Guide to Women's Outdoor Apparel
Similar to outdoor gear, shopping for outdoor apparel can be daunting AF. Especially if you're new to the outdoor space, there are about a million question marks regarding what you need, what's most functional, and what brands are the best quality. And here's the deal- yo girl is always ballin on a budget when it comes to shopping for outdoor apparel because let's face it: coats, jackets, base layers, boots, socks, gloves, pants, etc etc can add up FAST. So while it's true, you get what you pay for, there are also some ways to save $$$ when shopping for your outdoor fits while still getting the quality brands.
I'm going to make this as simple as possible, outlining what you'll want for all seasons and some top notch options/brands. I WON'T be giving extensive details on every single item because that's not my area of expertise. I'll simply be sharing what has worked well for me over the years and brands I love!
But before we dive in, I'm going to quickly define all the material jargon that may have you confused-
Gore-tex: Waterproof yet breathable material. Look for this specifically when looking at rain coats, shells, boots and gloves.
Micro-fiber: extremely thin, soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking material
Base layer: The layer of clothes directly on your skin. Here are some types of base-layers-
Synthetic: Dry quickly but tend to start to smell quickly
Merino Wool: Dries quickly, doesn't smell and is very soft/warm.
Mid-layer: The next layer designed to keep you warm + keep moisture from reaching your body. Here are some types of mid-layers-
Fleece: soft, comfortable material that doesn't soak up water easily so it dries very fast.
Wool: transports moisture well and is very warm. Not as soft as fleece. If it does get slightly damp from sweat, it dries much slower.
Down Insulation: Made from the fluff under duck or goose feather. It insulates your body well by trapping air and body heat. *When you see a "puffer" or "puffy" jacket, it's made from down* If you see numbers associated with a certain down coat, the higher the number the warmer it will be (contains higher density of feathers).
Shell: Outer-most layer designed to protect you from wind + moisture
Insulated: Coats/jackets that contain either down insulation, synthetic insulation, or both.
Thermal: Breathable, windproof and water-repellent coat/jacket. Very practical and ideal for all kinds of weather.
Woolyester: Recycled wool blended with micro polyester for a lightweight, quick-drying, and soft fabric.
Now that we have that out of the way, here we go!
Altra Trail Running Shoes Helly Hansen Coat FP Happiness Runs Crop
Arc'teryx Seyla Down Coat - Long Puffy Down Coat
Helly Hansen Parka - My go-to for really cold weather and snowshoeing. This is the best coat I've ever had and is still amazing after 5 years!
Tubbs Snow Shoes FP Watch Out Tank Lululemon Align Leggings
Guide Pro Merino Wool Socks- better for snowshoeing than hiking
Salomon Cross Trail Running Socks - trail running socks
Merina Wool Pants - for wearing under your snow pants for an extra warm base layer
Lululemon - Align Ii High-rise 25" - My basic hiking legging
DUER Performance No Sweat Pant - For light hikes/activity
*Typically for hiking I simply wear leggings. For snowshoeing or winter hikes, I will wear leggings and snow pants over top*
Hoka One One Boots REI Base Layer FP Free Throw Crop
Free People Happiness Runs Crop - My favorite. I have this in about 5 colors.
Free People Happiness Runs Long Crop - Just slightly longer than the one above
Hoka One One KAHA GTX - Hiking boot
Hoka One One Stinson Mid Gore-tex- My preferred boot. Similar look and feel to the one above but also gore-tex
Cougar Creek Snow Boot - Durable snow boot used for snowshoeing
Women's Altra Footware Lone Peak 4.0 Low RSM Trail Running Shoe - My preferred trail running shoe
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Lightweight - Another great hiking boot
Tubbs Xplore 21 W Snowshoe - My exact pair of snowshoes!
AGPtEK Ice Cleats, 18 Teeth Stainless Steel Ice Crampons - Spikes to put over your shoes for icy hikes
Cougar Boots inside snow shoes Patagonia Rain Jacket Patagonia Mid-Layer