be appropriate for others
  • Lightweight and not pure wool 
  • Comes in 6 pairs

To know more about these Thermal Socks, click this LINK.

Winter Hiking Boots

This winter hiking apparel is more specialized and has other added capabilities, in comparison to a normal hiking boot. The winter hiking shoe should be lightweight and doesn’t slow you down while trekking. At the same time, this footwear should also have multiple tying options to prevent injuries from happening. The user’s feet should fit well inside and as much as possible should have a comfortable insole with insulation capabilities. These hiking boots should also have strong traction support to prevent you from sliding.

Columbia Men’s Gunnison II Omni-Heat Snow Boot

Best Suited For: Hard-core Male hiking enthusiasts

Why Do You Need It: To prevent your feet from getting cold and protection against possible injuries

Materials: 100% Fabric or Textile

Product Weight: 4.2 Pounds

Description: Having a Columbia Gunnison II Boot guarantees you from not freezing out while trekking to the summit of your favorite mountain. These pair of hiking gear are perfect for a long, strenuous walk because it is lightweight and durable. The Columbia Snow Footwear has an Omni-Heat technology that has Heat-Reflective lining that efficiently manages the warmth while using them. At the same time, these pair of hiking boots are waterproof, preventing additional coldness from seeping inside your foot while trekking. 

Pros: 

  • Full Laced Up Ankle Support
  • Ready for multi-season use
  • Comfortable insole and mid-rubber materials

Cons: 

  • Remember to check sizing guide for better fit
  • May cause blisters if not paired with winter socks
  • Wear and tear with continuous use

Interested in having the Columbia Gunnison II Boot? Click this LINK.

KEEN Women’s Revel III Cold Weather Hiking Boot

Best Suited For: Stylish yet adventurous gal

Why Do You Need It: To prevent your feet from getting cold and protection against possible injuries

Materials: 100% Leather and Synthetic

Product Weight: 1 Pound

Description: Keen Revel III Cold Weather Boots are ladies’ best mate when it comes to outdoor winter hiking. Aside from the trendy vibes that it entails, the Keen Cold Weather footgear protects you from rain or snow and anything in between. The high-technology breathable membrane assures you that these winter footwear will keep your feet warm and protected against moisture. There’s a unique insulating capability installed in this hiking gear that will keep you going. 

Pros:

  • Stylish and trendy design
  • Comfortable insole and midsole with durable materials
  • Waterproof design with plenty of tying options

Cons: 

  • Check out the product’s sizing instructions for best fit
  • Easily worn out especially when used often in winter weather
  • Insulation might not be enough for some

Click this LINK to know more about the Keen Revel III Winter Boots.

Winter Gloves

Having a pair of durable gloves is definitely a wise choice. Investing in quality hand protection will prevent winter injuries such as frostbite from happening. Also, your hands need to be functional as well and not be bothered by the cold winter season because you cannot do anything if they are frozen in the cool breeze already. What to look after for perfect winter gloves? Look for the material composition and determine if they are suited for your need.

Deerskin Suede Leather Insulated Thermal Glove

Best Suited For: Everyone

Why Do You Need It: To maximize the use of your hands for useful stuff

Materials: Genuine Deerskin Suede Leather, Soft Polar Fleece, Waterproof TPU, Heatlok Insulated CottonProduct Weight: 4.66 Ounces

Description: Ozero’s Winter Gloves are packed with durability and reliability against harsh winter weather condition. Its heat insulation system is called Heatlok Thermallayer. It is a tech-patented system made of fiber and insulating materials that are produced to maintain the user’s dexterity while protecting them from extreme cold weather. It traps the warm air inside the gloves and uses it to maintain warmth all throughout. Another feature of the Deerskin Suede Leather Thermal Glove is its double-locking mechanism, where you can secure your wrist with the help of an elastic band and knitted cuff.

Pros:

  • Perfect for both genders
  • Wind and Water Resistant, advisable for winter sports and activities
  • Comfortable yet Durable

Cons: 

  • Some might say that the materials used are thin
  • Doesn’t fit well on specific hands
  • Should be hand washed and delicate for cleaning

Want to have Ozero’s Insulated Gloves? Know more information HERE.

Winter Cap or Beanie

Studies suggest that your ears are the first body parts that get cold. Why? Because they are made from cartilages and have less fat that gives natural insulation against chilling weather. I realized that as soon as I removed my winter cap while hiking back then, the cold breeze got the best of me and sent me down chilling. That’s why it is important to cover and protect your ears when on a winter outdoor adventure. 

Columbia Whirlibird Watch Cap Beanie

Best Suited For: Those that easily get cold

Why Do You Need It: To protect your head from dew and to prevent your ears from freezing

Materials: 100% Acrylic

Description: Columbia’s Whirlibird Watch Cap Beanie is your modern winter hat with a classic design. Suitable for both genders, this winter hat is one of the most essential gear that you should have while winter hiking. This is made from a rich, cashmere-like material that prevents moisture from building up in your head. Columbia’s fabric technology is also integrated into the Whirlibird Winter Cap. It has a feather-weight microfleece inner liner that gives extra warmth and comfortability while wearing it. 

Pros:

  • Material composition is perfect for the cold winter weather
  • Having the Columbia brand guarantees top quality
  • Easy to maintain fabric

Cons: 

  • Size preference should be considered before buying
  • Not budget-friendly
  • Leaves mark or imprint on your head when worn tightly

More info for the Winter Cap HERE.

Summin’ It Up

The key to the best winter hiking apparel is to have a quality insulation system to keep you warm.

Hiking up on cold weather or having a winter outdoor adventure should be included in your bucket list. The thrill and excitement that you’ll feel will be different from the experiences you’ll be having when it is summertime. The comfort of not thinking about the dry, arid, and exhausting trek gives that feeling of relief and satisfaction. However, like any other outdoor adventure, winter hiking poses threats if you go unprepared.

When going cold-weather hiking, especially those with high-altitude mountains, remember to acclimatize and strengthen your cardiorespiratory system. Always think that as the altitude go up, the oxygen supply gets thinner. But if you are just for a chill, winter camping trip, the best you can prepare is your protection against the cold. Aside from getting thermal blankets and staying longer near a bonfire, get comfortable, insulated winter apparel to battle out the freezing sensation.

Get something durable, reliable, and compact on top of its insulating capability. Winter hiking gear with these qualities will not only save you money but can also save you energy while on your cold outdoor escapades. It is important to stay dry and warm during these times to fully enjoy and make the best memories while winter camping. 

Share your thoughts. Leave your recommended winter hiking gear in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

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