Hiking Outfit: What to Wear When Climbing Mountains

Combine function and fashion.

When you imagine a hiking outfit, the first image that comes to mind is usually a ratty fanny pack combined with bulky boots and rainbow-colored sunglasses. We’re here to prove otherwise and show how you can still look good, or at least not terrible, in the great outdoors. Because you never know, the crocodile hiding in the lake near the hiking trail might be judging your every move for more reasons than hunting.

Outdoor activities require function above fashion, but brands have been upping their game and combining practicality with aesthetic in recent years. When it comes to choosing what to buy, knowing the right material is crucial. A hiker’s biggest disadvantage out in the wilderness is his attire—some materials are too heavy, too absorbent, and too much of a hindrance for outdoor activity. Here are the pieces to add to your hiking outfit:

North Face Ff Montro Jacket


1| Jacket

Stay dry on your hike by packing a waterproof, breathable jacket in case the rain comes down hard. Leave your hoodie at home—it’ll only be a hindrance when it rains as it will just soak up water. Instead, invest in something like this lightweight Gore-Tex jacket from North Face. It’s a slim fit and thin enough for the hot weather of the Philippines.

Adidas Own The Run Tee

2| Shirt

Avoid cotton tees if you’re going on a hike. Cotton retains water, so it’ll make sweat stains visible. Not to mention, a wet cotton shirt will give you the chills if the weather is cold or make you sweat even more if the weather is warm. When it comes to hiking in the hot mountains of the Philippines, go for nylon or polyester material like this tee from Adidas. It’s breathable, lightweight, and fitted to provide extra comfort while hiking.

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Patagonia Men’s MOC Hybrid Shorts

3| Bottoms

No denim. Ever. This isn’t a Ralph Lauren commercial. Cowboys aren’t riding in the wilds of the Philippines in a pair of tight fit jeans. Denim is heavy and bulky and absorbs water, so hiking through tricky terrain in a pair of denim jeans will slow you down and tire you out.

Go for a lightweight material like these Patagonia hybrid shorts that are durable and quick-drying. That last feature is pretty important given how much you’ll sweat as you climb steep inclines. Usually, we’d advise full-length pants for hiking to protect your legs from bruises and scratches, but let’s be real—that’s way too hot in the thick of the Philippine jungles. The best part? Pockets! You might never wear something with this many pockets, but when it comes to hiking, the more pockets, the better.


Patagonia Men’s Sender Boxer Briefs

4| Underwear

Don’t even reach for your cotton boxers. Cotton will only chafe at your skin considering the amount of physical activity you’ll be doing. Instead, we recommend Patagonia’s performance boxer briefs made from nylon and spandex. The stretchy material is friction-free and will give you added cooling down there.

Tommy Hilfiger Iconic Hidden Sock



5| Socks

Here’s where you can add more fashion than form to your hiking outfit. Your feet will sweat in whatever socks you wear, so why not just splurge on statement socks from Tommy Hilfiger. This pair of crew socks also has reinforced heels and toes that will help absorb the force from hiking.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Wide Width

6| Shoes

You should never wear standard sneakers when hiking. That’s a quick way to damage them irreparably with debris in the mountains. So forget your Jordans or Continentals. Merrell’s heavy-duty hiking shoes are the way to go. They’re waterproof and durable and feature reinforced traction and breathability. Most important, the shoes absorb shocks and add stability to your gait.

Patagonia Sun Mask


7| Gaiters

Something most rookie hikers forget to buy are gaiters—over-the-shoe socks that seal the top of your boots to prevent bugs or dirt from entering your shoes. Similar to socks, these can be the statement piece in your hiking outfit, and Patagonia has several gaiters in a variety of patterns.

Adidas Climalite Cap

8| Hats

Be smart and don’t let your money go to waste by bringing a squeaky clean white cap on a muddy hike. Instead, find a black hat to bring along on your trip so it’s less obvious when (not if) dirt gets on it. This classic Adidas cap will keep the sun out of your eyes and sweat away from your brow while it’s at it.

Oakley Sports Performance Sunglasses


9| Sunglasses

Okay, we lied about not including a pair of rainbow glasses to the list. But in our defense, this pair of performance glasses from Oakley is pretty cool. Sunglasses are a must depending on the mountain you’re hiking. The more open areas there are, the more you’ll need sunglasses so the bright rays don’t affect your vision or give you a headache. This pair also curves a little around the edges so it’ll block out the sun hitting your periphery as well. The question is, are you cool enough to pull these off?

North Face Chimera 24 Backpack

10| Backpack

Before you double back in outrage, hear us out. Having a bright-colored backpack is actually incredibly helpful when hiking. In case you get lost or separated from your hiking group, a bright-colored backpack, like this mustard North Face hiking pack, will be the first thing people will look for. It’s bright enough to spot in between the thick foliage, and North Face has designed this bag to be minimalist enough to add fashion to function.


Pacsafe Venturesafe x Waistpack

11| Waistbag

A fanny pack might look corny, but it’s ridiculously helpful in almost every situation. It gives you easy access to your phone if you find an IG friendly spot, and also keeps medication, bug spray, and hiking equipment within close reach. Pacsafe’s waistpack comes in a sleek, muted blue design that definitely won’t make you look like a lame uncle at a family reunion. Instead, it’s a practical touch to a hiking outfit that blends form and function.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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