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2024 outdoor gear guide: hiking, backpacking, and more

Buckle up – it’s time for our 2024 outdoor gear guide (aka Gwyn and Ami’s current favorite gear)! In this outdoor gear guide we’ll share links to ALL of our favorite gear and clothing for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re in the market for the perfect pair of women’s hiking pants, an awesome backpacking tent, or the best down jacket, we’ve got you covered! See below for all our favorite gear, or use the table of content to navigate to the section you’re most interested in.

Looking for more? You can find more outdoor gear guides and tips here.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

Our favorite down jackets

Warm jackets are one of our most essential pieces of outdoor gear, which is why they’re listed first in this outdoor gear guide. See below for our favorite down jackets for outdoor adventures!

Heavyweight down jacket 

L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket (for women and men)

If you want to be warm then this is THE jacket for you! Available in iconic bright colors (and neutrals, too!), this jacket features a cozy hood and impressive 850 down fill, making it my #1 choice for cold weather.

Midweight down jacket 

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket (for women and men)

This jacket makes a great mid-weight option, and is available in a range of cute colors (we own mauve and yellow)! It’s perfect for layering or wrong on its own. 

Lightweight down jacket

Stio Pinion Down Sweater (for women and men – use code GWYN&AMI for 20% off your Stio order!)

Although this jacket is incredibly thin it’s also impressively warm, and it’s my go-to down jacket for layering in colder weather, and for wearing on its down on cool summer evenings. I’ve had it for over 2 years and it’s stood the test of time, as well as repeated washings! I would describe the fit as slim, and the jacket is available in sizes XXS-XXL.

Our hiking gear – daypacks, hiking boots, and more!

Waterproof hiking boots

Lowa Renegade (for women and men)

Waterproof, comfortable, and offering great traction and ankle support, the Lowa Renegades are our go-to hiking boots.

Daypacks for hikers

Gregory Juno and Citro (for women and men) and REI Trail 25

We love these daypacks! The REI pack comes in a wide range of colors, as has a built-in rain cover. The Juno/Citro from Gregory feature more robust back support via an internal frame, but lacks a dedicated raincover.  

The best headlamp

Storm 500-R Rechargeable Headlamp

This rechargeable headlamp is lightweight, powerful, and waterproof. What more could you want?

Lightweight hiking poles

LL Bean Hikelite 4 Season Carbon Compact Hiking Poles

We love that these hiking poles are durable and lightweight!

The piece of gear you didn’t know you needed – “pee cloths”

Kula cloth

When Amiana got me one of these for my birthday a few years ago I thought it was a joke, but the joke is on me because I love this thing! At the risk of TMI, once you get one of these you won’t have to deal with damp underwear ever again. IYKYK!

Bear spray for grizzly country

Counter Assault bear spray

If you hike in grizzly country you should always have this on you!

Water reservoirs

HydraPak HydraSleeve Reservoir – 3 Liters

Water bladders are great for cutting weight and hydrating efficiently! We love this option from HydraPak.

The best water filter for hiking and backpacking 

BeFree 1.0 L Water Filter Bottle – 33.8 fl. oz.

While they can develop leaks over time, we’ve found these water filters to be some of the simplest, most efficient, and easiest to use. They’re also lightweight!

Our rain gear

Best everyday rain jacket

REI Co-op Flash Stretch Rain Jacket (for women and men)

This lightweight jacket is free from PFAS and provides excellent waterproofing for damp hikes and rainy urban adventures. Jacket has a slim fit.

Best rain jacket for heavy rain and layering

L.L. Bean Pathfinder GORE-TEX Shell Jacket (for women and men)

This rain jacket features impressive GORE-TEX waterproofing, as well as a generous hood and longer length, which makes it ideal for heavy rain! I would describe the fit as “generous,” which makes it great for layering on top of down jackets. 

Waterproof hiking boots

Lowa Renegade (for women and men)

Waterproof, comfortable, and offering great traction and ankle support, the Lowa Renegades are our go-to hiking boots for all kinds of weather.

Rain pants

REI ​​Trailmade Rain Pants (for women and men)

Rain pants are a great addition to any hiking gear kit – they make a REAL difference during wet hikes and bike commutes. These rain pants can also double as snow pants in a pinch. 

Backpack rain covers

REI Duck’s Back rain covers

You won’t catch us on the trial without a rain cover for our pack, and the Duck’s Back models from REI have been our go-to rain covers for over 8 years. They’re lightweight, pack down small, and come in a variety of sizes to suit any day or backpacking pack!

The best hiking umbrella (yes, I’m serious)

54″ Vortex Vented Jumbo Compact Auto Open/Close Umbrella

In 2023 I started hiking with an umbrella during wet weather so I could shield my camera from the elements, and I can honestly say I LOVE hiking with an umbrella! It’s a great way to keep yourself and your gear dry, especially in warmer weather when you might not want to wear a rain jacket.

Our favorite adventure clothes: pants, base layers, tops, and more

Woman standing looking at landscape on a hike

Gwyn’s favorite hiking pants

Women’s PrAna Halle Straight Leg

I struggle to find hiking pants that fit me, and PrAna is one of the few brands that makes hiking pants that run down to a 00. Outside of leggings, these are the best fitting hiking pants I own! They do stretch a bit with repeat wears, but I find the drawstring on the inside helps mitigate any issues with this.

Amiana’s favorite hiking pants

REI Trailmade Pants (for women and men)

These pants are lightweight, comfortable, quick drying, and won’t break the bank! 

Merino wool base layers

Merino 185 Long-Sleeve Base Layer Top (for women and men)

I love merino wool for its natural order repellent properties and for how warm it is! Smartwool tops used to be my go-to, but I’m found that these base layers from REI are a better deal and also high quality.

Long underwear

REI Lightweight Base Layer Bottoms (for women and men)

These are hands down the best base layers. I wear them under hiking pants AND jeans pretty much all winter long. I’ve owned a pair for several years (I recently purchased a second pair) and have found them to be durable and to wash well.

Our favorite sun shirts

Toad&Co Swifty Hoodie (for women and men)

We got these shirts this spring and they have quickly become our go-to hiking shirts for sun protection! They’re comfortable, breathable, and come in some super cute colors.

The best hiking shorts

REI Trailmade Shorts (for women and men) and Toad&Co. Boundless Shorts (for women and men)

I love BOTH of these shorts (pictured below)! Both are comfortable and quick drying. The Toad&Co. shorts come in fun and bold prints, while the REI shorts come in classic solid colors. 

Sports Bras

Janji Pace Sports Bra

Cute, comfortable, supportive, and washes well. Enough said!

Our snow gear: hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing

Coming soon!

Our backpacking and camping gear

Coming soon!

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